Lifestyle

The 10 Most Bizarre Recalls Of All Time

Since its creation in 1972, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has regulated everything we Americans buy, ensuring the products aren't egregiously unsafe, potentially harmful, or you know, a straight-up Bag O' Glass. With over 15,000 different products to oversee, it's not surprising that they've issued quite a few recalls over the years.

We're interested in the weird stuff. The really, really weird stuff. Aren't you? Obviously. So, here they are: the 10 most bizarre product recalls of all time.

1. Chicken Dance Easter Chicks

Year: 2013
Why: Too loud

Cute, cuddly, and capable of emitting music at a decibel level that may cause serious hearing damage. Worst. Easter. Ever.

2. The "Don't Do Drugs" Pencils

Year: 1998
Why: Actually suggested kids do drugs

A seemingly subtle part of the anti-drug curriculum taught in schools across New York, the message on these No. 2 pencils totally backfired thanks to a slight oversight that hilariously encouraged kids to get high the further down they sharpened it. 

Said a spokesperson afterwards: ''We're actually a little embarrassed that we didn't notice that sooner."
 

3. Gerber's Bear Grylls Machete

Years: 2012, 2013
Why: Hurt people, three people needing stitches

The Supercompressor team loves Gerber, but we couldn't help but include this little snafu involving Mr. Man vs. Wild. As part of their collaboration series, the admittedly-awesome machete was taken off shelves due to a weak handle issue, as there were many reported instances of it breaking off while in use.

Adding insult to literal injuries, it was re-released a year later, only to be recalled again for an issue with its tendency to rip through its sheath. Okay. 

4. Aqua Dots

Year: 2007
Why: Kids swallowed, almost died

The premise for this seemingly innocuous children's toy is simple: arrange spherical beads into a three dimensional design on the included tray, wet them with water, and wait for them to bind together into a finished toy.

Well, it turns out that they were also good for getting kids super high when accidentally ingested, as their chemical makeup caused them to metabolize in the body just like GHB. Good. 

5. Bath Petals Soy Candles

Year: 2012
Why: Explosions  

Nothing calms your senses quite like a soothing, scented candle. Then again, nothing nullifies that feeling quite like said candle burning so goddamn hot that it shatters the glass and catches the house on fire. 

6. Kydex Glock Holsters

Year: 2005
Why: People shot themselves

Most people who're qualified to carry a handgun are more than likely well-versed in gun safety, but all the training in the world wasn't enough, thanks to a teeny tiny design flaw in this holster that would cause the piece to accidentally discharge when re-holstering it too quickly. 

This flaw resulted in more than several accidents, including one in which a police officer shot himself in the leg.

7. Fire Cap by Colbra Group

Year: 2000
Why: Accelerated fires 

In an effort to cut down on the bulk of traditional fire extinguishers, this small canister was meant to serve as a quick and dirty fire suppressant. The problem? Instead of snuffing flames, it had the opposite effect and actually ENHANCED the fire. Well, guys.  

8. Buckyballs

Year: 2014
Why: Could destroy children 

It's with great sadness we report on the demise of Buckyballs, a wildly addictive desk toy made up of tiny, super-magnetic metal balls. Though it's probably for the best, seeing as they were hugely hazardous to children, and if swallowed, the magnets could "attract each other in the intestines and cause blockages, tissue damage and even perforation," wrote The New York Times. 

9. CPSC Lapel Pins

Year: 1974
Why: Potential lead poisoning themselves 

In a painfully ironic twist, nearly 80,000 lapel pins that indicate support for the CPSC were recalled due to their high levels of lead. Talk about embarrassing.

10. Easy-Bake Ovens 

Year: 2007
Why: Burnt kids 

It was reported that 29 kids suffered second and third-degree burns after getting their fingers and hands stuck in the ovens while trying to bake. Nearly a million were recalled. 


Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor, and truly misses Buckyballs.