Daily Drip

Toothpick Crossbow “Toy” Popular in China Looks Dangerous as Hell


A miniature crossbow that can shoot toothpicks (or needles) at alarming speeds is being passed around by Chinese primary and middle schoolers, causing parents to question how these projectile weapons can be marketed as toys.

They might have a point this time:

Spitballs in a straw, those are not. These can put out an eye.

In the news report below, experts were able to launch needles at speeds of 159 miles per hour. These miniature quarrels can fly up to five meters, and lodge finger-deep into hunks of meat.

They’re selling on some online stores for as low as 14.5 RMB, which is just over two dollars.

There are more expensive models, of course, including what looks like a miniature ballista:

As a postscript, I have to relay this story from a colleague of ours, who saw an older man brandishing a miniature crossbow in public. He was a husky fellow standing in a subway train with a crossbow in hand. As she recounts, other standing passengers kept a safe distance from him. As the doors opened, he raised the crossbow to chest level, because he’s a sociopath. Everyone let him off first before attempting to board themselves.

So, yeah. Ban these things.

Anthony Tao
Anthony Tao is a writer and editor in Beijing. You can read his published poems and other stories on anthonytao.com. He was Radii’s first editor-in-chief.
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