Shitty Toys

shittytoy

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

I know Nintendo thinks you can come up with money simply by bashing your head on a block, but charging money for this piece of shit is not fucking cool.

I know Nintendo thinks you can come up with money simply by bashing your head on a block, but charging money for this piece of shit is not fucking cool.

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

These kids look less like they're smiling, and more like the Dippin' Dots have given them lockjaw.

These kids look less like they're smiling, and more like the Dippin' Dots have given them lockjaw.

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

With the new Hasbro Easy Bake Oven Ultimate Oven you can burn your fingers and your small pets as well as make microscopic shitty cupcakes.

With the new Hasbro Easy Bake Oven Ultimate Oven you can burn your fingers and your small pets as well as make microscopic shitty cupcakes.

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

I couldn't find a picture of the Crappy Castle, so here's a picture of a steaming pile of shit, which is more useful than the castle since you can use it as fertilizer or to dump it on the house of the kind of person that gives your kids a Crappy Castle.

I couldn't find a picture of the Crappy Castle, so here's a picture of a steaming pile of shit, which is more useful than the castle since you can use it as fertilizer or to dump it on the house of the kind of person that gives your kids a Crappy Castle.

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. Magnification: 4,000,000,000 X

Polly Pockets. Magnification: 4,000,000,000 X

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 someone gives this gift to your child, look them straight in the eyes and say, "Smurf you!". Then push them down a flight of stairs.

If someone gives this gift to your child, look them straight in the eyes and say, "Smurf you!". Then push them down a flight of stairs.

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

Socker Boppers: Whip your brother in the fucking eyes.

Socker Boppers: Whip your brother in the fucking eyes.

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

Looks like the radiation has puckered that kid's mouth already. His balls are next.

Looks like the radiation has puckered that kid's mouth already. His balls are next.

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:

Hiroshima, 1945

Hiroshima, 1945

…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.

26 Responses to “Shitty Toys”

  1. Vesta Vayne says:

    Ha! Last year our nephew flat out told us the birthday gift we bought him sucked. Little twerp.

    When I was a kid, my grandparents dee-lighted in giving us the most obnoxious and complicated toys possible. My dad would get so aggravated, and grandma and grandpa would titter and tee-hee away, like it was the funniest thing on earth.

    • Greg says:

      Hahaha, I can see that. I can also see doing it out of spite. In fact, I believe I’ve got some semi-relatives who are angling for their kids to get a nuclear-powered robotic drum kit this year.

  2. Rusty says:

    I am a big fan of giving toys that make a lot of noise. Like toy drum kits, anything that will make the parents swear until they are smurf blue in the face with a headache to boot.

    I know what goes around comes around, but that is why I’m going to be heavily sedated with meth cooked in my very own easy “really baked” oven.

    • Greg says:

      My wife used to give her nieces and nephews big bags of candy, which set off howls of protest. Naturally, they’d respond with a massive tub of RIng Pops for our kids and laugh, not knowing that I’d just pull five out and throw the rest away.

  3. Heather says:

    I’m so lucky. My kids are still in the phase where they only covet a “toy” if the other is playing with it. it doesn’t matter if it’s a straw at IHOP. It’s “mine toy! Don’t touch mine toy!”

    • Greg says:

      Yeah, the age when the crap that comes out of those vending machines for 25 cents is a good one. Because all too soon they’re asking for Playstations, dirt bikes, and other things that cost the GDP of Paraguay.

  4. Brett Minor says:

    I liked to bag up unused toys when the kids were at school. They rarely ever missed them and it prevented the mountain of crap from getting any bigger.

    • Greg says:

      My wife and I one time threatened our daughter that if she didn’t clean her room well, we were going to do it for her. “I will make a Japanese hotel room look cluttered by comparison,” I told her.

      And of course we had to do it and I tossed SO much crap. But we did so much that instead of focusing on the toys she missed, she focused on her “new room”.

      Then, over the course of the next year, we had this conversation over and over: “Where is my stuffed lion?” “Goodwill”. “Oh. Where is my Barbie makeup head?” “Goodwill”. “Where is my…” “Goodwill.”

  5. Becky says:

    Oh the Polly Pockets. I friggin HATE those things. We have 2 girls, so we have plenty of those little bastard dolls with their accessories. I have theories that they have orgies at night and just keep multiplying. No matter how many I secretly sneak out to Goodwill, 3 more seem to appear. At our house, it’s grandma that sends all of the loud/consisting of a bajillion pieces toys. I’ve got way too much sense to even buy that crap. I love my mother, but I’m fantasizing about just dropping them off at her house one day.

    • Greg says:

      Yeah, it’s not just that they’re so small, but they’re rubbery in a way that makes them stick to fucking everything, gather dirt, lint, and hair, and just generally turn your carpet into a technicolor toxic dump. Fuck Polly right in her pocket.

  6. Vonny says:

    The best present I ever gave to the 18-month-old son of a friend was a bag of wooden dolly pegs. He loved them, mum not so much since she had to pick them up. I would remind her that my first idea had been a xylophone, the best noisy toy ever.

    My favorite things as a kid were a super bouncy ball, jacks, and my roller skates; yes, the ones that fitted over my shoes and were tightened with a key.

    • Greg says:

      Best Xmas present I ever got was when I was a bit older, and my parents saved up an assload of money and bought me an Apple II. I was breaking into mainframes in no time (seriously, there were like zero laws against it at the time, and you could poke around and find all kinds of things in, say, the Sears Roebuck mainframe. We never stole or gave info to people so they could steal, we just poked around. But it was fucking cool as hell, and a terrific thrill when you realized that someone figured out that someone was in there and you had to cover your tracks or risk… GETTING GROUNDED!)

  7. Squatch says:

    I dunno, the plastic turd with a Christmas hat on it looked like it could be fun. Friggin’ kids these days…

    “Imagine it has wings, and a fucking Transformer is riding it! What? I DON’T CARE that it doesn’t look like the cartoon! It’s a secret character – Turd Man. They didn’t show it in the cartoon because it was too fucking awesome.”

    /stay off my lawn!

    • Greg says:

      No, no, no, you’re missing the boat entirely! Put an MP3 player in it, and an “i” in front of the name. iShit. That’ll sell a million units, guaranteed.

  8. Reanna says:

    Does the Dippin’ Dots box say to mix it with your drink? Did it come with a bottle of vodka?

    Lego is my favourite toy… because it’s really fucking cool, and because it can incapacitate anyone trying to walk quietly to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I’ve also heard of it suctioning nicely onto bits and pieces when it’s shoved in a diaper. I didn’t ask to see that one.

    • Greg says:

      I love me some fucking LEGO. My wife got me the LEGO Mindstorm kit a bunch of years back: It’s basically a LEGO robotics kit with a programmable “brick” that allows you to do all kinds of shit. It’s in storage now because my kids are still too destructive, but when my oldest son gets old enough, we are totally building a beer-fetching-bot.

      • Reanna says:

        Beer fetching bot!! Excellent idea, but isn’t that what kids are for? “Fetch Daddy his medicine…”

        • Greg says:

          I actually started to build one. It could find the fridge (with a little help from some marks on the floor), but it didn’t have the strength to open the door. Gonna need some metalwork. Or fuck it, spend the money on booze, and use my kids, as you so wisely suggested.

          • eternalskeptic says:

            at least get your dog a collar with a bottle opener for those times when you’re too comfy to move but the beer won’t open itself. it won’t drink itself either so I guess I’m going back to work…

  9. MidLyfeMama says:

    I just laughed til I cried. Because this was hands down the funniest thing I have read in a while, and it is all TRUE. We live with a 5 year old boy who is super hero obessessed. Recently my normally intelligent spouse got him these things that are not quite Lego action figures, but Lego like. With the tiniest parts that come off. I have banned them from ever entering my house again because I am NOT spending the next 10 years of my life digging the little blue shoulder pad that they thought belonged on Wolverine’s costume AND should be removable out of my carpet or furniture.

    I never had an easy bake oven. My mother figured if I wanted to bake I might as well learn to use the real equipment. And I thank her for it.

    • Greg says:

      My kids’ latest thing is swords. They got that from LEGO Pirates of the Carribean, and LEGO Ninjago, which seems to be some ninja shit. So my 3 year old will walk up to me with a plastic saw and say, “Ching! Ching! Ching! You dead, daddy! I have a sword!”

  10. I too used to be all like “don’t throw away my toys!”, even though I barely used to play with most of them. A lot of them were just covered in bits of crayon. In fact, all I would ever play with was crayons (usually eating them, and drawing great big shit drawings over the walls).

    One day, my parents just threw them out, secretly, so that I won’t bawl at them. I missed them for a bit, but then it was cool. I went back to eating crayons.

  11. Suniverse says:

    Ugh, we’re STILL trying to get rid of toys – including that fucking Polly Pocket bullshit – and the girl is 15 years old.

    One of her favorite gifts ever [and mine, too] was when a friend gave her a packet of colored copy paper, stickers, envelopes and different styles of tape. The girl – who was maybe 5 or 6 at the time – had a blast making stuff. That we could then throw away. HOORAY!

    • Greg says:

      Yes, disposable toys are great, as are toys that you put away as part of the play, such as collectible baseball cards.

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