Toys have changed from when my generation was writing letters to Santa. Video games were just getting started, Saturday morning cartoons made action figures and dolls rulers of kids’ Christmas lists. Nowadays… well… kids are weird and the toys reflect the weirdness. There used to be Barbies – now there are scrawny teen monster high school girls. There used to be GI Joes – now there are little weird rubber pieces of trash (I’m not being cynical – the Trash Pack and Grossery Gang toys are literally characters modeled after garbage). But one thing that never changes: every year there are toys parents rush to the stores for and channel their inner William Wallace as they battle for these hot holiday commodities. Cabbage Patch Kids, Nintendo Entertainment Systems, Tickle Me Elmos, Furbies… but this year, I don’t know. I don’t foresee myself risking life and limb for these things.
#10 – THUMB CHUCKS
One excited reviewer said this could be the next fidget spinner. Oh can it, please? Because nothing calms a fidgety child like toys that never stop moving. Fidget spinners and fidget cubes do nothing to calm a fidgety child – you might as well give them drumsticks and Jolt cola! Now they create this little doodad, that looks like someone neutered Tigger, and connect two little clackers together with a piece of fabric thus making it easier for these little “zen masters” to whap each other in the head with their calming tool. Next they’ll come out with air horns with strobe lights to help children with anxiety issues.
#9 – MARVEL LEGENDS SERIES “THOR” MJOLNIR ELECTRONIC HAMMER
This impressive looking bit of Nordic weaponry has a retail price of $100. Why? Because it is a solid 5-pound plastic sledgehammer with a die cast metal handle. If you are a parent, there is no way you should ever buy this for your child. Can you imagine your insurance premiums skyrocketing by Valentine’s Day?!! You’d have to have a concussion protocol at the dinner table! However, if you are an aunt or an uncle of multiple children, buy it for just one and then just wait and watch the chaos you have created.
#8 – SKY VIPER V2400 HD STREAMING DRONE WITH FPV HEADSET
This drone is top of the line with ease of control, stealth motors, and the capability of streaming live HD video from built in cameras. Recommended for ages 12+. Now, if you were buying this for me, I’d think you were awesome! This is a cool gadget with all sorts of bells and whistles. However, stealthy aircrafts with high definition spy cameras in the hands of a pubescent boy (or Alabama senate candidates) is probably not the most comforting thought for your neighbors.
#7 – OONIES MEGA STARTER PACK
“Oonies are the coolest way to create! Take an Oonies pellet, place it in the inflator and watch it magically grow into an Oonie! No glue. No water, no mess. Just air filled balls of amazing fun!” Seriously? C’mon people, they’re called balloons! You’re telling me you’re going to drop $65 on the starter kit for an air pump, mini balloons, and glue dots?! Tell you what, just give me $65 and you won’t have to have this hunk of plastic and countless deflated oonie creatures laying around your house after your kids get tired of this toy after a day and a half.
#6 – SHOPKINS BUBBLEISHA
For all your little girls who love shopkins, there is now Bubbleisha, the girl who shops for Shopkins. A Shopkins shopper?! Can we just call it a day and admit the toy companies are officially out of ideas? First you bought thousands of these little rubbery do-nothings (how does one actually play with a minescule purse with a face?) and now you have to buy this doll, who in all actuality is the epitome of irony because you are essentially buying a version of yourself because this doll likes to buy thousands of these little rubbery do-nothings that you have already bought. How meta is that?!!
#5 – L.O.L. SURPRISE FIZZ FACTORY
Actual Product Description: Make Fizz balls again and again with the L.O.L. Surprise Fizz Factory! Mix ingredients, include any surprise, add glitter and then press into a surprise Fizz ball! Surprise your friends again and again with endless surprise Fizz balls! L.O.L. Surprise Fizz Factory includes everything you need to make your own Surprise Fizz! Plus, you can make endless Surprise Fizz balls with household ingredients!
I’m going to ignore the fact that the description said “Fizz Balls” way too many times for me to be comfortable and just move on to my confusion. Fizz Balls have charms in the middle of this dissolvable thingy. The Fizz Factory gives you what you need to make your own Fizz Balls out of whatever you’d like. So basically you’re buying a toy that will encapsulate things you already own and then you can dissolve the thing you spent money on this Christmas to retrieve the thingy you imprisoned – like Han Solo in carbonite (so pumped to see the new Star Wars) – that you chose to stick in there in the first place. How is this fun?
#4 – WHEN I GROW UP, I WANT TO BE…: THE ANNUAL CAREER POSSIBILITY JOURNAL FOR KIDS
What is wrong with you? Did you really buy your child occupational counseling for Christmas? Are you a guidance counselor? I get it, you want to record everything your kid says every year so you can look back on it when he’s living in your basement at 45 years old and tell him, “Hey, look, remember when you were 6 and wanted to be an astronaut?” Yeah, well, maybe if you had gotten him a bike instead you wouldn’t be spending your golden years delivering Hot Pockets down to his “command center” where he apathetically beats the high score of every adolescent he can find on his Playstation. Way to go. I hope you’re happy with your choices.
#3 – BELLE DISNEY FILM COLLECTION DOLL
What the hell is that supposed to be?! I know, we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but come on, that thing is frightening! Disney can make an actor look exactly like a living candlestick but that’s as close as they could get to Emma Watson? That’s what Justin Bieber would look like if he dressed up as Belle for Halloween. How could a room full of executives look at that doll and unanimously go, “Yup, that’s exactly the look we were going for”?
#2 –Plush Holiday Animated Dancing Farting Laughing Poop Emoji In Christmas Santa Claus Hat
The name says it all. I’m just gonna leave this here.
#1 – WOWWEE FINGERLINGS
Actual product description: “Her name is Rose and, along with her funky hair, she loves to grab onto things. Your kids will love monkeying around with this interactive finger toy. She responds to sound, motion, and touch. It’s like having a friend right at your fingertips. Oh, and if you blow her a kiss, she might just blow you one back!” I’m not even mature enough to talk to you about this one. And, if you’re one of my B4P regulars, I know your mind is just messed up enough to see where I’m going with this one.
“And they’ll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing ’round on their wheels.
They’ll dance with jingtinglers tied onto their heels.
They’ll blow their floofloovers. They’ll bang their tartookas.
They’ll blow their whohoopers. They’ll bang their gardookas.
They’ll spin their trumtookas. They’ll slam their slooslunkas.
They’ll beat their blumbloopas. They’ll wham their whowonkas.
And they’ll play noisy games like zoozittacarzay,
A roller-skate type of lacrosse and croquet!
And then they’ll make ear-splitting noises galooks
On their great big electro whocarnio flooks!” ~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas