Top 10 banned toys and their backstories

Bodily injury, lead, and a letter from actress Alicia Silverstone are just some of the reasons why certain toys have been banned through history.

The list of the top 10 banned toys was compiled by Gary Doss, curator of the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia and Banned Toy Museum

Nearly every toy that made the top 10, and the four honorable mentions, were banned for causing some sort of unexpected harm to children. One of the most notable toys was the Sky Dancers released by Galoob in the 1990s.

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The toys were a helicopter-like flying toy where a cord was pulled to launch a doll into the air. By June 2000, Galoob was forced to recall nearly 9 million Sky Dancers after the company “received 150 injury reports which include eye damage (scratched corneas and incidents of temporary blindness), a mild concussion, a broken rib, broken teeth and facial lacerations that required stitches,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported in Oct. 2000.

Galoob settled the matter with CPSC and denied that it violated the Consumer Product Safety Act or any other law administered by commission. The company was forced to pay a civil penalty of $400,000.

Galoob was purchased by Hasbro in 1998 for $220 million, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

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One toy that did not make the list, surprisingly, was a PEZ dispenser from the 1980s designed like a small handgun. 

The dispenser, which has become a popular item on eBay where a used gun can go for $324, captured Reddit’s attention Sunday with many people wondering why the company thought this was an appropriate design.

“Pez made three different styles of guns. All of them worked like a real gun,” Doss told Tuesday. “There was a ‘clip’ that was loaded with PEZ candy. You would slide the clip into the handle, like a real gun, and fire out Pez candy. You could easily hit a target 10 feet away.”

The PEZ guns were ultimately discontinued because, Doss believes, consumer interest fell.

A request for comment was left with PEZ regarding its guns.

Swipe through the gallery above to learn about the other toys that were banned through history.

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