I’ve got three kids, so it goes without saying that large portions of my house are dedicated to toys: We’ve got bins for everyday use toys, boxes for toys that get used semi-regularly, a large toy box that exists to hold toys that are rarely used, and strategic places around the house where we store toys that are so fucking shitty that they never get used, but we can’t throw them away because the kids would lose their little minds if we did. We could have an HIV-infected hypodermic needle play set, and if one of the kids saw us trying to toss it out, they’d instantly feign interest in it. “Don’t throw that away! I love that toy!” “What? You never play with it. The last time anyone played with it, it was your brother Ben.” “I don’t have a brother Ben!” “Not anymore you don’t.” “PLEASE DON’T THROW IT AWAY!”
And the thing is, there are an awful lot of shitty toys on the market, so we’ve got more than our share of them. Between Amazon purchases made under the influence, last minute gifts from desperate relatives en route to a birthday party, or the result of sheer retardation on the part of the manufacturer, we’ve literally got cabinets full of bad toys. Here are some of the more notable ones:
Super Mario Brothers Mario Kart DS Carerra Go!!! Electronic Slot Car Super Race Set
Yeah, that’s the actual name of this product, which is ridiculous considering that they could’ve saved an assload of ink by just calling it ‘A Pile Of Shit”. Apparently, the designers of this game believed that cars have two speeds: Stop and Light Speed. You spend five minutes putting each car on the track just so, and when you finally get the metal wires on the bottom of each car to touch the metal track that you plugged into the wall and electrocuted the cat with, you’re off to the races! Then you look at or breathe on the controller, and the car flies down the track, through the plastic “crash barrier”, through the dry wall, and into low Earth orbit.
Dippin’ Dots Frozen Dot Maker
Here’s a great idea: A toy that combines tooth decay with the legendary patience of children. That has winner written all over it, doesn’t it? Hey, kids! Who wants to pour some shit into a tiny tray, and then wait in front of the freezer for four hours? Besides the fact that making kids wait hours for ice cream is a recipe for disaster, the resulting “Dippin’ Dots” in no way resemble the vaguely rat turd-like appeal of the Dippin’ Dots sold at the movie theaters. Instead, you get a tiny pool of bumpy ice cream that works out to about a spoonful per tray. Since the recipe fills about four trays, that means you made your kids wait four hours for two spoons of ice cream when you could’ve just taken them down to Dairy Queen instead, you fucking tight-wad.
Easy Bake Oven
I know that a lot of kids, girls especially, grew up with one of these things. I don’t care if they’re a treasured childhood memory for you, these things are nothing more than a burn factory. In case you’ve spent the last fifty years living under a fold of Oprah’s back fat, here’s how an Easy Bake Oven works: It heats shit up with a light bulb. And it gets motherfucking HOT. And so of course the first thing kids do is jam their fingers inside. Or paper, or anything else that is bound to start a fire. Then daddy is attracted by the smell of burning plastic and has to shut down the brownie-bake, which in truth looks more like an eight year old trying to cook meth. This toy is single-handedly responsible for teaching my kids that, hey, light bulbs are hot and do some cool looking things to Saran Wrap! The lamps in their rooms have never looked the same.
Discount Crappy Toy Castle Made By Imprisoned Mental Patients In Bulgaria
A relative bought this present for my two sons, either from a dollar store, or possibly they found it underneath a highway overpass. It was a series of plastic blocks designed to be attached to each other to form a castle. None of the surfaces were flat where they needed to be, and the connecting portion of each block looked as if it had been designed by a jigsaw puzzle-maker on mescaline. And so assembling the approximately 950 pieces required to build one of the castle towers became a Sisyphean task. Worse, the stability of the castle was such that the only practical application of the toy was to reenact an earthquake at a Renaissance Festival. That, and to make my kids cry.
Polly Fucking Pockets
Polly Pockets are a line of girls dolls that are so small that the warning on the box reads, “Caution: Small, inhalable parts inside!” Within nanoseconds of opening the box, the contents had been picked up by a slight breeze and circulated around the house, to be found in various places until the end of time. Burning smell from the toaster? That’s a Polly Pocket shoe. Goldfish dead? Choked on a Polly Pocket hat. Wife complaining of “strange sensation” during intercourse? Unfortunately placed Polly Pocket jewelry. That shit gets everywhere. About the only place it will not go is into a vacuum cleaner. We have a vacuum cleaner strong enough to swallow throw rugs, but if it encounters a Polly Pocket, it will instantly jam, making horrible noises and threatening to explode.
The Smurfs Mini Toy Golf Set With Carry Bag
If you want your child to be like Tiger Woods, only beaten to a pulp every single day by neighborhood bullies, then hurry on down to your local landfill and get yourself this toy. It features two golf clubs with detachable heads which will fly across the room at high velocity when swung. It also comes with a golf bag suitable for throwing the fuck away with the rest of this crappy piece of shit.
Socker Bopper Socker Swords
Remember Socker Boppers? They were those giant, inflatable balls you could slip over your hands so that punching your brother in the face was legal. These are the sword version of those, and they suffer from an almost literally lethal design flaw. They leak air. A lot of air. So much so that within seconds your kids are whipping each other in the eyes with three foot lengths of flaccid plastic. The copy on the packaging reads, “More than a pillow fight!” Yes, it is more than a pillow fight. It is a scratched cornea and a trip to the emergency room as well.
Still, shitty toys aside, it could be worse. People could be giving my kids uranium.
Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory
Yes, there was actually a toy called the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory that had actual radioactive uranium in it, because someone looked at this:
…and thought to themselves, “Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if kids could do that?” I’m sure my kids will get it for Xmas this year.