You will never feel bored when you learn about the marketplace. It’s like the ever-changing ocean, and many things are out there waiting for you to discover. You know, inventors introduce new products to the market every day. Meanwhile, many others get discontinued because they fall out of style or to make room for another bigger, better one. But sometimes, a product can disappear so completely from the market in such a short time that it leaves you wondering what’s happened.
Well, it turns out that not all products out there in the market are well-made. Sometimes, inventors miscalculate the effects of their products on the environment and consumers’ health. Like, would you like some snacks that make you sit for hours in the bathroom? Yes, it contains a kind of toxin that causes anal leakage. Seriously, why on earth were these products sold in the first place? Lucky for us, they are all discontinued by now. But let’s scroll down below to see how wild these things were.
As a UK schoolboy, trips to France were an excuse to buy explosives. I don’t know if they still sell them or not, but ‘bangers’ as we called them were like little sticks of explosives where you lit the fuse and retired to a safe distance. All the souvenir shops sold them. They came in different sizes and strengths. Once you got your bangers home, you blew up as much stuff as you could. The apples still on the tree were good. Toys were fun too. The more f*cked up kids would explode live frogs etc. This was in the 1980s.
#2 Fluoroscope X-Ray machines
Many shoe stores used to have fluoroscope X-Ray machines for customers to see how well their feet fit into the shoe they were trying on. They were often unshielded and were highly radioactive.
#3 Electric table cloth
I watched some Youtube series about things in the home that could kill you throughout history and apparently when electricity started being commonplace in homes, nothing was yet regulated and inventors went absolutely buck f*cking wild with the products they put out. The series specifically mentioned a table cloth with uninsulated electric mesh wiring running through the entire thing which you could plug in, and no, this was not designed to be a heated blanket. It was sold alongside other electrical accessories you could just plug right into the tablecloth by stabbing the prongs through the fabric and the mesh wiring. This obviously resulted in electrocution and fires.
#4 The “worm getter”
There was a product called the “worm getter” in the 80s, basically, a rod that shocked the ground outside your house that for some reason caused worms to come out of the ground so you didn’t have to buy them yourself. Yeah, there were about 30 deaths attributed to this thing from people shocking themselves and it was recalled.
#5 Fake snow made from asbestos
The whole reason that tampons today have warnings about toxic shock syndrome was because of a brand of tampons back in the 70s that were designed to be put in and left in for YOUR ENTIRE CYCLE which of course made them breeding grounds for all kinds of nasty bacteria. Needless to say, they don’t make those anymore.
#7 Doll with eating function
There was a doll with an eating function that ended up eating young girls’ hair. The seller also failed to include how to turn off the doll in the instructions, so you can imagine the horror stories that went down because of that.
#8 I guess radium jewelry that glowed in the dark and gave people terminal cancer
#9 Cocaine and heroin
During the First World War, department stores, including Harrods, sold kits containing syringes, needles, and tubes of cocaine and heroin. It was promoted as a present for friends on the frontline – shoot up to make life in the trenches more bearable and alleviate the horrors of war.
#10 Tho-radia beauty cream… Contains Thorium and Radium…
#11 Diet pills from Sears catalog in the early 1900s. The first pill was a tapeworm egg. The second pill was a drug to kill the tapeworm. You’d take it when you reached your desired weight
#12 Plastic Digimon
I used to work at a toy store 20 years ago. There was a hard plastic Digimon character (Tsunomon) piggy bank that had a large blade-like horn on his head. The blade was surprisingly pointed/firm and the large body meant that it would usually point upwards if left on the ground, waiting for some clumsy child to impale themselves on it. We used to jab other coworkers with it until it made #1 on the list of the most dangerous toys made that year. After seeing that article we put it on a long stick and Jabbed each other from a distance! Safety first!
#13 Lead soldier kit
My grandfather had a kit for kids to make their own lead soldiers. It came with the molds for the soldiers, a bunch of ingots of lead, and a cooking pot to melt the lead in. Then the child could pour the molten lead into the mold, wait for it to cool, then play with their new toy. What fun!
It was a diet candy that became popular shortly before HIV became widely known. Their slogan was “Get slim with Ayds”. One executive refused to change the name of the company, saying (something like) “We had the name first, why can’t they change the name of the disease?”
#15 Flying boating raft
A boating raft that flies behind the boat (think 20’ in the air). The year I bought a boat they were the newest thing with a big video in the store on a big screen tv. I wanted one, but my wife said “hell no!” Our kids were about 8 and 11 at the time. The next spring I went in and they were nowhere to be found I asked the salesperson about them. She said they were recalled due to injuries. What a shock! (They still looked fun as hell)
#16 Twist-braid machines
Does anyone remember those twist-braid machines for kids? You’d stick two strands of hair, stick one in each prong, and press the button. It’d twist the individual strands, then twist them together, and you’d use those bead clips to hold the “braid” together. Friends and I lost a lot of hair in those days…
#17 Voice-activated water gun toy
There was a water gun toy that was voice-activated. You would say “fire!” like you’re shooting a gun and then it would shoot water. Queue a number of false fire alarms because kids are running around screaming “FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE” at the top of their lungs.
#18 There was that vibrating Harry Potter broom for kids
#19 Does the original 4-Loko count?
#20 How about that cactus that sang three songs in different languages and one of the songs used was a real rap song about drugs and cocaine
#21 That dyed ketchup. They had to put so much dye in it that they legally couldn’t call it tomato ketchup. If I remember correctly it had a silly name too, like EZ Squirts
#22 The liquid bath soaps with plastic microbeads in them. A literal environmental disaster in a bottle
#23 WOW! Chips containing olestra which caused anal leakage
#24 “Synthetic marijuana”
I remember when you could buy that weird “synthetic marijuana” stuff in gas stations, it was right by the register. Apparently, that stuff is crazy bad for you and basically turns you into a zombie.
#25 Lawn Darts
These were a lot of fun, but were also just a terrible accident waiting to happen. Plastic fins and body with a weighted pointy metal tip. I can remember older kids whipping them at the schoolyard fence to see how deep they could go into the 2”x12” pressure-treated fence planks.