Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

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May 27, 2020 14 min
There was a time when kids had to look out for flying darts that could pierce their skulls when they played in the backyard. Learn more about your ad-choices at
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Episode Transcription

The text below is machine transcribed.

Hey and welcome to the short stuff I'm Josh, there's Chuck. This is short stuff getti up. Let's go look out above so what people shout look out above.

It feels wrong think I think they say look out below, but that didn't make any sense.

No, neither one it just say how about just look out our heads up. That's TIN, O! No, not heads up you'll get a Lon dart in your eye, just move out of the immediate area quickly duck and cover there you go yeah. I don't know if that would help either because C get this we're talking about lawn darts and when they get a real wind up under em.

They strike with a force of around twenty three thousand pounds per square inch.

That's right and we are talking about Lan Darts and if you're like what is a lawn Dartin, I mean you're, probably younger than we are, because we grew up in thes s and s with these toys.

It was it's basically a giant oversize Dart like you. Would, though, it a dartboard right with plastic fins, yeah and they're about whetre they about a foot, long or so yeah dish yeah, and the idea is that it was sort of like cornhole. You would get on opposite sides of each other, like hoarse shoes, and you had these big Cula hoops. Basically, you would put on the ground right and you would throw the lawn dart up in the air and try and get it to come down and stick inside of that Hoop Yeah, and you get some points for that. You just let it art gracefully back down into that hoop, and that was it and it was a lot of fun.

The problem is, it was a lot of danger as well, because these things again, a lot of them had like a blunt end, but not all of them did someof sharp, especially the first ones.

They would come back down to earth, but a lot t e force behind them and if they happen to come back down to Earth via your body, they could really mess you up really. Well, especially if you were a little kid whose skull hasn't fused fully yet because you're, not twenty years old and some kids suffer tremendously at the at the hands of the LAWNDART industry.

That's right - and you know the government comes into play here before we were born, one thousand nine hundred and seventy - and this was, I think they debuted in Bo oe thousand nine hundred and fifty dish yeah the FDA bannd these things because they're like these are really really dangerous and the manufacturer said: Nah they're, not so dangerous.

Let's send our lobby in the toy lobby and get them brought back to the market because we got to get these lawn darts out. There Weo think its more important right right then getting the lawn darts back to market, getting the people their lawn, darts and chuck.

You lived through the S. I lived through the S, although I wasn't fully aware, except toward the end there, but do you know how dangerous something had to be to get banned in the s yeah I mean SNL had a skit about dangerous toys. We an acroid exactly so there was.

There was a push to get rid of laundarts, but the LAWNDART industry. Very surprisingly, if you ask me pushed back and they struck a deal and said, look how about this?

We won't.

We won't market to kids anymore, so long darts are officially not a toy, will sell them in the sporting good section of like department, stoures and well put a warning on the box about just how dangerous they are, because we didn't say, Chuck Londarts of the direct descendant of a weapon of war called the Plumbada.

I read this matchable article about these and a Plumbada is a lawn dart, except a lawndart that you used in war, starting with the ancient Greeks in about five hundred BC, all the way up to the Middle Ages. People were using Plumbada yeah to great effect right and so the the law NDART industry, the recreation sporting goods industry, said.

We've got to get these weapons ofwar back on to the market, and so they struck a deal with the FDA and the FD in fine. You can you can start manufacturing them again, that's right and that's w. We got in on this. Second wave of Londarts in the and s when they said we won't sell them in the toy section at target. Well sell them in the adjacent sporting good section at target.

Right, kids will never see, hem he'll, never know it will be like they don't even exist to him, and so they came back and when they came back in that second Wav that you - and I were a part of they were bigger than ever even like lawn darts - were a thing for a little while there, but they weren't any less dangerous than they were before. As we'll see right after this message, brink well now were on the road driving in your cock. Onnot learn a thing or two from Joshsufyou Shuo, it okay, so chuck in that second wave that really began in earnest in the s.

You could go to that sporting good section of your department store and you might be there to buy like a volleyball set but ts for you, because, including that that volleyball say, is a set of lawn darts and you have to buy thim. If you want that volleyball set and that's how they were sold in a lot of cases yeah, I don't that part. I don't get.

Oh yeah yeah like why they would include another toy completely different toy in this volleyball said it us. I just don't get it well. I think that they were saying like you.

Customer have shown that you have a desire for outdoor fun and recreation in your backyard.

Here's another game that we're going to throw in that. We apparently can't move on its own, so we're just. I was that the deal! That's what I want we're going to sweeten the pot on this volleyball net likewhy. Are they giving away Toi? That's what I that's, how I took it well, regardless o mental Phlos reported that David Snow, this ero space engineer in California did such a thing in April of eighty seven and thought like any reasonable parent. Like a boy, I should hide these for my children right which he did in his garage, but his children found them started playing with them and very tragically one hit his seven year old daughter in the head lodged in her brain and three days later, she was declared clinically dead and removed from life support, and it was a big big tragedy and a big big deal and yeah. So David Snow happened to be the kind of guy who like this, would get to anybody, obviously losing your child like this, but I think you know there's a significant portion of people who would just be so dead inside that they just had no driver resolved for much of anything. After that he was the opposite kind of guy. He went the opposite direction and he became a citizen activist self taught lobbyist self funded lobbyist, who made it his mission to get landart's band again, but by this time this Wasnin the s anymore. This is the Reaganera S and getting any any industry or business bandor regulated more than it was before, was not the easiest thing in the world to do now. so he approached the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which had taken over from the FDA, and he said you got to get rid of lawn darts. First of all, look at what happened to my daughter and they say well we're really sorry about what happened to your daughter. But if you look at the numbers, man they're just not that dangerous they're, certainly not dangerous enough to enact of an outright ban again. So sorry, no we're not going to be doing that any time soon, that's right, but what nobody noticed at first was that these numbers included.

They were just dart injuries, GSO that inicluded just throwing regular darts at a dartboard.

I mean, I think, we've all had one of those bounce off and stick into our thigh at one point, it's like nothing!

No big deal you're not going to go to the hospital for an injury most likely from a regular dartboard Kno, and if you do, if you do, you were making a really big deal out of this.

That's right, so they said wait a minute. What, if we pull all those darts out and what? If we actually just did a little research on lawn darts, because that's what we're talking about - and it was a big deal over eight years, landarts had sent more than six thousand people to the emergency room, eighty one percent of which were kids, fifteen or younger, half of which were ten or younger, and they were to the eyes to the ears to the face and the head for the most part.

Yeah and again, the kids were particularly vulnerable because their skull as infused.

So when a kid got hi the head with the Wandart, it could very easily penetrate this gual and they found that this was happening ate a lot more than anyone had ever realized before.

So now they had a problem on their hands. Now they had real numbers that showed that actually, this thing is bad enough to ban and they looked a little further and they commissioned to study that found that the lawndard industry was not following those rules that it h d agreed to from when the the Ne Thousand Nine hunded and seventy ban was overturned. So they were marketing in is toys. They were selling it in the toy section they weren't, including warnings on the box and just completely going back on on the the agreement from before.

So it started to look more and more like okay. Maybe we should ban these and again chuck it's really hard, not to step back and be like these are lawn darts. Yes, just ban them who cares, but that was they would not do it. They were very deliberate and in undertaking this ban on Laundars, but finally, thanks in no small part to news the weak that the the vote on the band was going to go through of a little girl in Tennessee who had been put into a coma by lawn dark.

They enacted the band two to one. They voted in favor of the band, that's right and and Reagans America. They actually banned a toy, and it's so funny to think there would be such pushback over this one thing like yeah, you know what, let's just get rid of the lawn darts manufacture, some other toys, it'll be fine yeah, but they had to have those lawn darts, outthere and the hands of children right, and you can still make your own landarts. You can di Y at if you, if you go on the web theiare companies in the United Kingdom, that will sell you, the parts which is a bit of a workaround yeah to an a symbol them yourself and you can still go to tournaments. If you there is a US, lda, Landart Association and you can go to tournaments and bring out your old darts and talk about the good old days of no government oversight, and you can pitch those things and imagine drinks and beer and probably have a pretty good time. Yeah, probably have a great time really just sticking in the eye of the Nany state.

Just yeah. Do it safely, though, keep the kids away yeah, and I want to say one thing: The reason that you can get lawned darts is because that government band bannd the important sale, not the possession, and this one dark company in particular from the UK, said H. Well, that means, if we just send these things, unassembled they're, really just lawn dark pieces and so ypso facto, it's great legally speaking, Yepsofactiv Yeah.

So that's it for laundarts rig chuck.

That's it well chuck said that ID everybody, so that means that short stuff is a way stuff you should know. Is Production of iHeartRadios, hows stuff works for more podcast to my heart radio, because if the IHEART radio, a Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite, shows

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