Move over fidget spinners, these toothpick-firing contraptions pack a serious punch.

Fidget spinners are all the rage these days, ranging from simple two-pronged designs to intricate shurikens or complex alien shapes. It’s a bit of harmless fun, really, until it actually distracts you from something you ought to be doing, like eating rainbow cheesecake.

But a new competitor to fidget spinners is looming on the horizon, and it’s incredibly popular with China’s schoolchildren: toothpick crossbows. They’re small, lightweight, and can fire toothpicks a fair distance. What’s more, their low cost (10 RMB, or US$1.48) allows children to get their hands on a projectile weapon rather easily.

▼ A video of a toothpick crossbow in action,
complete with out-of-place and confusing background music.

Short of hurling a fidget spinner at someone, those spinning contraptions don’t physically hurt anyone. Toothpick crossbows though are a different matter altogether. Launched toothpicks can pierce the skins of fruits and vegetables, and even punch through plastic when shot at close range.

Maybe if you switched the toothpicks out for cotton swabs, kids could have awesome parties (with protective eye wear of course). But it’s still pretty risky; all it takes is just one child to hit a friend with a crossbow-launched toothpick, and it’s all over.

▼ Wooden toothpicks can pierce plastic,
and metal needles could even crack glass.

It comes as no surprise that parents are increasingly concerned the toys could cause injuries, prompting the Chinese government to swiftly ban its sales. That hasn’t stopped people from getting creative and crafting their very own homemade crossbows though.

▼ That’s an amazing contraption, albeit still dangerous.

It’s only a matter of time before someone takes it to the next level and invents a fully automatic toothpick submachine gun. If it comes down to that, I’ll be ready with my badass 12-round rubber band pistol.

Source: YouTube/翔鷹 and YouTube/Peng Zhu via NextShark and CNN
Images: YouTube/翔鷹