World's worst playground toy


Originally published at:


I’m installing this tomorrow.


On a related note, My wife and I were talking about how there are no see-saws in any of the many Prospect Park playgrounds. WTF happened to see-saws? I mean, as an adult I can now imagine all the rampant death and destruction potential they have, but I loved them as a kid…

ETA: never mind

“We actually sold some to a group of people who were in their early 70s,” Nancy Breedlove, one of the owners of AAA State of Play, said. “And I said, ‘Oh, is this for your grandkids?’ And she said, ‘No, we like to go out there and relive our youth and have cocktails.’”

Boing Boing meetup anyone?


Is there a problem?


Good times!


I recall a time or three when my twelvish year old self would “entertain” his younger siblings (and passers by who made the mistake of joining the incipient mayhem…) by letting the youngers pile on to a well-maintained merry-go-round, warning them to “hold on!” and then spinning it up to actually dangerous speeds.


World’s worst best playground toy.



We had better back in the day.

A pole with a wheel at the top, with a lot of chains hanging down with metal handles on the end. Grab a handle and run. If you were a small kid, your feet wouldn’t touch the ground until the larger kids stopped running, and if they stopped suddenly, you’ll meet the pole with a bunch of chain flails wrapped around you.

It was awesome!



Fling this damn kids off my lawn!


About right. Except I didn’t say “damn”.


Centrifugal BumbleConcussion.

Has anyone done a Demonic Playground movie yet? Rich vein of danger and humor there.



Hey! I played on one of those when I was a kid! I would grab on to the chain handle and then Dad would give me a solid push. I’d swing around for a second and then lose my grip and hit the ground at a unique angle. While I’d try to suck in a full lung’s worth of air, Dad would question his status as a parent. It was fun for the whole family, especially if that metal ring on the end of the chain was somehow still carving the air at head level. Whatever happened to those things?

This mushroom thing looks much safer, no doubt the result of endless helicopter parenting.


If you think about it, most playground equipment is a disaster waiting to happen. It’s a wonder any of us managed to make it to adulthood.


At least there’s no danger of becoming trapped underneath the merry-go-round, as happened to me once.


Did see-saws go the way of Jarts™ and those glass clacker thingies? When I was young, I guess they specifically designed toys to be deadly.

This spinning thing looks to be dual purpose - fling the younger kids around, but once you reach a certain height, perfect for decapitation. Impressive.


When I was in elementary school our playground had something similar to this but instead of rigidly mounted it hung from chains.

It was a big maybe 10 foot diameter ring suspended by several chains from a maybe 15 or so foot tall pole. We called it the witches hat since it very much resembled the cone shape.

You’d jump up to grab on the hoop and hope that a real big kid didn’t grab on the opposite side 'cause you’d be stuck dangling in the air as you spun around.

Good Times!

Oh just looked and found they’re really called that!

Here’s a picture of a shorter smaller one. Plus this one has the luxury of grass versus the pavement we had:


In the world of dangerous or poorly designed backyard leisure activities it still amazes me that anybody ever thought this was a good idea.


I can just see someone at night, carefully filing the edge.

Is there a motor in there that spins? Or do kids just get it up to speed manually, then try to grab it?

Actually it seems like good practice for crowded subways.


ok, i want one.