Toys are cooland everyone who plays with them are awesome. Here at Nerdbot, we are avid toy collectors of varying fandoms. Some of our writers are also parents who have the benefit of experiencing firsthand what new playsets out there make kids lose their minds. But what about a scenario where everything in the set is seemingly pretty regular…with one part that seems kind of…off? Today, we’re hunting those sets down and exposing them for the weirdness they are!
5) Barbie Set with (Disturbing) Newborn Pups
Last year before Christmas, I stumbled upon this commercial making the rounds online and on TV. I watched it out of the corner of my eye while I (uh…I mean my kid) was watching Nick Jr. I didn’t even notice it really until some quick image caught me off guard. I’m not sure what captured my attention first. Was it the catchy light-hearted tune that hid the hidden, horrible truth?
Or the pregnant golden retriever giving birth to 3 puppies through her stomach?!
I understand the concept; Puppy Surprise was marketed with a similar concept. Kids love babies for whatever reason so it is nothing new from what I remember as a kid. With that one, you take the sides of the Velcroed fur and you violently rip her stomach apart. Surprise! Puppies.
Plus, you have the ability to shove them all back up there when you are done playing with the puppies. This toy is the same kind of idea, minus the horrific tearing of furry skin. This one involves pushing and then what I assume would be closer to reloading. It manages to sanitize the reality of birth into some idealized version where kids just pop out like a Pez dispenser. Which makes it better, I guess? Some of the comments I found on the review video for this toy are great.
At least I know I’m not alone.
4) Barbie BBQ Playset Complete with…Dog
So, while we are on the subject of Barbie and marketing and dogs… Here is a toy I found while shopping at my local Target. Seemingly innocent enough it is a barbeque set for your dolls. It comes with all the things you would need for your outdoor cooking needs. I’m not exactly sure if they thought it wouldn’t sell or what but for one reason or another they added the cutest little wiener dog you’ve ever seen. But with that in mind…
PLEASE GOD TELL ME HE IS NOT FOR FOOD.
I really hope he is not part of the food accessories…but what hope I had was lost after I looked at the picture at the bottom left corner of the packaging. The one where Barbie’s friend is holding the hotdog and looking at you like she knows something you don’t. I guess it’s all in how you play with it but from a twisted parent perspective it’s hard to miss that this is a really weird addition to this playset.
3) PJ Masks Deluxe Figure Set (with the wrong animal friend)
Ah, PJ Masks, a Personal favorite or my daughter. The strange, disjointed, French cartoon about three insomniac children without parents who, in the middle of the night, transform into superheroes to save the world from really mild/safe/stake-free/irrelevant/ultimately not important obstacles.
It’s also generated an exorbitant amount of merchandise and toys. From costumes to plushies to playsets and apparel, the PJ Masks infiltration seems endless. And who can blame it? With its colorful characters each associated with a spirit animal, it allows for imaginative play on multiple planes. You have the suave leader, Connor, who transforms into Cat Boy. The sweet and goofy Craig who becomes Gecko. And the smart, albeit stubborn Amaya who becomes Owlette.
Which is why it makes it confusing as hell that this playset comes with…a parrot?
How did they mess this up?
No, but really…her name is Owelette. How did a parrot make it into this?
It makes me wonder if it’s a reference to an episode that I didn’t see, like if there’s something in the canon that provides information as to how this could possibly make sense. Like a one-off episode where a parrot is a thing instead of an owl. But look again at the animal friends included in the playset. Gecko. Cat. Parrot. One job, guys. You had one job.
2) DC Celebrates Girl Power…by Adding Beast Boy
What an eclectic cast of characters DC has brought us in this very special Girls’ Hero set! From Harley Quinn to Batgirl, Katana, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman, this set seems to come with all the female characters your daughter needs to culminate her introduction to the Super Hero universe. Villains and heroes alike, she’ll know that girls can do anything.
Especially when the set makes sure to include Beast Boy.
There’s a lot to say about his presence in this set.
According to my “kids with opinions source” (IE the kids riding bikes on my cul-de-sac who like to tell me things) Beast Boy is the most popular character on the show Teen Titans Go! He’s the modern-day Michelangelo (of Ninja Turtles fame). Meaning, he’s the funny one that kids gravitate toward. So, bearing that in mind, what are the makers of this toy set trying to say?
In a set full of female superheroes, they need a male character to garner interest? What’s worse is that you can only find Beast Boy in this set. They don’t sell him separately.
In a set full of female superheroes, the “funny one” is the “less masculine” character they need to attract attention from male consumers? Is Beast Boy deemed less of a man for some reason?
Is Beast Boy the gay best friend we all had as teenagers?
Is Beast Boy the heteronormative male leader in this set of toys because the girls can’t do it by themselves?
Do toy makers think that girls don’t buy action figures just why not just throw the most popular Titan in there to appeal to boys?
There are no cut and dry answers to these questions. These questions only generate more questions, weirder, crazier, more loaded questions that will blast your head full of black holes and make you confused.
One Beast Boy. Five ladies. Many cool Play Scenarios with that one, at least if you were a kid like me. I may have been the reason that they had to paint bathing suits on the Barbies in TLC…
Uh huh huh huh…cool.
1) Sofia the First and Friends Comes with a very…Special Friend
We’re going to open this segment by being complete creeps and admitting that this toy set delights us on so many different levels. All right, so what you have a here is an extended Sophia the First playset featuring little princess Sophia and all of her friends. Let’s take a look at who is featured here. We have Sophia, her siblings James and Amber, her friends Ruby and Jade, Princesses Hildegard and Vivian, her animal friends Clover, Minimus, that loud blue dragon…
And the royal sorcerer, Cedric the Sensational. I mean yeah he was totally made for the parents to play with right?
Yeah…let’s just keep it regular with those.
You can find me playing with all sorts of toys on Twitter!
Tweet at me if you find anything you think is weird or out of place and maybe I will make a Part 2!