Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Toothpick crossbow craze has China quivering"

Via Drudge:  Handheld crossbows that can fire out needles and nails are the latest must-have toy in China but anxious parents want them banned before a young child gets blinded or worse.

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 "toys" fast and struggling to meet demand.

Other Chinese state media said the mini crossbows can fire at a distance of more than 20 metres (65 feet) and shoot iron nails in place of toothpicks.

"The 'Toothpick Crossbow' toy has spread across China like wildfire among the nation's primary and middle school children," said the Shanghai Daily.

"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."

Police in Chengdu, a major city in China's southwest, have reportedly stopped sales of the product and concerned parents across the country want the government to issue a nationwide ban.

"Hurry up (and ban them), pupils do not understand and are just shooting people for fun. It will cause accidents sooner or later," one parent wrote on Weibo, China's Twitter-like website.

Another worried onlooker wrote: "Our primary school began to investigate this from Monday and they're very dangerous."


Sixty Grit said...

"Pupils" Eye see what they did there. Such humor.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I'm reminded of some lecture series on CD where the guy talked about how the European crossbow was a super powerful weapon for its time but difficult to use. Not the sort of thing that John Wayne blasts away with, one in each hand, charging on a horse holding the reins between his teeth.

The Chinese crossbow was cheap to produce and easy to use. So easy, even a peasant could use it. And use it they did. In time of war, scads of peasants got promoted to archer, were issued a crossbow, and were sent in to draw fire from the enemy and get slaughtered by the thousands. The Chinese crossbow was about as effective as throwing a rock.

I'm guessing though that the Chinese warlords, being the practical sort, could be counted on to declare a truce when it was time for the harvest.

AllenS said...

When I was a kid, we used to take wooden clothes pins (I can't remember exactly how we did this now) and somehow turn the wooden pieces over, still using the metal spring, and we could shoot flaming wooden matches. Back then those matches were different from new ones. The old ones had a white tip and you could light them using your blue jeans and running the match across one ass cheek. How cool is that?

Leland said...

We used to build those things out of click pens.

chickelit said...

The old ones had a white tip and you could light them using your blue jeans and running the match across one ass cheek.

White phosphorus layered on red phosphorus.

chickelit said...

@AllenS: At the end of this post, I included a recipe for making white phosphorus from urine.

AllenS said...

Now, you need the box to strike the matches to get them to work. No more using the ass cheek or pants zipper methods. They've taken one more fun thing about life from us. Bastards.

AllenS said...

"How to Make Phosphorus (ref)

1. Allow urine to sit in an open container for 7 days."

Wait a minute, what?

Leland said...

Willy Pee?

Sixty Grit said...

When I was a child there was much discussion of Paracelsus in our home. Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim - a name so bombastic that even Rosie Crustaceans found it a bit over the top.

Our talks soon moved on to Parabellum, as we remembered old time Antebellum, not forgotten.

A guy was talking to me today about his great-grandmother. She used to give him coins, which he still has. My great-grandmother, who died a few years before I was born, was a Confederate Widow. Her late husband, my great-grandfather, was born in 1843.

But I have no retort to the phosphorus discussion.

AllenS said...

Would it be too much to ask if you people were to use, you know, smaller words?