My mother-in-law has a Playskool talking barbeque toy that has no "off" switch and is given to saying "Hey, fire me up!!!" in the middle of the night. With its deep voice, chattering teeth, rolling eyes, and big meaty condiment-holding hands, it has all the charm of a battery-operated child molester. It's just one of many terrifying toys I've encountered over the years.
They hide under the bed, are smooshed into the backs of closets, and are packed away in boxes marked 'For Garage Sale." Terrifying toys are among us. Donate yours to the Goodwill today so they can live to terrify some more.
Blythe, Blythe, changeable Blythe!
Blythe was originally introduced by Kenner in 1972 and has since been reborn as a Japanese reissue and hipster fashion icon. When we were eight, my best friend Polly and I SWORE we would get Blythes for Christmas. This was number one on our lists and we talked about the doll endlessly for weeks before December had even started. Why, I wondered, did her eyes change color when you pulled her string? Was she an international spy with four eye-coloring disguises (including purple)? Whatever her back-story was, she was destined to be ours.
Until Polly had a horrible nightmare involving Blythe. She couldn't even describe it to me without her eyes filling with tears, it was so awful. From then on--she was not having anything to do with the big-headed, tiny-bodied, multi-eyed thing. Out of loyalty, I asked Santa to cross her off my list as well. Thanks to Polly and to her unspeakable nightmare I'm out hundreds of potential e-bay dollars from gullible would-be collectors. Now I'll never cash in on baby-boomer nostalgia.
Swing Wing by SFEZ Films. A revamped version of a 60s-era head and neck injurer.
Growing Up Skipper - Pull her arm and she grows taller and develops breast buds. Dolls were supposed to be an escape from the horrors of puberty. Though we were fascinated by her instant womanly development, this Skipper was a commercial bust. Har!
Stretch X-Ray - Alongside Stretch Monster, this was Stretch Armstrong's nemesis. All the stretch toys were cool, but physically stretching them always creeped me out. A very Spanish Inquisition/torture-rack feeling would permeate this feeling, along with the anxiety of possible breakage. At what point would these toys finally rip apart and what hellishly chemical internal substances would issue forth? (Apparently, corn syrup.) Fun!
Barbie The Island Princess talking and singing disembodied head doll. Needs no commentary. Hello? (knocking on Mattel executives' heads) Hello?! Anybody in there?
This reminds me that I'm patiently awaiting the return of big hair.
Pie Face. Seems fun unless you're the schmo getting constantly "pied." I can't imagine that being too cheerful, game after game. Children are cruel. Do we have to make it any easier for them to pick on others less fortunate? As a member of the parental clean-up crew, would I really enjoy cleaning off dried whip cream from furniture, floors, clothes, hair and faces? That's a rhetorical question, by the way.
Who invented the "Time-out" doll? How could these things be anything but creepy, standing there silently in the corner, faces permanently turned to the wall? Time-outs don't work in our house--they only seem to humiliate and escalate the hysteria quotient in bad behavior. That leaves us with...nothing. Perhaps we can get one of these dolls and threaten to have our child stand with it in the corner. "And make sure the doll doesn't turn and LOOK at you!"
Crawling Zombie - The alternative to time-outs. Hide it under your child's bed when he's been especially naughty.
THANKS Santa! Giggles!