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TOYS FROM HELL

Hey, Mom and Dad! You'd better be good, you'd better not cry, you'd better not pout, I'm tellin' you why . . . Santa Claus might drop down your chimney with a bagload of these honest-to-God, brand-name Idiot Kiddie Gifts From Hell, available at your friendly, local toy-store chain.

Sugar Ray Leonard's Father and Son Boxing Glove Set ($17.99). "What's that, Junior? You say you absolutely refuse to eat your broccoli? Let's step outside . . . " Yes, short-tempered parents can now settle arguments quickly and decisively while instilling in their children a love of sports, the spirit of competition and a healthy respect for a right hook. According to the box, the kid gloves are recommended for "ages three and up." Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Flushomatic High-Tech Toilet Torture Trap ($6.99). At last, the budding Ninja Turtle in your house can flush "retromutagen ooze" onto his favorite reptilian crimestoppers. And, really, isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Barnyard Commandoes Pork-a-Pult ($8.99). I'm beginning to sense a trend here. This spring-loaded toilet seat is designed to launch cute piglet warriors into bloody battle with cute killer sheep (each sold separately at $2.99). Not many toys simultaneously appeal to a child's natural love of death, destruction and potty humor.

The Real Ghostbusters Fearsome Slush ($5.99). The trend continues. At least this "ghost toilet" doesn't flush retromutagen ooze or promote the wholesale slaughter of cute farm animals. This contraption only bugs its toilet-tank eyes and sticks out its toilet-bowl tongue--which, at the moment, seems almost quaint.

Spy Tech Real Working Long-Range Microphone ($17.99) and the Spy Tech Real Working Hidden Camera ($19.99). It's all here! Everything the fledgling Peeping Tomboy needs to operate his own, highly lucrative blackmail business right at home! Imagine the fun he'll have bugging Mom's office at income-tax time ("They'll never know we've knocked a few zeroes off this figure"), or secretly snapping Dad's photo while he's "resting" with "Aunt Bambi."

Baby Alive ($24.99). The inevitable follow-up to the classic Betsy Wetsy doll. After feeding, this lifelike creation "actually dirties her diaper!" For the child who believes toybox realism can't be taken too far, "Baby Alive" could be fed retromutagen ooze and renamed "Baby Alive But Extremely Ill."

Baby Uh-Oh! ($19.99) Another technologically advanced descendant of Betsy Wetsy. Give her a bottle and she tinkles, too. But then, uh-oh! Diaper rash magically appears! What next . . . "Baby Oh-No!," which magically develops ringworm and a raging eye infection.

Newborn Baby Shivers ($34.99). This battery-powered doll shivers when you take off its clothes. I can hardly wait for "Newborn Baby Convulsions," which not only shivers, but comes down with pneumonia, runs up a huge hospital bill and dies before its adopted, preschool "Mommy" is hauled off to jail for criminal doll neglect.

Baby Bubbles ($26.99). Spits up just like a real baby. A fun mealtime companion for kids who don't have a hair-trigger gag reflex.

Butthead ($5.97). According to the description on the package, the "Masters of the Universe" character who inspired this poseable action figure is named for his goatlike ability to butt enemies with his head. Yeah. Right.

The Couch Potato Game ($3.98). The ideal board game for families too busy watching the tube to waste time actually doing things together. Object: rack up points by searching television commercials for everyday items, and the most observant "player" wins. Talk about a hollow victory.

Food Fighters ($1.98 each). Plastic, psychopathic, weapon-toting action figures shaped like chicken legs, fries, pancakes, hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, tacos, cookies, ice cream, donuts and a "BBQ Bomber." Created especially for youngsters who have nightmares about everything but food.

Jaminator Electric Guitar ($99.99). A computerized, no-strings, imitation guitar which can make any child look and sound like a professional rock star . . . to Milli Vanilli fans, perhaps. Otherwise, it's the gift of choice for kids who are too lazy, untalented or stupid to learn how to play a real instrument.

Beetlejuice Gross-Out Meter ($9.99). Youngsters are instructed to point this handy gadget at teachers, neighbors and relatives to determine their precise level of nausea-inducing repulsiveness. An excellent gift for children in danger of becoming too popular.

Shish-Kebab Beetlejuice ($3.98). A replica of the popular Saturday-morning cartoon geek, designed to be stabbed and decapitated by little plastic shish-kebab swords, which are thoughtfully included. Fun for the whole family--especially the Manson family. Not many toys simultaneously appeal to a child's natural love of death, destruction and potty humor.

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Michael Burkett