ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lawn Darts: The World's Most Dangerous Toy

Updated on September 6, 2014

The Deadly Toy We Loved

When I was in college, my teenage brother had a set of Lawn Darts. We loved to play whenever I came home for the weekend. We would spend hours in the backyard, tossing the deadly spears back and forth at little plastic rings on the grass.

Sometimes the sharp metal tips of these Lawn Darts would land near our sandalled feet, and we would make our wide-eyed gasps of "close-call" delight. The element of danger was part of the fun. This was no kids' game!

Lawn Darts were banned in the United States in 1988, after multiple deaths due to the sharp points of these metal-tipped projectiles. Safer replacements have since been produced, and the updated Lawn Darts, called Jarts is still a fun lawn game.

Photo credit

The Original Jarts Lawn Darts - Now Banned

Here is a close-up view of the original game of Jarts Lawn Darts with the metal tips.

A Safer Version of Lawn Darts - Jarts

The old version of Lawn Darts with metal tips has been replaced by a safer version. Jarts is played the same way, only the deadly metal tips have been replaced by plastic weights.

Enjoy this fun lawn game at your next backyard barbecue or camping trip!

POOF Outdoor Games Jarts Lawn Darts
POOF Outdoor Games Jarts Lawn Darts

This version is safe for everyone, including small children.

 

The Updated and Safe Version of Jarts - Safe Lawn Darts

These gentlemen demonstrate the new, safe version of Jarts. Looks like great family fun!

Lawn Darts Poll

Did you have a Lawn Darts game?

See results

Two boys playing lawn darts in the 1970s

Two boys playing lawn darts in the 1970s
Two boys playing lawn darts in the 1970s

Give Your Opinion on Lawn Darts

Do you think Lawn Darts should have been banned?

Yes, it was dangerous.

Yes, it was dangerous.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      We had them too with all the usual "close calls" you wrote about. yikes!

    No, people can play safely.

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Absolutely NOT. Our entire family played Jarts for years, and no one got hurt because the children were guided by adults. Am looking to buy several sets if I can find them.

      • anonymous 3 years ago

        Bring 'em back! Be ADULTS!!

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        we played with them in the 70s and 80s and 90s, what exactly has changed??

        no one ever died from this great lawn dart set. sooo, we had fun in those days, no one was so worried about getting hurt, I think the young folks are sissies these days.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I had them as a child and don't remember anyone ever getting hurt. We also had those clacker balls on strings that were also banned and we loved those too. Trying to find a set of the original lawn darts for my brother-in-law for Christmas, he just missed being able to play with them when younger.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        less dangerous than traveling on the freeways

      • Sara Duggan 5 years ago from California

        Never had lawn darts so can't really say. I think as a kid the danger of 'close calls' would have be a draw for me and my siblings though.

      lawn darts
      lawn darts

      How to Play Lawn Darts

      Lawn Darts is played much like the game of horseshoes. The game can be played by two players or two teams, who stand across from each other. Each team has a goal, a ring of plastic placed on the ground, and the objective is for each team to toss as many of their darts into the other team's goal as possible. Each dart landing inside the ring scores one point.

      When playing Lawn Darts, each player must take care to remain out of the other team's firing range. The original darts from the 1980s contained deadly metal tips which were capable of penetrating the human skull when thrown by a strong adult.

      Lawn Darts Are Dangerous, Banned & Illegal

      The U.S. Government banned the sale of lawn darts in 1988 and advised anyone who had these games in their possession to immediately destroy them. If you have one of these deadly games, please destroy it for the safety of people and pets who could be harmed from its misuse.

      Another Variation on Lawn Darts - Zartz Lawn Game

      This updated version of the old Lawn Darts game utilizes foam darts with a suction cup tip. The suction cup will stick to anything, but will let go after several seconds.

      This version also has plastic, triangular targets.

      Flickin' Chicken - Alternative to Lawn Darts

      This hilarious game is played with a rubber chicken instead of the darts!

      Flickin' Chicken
      Flickin' Chicken

      The player flicks a disc and wherever it lands becomes the target for the rubber chicken.

       

      Lawn Darts on eBay - Vintage Lawn Darts

      Search on eBay for your favorite lawn darts game.

      Lawn Darts Poll

      Are the new versions as fun as the original Lawn Darts?

      See results

      Videos of People Playing Lawn Darts

      Alternatives to Lawn Darts - Fun Backyard Games

      Here are some of my suggestions for alternatives to the great late game of lawn darts. All of these backyard games have received a 5-star endorsement from multiple Amazon reviewers. You are sure to find at least one lawn game your family and friends will enjoy from this list!

      Boochie, A Whole New Ball Game
      Boochie, A Whole New Ball Game

      22 out of 26 people gave this backyard game 5 stars! This is one fun game for the entire family. Recommended for ages 8+, younger children can join the fun. This is not Bocce, but a wild and wacky spin-off of the popular lawn game.

       
      Blongo Ball Complete Game Set
      Blongo Ball Complete Game Set

      96 5-star reviews and all the rest are 4 stars! A very fun game for adults or kids to play.

      My neighbors bought this game and have been having a blast playing it in the front yard with their adult children all summer. They say it's lots of fun!

       

      Whether you love lawn darts or another backyard game, tell us about it here!

      Did you play lawn darts? Do you and your family have a favorite backyard game?

        0 of 8192 characters used
        Post Comment

        • lkamom profile image

          Heather McGlaughlin 5 years ago from Marryland

          We loved those type of lawn darts. When I was a kid I didn't think about the dangers of them. However, now as a mother myself, those things could put an eye out. Great lens.

        • Joan Haines profile image

          Joan Haines 5 years ago

          Yikes. they were pretty deadly. Sorry that some actually died. You look at those sharp things, and think, well duh!

        • Joan Haines profile image

          Joan Haines 5 years ago

          "Squid Angel blessed."

        • Virginia Allain profile image

          Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

          Another really dangerous thing for children is trampolines. I've seen many videos (supposedly funny) of children being injured on these.

        • Pam Irie profile image

          Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

          We always play horseshoes in the summer when I visit my family in the mainland.

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          Safer toys is just a smart thing to do.

        • MomwithAHook LM profile image

          Sara Duggan 5 years ago from California

          I think the safer version of lawn darts would be more popular among parents. This is something I think my boys would love to play. Our favorite game to play outside is water tag.

        Click to Rate This Article