Asia's toothpick crossbow fad is even worse than our fidget spinner fad

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We survived bottle flipping and fidget spinners, but will the next big fad be dangerous modded toothpick crossbows that shoot nails more than half the length of a football field?

Via The Guardian:

Selling online and in shops for as little as seven yuan ($1), so-called toothpick crossbows were originally designed to shoot out just that – toothpicks.

But if swapped out for needles they are potent enough to crack glass, said the Shanghai Daily newspaper, quoting shop owners as saying they were selling out of the gadgets fast.

These have been around since I was in grade school, though the weapon of choice was rubber band propelled paper clips, mainly due to availability and ease of use. A friend had one that shot Q-Tips, but was easily modded for harder projectiles.

Here's a HOWTO for making one from three pens:

Mini Toothpick Crossbow + Steel Bolt (YouTube / Y Nakajima)

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I have zero interest in fidget spinner, but I’d be all over tiny crossbows. I bet we’re not allowed them on Knifecrime Island though.


Remember when tiny powerful magnetic spheres were a thing, despite the horrific risk of intestinal perforation if swallowed? Seems to me the import and sale of those got shut down pretty quick. I reckon the same thing will happen here.

Yeah imagine if someone swallowed one of these


You can also make a piston powered blow dart with a syringe. It’s just as easy as plugging up the needle from the inside, then smacking the plunger down with force which will cause the needle to pop and fly out at high speed. It’s pretty dangerous. A childhood friend figured this out during middle school and managed to kill a bird with the setup. 0/10 do not recommend.

You can also use small u shaped wires as ammo for rubber bands. Cousin of mine and his friends figured this one out and used it for breaking people’s porch lights from across the street, etc. Also do not recommend. The shit kids figure out is kind of crazy.


Uh. No. You can still easily buy them. They’re magnets, there’s literally no way the import and sale of magnets can be shut down.

Seems to me there was a brief span when they were much easier to obtain than they are now. Surely it’s not just that they stopped being popular, is it?

Yeah, the CPSC did recall neodymium magnet toys, followed by a ban on their sale. That was from 2014 to 2016.


You’ll shoot your eye out!


It will be now, and you have only yourselves to blame for telling us about them. You know we can’t be trusted with this information.


They are selling them again, just not marketing them to kids.


Was that beer in a screw top can with added DHA?

God, we’re living like ANIMALS over here.

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It’s hilarious that Boing Boing throws shade on fidget spinners after promoting them non-stop for years.


I am so onto this one. I bet I can come up with something terrifying. I prefer the idea of a ballista or other tiny siege weapons.

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Um. A crossbow is a tiny ballista.


With a tiny wheeled base.

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Ha! Just by typing the words ‘Knifecrime’ you get a lifetime ban from my school district.

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Kids have been making similar things for years, but if these become easily available (like the fidget spinners) we’re going to see lots of injured kids. This genie needs to be stuffed back in the bottle somehow.

We used to make hot air balloons with plastic laundry bags, a cross piece of thin wire…and little foil cup in the center “X” with lighter fluid and a cotton ball.
It was all fun and games until our larger garbage bag experiments started dripping fire over the neighboring corn field and my brother had to shoot it down with a shotgun and we then ran into the field to do some fire stomping.


Been there…done that.