The 10 Most SHOCKING Children's Toys Ever Sold!
Toys have been a staple of childhoods across the globe for centuries, dating back to historic civilizations. More modern iterations of these entertaining devices, though, have taken on some wacky forms. In this installment from top10archive, we'll look at some of the oddest toy concepts to ever grace the shelves of our favorite toy stores.
Remco Earthquake Tower
Nothing says entertainment like simulating the deaths of dozens of individuals, and with the Remco Earthquake Tower, you’re able to do exactly that. The Remco Earthquake Tower is exactly as it sounds – a 5 foot or 1.5 meter cardboard tower that let children simulate a deadly earthquake. Knobs at the make-shift building’s joints could be turned, shaking sections of the tower and catapulting bystanders to their inevitable doom. To make playing with the Remco Earthquake Tower even more enjoyable – or terrifying – the playset was boxed with a record that played sounds of an earthquake and sirens. In 1976, when the tower was first released, the concept matched the popularity of movies like The Towering Inferno. Nowadays, some may consider it a design of bad taste.
If there is any “adult activity” that probably shouldn’t be translated into a children’s toy, Russian Roulette is pretty high on that list. This innocently named toy allowed children to simulate the suicidal game with a large pink gun and pink feet bullets, hence the “kick” that they get to the head. Players take turn placing the gun to their temple and pulling the trigger in hopes that they won’t be the one to receive the kick. Kaba Kick’s unusual concept pushed boundaries in the Japanese market to the point of eventually being pulled from the shelves.
Growing Up Skipper
Doll accuracy is a hot topic in the toy industry and Barbie’s little sister, Skipper, was in the spotlight in 1975 when Growing Up Skipper was released. Skipper was originally designed to counteract Barbie’s “sex symbol” status by featuring a baby face and less predominant body features. With the release of Growing Up Skipper, though, all of that was thrown out the door when one twist of the doll’s arm would make her an inch taller and form small breasts. There’s nothing like simulated puberty to make a child’s toy chest complete.
This weird concept finally let a member of the Barbie universe give birth to a child. The odd part isn’t so much that Barbie’s mature friend, Midge, has a child, it’s that the doll is actually pregnant and must give birth to said baby. Like any expecting mother, Midge starts off with the tell-tale baby bump, the little baby doll actually inside the bulge. When Midge’s owner decides it’s time for baby to come out, her belly is removable and the baby can just be pulled out, obviously ignoring the accuracies of childbirth for convenience.
Babies are fun! They’re cute, they’re playful, and you get to change them when they wet themselves. So that last part may not sound fun to the ordinary person, but the Ideal Toy Company decided to test its entertainment value by adding the true-to-life aspect to a new concept in 1935 named Betsy Wetsy. The toy manufacturer designed Betsy Wetsy to be the first mass produced doll to simulate urination. An open-mouth design allowed the owner to pour water into the doll which, like any normal baby, would go through her and come out the other end. The doll was popular in the 40’s and 50’s with a failed resurgence attempted in the 1980’s by toy and novelty creator, Ideal.
Remember how many countless hours of fun the Hula Hoop provided you, pitting you and your friends in harmless competitions to see who could keep it going the longest? In 1965, Transogram Games decided that the Hula Hoop just wasn’t edgy enough, so the manufacturer introduced Swing Wing. This toy would attach to a persons head rather than their hips, making it so that gyrating motions of the head and neck were needed to build momentum. Unlike the Hula Hoop, there is no real skill or talent needed to keep a Swing Wing moving. The device simply turned the wearer into a convulsing mess with a silly hat and tassel on their head.
Barbie and Tanner The Dog
Pet care is a lot of work and Mattel wants to make sure kids know it. In one of the oddest mass-produced Barbie doll sets, the well-to-do doll is bundled with a canine companion, Tanner. While Barbie is as versatile as ever, Tanner serves only one purpose – to devour food and teach children the basic workings of the digestive track. Whatever little magnetic pelletes of food Tanner is fed go straight through him, and a push of his tail deposits them all to the ground. As if that weren’t odd enough, Barbie is equipped with a scoop that picks up Tanner’s droppings, teaching kids at an early age the true joys of owning a dog.
The Birds Barbie Doll
Barbie has come in many variations, from Disney Princesses to holiday editions; but one of her more intriguing forms came during a line-up of classic Hollywood starlets. In 2008, Barbie Black Label featured one of the doll’s more unexpected variants – a reproduction of Tippi Hendren’s roll as Melanie Daniels in Alfred Hitchock’s The Birds. Matell didn’t stop at just capturing the actresses’ likeness in the film – they bundled her with three black crows so lovingly attached to her to replicate an attack from the films’ signature antagonists. It’s hard to tell exactly who Mattel was trying to market to with the release of this design, but chances are Tipp Hendren’s Barbie won’t be hanging out with Malibu Barbie anytime soon.
The Incredible Crash Dummies
Nothing says entertainment like causing car accidents that sends the limbs of both driver and passenger flying everywhere. What’s even more intriguing about this toy concept is that they are styled after a series of public service announcements promoting vehicle safety. Jim Byrne and Mike Riggs designed the Incredible Crash Dummies in the early 90’s and the explosive dolls lasted only 3 years, but their popularity was enough to spawn a television special, several video games, and a comic series. Four generations of the Incredible Crash Dummies let children experience the violence of car accidents in a range of vehicles – with each crash resulting in the same limb severing entertainment.
There is nothing funny about surgery; that is, of course, unless you line a person’s insides with a touch sensitive metal circuit and fill them with ridiculous items like a broken heart, a pencil, or butterflies. Hilarity ensues as each participant tries to remove real, non-fatal conditions, such as water on the knee, brain freeze, and a charley horse. Operation succeeds in turning an experience as frightening as surgery into a game worthy of outbursts of laughter and silliness. Operation was designed in 1964 by University of Illinois industrial design student, John Spinello. While the game tests hand-eye coordination, it also shows that something as serious as surgery can be a joyous good time.