Parents have called on the government to ban a popular new children’s toy before someone gets seriously hurt.
The "Toothpick Crossbow" toy has spread across China like wildfire among the nation’s primary and middle school children. The unusual shooting toy may be very small but it is powerful enough to puncture a balloon and pierce cardboard. And when the toothpick is swapped for a metal needle it becomes a dangerous weapon. Tests have revealed that a needle can crack a sheet of glass if it is fired straight at it.
The toy can easily be bought from online e-commerce platforms such as JD.com and purchased from most of the country’s toyshops. Prices vary between 10 yuan to over 100 yuan. Shop owners have confessed that the toy is so popular that it sells out very quickly and they have to reorder new stock, while there are several online videos that reveal a step-by-step demonstration on how to make your own homemade "Toothpick Crossbow."
But many parents have expressed their anger over the dangerous toy and highlighted the consequences if one of the crossbow’s arrows happens to be accidentally shot straight into a child’s eye. They believe the gimmick should not be regarded as a toy and called on government regulators to ban it before someone gets injured.