I remember when I was a kid, and sometimes even now, some (very brave) adult would blindfold each child and hand him/her a bat and let them swing literally blindly at this thing until it broke, sending candy and all the kids all over the ground.
But, what? A blindfold and a bat1?!?!? Whose great idea was this? These kids can barely walk in a straight line without falling over at this age and we are going to trust them with a bat? When they are blinded?
So now, I still get the kids a pinata, but instead of letting them beat at it and possibly each other, there are these little ribbons to pull. Does it ruin some of the fun and anticipation? A little, but there are no permanent pinata injuries (some people are literally scarred for life).