The Scary Reason Hasbro Is Recalling Nerf Super Soakers

They were meant to be a blast from the past. The Nerf Super Soaker XP20, XP30, and XP100 were built to look and feel like the original Super Soakers, from its bright neon colors to its air-pressure system. They were one of the biggest toys from the '90s. They were also meant to be a Target exclusive and would go on sale from March to July of this year (via The Verge).

Now, the XP20 and XP30 are the subject of a voluntary recall by Target, because the decorative sticker on the water blaster's tanks may contain levels of lead in the ink that exceed limits set by the government. But Hasbro says that the lead can only be found on the sticker, and nowhere else. The toy maker confirmed that as many as 42,500 Super Soaker XP20s and 77,500 Super Soaker XP30s were distributed across the U.S., continental Europe, the U.K., and Indonesia.

"A third-party manufacturer sourced these stickers from an unauthorized supplier, without our consent and in violation of our quality assurance procedures and requirements. As soon as we became aware of the potential issue, we immediately launched an investigation and implemented precautionary containment measures," Hasbro responded (via Daily Hive). Lead is a highly toxic substance that can lead to developmental problems and damage caused by lead cannot be reversed (via Healthline).

Hasbro's Nerf Super Soakers were iconic 1990s toys

Super Soakers were the kings of summer toys when they were first released decades ago. They were born when NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson invented a pressurized water gun in 1982. And while the versions that were released earlier this year weren't identical remakes, they looked close enough to the original, to give those who remember their Super Soaker summers a thrill. Re-releasing the toys would also give Hasbro the chance to fix whatever didn't work with the original Super Soakers. The Verge writer Sean Hollister remembers having his plastic toy go brittle after it was left out in the sun for a few days. Hollister also notes that the new Super Soaker also held less water than the original, and it has a sturdier forward-slung charging handle.

Given all the early rave reviews, we hope it will only be a matter of time before the recalled toys, which can be brought back for refund, can be reissued to keep the next generation (or the original one, for that matter), soaked and happy.