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The Weirdest Toy Commercials

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  • Picture Pages Pen (1980s) 1 of 19
    Oh, the rich, sweet music Mortimer could make! When the mailman brought us the pen that would change our life forever, we tore into the package, ready to make our drawings come to musical life — only to discover our "Mortimer" did not create a symphony of sound at our doodlings, but merely went "BEEP BOOP" every time we touched the felt tip. BEEP BOOP?! This is what we got for $23.95? (NOTE: $23.95 adjusted for 2009 dollars = $7,000).
  • Cool Tools Work Bench (1992) 2 of 19
    All kids want to be handy like Daddy. You might think you can actually build something with this tiny work set, but the only thing you'll be building is a life of disappointment.
  • Robotix (1985) 3 of 19
    Man, wouldn't it be awesome to own a robot dinosaur you could ride? That's what this commercial suggests. Imagine terrorizing the playground with this bone crushing, fire-barfing, prehistoric-futuristic machine. Oh, you can't ride it? It's actually quite small? Never mind then.
  • Knight Rider (1982) 4 of 19
    "This car can even do things K.I.T.T. can't do," Hasselhoff boasts. Oooh, burn! Stick that up your tailpipe and smoke it, artificially intelligent car. But what "things"? The Hoff is confoundingly reticent on that front. I'll take a guess: Not suck like the new Knight Rider show? Hmmm, probably not.
  • Photon Laser Tag Set (1986) 5 of 19
    Dude, how cool would it be to shoot fat, red laser beams at your dog? Too bad this thing isn't actually a laser, but works like a remote control, which means it doesn't do anything when you shoot. You have no idea where your shots land, so you're basically pantomiming having fun.
  • Dukes of Hazzard Race Set (1981) 6 of 19
    Yes, electric stock car racing — with a jump? Good luck keeping those cars on the track. Go ahead kid, continue putting the car back on the track after every time it crashes, telling yourself, "This time it will work." That's the kind of wrongheaded persistence in the face of certain and perpetual defeat you'll need in the future when trying to find a job with your liberal arts degree.
  • Nerf Mad Hornet (1997) 7 of 19
    Supposedly, you could actually hurt other kids with the sheer velocity of this gun's little nerf darts. A troubling selling point, but fortunately a lie. I mean, c'mon, you couldn't hurt somebody with a nerf dart if you launched it from a particle accelerator.
  • Army Ants (1987) 8 of 19
    Army Ants do not move independently. They do not mock each other. They do not fire live rounds. And they do not sing their own jingle. They do, however, melt in cool ways after you realize there's nothing else fun to do with them.
  • Pokmon (1998) 9 of 19
    Stuffing small creatures in your pants is not actually a good idea.
  • Pogo Ball (1987) 10 of 19
    With four maximum inches of bounce, The Pogo Ball (skip to 2:35, above) will not give you the ability to dunk like Shaq, unless you already are Shaq. In which case, please get off the Pogo Ball, Shaq.
  • Ghostbusters (1987) 11 of 19
    This spot demonstrates one of the most prominent lies in toy commercials: awesome environments that you don't get with the toy. Watch those Ghostbusters battle it out in a scaled-down New York! On a similar note, check out the crazy interstellar landscape the Silverhawks zip through in this spot. What the advertisers don't want you to know is outside of these impeccably designed sets, their toys look pretty lame.
  • Manglors (1983) 12 of 19
    "You stretch them, squash them, pull them apart and they'll go right back to normal!" Nope, if you ripped the arm off your Manglor, it didn't reattach like shown in the commercial. And now you're wanted for Manglor murder.
  • Twister (1992) 13 of 19
    Boy, Twister looks like fun. Sweet, sober, platonic fun. Ah, how innocent we were . . .
  • Barbie Ice Cream Maker (1989) 14 of 19
    Barbie helps you make ice cream. How super fun! Except the part about waiting sixteen hours for your ice cream. Not to worry, kids are all about delayed gratification. Also, you're not getting ice cream, but a sickly vanilla extract-flavored ice milk.
  • Nintendo Power Glove (1989) 15 of 19
    Now you can enter the incredible world of video games. Well, no. Actually, you get a gaudy arm accessory that makes playing video games extremely hard, and looks more like you're giving a prostate exam than having fun.
  • Guess Who (1982) 16 of 19
    "Hey loner kid! Yeah, you with no friends or social skills. Stop beating yourself up over your pariah status and get yourself a whole village of easily categorized friends ready to chat with you about any inane topic you like. Who needs real friends when you've got Guess Who?" (Disclaimer: Guess Who characters do not come to life. And even if they did, do you really think they would be your friends?)
  • Domino Rally (1993) 17 of 19
    Wow, what an intense thirty seconds of hot domino action! Not shown: the three weeks setting up that thirty-second climax.
  • Bubble Thing (1988) 18 of 19
    The SUV-sized bubbles the kid creates in this spot are actually incredibly hard to make. And did they mention you have to buy an entire bucket of special Bubble Thing brand bubble liquid, 'cause the stuff you use for small bubbles won't do? Oh, and if you ever, ever get a speck of dust on the Bubble Thing, it will never bubble again.
  • The Weirdest Toy Commercials 19 of 19
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