Jarts, anyone?

Hmmm. Until I just wrote that last post, I hadn't thought of Lawn Darts in years. Now I feel compelled to write about them.

I wonder what genius thought that one up? We had a set when we were kids -- I think they were actually called "Jarts."

For those of you who aren't familar with this old toy, it was pretty much just two sets of giant darts. They had a weighted, sharpened metal spike on one end, and fins and a grip on the other end. You would set a plastic ring at each end of your lawn, and each team would try to put their darts into the ring on the far side of the yard for points. It was basically just an extremely dangerous game of horse shoes.

I think the rules were you played until 10 points were scored or someone was impaled.

I can't remember how long these things were actually on the market -- but I do remember that the alarming number of people showing up at the hospital with giant darts sticking out of their heads caused the company to pull them from the shelves.

Regardless, you haven't lived until you've had to dive out of the way of a blue death missle coming directly at your head from across the yard. I can still hear the THWOCK! sound it made when it barely missed you and drilled itself into the ground 30 feet from anything remotely resembling a plastic ring.

I'll bet there weren't any lawsuits against the company back then. That's because people used to take responsibility for their actions. If you somehow ended up with a jart jammed into your thigh, you didn't blame the toy company -- You blamed yourself, or your dumbass brother and his shitty aim.

I think we were playing it wrong.


  1. Wikipedia says the sale of jarts has been banned in the U.S. since 1988. What a shame.

  2. Wow, I thought it was earlier than that....

  3. I lost an eye to Jarts.

    At least I think it was an eye.

  4. we obviously had 2 sets and my brother obviously took one set to the bench grinder to make them sharper because they wouldn't stick into the clay that tried to pass as our yard.

  5. My older brother and cousin used to chase me and throw jarts at me. I was about 7 when they actually made contact and went straight through my left foot...all the way through! It impaled my tiny, 7-yr old foot, John (which by the way is my brother's name). Needless to say, the doctor nor the parents were pleased. Believe it or not, that was not my first trip to emergency compliments of my older brother and cousin. I think it was around the 4th trip that summer...

    Say no to Jarts...jarts kill...or at the very least maim you pretty bad!

  6. We had a set of Jarts when I was little. Honestly what were they thinking when they made those? Why don't you just hand kids a machete and get it over with. I have many memories of ducking for cover from the flying daggers of death. My mom finally took them away from us. That's probably the only reason I'm alive today. That and she also took away our old rusty pogo stick that used to stick and then we would almost impale ourselves on it.

  7. a little off subject, but it makes me think of the duck I saw on television last night that had an arrow shot through its head.

    What did the vet do? Removed the arrow and put the duck back in the same pond... that just cracked me up!

  8. Anonymous12:23 AM

    cool game, except you can't impale the bird or the bunny.

    Growing up, My brother decided to make a game out of who could throw a dart closest to the other person (without that person flinching). The dart board person of course lost points if they moved- I was a wimp so I would move. My brother "won" when I accidently stuck the dart through his knee cap. I still wince at the flashback.

  9. Anonymous9:16 PM

    Ahh... Jarts... I LOVED this game... great pastime...

  10. Anonymous5:08 PM

    Check out http://www.JartParts.com

  11. Dustin ~ Iowa6:52 PM

    Most all you people must of had Shity parents! We had a set of Jarts in the early 80's and nobody ever threw them near where anyone was standing. We were all very careful and because of dumbshits like you we lost a Fun game!

  12. Anonymous10:37 AM

    What a great game. But being banned "that must have been a good thing". Just another little loss of freedom "all in the interest of your safety". Let's see...HMMM... how much freedom have you really lost by losing just the little things. Wake up and Add it up because it really is ASTOUNDING! But hey what the heck JARTs really could hurt you if you happened to launch them at someone or let you kids play with them. I know we are all responsible for our own actions...right?

  13. Anonymous8:29 PM

    We have an old original set that we still play every summer. We would never use them around children and think it's stupid they were banned due to irresponsible parents. Would parents let kids play with the wall darts? I'm sure that could kill someone too.

  14. John B12:29 AM

    If our VP of the United States of America can blast a companion with a shotgun with no thoughts of banning the dangerous sport why ban Jarts? Surely a person in that position is cautious. Or why can't they sell Jarts at the gun counter? Or archery vs. Jarts you decide.

  15. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Jarts rock. I think they need to make more toys like this. Makes kids tough.

  16. Catching up on your old posts after getting a link to the infamous JCP catalog post...

    We didnt have jarts, but made do with sailing dart board darts across our open 1 acre back yard.

    I remember getting bored and heading to the house only to hear my brother yell for me, and after turning to see what he wanted, almost immediately noticing the horrified look on his face.

    I didn't feel a thing, but he managed to bury a dart to the hilt in my 12 year old left pectoral.

    Pulled it out, and slapped one of those dot bandaids on it, and went back out to get even...

  17. Anonymous12:56 AM

    Check out http://www.LawnDartParts.com Also, you can email JartParts@yahoo.com if you want to sell a set.

  18. I remember playing Jarts with my older brother. After a few near misses we weren't allowed to be near the receiving end of the darts. But bad news one time when my brother was throwing one and it slipped out of his hand, flew accross the yard and the driveway and through my grandmother's kitchen window (crash). The jart landed on the table and just missed hitting my Nana! That's when the Jarts were taken away from us.

  19. Anonymous3:22 AM

    I have a brand new set of them in the basement left over from the early 1980's. They are not for sale. Oddly, as accident prone as I can sometimes be, I never managed to get hit by one...and yeah, as a kid I did throw them straight up in the air.

  20. Anonymous2:54 PM

    The best part of the game, minus the constant fear of getting hit, is the name on the box:

    Jarts Missile Game

    That just sounds like a hospital trip waiting to happen.

  21. What a shame is right......my family loved our sets of jarts and got MANY hours of fun from them....we wore out several sets. If anyone was hurt with them, they had to be misusing them and not playing per the game rules and instuctions. It only takes a few bad guys to ruin a good thing.

  22. What a shame,.....Jarts was a great family game and my family wore out several sets over MANY hours of great fun. If anyone was hurt playing with them, they were misusing them. It only takes a few jerks to ruin a great thing......don't people watch their kids anymore? Kids chasing others with jarts and sticking them??? Baseball bats would be just as dangerous in these kids hands, why don't they ban them?