We can’t say we’re surprised that a new and very dangerous toy has appeared and quickly disappeared off shelves in China over the past month. No, it’s not a fidget spinner, or even a Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, but let’s just say that this can also quickly poke your eye out. In fact, it did permanently damage one young man in Xinjiang Province, which caused its immediate removal from both Taobao and JD.com, CNN reported.
Essentially it is a mini crossbow. What does it shoot? Well, it can shoot anything that’s thin enough to fit on its skinny rail, but the ammo of choice so far has been either toothpicks or needles. These two objects if launched have the power to pierce not only the skin but also aluminum cans at a range between 20-66 feet. That’s a pretty long distance if you ask us, but we aren’t sure what is more dangerous, these little crossbows or the wrist rockets we grew up with.
Though neither should be considered a “toy,” as these objects are designed to send sharp, pointy objects hurling through the air, we can understand why they were removed from shelves as quick as they were. After there were widespread comments on Weibo about the device, police in the eastern province of Zhejiang sent 3,973 officers to check businesses and confiscated 528 miniature crossbows. Police in Yunnan and Sichuan, also conducted similar seizures.
This is one reason, and likely the only reason why we are ok with kids being so excited about those fidget spinners. Though a very lame toy that doesn’t really have a health benefit, they are very safe beside the possible hand cramp that could occur from prolonged use. Forgive me for sounding like an old curmudgeon, but what happened to the classic toys like yo-yos.
So parents, be on the lookout for any tiny crossbows that might be hiding in your child’s personal belongings, as they are a legitimate threat. This is unless your son, our daughter, happens to be a vampire hunter, then they’ll like have more of a need to be launching sharp pieces of wood with reckless abandonment.