Toothpick Crossbow: The Dangerous Toy That’s Upsetting Chinese Parents

A new handheld toy is making parents anxious in China. After all, a small crossbow that can fire needles and nails can’t be safe in children’s hands.

Would you let your child play with a handheld crossbow that can fire toothpicks, needles and even nails?

Of course not.

However, a lot of parents in China don’t seem to have much of a choice.

Selling for just seven yuan ($1.42) online and in stores, “toothpick crossbows” have become the new fidget spinner fad among schoolchildren in the country.

The South China Morning Post reports some of the packaging on these toys claims it is powerful enough to “break paper cartons, cans and even fight cockroaches,” while stressing it is “not lethal.”

However, parents are still — understandably — concerned since any sharp object fired from the crossbow could potentially make the product a weapon.


Drinking plus Amazon is a dangerous combination. #toothpickcrossbow

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Just to give an idea of how dangerous the toy can be, when local reporters tested the handheld crossbow, toothpicks fired at a close range sank about 1.5 cm into an apple, according to the Post.

“Hurry up [and ban them], pupils do not understand and are just shooting people for fun. It will cause accidents sooner or later,” a parent wrote on Weibo, a popular Twitter-like social media website in China .

“Our primary school began to investigate this from Monday and they’re very dangerous,” another wrote.

Fortunately, some cities are paying heed to the worried parents’ requests.

In China’s south-west city Chengdu, for instance, the police have reportedly banned sales of the toy.

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