A toothpick crossbow.
(ECNS) -- Parents are demanding a ban on the popular "toothpick crossbow" that uses toothpicks as arrows, some so powerful that they can pierce a gypsum board, Beijing Morning Post reports.
The palm-sized toy is highly popular among primary and middle school students. In one experiment shown in an online video, it pierced not only balloons, newspapers and cardboard boxes, but also pork and gypsum boards three meters away. Its shooting range can exceed 20 meters, the paper said.
Thousands such crossbows of various style and color are being sold online at prices ranging from 10 yuan (.4) to 100 yuan depending on the material and quality, it was said. They can also be used to shoot steel needles and iron nails.
Some online sellers offer toothpicks, cotton swabs and metal needles free of charge to attract customers. Buyers commented that the crossbows were "powerful" and loved by children. Some wrote they intend to shoot birds, snails and even neighbors' pigeons.
Online instructions teach users to "improve" their crossbows so they can shoot 10 toothpicks at a time, the paper revealed.
Parents were shocked after watching the online videos. A father surnamed Lu said the toothpick crossbow should never be labeled as a toy or appear in schools or land in the hands of minors.
"It would be a lifelong regret if a toothpick rips into an eye," he stated.