Many toys these days have "spring loaded" features. For exapmle, action figures
sometimes feature spring
, such as the X-Men
, and Wolverine
's arm will will slash
Other toys, such as GI Joe
, will feature spring loaded missle
s that you can shoot when pressing a button.
But twenty years ago, it wasn't all fun and games; spring loaded toys were the cause of some concern.
In the 1970s, many robot toys from Japan
such as Mazinger
, and them guys had spring loaded rocket
s and fists (some of those robot dudes
made it here as part of the Shogun Warriors
But in 1979
, a child
choked on a Battlestar Galactica spaceship missle
when another child shot
it into his mouth
. The parents sued Matel, the makers of the toys. This forced other toy companies to examine the safety of spring loaded mechanisms in toys.
After that, the Battlestar Gallactica
toys had the rockets glued into the ship. Shogun Warriors
dissapeared off the shelves. And Kenner, the makers of the Star Wars
toys, who had advertised their mail-away Boba Fett
figure as "rocket-firing", had a quick change of heart and glued the missle
into the bounty hunter
's backpack. Interestingly, they even mailed a letter with each Boba Fett figure, explaining why they decided to revoke Boba's rocket firing ability.
But I don't think this is because these toys were unsafe
; rather, I think it's because most of these companies were afraid that parents
thought they were unsafe, which is why they followed suit.
In the 1980s, spring loaded toys were few and far between. Sure, the He-Man
figures would "punch" when you twised their waists, and some of them could "chop" (i.e. Fisto
). And some of the DC Super Powers
figures could too. But alas, no rocket-firing toys.
Actually, in the 1980s, Voltron could shoot his fists, and some Transformers
could shoot missles, but the srping strength was so weak that the projectile would land a few inches from where the toy stood.
But in the early 1990s, GI Joe toys started to feature spring loaded firing mechanisms on their toys. And Kenner's line of Aliens
action figures sometimes features spring loaded weapons. Since then, many toys these days, form Star Wars
, to GI Joe
, to Beast Wars Transformers
, feature spring loaded firing mechanisms that can actually shoot with enough force
to knock another toy down.