Looking For Original Jarts? Lawn Darts Deaths Might Get In The Way

by frugalrvers

I'm proud to say I survived a childhood of lawn darts deaths from the vintage jart game. Looking to buy original jarts is harder than you might think...they are banned!

Though there is nothing funny about lawn darts deaths, my imagination does run wild when picturing this tragedy that apparently has taken place in the middle of what should have been fun family time.

My family was really into picnics when I was young - both company picnics and family outings - and those flying metal lawn darts were part of the outdoor activities every single time. I was very young...yet I survived without a scratch or a scrape.

One would have to try really hard to injure themselves, wouldn't they? Anyway, now lawn darts for sale are kinda sad - no more satisfaction of the metal tip plunging hard into the ground...but it is all we've got people...or we could risk becoming a convict? They are banned after all.............

The History Of The Savage Lawn Dart

What Made Lawn Darts Illegal

During the brief 1980s reign of Lawn Darts or Jarts as they were called, they were responsible for four deaths and almost 6,700 injuries - these were only the ones that were reported, of course, and the deaths and injuries of pets were never counted.

Topping almost anyone's list of the most dangerous toys of all time, these colorful airborne lances were a social phenomenon, not just a toy. Other dangerous toys like the home atomic energy lab or the creepy critters hot plate were not games or ways to have fun in the back yard with friends - they were much more solitary pursuits. Lawn darts was a toy, a game, and an event all wrapped up in one. Then they were banned in the United States - because of lawn darts deaths and injuries!

No More Metal Lawn Darts

Due To Lawn Dart Deaths, These Are The Safe Replacements
Sportcraft Soft Tip Sky Dart

Sportcraft Soft Tip Sky Dart comes with four large weighted darts with soft rounded tips and two scoring rings. The weighted tips are designed to ensure that the dart remains up...

Only $24.99

The classic lawn game has returned for more backyard fun. Players take turns tossing two safe Jarts into the target ring. Score a ringer and nab three points; the player closest...

$23.00  $14.88
Lawn Toss Game

Each Lawn Toss Set includes: 4 weighted mushroom shaped toss ups & 2 plastic target rings. LT1 Champion Sports.

$10.36  $8.39

Lawn Darts Game - The Basic History Of Jarts

How Lawn Darts Injuries Were Born...Did You Survive?

So did you survive lawn darts without injuries? I was very young but am still perplexed how, if you stuck to the basic rules, these could lead to death? Grandma, even with her terrible aim, never once injured me with them...even after having an adult beverage at the picnic!

The darts themselves were known as jarts or lawn rockets, and the whole package was called a missile game - an appropriate name. Although different colors were used, the basic set came with 2 yellow plastic rings to use as targets, and 2 darts of each color - the originals were bright blue and red. The darts had plastic fins, covering a steel shaft with a pointed end, and were heavy and balanced for tossing.

The idea was that you held the dart by the metal end, and tossed it underhanded trying to land it in the target ring on the lawn. Both players would take their shots, then move to the other side and throw the darts back. If used as intended, the darts could be dangerous to a stray person wandering around the yard, or to a pet dog that might try to chase the dart through the air and get hit with the missile.

Clearly the big problem was when the darts were not used as intended, and in an unsafe or unsupervised manner. Not that something like that could ever happen in the typical American backyard parents were always watching, right?

Just imagine little Joey with one of these lawn missiles, seeing how high he could throw it. What goes up can come down anywhere, including roofs and human heads or other body parts. And then there was the possibility of using the dart as an actual weapon in a kids' war game - something that probably happened more than once.

I shudder to think of those misunderstanding how to play the game, both standing at opposite rings and tossing the jarts toward each other's ring, never moving back and forth (sigh). Could have been confusion as to how to play or just simple laziness...

Real Lawn Darts Banned Humor???

Hard To Find Vintage Lawn Darts For Sale Anymore...

Safe Lawn Darts...How Boring!

Somewhere out there are families who do not have fond memories of summer days and evenings out on the lawn, playing the missile game. For them, the game turned deadly serious, and lawn darts deaths came to the attention of the authorities. The family activity was banned and sales of the packaged game stopped in 1988 after a public outcry over the dangerous lawn rockets. So treasure your memories of lawn darts, if you have good ones, because they won't be back.

There are some vintage lawn darts for sale. When I looked at the time of this article, there was a set for $75.00 and one for $200.00 - still in the box! Now those diehard lawn jart fans might feel it is worth the investment - just to defy authority...but be ready to spend a bit for those family game weapons.

Lawn Darts On Ebay - Maybe Even Vintage Jarts For Sale?

Backyard Lawn Darts and Caddy

Time left: 4 days, 4 hours
Current bid: $0.99  Place bid
Fixed price: $5.00  Buy It Now

CLASSIC LAWN DARTS Safety Safe Blunt Tip Outdoor Beach Camping...

Time left: 4 weeks, 1 day
Fixed price: $17.95  Buy It Now

CLASSIC LAWN DARTS Safety Safe Blunt Tip Outdoor Beach Camping...

Time left: 4 weeks, 1 day
Current bid: $26.95  Place bid

SPORTCRAFT LAWN DARTS Blunt Tip outdoor Beach Camping BackYar...

Time left: 4 weeks, 1 day
Current bid: $20.89  Place bid

So What About Those Safe Lawn Darts?

These Yard Darts Are "OK" But Will Never Be The Same As Jarts

I've survived playing and experiencing both types of jarts or lawn darts...and here is my final word on the subject. Nothing will ever be like jarts, because the metal tip made a dart actually stick in the ground (kinda like playing horseshoes without the metal stake...not quite as exciting).

When lawn darts started coming back in their safe form, they were much too light...so you threw these wimpy projectiles toward the circle and they would wobble, roll away or perhaps a bird would swoop down and carry one off to use in building a nest.

Now you will find lawn darts (must be government issued, haha) that actually have weight on the tip. Perhaps Americans complained loud enough, demanding their jarts back (and to let those in prison who were caught with these weapons go)...boy, I'm on a roll...

Anyway, the weighted tip does help it stay where it lands - will never be like a heavy metal tip of a jart, but at least families can once again experience the fun in outdoor games without any risk of being HURT anymore, eh?

"Billy...get off that trampoline! Put down that metal horseshoe! No skateboarding! Don't jump in the deep end of the pool! No football for you! No, you will not have an archery set!"

Updated: on 09/14/2014, frugalrvers
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Did You Ever Play Vintage Lawn Jarts? (The Ones That Are Banned)

frugalrvers on 11/22/2014

So glad you made a connection! Certainly hard to find........

Martin Collins on 11/22/2014

had a great time with these when we were kids. Looking for a set now; price no object. Thanks!

James Bomar on 10/11/2014

Yes, we played them quite frequently at home as a family with adult supervision. We wore them out, and by the time we attempted to get new fin units for them, they had been banned. Dad almost whipped a neighborhood kid over them one time, as he came over into the yard and started throwing them at us.

Joe on 09/14/2014

Well I did try etsy and they pulled them too. Sending me a email that looked just like the one I got from ebay on the subject... So I am just sitting on them for now. Was going to put them on craigslist, but there is already a couple sets on there.

frugalrvers on 09/14/2014

Thanks for sharing your story! You actually got a CALL from Ebay? Geeeez! So glad ebay is on the path to removing such "threats" (haha). Good to know that EVERYTHING else on ebay is safe and/or healthy (I'm a sarcastic person, if you can't tell) :) Guess I can assume bow and arrow sets for the family are nothing to worry about!! Hope you have success on etsy....there are many people (including my family) who'd love the original lawn darts...I'm sure you'll sell them!

Joe on 09/07/2014

Ebay has banned these from being listed. I listed a set last nite and got a phone call from ebay about them this morning. They pulled the listing for this reason - "The Lawn Darts or Jarts that you listed are not permitted for sale on eBay as it is part of a manufacturer recall due to product safety concerns." This stinks. I survived them as a kid, but we did have a lot of close calls and some items broken... I saw some were listed and sold on etsy so maybe I will try there next. I was reading this article when I saw my ebay listing here "Death from above" too funny, anyways I was trying to find another place to sell them.
ebay member - ssmontejoe

Ron on 05/07/2014

Josh - This is an old post, but if you still have them I want them.

Josh on 01/12/2014

I have an unopened box of Jarts....Now how can I sell these things? Is there an underground Jart fan page?

frugalrvers on 07/21/2013

Thanks for commenting, Squeak!
So you DID encounter one of those dangerous lawn dart incidents!! Whew, glad your friend survived that one! That was the problem I'm guessing...they were just too tempting to throw up into the air...but I do miss those metal lawn jarts, for sure!

Squeak on 07/20/2013

Oh yeah I loved playing with those things! One day our playing ended abruptly while playing who could throw the jart highest in the air. Mine came down and glanced off my friends head and he ran home two blocks away screaming the whole way! I was afraid i was going to be in a heap load of trouble for that one!

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