Dangerous toys ain’t what they used to be

I just got an e-mail inviting me to a conference call about the “trade of deadly consumer products”—in particular, tainted Halloween toys. Yes, ’tis the season for missives about unsafe toys to hit my inbox like so many lumps of coal in a non-denominational stocking. Still, all danger is relative, as this old list of very bad toys proves. When I was about 8 years old (William Henry Harrison was president), I learned a valuable lesson about unsafe toys. Some older kids were playing solider in the woods near my house, using simple tree branches for guns. Attempting to join in the pre-adolescent mayhem, I discovered just how painful a slab of oak can be when properly applied. Where was the tree lobby to save my backside then? Where was Al Gore? My point: If it’s made by Mattel, consider it deadly. Better yet, just toss anything that says “Made in China.” And good luck to the U.S. Olympians in Beijing next year. With any luck, your action figures will be made in Romania.

—Posted by David Gianatasio