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MegaZone's Safety Valve
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All the cool toys get recalled
The 10 most dangerous play things of all time

Of course, Jarts, aka lawn darts, are number one. That's a gimme. I loved their description of how they're used - because that's *exactly* how I used them as a kid. We used to have contests to see who could fling one STRAIGHT UP the highest, and then who got it stuck the deepest into the ground. I'd hold it by the tail with both hands, swing it back between my legs, and then whip it forward and up - letting it go, falling on my ass half the time from the force I'd use. Then get up and run like hell, trying to keep an eye on it as it came down. ;-) Or tossing it over the house was always fun. With someone on the other side to toss it back.

But how much of a geek am I to think that #2, the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab, is WICKED COOL! I would've loved getting that as a kid. NUKES! I was also the kind of kid who'd make dangerous stuff with my chemistry set. :-)

Watch the video for #8, the Johnny Reb Cannon - the very last line kills me. "Remember every boy wants a RemCo Toy! ... and so do girls." Oh, yeah, girls, might as well see if any of them want our shit.

#9 - man, I remember when that happened! All the toys lost their cool missile launchers. I was big into Micronauts (no pun intended) and suddenly they went from having working missiles to being crippled. They'd just glue the missiles in place - or leave out the firing springs so you could remove the missile, but not fire it. Or change it so it'd fire - but remain captive, so it just shot forward an inch.

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z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: December 15th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
From: ninjarat Date: December 15th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
I remain horribly scarred because my Rivetron set -- ordered and paid for from the Sears Christmas Catalog -- was recalled just days before Christmas.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: December 15th, 2006 02:54 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Oh man, I had that!
srmalloy From: srmalloy Date: December 15th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Looking up 'Rivetron', I chanced to discover the Girder and Panel Museum, devoted to the old Girder and Panel Building sets, which I remember having as a kid (I think I had set #2 or #3) -- and which they're producing again, albeit in a slightly modified form.
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: December 15th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Cool - I still have a bunch of Girder and Panel sets. :-)
From: (Anonymous) Date: December 15th, 2006 06:30 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Yep, that's the reason why my G1 Transformers toy of Ultra Magnus has non-proper function of it's missles. Still have you seen the latest Starscream. No, not the Masterpiece Starscream. The one in the new set where Bumblebee's a Mini-lookalike, Hot Rod resembles a front engined GT40 & Prime's a streamlined cab-over.
Well, this Starscream has 'working' missle launchers. I do mean working. The projectiles flew and hit the near-by wall at speed. Still I wonder how they managed to slip that one through the Toy Safety Police.

zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: December 15th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Sometime in the past few years more and more toys have been showing up with working missiles and the like. I'm not sure if they're just sized better or what.
hnybny From: hnybny Date: December 15th, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
My brothers had the Creepy Crawlers sets. The noxious fumes were another major benefit ;-)
shogunhb From: shogunhb Date: December 15th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I definitely want the atomic energy lab.
astroprisoner From: astroprisoner Date: June 4th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I stumbled across this entry while Googling some info on the old Atomic Energy Lab kit...and not to make you feel worse, but I had one in the late '60s and yeah, it was cool.

Although the online article says the Gilbert kit was only sold for a year, it was apparently sold for much longer than that repackaged by Sears & Roebuck. It didn't include the Geiger counter, and the price was lower...but all the other components were the same.

I recall it came with a plastic bag of uranium ore, plus a pinhead of radium paint (the paint was stuck on a cork, the cork is visible in the center of the cylindrical "cloud chamber" part of the drawing on the box cover).

The uranium ore and radium source were mainly used to trigger two experiments as I recall: a static-charged detector that used two small squares of aluminum foil (not included in kit), and to generate ionized trails in the cloud chamber. As I recall, the radium was pretty good at triggering both, the uranium ore not so much. I also recall around 8th grade bringing the set into school for a science class, the teacher had a Geiger counter...and I think the uranium ore came out nearly dead while the radium gave a few clicks.

Short version: if you could come up with a small source of radioactive material, it would be fairly easy to duplicate all of the experiments in the kit using common household items.

There is yet hope.