Posted by: laughs4dads | September 22, 2010

Start Your Holiday Shopping Now!

So…what do your kids want for Christmas?

I know, it’s not even October, and marketers aren’t nearly done with their Halloween advertising yet. (Is it just me, or does it seem like in the last few years that the only products tied into Halloween are bite-sized candy and beer?)

But as reported by WalletPop, ToysRUs has released, with great fanfare, its annual list of the 15 Hottest Toys for Christmas, so you can buy now before your child requests something that you’ll only be able to get on eBay for 100 times the list price or else be confronted with a look on Christmas morning that tells you that you are, by far, the rottenest parent in the world, perhaps in the history of the world.

When the Hottest Toys list first appeared, way back in 1829, it was released by Enos van Dyck’s Young’uns Emporium in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There were only 5 toys on it in those days, because they were simpler times. Here was the list:

  1. Doll
  2. Ball
  3. Sled
  4. Slate (a quaint ancestor of Etch-a-Sketch®)
  5. Hoop and Stick (that game that is still played by children in every colonial village recreation in America)

Incredibly, this list did not change for almost eight decades, when the Hoop and Stick was replaced by the Teddy Roosevelt Action Figure.

But this year’s list is markedly different, mostly in that a normal parent would have no way of knowing what the hell some of the items are. How, for instance, should a parent react when a child requests a NERF N-Strike Stampede ECS? For all we know, ECS stands for “Electronic Cutting Saw!” If you think that’s scary, listen to the actual description:

Complete your N-Strike arsenal and prepare for the ultimate in battery-powered blasting! Launch an all-out assault with the fully automatic STAMPEDE ECS! Unleash a storm of darts from the extended 18-dart clip and reload in a hurry with the three spares! Includes a blast shield to deflect an incoming fire and a pop-out bipod for blaster stability! Ages 6 and up. Blaster comes with blast shield, three 18-dart extended clips, one 6-dart clip, 60 Clip System darts, pop-out bipod and instructions. Requires 6 ‘D’ batteries, not included.

How frightening is that? 6 “D” Batteries!

There are even stranger things on the list. How about the Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 Imaginext Tri-County Landfill from Fisher-Price, possibly the longest toy name ever created. Can you even imagine a child saying, “Daddy, can you get me the Disney Pixar Toy Story 3 Imaginext Tri-County Landfill from Fisher-Price?” If he did, you might go to, say, Amazon.com to look it up, where you would read, to your horror:

“The playset has three levels of play featuring a giant scoop that dumps the figures into the sorter where they are then spit out onto conveyer belts that drop the figures from one level to the next. Lurking at the bottom of the playset is the incinerator.”

I’m sorry, what? I mean, Casey had an Easy-Bake Oven growing up, but an incinerator? Why don’t they just call it the “Final Solution Playset?”

I’d like to recommend something simpler from this year’s list: Cuponk by Hasbro. It’s a game wherein your child tries to toss a ball into a cup. That’s it! That’s the whole thing. Why it’s just like…

…beer pong! OMG! Beer has moved from Halloween to Christmas!

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