I don’t know about you, but I seem to remember toys being fairly innocent when I was a kid. Maybe not as innocuous as Laura Ingalls’ corncob doll, Susan, but at least my perpetually high-heeled Barbie didn’t look as if she might be employed by someone named Huggy Bear.
As I’ve been shopping for my kids this year, I have come across some truly surprising things-they’re-calling-toys. My secret irreverent inner-self may be getting a bit (or a lot) of a kick here and there, but some of these are really pretty shocking. Here are ten that inspired dramatic dropped jaws and wide-eyed double takes.
Hannibal Lecter Action Figure
Nothing says, “Hey kids, let’s play!” like a cannibalistic serial-killer doll. Especially one that comes strapped in a secure transport gurney and includes a removable mask! One can only wonder what kind of action is supposed to be performed with the pyschopath action figure. Endless rounds of “have an old friend for dinner”?
Manufacturer recommended age: 17 months and up. Gulp.
Giant Microbes: Gangrene, Polio, Rabies!
If gangrene, polio and rabies aren’t your cup of tea, this line of plush microbes also offers other favorites like mange, mad cow disease, e. coli and black death. Woohoo! The science geek in me is secretly charmed by these soft, cute little cuddly buddies; but even I have to admit that the sexually transmitted disease dolls (ghonorrhea, herpes, chlamidia, oh my) are a tad inappropriate for the tot set.
Barbie Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf
Barbie gets a makeover as Little Red Riding Ho Hood–complete with fishnet knee-highs, dominatrix stilettos, a micro-mini, a lace-up corset, and no shortage of eye-liner. Is it any wonder the accompanying wolf is licking his lascivious lips! My, grandmother…
Whoa. For kids who “care more about pretty ponchos than prickly politics,” this game offers the same guilty pleasure that comes from excessive shopping in reality! Gag me with a Cinnabon. This diminutive mall takes unsuspecting dupes, I mean young players, on an exciting shopping spree where they are seduced by giant sales and special bargains, before being treated to a frenzied shopping spree. Bankruptcy and foreclosure notices not included.
Some Rocking Horses and Horse-on-a-Stick Toys
First of all, “horse-on-a-stick” sounds very wrong–not the kind of toy this vegetarian wants her kids playing with. That said, the larger concern is that two recent toy recalls listed at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission were for toy horses with reins in which the reins pose a strangulation hazard. Both Rocking Horse Depot and Big Ideas Marketing were undergoing voluntary recalls on these products to repair the problem. If you are considering purchasing a toy horse with reins, make sure that the reins on the bridle are not long enough to form a loop around a child’s head and neck.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Cadillac Escalade
Awww, for the little princess who has everything, her own Cadillac SUV; what better way to teach about reckless excess? Don’t miss the luxury features like Real FM radio, see-through windows, chrome wheels and grill, doors that open and close, battery charge indicator, and more. Just imagine, 130 pounds of future landfill fodder for a mere $353.00.
Shapeshifters Weapon: Punisher
Quite frankly, I’m so crunchy I don’t even let my kids have a potato gun, let alone a “power pistol” called the Punisher! But hey, that’s just me. If you’re in the market for a weapon for your kid, and said kid wants a Punisher, consider yourself warned: This guy does transform into a gun, but he has some pret-ty interesting configurations along the way. Ahem.
Boogaz Pick ‘n’ Flick Launcher
Advertised as the ultimate bogey flicking play kit, you children can take aim and fire with the “flexible snot finger” included in each pack. On the bright side, it’s more sanitary than using a real finger.
Pee and Poo Plush Dolls
Awww, who wants to snuggle up with some urine and excrement? Bunnies? Puppies? Bears? Pshaw, give the gift of squishy human waste to the special child in your life.
Young Scientists Animal Dissection Kit
From the ewwwww department, I mean, educational toys department. This one isn’t quite as bad as the fetal pig dissection kit that Amazon also offers, but that anemic preserved piglet is so revolting and depressing I can’t even look at it. And this one, part of the “Young Scientists” collection, is targeted specifically for children. Children that like torturing dead animals, that is. Am I being too sensitive here? Is it just me, or is this really disturbing?