China cracks down on latest fad toy: toothpick crossbows

A man demonstrates a toothpick crossbow in Changchun, in China's northeast Jilin province.

Story highlights

  • Police in three Chinese provinces are raiding toy shops
  • One parent says the toy is a mini weapon of destruction

Beijing (CNN)Forget fidget spinners. China has a much more dangerous toy fad driving adults crazy.

Police in three Chinese provinces are raiding toy shops to seize miniature crossbows that shoot toothpicks.
Parents have taken to social media to express their concerns as they fear the crossbow can be loaded with sharp objects and cause real harm.
    "This is not a toy, but a mini weapon of destruction," Yan Yan, a mother commented on Weibo, China's answer to Twitter.
    Police in the eastern province of Zhejiang sent 3,973 officers to check businesses and confiscated 528 miniature crossbows. Police in Yunnan and Sichuan, in China's southwest, conducted similar operations.
    "Business owners shouldn't sell toys that are physically or mentally harmful to minors," said the Administration for Industry and Commerce of Chengdu, in the provincial capital of Sichuan.
    "Once found, the products will be pulled from the shelves and the businesses will be punished. "
    Despite its tiny size, a toothpick launched by the crossbow is powerful enough to pierce an aluminum can from 20 to 66 feet, according to toy packaging shown in a video by China's state broadcaster CCTV.
    It can cause even more damage if loaded with harder ammunition like needles.