Enter the matrix

The deer hunter

It’s all fun and games

Now that Christmas is a month old, it’s time for an annual Collision Detection tradition: Rolling up our sleeves to research which toys turned out to be not only fun and delightful, but completely and totally lethal.

So — it’s off to visit the web site for World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH), which compiles an annual list of the gleaming new playthings most likely to cause injuries worthy of the Gashlycrumb Tinies. My personal wince-inducing favorite? The “Stats Bounce Jump Around,” illustrated above with the two cherubs having a whale of a time. When the WATCH people examined the toy more closely, they discovered one of the more remarkable warning labels in the history of toydom:

Cautions found only on the package insert include: “Requires adult supervision at all times” and “Follow these rules to avoid drowning, paralysis or other serious injury”.

That’s right: Even the manufacturer is worried that the toy will turn your kid into a quadreplegic.

You can check out the rest of the list, and when you’re done — hey! Why not drop by Safe Child’s unspeakably gruesome Toy Recall Database, pump your favorite body part into the search engine, and find out precisely what toy would be most suitable for mutilating it beyond recognition. Predictably, a search for “eye” turns up some of the more bleak results. Apparently the “Flying Copters” produced by International Playthings has resulted in “permanent blindness not only to children but to adults as well.”

blog comments powered by Disqus

Search This Site


I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

More of Me


Recent Comments

Collision Detection: A Blog by Clive Thompson