Sunday, December 22, 2013

Presents Of (An Odd) Mind - 2013 Edition

There is some weird stuff out there, my friends.

As I peruse and other shopping sites looking for gifts, I keep stumbling across bizarre toys and other strange products.

I often find myself gasping. Laughing. WTF-ing. And then bookmarking.

I do this... for you.

I know some of you are trying to snag some last-minute gifts this holiday season. The space under the tree may be looking a little too vast. Maybe you've been so busy you just haven't gotten to the stores (or, like a sensible person, you're avoiding the wolves hordes crowds.) Then again, perhaps you're parenting little Dudley Dursleys, who just have to have that 37th present or they will blow a fuse.

Whatever. Just take a look at these things I've found that, for some reason, exist, and decide for yourself: Should I laugh? Cry? Click on the links and pay the overnight shipping, because dangit, the item is just that spectacular?

Only you can decide.

First up we have:

Musical Toys HMX2007 Turtle Glockenspiel

Let's be clear -- I don't generally have a problem with turtles, nor do I take issue with glockenspiels.

You wanna combine the two? Sure, whatever.

But did you have to give the guy this face?

What is happening here? The poor turtle looks like someone's been whacking him in the forehead with that mallet.

Then again, from this angle, he just looks terrified...

Help meeeeee!

"Mommy, why does my new present look sad to see me?"

Happy faces: look into it.

Augh wait no nevermind.

Annnd this toy's name gives me a headache. Let's dissect it, shall we?

Little Mommy - I assume this is referring to the target market for the toy; young kids who want to play mommy. Fair enough.

Baby So New - Aren't babies usually new? Still, I challenge the "so." She's sitting up by herself already; she can't be that new. Word usage fail.

Tiny Dancer - New she may be, but not so new that she can't be an aspiring ballerina. Why, I'm sure Julliard will be ringing her up as soon as she ditches the diapers.

Doll - I will concur that she is a doll.

Meanwhile -- believe it or not -- so is this:

Now, in the world of "dolls that look creepily real," Summer isn't that terrifying. I mean, I wouldn't mistake her for an actual baby, but that might be because I don't know a lot of real babies who look like they're posing for Glamour Shots. Summer may be a bit Toddlers & Tiaras, but you could do worse. You could have Ashley....

Ashley doesn't only look like she recently vacated someone's uterus -- she can actually (well, mechanically) breathe. When I was a kid, I was impressed if my new baby doll came with a velcro-fastening diaper... this one comes with LUNGS!

Compare to:

Chloe, who can really move. (Gah.)

Olivia, who really "holds" your hand. (Get off.)


This doll is not a toy, she is a fine collectible to be enjoyed by adult collectors.

Do childless adults buy these to fill a void? I'm serious, is that what they're for?

Let's compare baby Ashley to a real baby, shall we?

Real Babies: Costs a whole lot, considering the hospital bills, diapers, food or formula, and all the rest.

Baby Ashley: Costs $129.99, and can be paid for in five easy installments.

Real Babies: Breathe, cry, spit up and poo.

Baby Ashley: Just breathes. Ahhh, so pleasant.

Real Babies: Grow and get all heavy and scratchy.

Baby Ashley: Stays a tiny wee lass forever.

Real Babies: Grow up and sometimes get really obnoxious.

Baby Ashley: Can be returned free of charge within the first 365 days.


Er, doll. I meant to say doll.

Speaking of dolls, these bother me:

Donnelly Modern Family of 5 Dollhouse Miniature Set

  • Features father, mother, son, daughter, and baby
  • Clad in modern clothing on a 1:12 scale
  • Exquisite set suitable for use in collector dollhouses

  • Modern. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Now, here comes a doll I can get behind. It's Belle, from Beauty and the Beast, the best animated film of all time! (Don't argue with me.)


    Welp, time to make a list called Things I Hate About This Play Set

    1. Belle is now a baby. We've reduced a headstrong, lovely, romantic, heroic young woman into a diaper-wearing slobberpuss. Lovely.

    2. Baby Belle is wearing a tiara. Why would she have a tiara as a baby? She was not royal by birth!

    3. Even a royal baby wearing a tiara would be weird. Those things are heavy.

    4. Whatever is molded onto that pink block. I think it might be Chip but without a face. 

    5. The miniature Beast. Are we supposed to assume that if Belle were a baby, she would be apt to play with a toy that looks like her future husband who's currently under a curse but is totally dressed up and ready for romance? But also tiny? Guess so.

    6. The rocking horse. It's the biggest thing in the box, besides Belle, and the box exclaims: "Let's play on my rocking horse!" Why a horse? Why that horse? Sure, Belle rode Philippe the Horse a couple of times in the movie, but it wasn't as if she was a champion equestrian. She loved BOOKS... and the only books I see in that set are mayyybe on the shelf next to the Beastkin, and they're drawn in. Let's not give Belle her actual personality or anything!

    7. The yellow dress. I know, a lot of Belle toys through the years have had her in that yellow getup, even though she barely wears it in the film and it wouldn't make sense to show her wearing it before she arrived at the castle. But hey. It's iconic or something. Still, to see her going back in time 20 years and still wearing it -- give me a break.

    In conclusion, I hate this toy.

    Yikes. Okay, I get that this might be something people purchase for hospitals or whatever so that kids can role-play what they've been through or what to expect when they go into surgery, but as someone who's had surgery herself... this thing makes me want to hide. This guy doesn't even look like a nice surgeon. Those eyebrows! That hair! And I don't even wanna know what's behind that mask.

    Well, let's move away from dolls, now. I mean, not every kid wants their non-living social companion to be a humanoid. Some kids want stuffed teddy bears. Or fuzzy bunnies. Or... cow balloons....

    And, in case your kid would rather have a creature of the equine variety, or... would rather pretend to be a creature of the equine variety....

    Accoutrements Horse Head Mask


    Happy nightmares!

    Hey, speaking of costumes, if you plan to have a mid-sized baby by October, 2014, you might want to get in on this deal:

    Paper Magic King Pig Infant Costume

    Originally $30, now on sale for under $10! What a steal! Who doesn't want their baby to look like a green pig?

    And if you like costumes, there's more where that came from!

    Switching gears...

    So... I'm not in marketing -- and even if I was, I would be an utter failure because my tastes don't seem to match the general population's -- but if I was in marketing, I might raise a red flag re: a kids' toy with the word "toxic" in the title. Isn't that what we're trying to avoid?

    But that's not this toy's biggest problem. It's a racing set where two balls are supposed to compete, but it only comes with one ball. It's also apparently so cheapo that it has gotten a bunch of 1-star reviews on, and, as one reviewer put it, "Do not buy this toy OR the racers or you will have one super upset kid."

    I hope that reviewer had another present wrapped & waiting to give to his or her upset kid. Like maybe one of these?

    Accoutrements Giant Ear

    Be careful what you say, the walls have ears. Put one of these 20" x 12" (51 x 30 cm) tall plastic ears on your wall for a little aural atmosphere or cover a room with wall to wall ears for an eerie art project. Left ear only.            

    I'm beginning to think this Accoutrements company is one I want to avoid (except, of course, when I'm making these lists.)

    Well, I don't think I can top that ear. (Seriously, it's nearly two feet tall. What do you DO with that?) so I guess I'll call it a year.

    No matter what last-minute gifts you choose to purchase (for your kids, friends, family, enemies, or yourself), I hope they make you and your loved ones happy.

    Happy Holidays, all!

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