Toy industry names “Ten Most Dodgy Gifts” for Christmas 2015
While visions of sugarplums dance in children’s heads in the weeks before Christmas, the powerful Toy Industry of America has published its list of playthings that “exploit everything that is wrong with an unregulated market for children.”
The industry’s “Ten Most Dodgy Gifts” continues a tradition since 2005 of issuing warnings for kid presents that “set a new standard for disturbing and indefensible vulgarity.”
“Gone are the days of Cabbage Patch Kids and Teddy Ruxpin,” said industry spokeswoman Margaret Peebles. “This list represents a symptom in this country of exploiting children for a profit.” Peebles says the list “represents only the most flagrant of the kinds of things you don’t want to put under your Christmas tree--although my husband is cool with Halo 6."
1. “Windpipers” Play Candy (China Play Registry). CPR has promoted Windpipers as “the first major blow against childhood obesity.” The play candy “gives children the pleasure of sucking on old-fashioned treats without gaining weight,” says the candy’s marketing insert. “And it lasts a long time!” Each tiny piece is made of “sturdy plastic polymers infused with strawberry, lime, and orange dyes.” China Play insists that the candy “can be used again and again, and is dishwasher safe.”
2. “My First Frozen Embryos” (Faux Fun). Just for a moment, forget stem cell research and Alzheimer cures and check out this variation on the popular “Sea Monkeys.” “My First Frozen Embryos” calls itself “a beaker full of fun!” that gives kids “a peek into the miracle of life—on your own kitchen table!” Some adult supervision is recommended, making it “a gift for the whole family.”
3. “Tickle Me Jared.” (Toyco). It’s the first licensed product since Jared Fogle went free agent after his 15-year stint as a spokesperson—a doll that not only tickles back but also sets a new bar for inappropriate touch play. Already a favorite with a certain kind of 40ish unmarried man who lives in his mother’s sewing room, Tickle Me Jared promises to bring a smile to the face of any phlegmatic misfit with a panel van and a dream.
4. “Duggar Math.” (Jonathan Edwards Publishing). Duggar Math is "new math for an Old Testament lifestyle." Thumbing its nose at Common Core, this fun, 192-page coloring-and-activity book approach to grade school arithmetic disavows subtraction and division in favor of an “increase only” view of numbers. It comes complete with printable online worksheets and a parents’ guide lifted from the playbook of Deuteronomy, including appropriate Biblical penalties for wrong answers and “thinking outside the box.” For ages 5 and up.
5. “Halo 6: The War on Christmas.” (Route 666 Industries, for Xbox One). First-person shooter game set in 2025. Human fireteams Red Cup and Huckabee 3 set out to locate and destroy a sinister, multiculturally sensitive new world order known as Festivus, which holds Nobel Prize recipient for sociology Bristol Palin as its hostage. Led by Dr. Victoria Jackson and Gen. Will O’Reilly, the goal is to ferret out and destroy those who would challenge and victimize the majority who view the season as solely about the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. “Happy Holidays THIS.”
6. “Booty Bump.” (Prego Apparel) “Wear it on the back if you want to get out on the dance floor. Wear it on the front if you want to get out of junior high!”
7. “I Can Look Like Mommy.” (Ms. Donatella Enterprises.) The box copy reads, “Look more like your mom—or someone else’s!” This complete kit, containing a vial of botox, adjustable latex cheek and chin implants, syringes, melanin dye chart, and a colorful instructional brochure make this every kid’s ticket to a beautiful future. "A perfect face makes a perfect life!"
8. “Lamar Odom Lego Playset.” (IP Knockoff) The marketing material announces, “Join Lamar for a thrilling Tournament of Trysts showdown at the Ranch! Show speed and agility to ride the dangerous tsunami waterbed, and race room-to-room parkour-style. But beware of the poison dart flick missiles. Battle against Miss Juniper and Bambi, evading Juniper’s huge crushing…hands, and grab the silk rope. Just don’t fall through the trapdoor into the herbal buffet, because there’s no way out!" Includes 10 minifigures with accessories: four Lamar poses in various stages of lucidity, Miss Juniper, Bambi, Kris and Khloe, and a 2-man camera crew.”
9. “My First Ankle Monitor.” (State System Playtime) Being grounded never had so much style. It almost makes you never want to stop underage drinking or taking a swing at a cop. "Now get in there and do your homework!"
10. “Off the Grid Home Electrical Play Workshop.” (Kilowatt Kids) Touted as “75,000 Volts of Fun!” Light up the entire house with this high-amp play set for your own little Nikola Tesla. It looks like a patio heater, but this full-sized resonant transformer with copper coil will really ramp up the voltage when placed in a barrel of water and plugged into a standard wall socket. Keeps children busy for hours lighting up the holidays—and your home. Ages 7 and older. Complete with 60-foot industrial cables and emergency shut-off.