Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Worst. Toys. Ever. #11

Second day of me shamelessly stealing from another website for a list of the 12 worst toys ever. I'll post them over the next 11 days (or when I get around to it). Some of them are pretty darn funny, all of them have major flaws (some fatal flaws). At the end of the list, I will attribute the source of my plagiarism. Without further ado, here is #11:

11. Battlestar Galactica Missile Launche

Battlestar Galactica was everyone's favorite television Star Wars rip-off in 1978. Especially cool among the Battlestar offerings was a series of missile launchers known individually as the Viper, the Cylon Raider, the Scarab, and the Stellar Probe. Young boys routinely forgot they actually asked for the Millennium Falcon for Christmas once they saw the sweet, sweet projectile action.

It takes just a few jabbed eyes, some torn intestines, and the death of a child to bring down a party, and that's just what happened in January 1979, when the battle cruiser missiles were finally recalled. Most of the accidents were caused by salvos that went tragically off target. Mattel, working with the CPSC, announced that the fatality occurred when a young boy in Atlanta fired one of the missiles into his mouth. The missiles, at one-and-a-quarter inches, were just about the ideal size to land in one's esophagus and stay there. The boy's parents thought so, too. They sued Mattel for $14 million.

A spokesperson from the CPSC explained that "the barrel shape of the toy seemed to invite children to put it in their mouths." Something you could apparently say in 1979 without too much snickering. After the injuries, Mattel called for consumers to participate in a "Missile Mail-In," which promised a free Hot Wheels car—a fair trade to anyone who disarmed.

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