SHANGHAI: 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 (US$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 20m (65 ft) 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 …