I was at a children’s party recently, looking on as the birthday girl ripped through her presents with the speed and general disinterest only a preschooler can. She clawed her way to her final gift, a Jack-in-the-Box. As she started to wind it up, I slowly backed away and eventually found myself hiding under the coffee table. Sure enough, a clown-like figurine popped out sending the birthday girl into fits of tears. Everyone rushed to console her.
As I unhinged my thumb from my mouth and rolled out of the fetal position, I couldn’t help but look on with disbelief. WHAT IN THE HELL DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN? A spring-loaded clown just leapt out of a box with zero warning! How are these even around anymore? These heart attack cartons should have been outlawed along with candy cigarettes and singing “Happy Birthday” in restaurants.
And while we’re at it, here are some other toys that should be outlawed forever.
1. Sit ‘n’ Spin
What parent doesn’t want one more excuse to clean up excrement when their child poops his pants and projectile vomits from spinning himself in circles, unable to loosen his grip from the tiny terror wheel for fear of launching himself clear across the room.
2. Kids “Dress Up” Heels
Alex, I’ll take “Trip to the Emergency Room” for $300. Also, my kid is 5, not a pole dancer.
3. Chia Pets
You know what is a bigger snooze fest than watching fake hair sprout from some creepy man’s cranium? Absolutely nothing. Also, kids have the attention span of a hamster so probably not your target market.
4. Moon Sand
The inventors of these herpes of the toy world should be sent to the electric chair. Covered in tiny colorful grains of sand.
5. Polly Pockets
Curse you Mattel and your toy makers’ ability to produce figurines so tiny I need bifocals to keep track of them. And when my child loses her marbles because Polly lost her minuscule orange purse, I’ll have to go all Christopher Columbus and spend half my Sunday searching under beds and appliances for it. Sunday Funday my ass.
Not to be confused with Jorts (jeans shorts, which in my humble opinion should also be outlawed), this lawn game contains arrow-like missiles with metal tips. It’s basically death in a box. Unless you are bored, no one wants to spend their Saturday trying to explain to a doctor why your 10-year-old has a hole pierced in his scrotum.
7. Paddle Ball
Ah, the joy of trying to bounce a tethered plastic ball off a thin wooden paddle. I would like to meet the child that got more than 10 seconds of enjoyment out of this toy. Ever.
Everyone loves LEGOs. My children have gotten hours of enjoyment constructing spaceships and tow trucks. As a parent, I appreciated the break. But step on one of these squares of death and you will no longer count them on your list of must-have toys.
9. Talking Dolls of Any Kind
As if inanimate objects conversing isn’t creepy enough, I refuse to have one more small person in my house crying and asking to be fed. QUIT PRESSING HER BUTTONS KIDS, I’M BARELY HANGING ON BY A STRING HERE.