There’s something inherently wrong with battery-operated hamsters. There’s something considerably wrong with battery-operated hamsters labeled as “Special Forces” or “Ninja Warriors,” fighting to the death in a battle arena. Welcome to the crazy Christmas season when toymakers smoke crack and design toys for our children.
Every Christmas I marvel at the ludicrosity (It’s a word. Sort of. Look it up.) of the toy selection. And this year’s toys are no exception.
In addition to robot hamsters that “squeak with contentment” when you pet their noses, the new remote-controlled Bigfoot is all the rage (so to speak). Touted as “Bigfoot the Monster” (as opposed to “Bigfoot the Christian Missionary”), this “toy” not only walks but can roar, pound his fists and burp. Kind of like Mel Gibson.
Not to be outdone by Sasquatch, this year’s Barbie comes with a video camera installed in her chest. Now she can film her own version of “Cheaters” as she follows Ken to the Disney Princess mansion. She can even replay video from her mammary cam on the video screen in her back during their divorce proceedings. And just ignore that long, pink USB cord extending from her tailbone. (Yeah, that’s not creepy.)
And what home wouldn’t be complete without a Sigmund Freud posable action figure. His actions include “thoughtful,” “judgmental” and “dream interpretation.” He should come in handy when Barbie and Ken need some couples therapy.
Moving onto weaponry (because nothing says “Christ’s birth” like weapons of mass destruction), the new NERF Stampede is a rapid-fire machine gun the size of a semi-truck, with the firing capacity to take out most single-engine airplanes. Back in the day, we had to make weapons out of Tinkertoys—but now kids have all the advantages of modern weaponry. Downside: The Stampede takes six D batteries! Upside: By December 26, the batteries will be dead—and you KNOW you won’t replace them.
Let’s not forget toddlers. They too have a variety of strange toy options. Take for instance, the Sing-A-Ma-Jigs. These disturbing, surprised-looking plush toys have the ability to sing those out-dated toe-tappers like “Oh, Susanna” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Yep, those tunes will have you stuffing this toy in the garbage disposal in record time.
Speaking of music, there are musical cows, giraffes, seahorses and even hedgehogs. Because nothing says “snuggle” like a hedgehog. And there’s always a new performing Elmo doll. I think this year’s model is “Elmo Sings with Jane Lynch.” The problem is he only sings one verse before Lynch’s caustic comments send him to cry in his closet. Kind of the best of both worlds.
And along with the Corn Popper push toy (only purchased by uncles and sadistic friends) you can now buy your child Stinky the Dump Truck. It’s a pimped out sanitation truck with monster truck tires and a stanky attitude. But as far as I know, it doesn’t sing.
Teens want anything that costs the equivalent of two foreign wars. If it has a screen and needs expensive equipment, your teenager will love it. Assuming your home is wired for every kind of technological advance, you can purchase video games, techy gadgets and computer programs. But you KNOW the government can track your every move when you purchase these products. Just a head’s up.
So celebrate the birth of Christ by purchasing motorized rodents, advanced weaponry, burping Bigfoots and the Barbie Boob Cam. Peace on earth, goodwill to men.
Toys this year run the gamut from ludicrous to insane. Here are some of the highlights.