Ah, the good old days. I remember Thomas Salter Toys and Sports, who produced many of the delightful toys of my childhood, most of which have been long since banned.
The chemistry set which contained all the ingredients for gunpowder, along with magnesium ribbon (a magnificent burn!), a methylated spirit burner, a host of chemicals, many of which you'd now be hard pressed to find in a college chemistry lab, and everything - everything, made of glass. No plastic, no safety nonsense.
For plastic lovers there was Plasticraft, which allowed the experimentally-inclined child to embed practically anything in plastic resin. The resin turned out to be highly flammable, or carcinogenic or something. It's gone, anyway.
Were these toys dangerous? Well, yes, but that was obvious before you opened the box. They came with warnings and instructions for safe use. I managed to survive childhood by following those instructions most of the time, and by using common sense when I bypassed them. Neither I nor anyone I knew was ever seriously injured, not even when we outgrew toys and discovered weedkiller-based explosives.
So it was with some nostalgia for those days of risk and excitement that I read this site . Yes, those toys involved risk, Yes, you could get hurt, but they were fun.
Having a device that could accelerate small steel cars to unreasonable speeds was fun. Having a toy gun that fired plastic darts was fun. A penknife with a myriad ways to cut yourself accidentally? Marvellous. Now, even adults can't carry penknives in the UK without risking arrest. All my school friends had one, and the thought of attacking someone with it never crossed our minds.
Modern children's toys are safe and sanitised. No sharp edges, no high temperatures, no chemicals, no risk, and very little fun. Children grow up to think the world is a foam-wrapped place in which they can come to no harm.
So it comes as a surprise when they finally emerge into the real world, and find it's not like that at all.