Christmas is almost here *insert incredible amounts of excitement* and I must say, I thoroughly enjoy walking through malls and stores at this time of year. (Is that strange?) It's probably because we don't buy gifts for anyone in our family except for the kids - therefore shopping is an enjoyable experience. Our Christmas is 98% stress free, so we can focus on Baileys, sugar cookies, and walks to look at Christmas lights.
There is one thing I've noticed though, as I'm out and about in the toy stores more often than normal: There are a lot of really amazing toys on the market. STEM learning toys, board-games I've never heard of, and tech things that make my head spin. However, there are also a lot of incredibly SHITTY toys out there too. Ones that make me rage quietly, "You're contributing to our landfill for....this? Really?" And I know we all have our own interests, sure. But some things are just plain STUPID. Here are the ones I've come across so far this season:
Really? Really? Snow forts need to be symmetrical with perfectly formed snow bricks now? What happened to a smattering of snow thumped down by soggy wet gloves and formed into "THE BEST FORT EVER!?!" If my child used this, I would laugh at them. But my children won't use this, because I won't buy it.
Who's idea was this? Someone who is allergic to FUN and addicted to KILLING THE OZONE LAYER FOR NO APPARENT REASON, that's who. Why oh why do you need to pay money for a plastic tub filled with giant white cotton "snowballs"? If for whatever reason you can't actually go outside to throw snowballs and you absolutely must have an "indoor snowball fight", why don't you just get some, oh - I don't know... REGULAR COTTON BALLS and throw them at one another? Or for more weight, ball up socks and whip those at each other? My dog would be tearing these apart in point five seconds, and thirty minutes later, I'd be pulling the fluff out of his ass, so...NO.
To some (ahem, my mother) this might look like a good idea at first. "Oh, wow! Now the kids can use this fan-like-contraption to hold their playing cards and they won't drop them!" But then, there will be assholes (ahem, ME) who say things like, "I'm sorry, but my kids need to learn to hold their own fucking cards. It's a life skill." So yeah...NOPE. Not buying this one either.
We saw this beauty when we were out and about the other day, and my son asked "What is the Hulk doing Mommy?" I paused. "Umm, he's smashing the car?" Cole paused. "Why? Why would he want to wreck the car?" We walked away and had a discussion about anger management. *sigh* Really? This toy is almost $50 and it does nothing. Hulks arms spin around and...just...smash things. If you want to pay ME $50, I will GLADLY come to your house and Hulk Smash the SHIT out of whatever the hell you want, and I promise you - it'll be a lot more entertaining. Sorry Hulk, you're not coming home with us either...
I guess I just don't see the need for modified gadgets like these ones. A bottle holder? A bent spoon? Again. LIFE SKILL. Figure it out kid. Here is your mouth *points* Here is the spoon *points*. Now...PRACTICE! (With that said: I do understand how modifications like these can be incredibly useful for children with developmental needs - and I am not mocking that in any way. Just wanted to be clear about that.)
I saw this beauty the other day. Yep, a baby dressed as a cheerleader. It bothered me quite a bit. My daughter loves playing with babies, but she's 20 months old and has no idea what a cheerleader is. Why can't a baby just be a baby? Why must we dress it up with a headband and short pleated skirt? So we bought the one with the rubber ducky on it's head instead.
Unless this is from a popular TV show that I'm unaware of (it very well could be?) I just don't understand this toy. A pig, with an open mouth, and you flip burgers into it? A new take on hungry-hungry-hippos maybe? I can see this being fun for all of three minutes before my kid gets distracted with an itchy ass and never plays with it again.
At first glance, it looks like Apple made their own "Simon" type of game. Cool. But upon closer inspection, you'll see this device is actually a baby "cry" interpreter. This little machine will supposedly tell you if your baby is crying because it's sleepy, stressed, hungry, annoyed (??), or bored (???). There is so much wrong with this, that I don't even know where to start. It makes me sad though, because I'm sure there are some very nervous and self-doubting new parents out there who will pay for this because they just don't trust their own instincts. I would like to buy this device, take a sharpie, and re-label every section "I need you."
Alright, that's the end of my toy and gadget ragey-ness. It's time to go and wrap the good presents I DID buy (including a 4 foot tall wood-crafted dollhouse in mint condition that I found at VALUE VILLAGE for $15!!!) Sorry, I get almost as excited about a good find as I do about Christmas itself. Happy Ho-Ho Everyone!