8.16.2006

The Isle of Needy, Scary, F*cked up, Misfit Toys

I never entirely understood the Isle of Misfit Toys in that animated Rudolph movie. I mean the basic concept was clear: A train with square wheels, a fish who flew, a gay Charlie-in-the-Box doing a mean Charles Nelson Reilly impression. These were not "normal" toys. Thus, misfits. Got it.

(Of course there is the exception of the seemingly conventional doll who has inspired four decades of debate as to the possible reason for her misfit designation. My vote: Syphilis.)

In any case, I always hated their pariah status. To me, even at a young age, they seemed less like misfits than rejected playthings of spoiled kids with no imagination. Can you not play with an elephant with polka dots? Is a cowboy riding an ostrich less fun than a cowboy on a boring old horse? And what kind of parents would let their kids toss their toys for superficial flaws anyway. Didn't they teach their kids that what matters is not shallow surface traits like the shape of one's wheels but kindness, thoughtfulness, inner beauty?

Okay, perhaps that's overstating my ten year-old mindset. But I did feel bad for those toys. No toy should be without a child, as the miracle birth of Jesus Christ, and Master Card holiday commercials have taught us.

But now at last, I understand.

I get it.

There should be an Isle of Misfit Toys. Because there are some toys that don't deserve your love.

I first noticed it a few weeks ago when I was visiting my brother. He pointed out a little electronic keyboard toy of his daughter's that--get this-- reminds you to play it. If you have stopped for a while, it admonishes, TIME TO PLAY THE PIANO!

Just like a mother calling time to wash up for dinner, or time to do your math homework, your child hears TIME TO PLAY THE PIANO. The voice is childlike and friendly, of course, but almost frighteningly upbeat. Not quite like a Stepford Wife; more like a preadolescent Tatum O'Neil after getting into her parent's cocaine stash. She's excited. She's eager. She doesn't realize how hard she's squeezing your arm as she pulls you into the second floor music room repeating, TIME TO PLAY THE PIANO.

Annoying, but all in all, relatively harmless.

Then I realized a toy cell phone Thalia had received as a gift does essentially the same thing. She stops playing with it for a moment and it rings.

It calls you.

A toy that literally calls you, and tells you to play with it. A mechanical way of imploring, Pick me up! Playyyyy with meeeeeee. I don't want to be alooooooone.

For a minute you might almost forget that it's just a plastic shell inhabited by a couple of AA batteries and not the ghost of Carol Anne.

The call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!

I started to think, what is with all these needy toys? Toys that ask--nay, demand--that you play with them? My brother's keyboard toy doesn't ask you in that polite sort of British way, "would you mind, I mean, if you're not really doing anything else...you know, just sort of (aw shucks) take a moment and play with me? " It implores you to play. Insists that you play. Or...or....or else. It's not normal.

And then came the drum.

Not any old drum, but one with electronic lights and bells and music and a switch with four different settings. With every flat-palmed smack of its taut plastic skin, it recites a letter of the alphabet, a number, a note of music. For all I know it can also predict the future and feng shui your apartment, this thing is that impressive.

At first Thalia amused herself with it, happy enough to strike the drum and hear the synsthesized snare sound it played in response. But she's just a year old. After a brief spell the drum became less interesting than, say, the cat. Or a book. Or the petrified Cheerio that's been hiding amongst the dust bunnies under the couch for six weeks.

She tossed the drum aside.

That's when we heard the haunting chorus for the first time.

PLAY THE DRUM, EVERYONE PLAY THE DRUM.

And then again. PLAY THE DRUM EVERYONE, PLAY THE DRUM.

Finally, just one more eerie melodic warning before knocking glasses off our shelves and mysteriously slamming our windows shut: PLAY THE DRUM EVERYONE, PLAY THE DRUM.

There are children in there, I tell you. Zombie children. Drum-playing freaky needy zombie children that want the world's toddlers to bend to their will. They will repeat this mantra over. And over. And over. Until you have no choice but to succumb to the percussive temptation. They do not want you to learn the alphabet or how to count to ten. They don't want you to eat or sleep, to kiss your mama or pet your dog. They just want you to hit that drum at any expense.

Children of the Drum.

And then after the third warning, like they never existed, the voices are gone.

And the house is quiet.

Too quiet if you ask me.


97 Comments:

Blogger Queso said...

Oh yes. My bastard brother gave my son 'the drum'... the eerie, demonic, they're heeerrree drum. And then strangely, one day, it disappeeeeeared. Hmmm.

8/16/06, 9:10 PM  
Blogger ECR said...

I love the drum too much, as evidenced by the fact that, while I read your printed refrain, I was doing the same shoulder-shaking, hip-swiveling dance my daughter does every time her drum reminds her to bang it. There is just something so darn catchy about it! It's never too quiet in my head.

8/16/06, 9:25 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Ahhhhh, that bastard frog...

8/16/06, 9:32 PM  
Blogger Veronica Mitchell said...

Our only toy like that says politely after a minute ot two of non-play, "So long! Thanks for playing!"

It must be the Soutehrn version.

8/16/06, 9:38 PM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

Yup. I know the drum.

8/16/06, 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Christina, aka Kitty said...

Yes, we have that drum! The scariest toy we have though is a sort of "Jack in the Box Elmo". When you turn the handle, you hear a creepy "Elmo at the bottom of the well" giggle. Other times, you hear the demonic cackling of Cookie Monster (what, did Cookie eat Elmo?). Then, Elmo pops up and says "Surprise, you found Elmo!" But, the 'pee your pants" moment comes when you walk into your darkened family room one night and just tap the basket holding the toy, only to hear Elmo or Cookie's scary, muffled laughs coming from inside the basket.

Oh, and don't get me started on the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" stuffed frog my mother (the Catholic) gave my son. Just try rolling over on THAT in the middle of the night. God, I thought I'd died and was in purgatory. Come to think of it, we have a LOT of toys that need to go to the Isle.

8/16/06, 9:43 PM  
Blogger Karen Rani said...

Leapfrog and V-Tech are in bed with Duracell and Energizer.

Do you or any of your readers have Tad the frog? We do. And when his batteries petered out, he could have woken the dead with his whining. Creepy.

8/16/06, 10:00 PM  
Blogger metro mama said...

Creepy, fucked up toys.

Give me some lego!

8/16/06, 10:26 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Scary ass toys. We have two, one is a play with me Elmo (insert joke here) who says, Elmo wants to play at 2am. He hasn't actually been played with in two years. In fact he sits in the guest room closet. But you can still here him some times. Elmo want to play....play airplane with Elmo.

The other is a Dora doll who's hands glow at odd times and she spouts random words....bird...yellow. But all in spanish. Why can't toys just be toys? Why do they have to talk and crap?

8/16/06, 10:35 PM  
Blogger CeCe said...

My daughter has a tickle me Elmo that says "Tickle Elmo again" And then a few seconds later, if you don't follow his orders, he says "ok, tickle Elmo later!" Which isn't SOOO bad, but it's bad enough. She also has been given not one, but TWO creepy lambs that say the "now I lay me down to sleep" thing. That's not a favourite in our house!

8/16/06, 10:38 PM  
Blogger Finelly said...

Oh.My.Dog. You have a vivid imagination yourself!
Come over to my place, sit and have a drink. But for pete's sake, stop worrying about the petrified cheerio under the couch!
Children of the Drum...LOL!

8/16/06, 10:49 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Interesting take on Dolly. I hadn't considered the venereal disease angle. I suspect there are probably some deleted scenes on the Criterion collection DVD that shed light on this, or maybe just reveal some sort of tell-tale rash on Dolly. However, I think it's also possible that Dolly is like most of the misfits I know and is simply mentally ill. I'm thinking bi-polar.

8/16/06, 10:54 PM  
Blogger MamaChristy said...

I. have. all. those. toys! God help me! Why, oh WHY to the toys have to be so belligerent?

8/16/06, 10:56 PM  
Blogger Awesome Mom said...

This post made me laugh. My kids have toys like that too. Most just do the attention getting thing once and then stop but we have a piano type toy that will go on until the batteries die reminding you to play with it. I hate that toy, sadly I am the one that bought it.

8/16/06, 10:56 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

We have toys like that. We have dubbed them "demon toys". Just when you think that all the toys are done reminding you to play with them, you think they've given up, those damn things wake us up at 3am.

None of them have batteries anymore.

Heh heh heh.

(oh yeah, "Children of the Drum". Genius.)

8/16/06, 10:57 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

We have the cell phone, and I'm used to it now, but it freaks the hell out of anyone who comes over to visit. The best thing is when you have the babysitter calling you to say, "The toy cell phone is ringing, but she's not touching it."

I've seen the drum, and there's no way that thing is coming near my house.

8/16/06, 11:05 PM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

Thank you. That part of the Rudolph special has always made me cry - WHY doesn't anyone WANT those poor little toys? - but now I can watch it and laugh.

Because now I've found a good home for that stupid doll that suddenly, out of NOWHERE, starts talking. Thank god nobody's bought us that drum. Yet.

8/16/06, 11:24 PM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

tad the weirdo talking frog, a 'book', and that seriously disturbing prayer bear that christina/kitty was talking about were outta here before bumblebee could even hold her head up.
we still have the backyard playhouse that mysteriously knocks on its own door, but it stays outside, so...

8/16/06, 11:26 PM  
Blogger Mayberry said...

We have the possessed drum. Its preferred use, however, is as a stool for our little monkey. He can alllllmost use it to climb into his crib.

8/16/06, 11:40 PM  
Anonymous chris said...

LOL, we have the phone too and it drives me nuts. Why does the toy call her? She finally stopped playing with it and forcing me to talk into it, and now it calls back and the game starts again.

8/16/06, 11:56 PM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

The only toy I've actively banished from our house was a very scary, weird shaped head-having, vanilla scented baby doll sent to Ada by family friends. At least it never called out to us.

8/17/06, 12:10 AM  
Anonymous Chase said...

Holy crap, woman. Ok, it's midnight. I'm sitting in the room alone. It's dark. And quiet.

And then I read this! Honey, I'm a freaky deaky about scary stuff anyway, but this post made me want to turn on the tv just to drown out the noise from the haunted drum talking to me.

I'll never get to sleep now.

...dammit...

8/17/06, 1:07 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I have that drum, that piano AND a toy cell phone that rings.

And consequently, I am LMAO at this post.

May I add an honorary mention for the Leapfrog Learning Puppy? We believe it is posessed by the devil. That's some freaky s*ht.

8/17/06, 1:27 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

We have that creepy "now I lay me down to sleep" lamb, too! I don't know why it hasn't gone to Goodwill yet.

My boys once had this giant plastic truck that made a screeching-tires sound and honked it's horn when it was bumped into something. I would walk through the playroom at night and accidentally bump it with my foot, and every time the screeching-tires and honking would scare the crap out of me!

8/17/06, 1:34 AM  
Anonymous Y said...

Ok, this is FREAKY because today, my daughter dug that drum out of her toy box, hit it and FREAKED THE HELL OUT when it started singing that "play the drum everyone play the drum" song. She jumped up, started to cry and screamed "MOMMMEEEEEEEE"

I had to throw it away in order for her to stop crying. And when it hit the bottom of the trash can, she clapped and say "Dum, bye bye!"

Crazy.

8/17/06, 1:46 AM  
Blogger bernalgirl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/17/06, 2:25 AM  
Blogger ALI said...

i hate that drum, bought by my brother and sister in law (who have kids so there is no excuse) i actually wrote a similar post on my other blog about it!

and yes haunting is a good description!

8/17/06, 6:56 AM  
Blogger ALI said...

http://rnmom.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!38C225B23145C601!117.entry

here is the link!

8/17/06, 7:00 AM  
Blogger JennC said...

What is this trend for creepy toys? I keep thinking that it's a plot by people without children!

8/17/06, 8:08 AM  
Anonymous krista said...

haha, we have that drum too. It is less bossy than the cash register toy that Aidan has which is perpetually prompting me "play with me, it's fun!"

Scary.

8/17/06, 8:13 AM  
Blogger lynsalyns said...

Ah, the learning drum. Yes. It is currently demanding attention form deep inside a moving box.

Emmie hates it. I don't know why I don't just throw it out.

8/17/06, 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

We've got FOUR of the dreaded "Tickle Elmo again!"s.

And we also have a defective Dora backpack that would sing at random intervals during the night (alwyas scaring the crap out of me) until Gabe removed the batteries.

8/17/06, 8:19 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I'm so glad that I didn't read this last night before bed because, um, the nightmares.

8/17/06, 8:47 AM  
Blogger kfk said...

That was brilliant! You are brilliant and I love reading you. I mean I love reading your blog.

8/17/06, 8:48 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

Thanks for the warning on the drum. We'll stay away from that one.

As for that Doll... Yeah, what IS her deal? I hadn't thought of the VD angle or mental illness. Could it be that she's *gasp* a lesbian?

8/17/06, 9:15 AM  
Blogger Mama of 2 said...

All I can say is I can't stop laughing after reading this. What a howl!!
Here's my rule when it comes to kid toys....if I have never bought your child a toy with annoy sounds/noise I except the same in return.
So far it's worked.

8/17/06, 9:15 AM  
Blogger Kath said...

Just wait until she's old enough for a Tamagotchi or Nano or whatever those things are called. My stepson had one when he was 6 and I had to take it with me to work so it WOULDN'T DIE while he was at school. He literally couldn't sleep when he first got this "gift" when unknown to us, it would chirp in the middle of the night and wake him up to play, or feed it or wipe it's butt - whatever it did. Unbelievable!

8/17/06, 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

OMG! This reminds me of the clown that came to life in Poltergiest! I totally indulged my son when he asked me to put all the stuffed animals with eyes in the closet because they stare at him at night. I don't blame him one bit, that sh*t is creepy. Thanks so much for the porcelin doll Grandma that you made with you very own weak hands but, that b*tch is going in the closet with a blanket over her creepy little head! Good stuff!

8/17/06, 9:29 AM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

When I'm the only one awake late at night & I'm going to the kitchen for a glass of water, I'll sometimes hear an electronic cow going "mooooo!" The toy has some sort of weird motion detector. Unfortunately, the toy got wet and has been drop-kicked a million times so it sounds more like a dying cow begging for euthanasia. Freaks the shit out of me. Talk about needy!

8/17/06, 9:41 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

You mentioning Carol Anne from Poltergeist and the eerie toys made me think of the part in the movie when the paranormal experts open the door to the children's room and find the toys all circling in the air and the compass point plays on the record before flying at the woman's face; the Incredible Hulk is riding a horse that's trying to buck him off, and the books are flying around like birds, flapping the covers like wings and then beaks beating at the woman's face. Oh my God, I have to go home and lay down.

We have one of those drums. I'm going to take the batteries out. Hopefully it doesn't continue singing.

In all honesty, that movie is the reason I hate clowns (and Stephen King's 'IT') and there are no clowns in our house.

8/17/06, 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Binkytown said...

We've got the drum! Play the drum! It's fun! We take the batteries out of almost all the toys. It's too much. Do they really need that much more stimulation? OK, maybe they do but I don't and I'm the mom so I win.

8/17/06, 10:21 AM  
Blogger Marla said...

The best part about Rudolph? The end. Pay attention next time you are compelled to view it for the sick joke that somehow slipped past me the first 427 times I saw it.

At the very end, as the credits roll, the elf is dropping the misfit toys off the sleigh with little umbrellas, then he gets to the bird who can't fly, looks at it, looks at the umbrella, and drops the bird, who, remember, CAN NOT FLY over the edge with no umbrella, possibly to plummet to a horrific demise.

My guess for the dolly? Razors for teeth.

The other thing? Since I've read the Velveteen Rabbit, I cannot help thinking that all of those little stuffed dust mite gathering animals I was suckered into buying have little souls all silently pleading through their wee plastic eyes "Make me real! Make me REAL!"

8/17/06, 10:27 AM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

HA! Oh my God, you've nailed it. Jack has a plethora of creepy, seemingingly possessed toys that speak, unbidden, from the darkness.

Thing I hate most about all those toys--they cost a fortune, you think they're critical to developmental progress, and they could not give a rat's ass about them in 2 days. Why would you when there's a toilet roll or shiny new quarter to play with?

8/17/06, 10:39 AM  
Anonymous chip said...

all those electronic toys for little kids should be subjected to massive surges of electricity. They're awful. I have to admit giving one to my nephew though, in revenge for a similar gift "bestowed" on our kids by my sister. So maybe they serve a purpose of revenge.

The other thing of course is that they get played with for a few days and then end up in a pile, while the kids play with cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and other normal everday stuff.

8/17/06, 11:09 AM  
Anonymous jen said...

The modern toys freak me out. I mean...wasn't there some horror movie where the toys came to life? A phone that calls YOU? WTF? I hate the real phone that calls me!
All this noise...it's too much.
That's why I am one of those mom's that is like "Go outside and play". "But mom...it's hailing..." "Yeah? And? When I was a kid we played in sleet, hail, hurricanes...friggin tornadoes and often frequented cement overpasses during earthquakes...mmmmm k? Go find a stick and pretend something..."
Ok...that was a little overdramatic...but you get the point..

8/17/06, 11:55 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

Have not seen the drum, and now I will definitely avoid it. We have Tickle Me Elmo, who makes me nuts, as well as jumping Tigger, who commands "Let's Jump Some More" over and over and over.

When people give or kids these kind of toys as gifts, I ask myself "What did I do to piss them off?"

8/17/06, 12:35 PM  
Anonymous FishyGirl said...

We have a Chicken Little phone from Disney store that I swear is possessed by the devil. You THINK you have it turned off, put away, and it will start ringing at 3 am for no apparent reason at all. I hate that damn thing.

These types of toys are why I have my 3 kids convinced that electronic toys break really really soon - I just take the batteries out and "forget" to "buy" the correct size to put in. This works okay for now, but too soon Little Man will have the hand strength to use his screwdriver to open up the damn things.

And for the people who give you these things? Be sure to give their kids REAL drum sets or electric guitars. With amps.

8/17/06, 1:33 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

Scary! So far we don't have anything that commands you to play with it...we'll have to watch out for that when he gets a wee bit older. Thanks for the warning!

Mabye you should call a religious authority or something...

8/17/06, 2:12 PM  
Anonymous Tammy said...

Your post (at least initially) reminded me of my grandmother's doll collection. She lived alone in a big old house and loved dolls. But not just any doll. Certainly, not collectible dolls. She "rescued" dolls. She had dolls with much too closely cropped hair, and dolls with crayon on their face, and dolls with one eye missing and dolls with a broken arm. All of the dolls that no one else wanted anymore. She'd bring them home and fix them up the best she could, clean them and put a new outfit on them and they'd have a home.

When my oldest daughters were little, and we'd visit my grandmother, they loved playing with the dolls and would go from room to room looking for familiar faces...and new ones. My grandmother was pleased that the dolls were being held and loved. And she never worried about the kids breaking them.

Thanks for reminding me about that.

8/17/06, 2:15 PM  
Blogger DaniGirl said...

For Christmas last year, my father gave my boys a beat-box/drum synthesizer, and not only does it have only one volume setting (ear-splittingly annoying) but it has no off switch. NO OFF SWITCH. You have to wait until it's done its little riff, and then pray to god nothing brushes up against any of the keys to get it started again. It is, of course, on of their favourite toys. So I sent it to live at the grandparents' house. Revenge is mine.

8/17/06, 2:15 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

I blame Seed of Chucky.

8/17/06, 3:01 PM  
Blogger sweetney said...

i think i just wet myself.

oh, the funny. the pee-drenched funny...

8/17/06, 3:10 PM  
Blogger wanderglow said...

Tears running down my face. Spoiling the fact that I actually happen to be wearing makeup today. Damn you.

Yes, I know the drum. It went to Grandma's house, our own little Isle of Misfit Toys.

8/17/06, 3:49 PM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

Ummm... I 100% agree with you about the horrible, noisy, obnoxious toys. I remember the glee in my mother's eyes as my son opened up the ride-on choo choo train from hell that she gave him. We ended up duct-taping the speaker part to at least muffle the sound. And when the batteries went? "I'm so sorry honey, it's broken." And my in-laws, oh the in-laws! I cannot even do justice to the rotating plane with weirdo clown on top that shrieked, "3-2-1 Contact!" all the while spinning around and moving up and down.

But... I'm a little embarassed to say it. Here I go: I related to the Misfit Toys. I felt like a misfit during my childhood and I felt so sorry for them. I hoped I would find my place like they did. (Is this the saddest thing ever or what? But it is true.) So, while I hate the noisy, attention-greedy toys like the rest of you, I'm just going to have to send any more that come my way to the Island of Evil, Misconceived Toys.

8/17/06, 4:35 PM  
Blogger Chantal said...

We've had an Elmo stroller hanging thing since 1996. It will not die. Sometimes at night I can hear it singing to me.

One of my daughters had a Pixel Chick. When you turn it on after not playing with it for a while she says "I thought we were friends?". Great! Guilt from toys!

8/17/06, 5:32 PM  
Blogger Plunky said...

I would throw it out the window. Really, I get enough needy from my future MIL.

8/17/06, 8:14 PM  
Blogger Plunky said...

Wait no, first I would stomp on it and then throw it out the window.

The toy, of course, not the MIL.

8/17/06, 8:15 PM  
Blogger zygote daddy said...

Hence my very simple rule, which I'm sure will be tested ad nauseum: No batteries. No. Batteries.

8/17/06, 10:33 PM  
Blogger Queen Haline said...

Laughing hard in TZ.

8/18/06, 5:12 AM  
Blogger K. said...

Another great post! And my son has that same phone, but unlike most of your readers I love the toys that seem to have a mind of their own. Guess I am crazy, huh.

8/18/06, 6:35 AM  
Blogger Dana said...

The entire time I was reading this, the words "RED DRUM" (ask in Redrum) were in my head. I'm so nuts. *L*

8/18/06, 11:56 AM  
Blogger Rock the Cradle said...

Brilliant post.

I consign any toy that is electronically "motivated" to the highest, most hidden spot in the closet before they "accidentally" fall into the trash. I never buy them, but my relatives refuse to get a clue.

8/18/06, 2:05 PM  
Blogger Food Mum said...

One tip for your future sanity. Remove the batteries from all electronic toys before giving them to Thalia. She'll be just as happy pressing things and won't catch on for several years, so you'll have several more years of peace.

8/18/06, 2:22 PM  
Blogger Jerry Grasso said...

When we moved to Kansas from California, the fam stayed with Grandma/Grandpa, and I went ahead for about a month before they moved. But our (#)! was delivered in advance of their arrival.

So of course, I unpacked the important stuff: stuff to cook with, the DVD player and my clothes. Everything else stayed in the moving boxes because I would have just put it in the wrong places and thus would have had to move it twice.

One night I was watching TV and our 3-year-old son's Tickle Me Elmo started making noise in some box....and I could hear "Tickle Me"...."Bye Bye For Now" and Elmo's laugh. But I could not find it...it was muffled enough and hidden enough I just couldn't locate it in or under or behind anything...however, as I watched TV it was cute and made me think of the fam.

Until it started going off at 2:30-ish in the morning. Then it sounded alot like Chucky. And it was going to kill me in my sleep.

When it was finally unpacked. It was loved, then the kids went to sleep, and I trashed it. You know, cuz it was possessed by Satan and his best friends.

And that's that....

8/18/06, 2:26 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I hated all those toys with a passion. Not only did I not buy them, I would sneak the batteries out of them. Because if a certain book woke me with "ELMO LOVES YOU" one more time, I was going to have to take some unpleasant therapy inducing action.

8/18/06, 2:49 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

I thought it was because her legs were sewn on upside down. No?

And I've already put a moratorium on any kind of toys that make noise. In fact I've decided on a "no toys at all" policy for our household. If pots and pans and cardboard boxes were good enough for me, they'll be good enough for my kids :o)

8/18/06, 4:09 PM  
Blogger Plain Jane Mom said...

We have, of all things, a talking shape puzzle. (Of course, from grandma) I'll be walking through the house at night only to hear "OCTAGON!!" coming from the other room. Creepy!

8/18/06, 4:35 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

We have that drum too. The cha-cha tune drives me up a wall, but the march is ok. The tune would be coming to an end while Q was sitting near it, playing with something else, and just before it turned itself off, he'd reach out and tap it once. Just once. Then he'd return to playing with whatever else we had.

We figured out that he just wanted music, and the drum was a way he could control music. Thank god some friends gave us the Mozart Magic cube - the music is passable, and most importantly, it never says, "play the drum everyone, play the drum!"

8/18/06, 7:01 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

Word Girl has the right idea: "Hi. My name's Chucky. Wanna play?"

These are the kinds of toys I LOVE to give to my friends and family. Gifts that keep on giving.

You are hilarious.

8/18/06, 7:16 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

THE DRUM! WE HAVE THE DRUM! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

8/18/06, 7:55 PM  
Blogger Krisco said...

I"m glad to know that about the drum. That thing is cute, I've almost gotten it several times.

Maybe there was a *reason * I didn't get the drum....

8/19/06, 12:40 AM  
Blogger Velma said...

For God's sake, stay AWAY from the Bobby Q barbeque toy! That stupid thing never shuts up! Just like so many other toys mentioned here, it would go off in the middle of the night and scared the bejeezus out of everyone in the family.

8/19/06, 10:56 AM  
Blogger kateandjona said...

The doll? Well, I always told my sister the brunette that it was because of her ugly brown hair that she was sent to the island.
hehe!
Now the elephant I could never figure out! I liked the polka-dotted elephant!
My son is 13, so we don't have to worry about Elmo and his satanic friends. But I've had some of these very same thoughts when shopping for baby/toddler gifts!

8/19/06, 11:18 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

We avoid "talking" crazy toys. I figure if they are suppose to talk, we will add the words!
hehe cute post!

8/19/06, 11:41 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Great post.

We have the "say my name" Elmo, and THAT sucker has been in the "off" position for most of the several months we've had him. There's only so much "Hi, (kid's name), let's play! Squeeze Elmo's hand!" that I can stand.

I love quiet toys. Like the classic plastic ring stacker. Yeah.

8/19/06, 2:24 PM  
Blogger Vikki said...

I KNOW why the doll is on the Island of Misfit Toys. Really, I do. I just can´t remember it! Ugh. This will haunt me all night. I am in Portugal right now and my copy of Rudolph is at home in my TV cabinet, so, I can´t solve the mystery. Isn´t it just that she cries and no one wants a doll that cries? That was in the good old days before dolls could fill a diaper and do all sorts of real baby things - ha ha.

8/19/06, 3:39 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

I'm in the "they don't say much if they don't have batteries" camp, but I left them in the Leapfrog Alphabet Inchworm or whatever he's called because trying to get it to say curse words amuses me from time to time. For example, it will make the F sound, but then pressing U will make it say, "Hee hee, that tickles."

Thanks for learning with Leapfrog! Bye-bye!

8/19/06, 9:59 PM  
Blogger briar_rose_01 said...

While I don't have kids yet - though Lord knows what they'll come up with by the time we do have some - toys that follow you around? (shudder) But it does creep me out the same way Disney's A Small World ride did. While on it, a friend said "I wonder if the dolls come alive at night" It freaked out all of us! Love the Children of the Drum! ;)

8/19/06, 10:07 PM  
Blogger The Accidental Housekeeper said...

Yes, I have the drum, too. But Vikki's post reminded me of the Sesame Street See and Say we had about a year ago. My husband could turn the arrow just right, and wiggle the handle enough to make Elmo say "Suck Elmo!" over and over.

Suck Elmo, indeed.

8/20/06, 4:33 AM  
Blogger lildb said...

yikes?

we were gifted the v-tech ball that rolls and sings, and summons the child to obey it, pied-piper style, in the tinny, pop-your-eyes-out eerie voice, to "follow me!!!" as it rolls away.

it rolled into the garage one day, and never returned. guess it wasn't as smart as it thought it was.

8/20/06, 5:23 PM  
Blogger kevin said...

Something tells me Hermie the elf would have gladly played with a Charlie in the Box. Or is that a Charlie in the closet?

On another note, I worked at Toys R Us as a teenager and one woman brought back a Teddy Ruxpin because she swore the doll was possessed. We returned it and put it back on the shelf but only after genuflecting and crossing ourselves as we repeated over and over "The power of Christ compels you. The power of Christ compels you."

Good times. Good times.

8/20/06, 7:33 PM  
Blogger Marla said...

Because my Effexor doesn't work THAT well - I HAD to go and look it up.

The doll? Psychological problems. I KNEW it.
(twirls index finger around ear, nods and looks smug)

The very reliable source: http://www.tvparty.com/xmasrudolph.html

8/21/06, 9:23 PM  
Blogger Marla said...

Here...see?
http://www.rankinbass.com/rudolph10.html

I'll stop now.

8/21/06, 9:24 PM  
Blogger Marla said...

Okay - I didn't stop. But I'm SO glad I didn't. This had me giggling until I got the hiccups.

http://www.i-mockery.com/shorts/rudolph16/


ohmygoodness I NEVER comment here and then look what happens I'm soo so sorry I swear I'm not a weirdo.

8/21/06, 9:31 PM  
Anonymous angie said...

You know--I got the thing about the unwanted toys thing that was so wrong. That was about kids rejecting toys, when really, it's parents that reject these awful toys.

I could add to the list: Ferby, Dora, Simon--really anything with batteries. The only hope you have is to remove the fricking batteries, or they will drive you insane. We have an animal popup toy that the children never could follow the electronic voice commands, and it would try to call you back a few times after you ignored it. It was like on all the time. Darn! The batteries corroded and it's just a normal popup toy now. . .

8/24/06, 6:56 AM  
Anonymous melanie b said...

Sometimes removing the batteries does not work! My brothers had a creepy toy tank that had long since lost the door that held the batteries in and thus had no batteries. But it still made shooting sounds when you pushed the button. For years. Probably still does wherever it is... creeped me out.

If my daughter gets any of these toys, they're never getting batteries put in them. And they're the first to be donated to the Christmas toy drive.

8/26/06, 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVED this. WE HAVE THE DRUM. WE HAVE THAT DRUM. And yes, Tad DOES make creepy noises when the batteries run out. And the best part was, when I pulled out some toys for a well needed cull, the f'ng things talked to each other inside the trash bag. In the garage. In the middle of the night. Who needs that headtrip?!

In revenge, I remind my sister about payback and karma. She of the ant-farm, she of the frog-terrarium, has one son and is expecting another. VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE!

8/28/06, 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Stevie The K said...

It's quite simple. These toys are given as gifts to people whom you don't like. There is no other rational explanation.

Keep track of every gift your child receives. If it turns out to be a "demon gift", then you know whom to revenge yourself against.

Just sayin'

9/24/07, 10:46 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

You crack me up!

8/29/08, 1:48 AM  
Blogger TaylorMade Designs said...

ok... this is the FUNNIEST story EVER!!! how FUN!!! it kinda makes me wish it WASN'T 70 degrees here in memphis, tn! hahaha. (KINDA!!!!) hahaha. THANK you soooo very much for listing me as "The Place to see this Week!" What an HONOR! and i LOVE that concept! mind if i steal that idea and put a section like that on my blog!?? MERRY CHRISTMAS!! glad to hear you're feeling better!!

12/30/08, 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dog..."Hug Me", "Peek-a-boo, I see you"...

11/4/09, 1:39 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Flys said...

I actually miss those toys.

The cell phone with it's mysterious text messaging abilities and the I Pod full of I hope I know what, NOW those scare me.

(Well, maybe I don't miss the baby doll that is crushed in the toy box and crying all night.)

11/18/09, 5:49 PM  
Blogger Di said...

Ooh, and to think I almost bought that drum for my kids this year.

We are plagued by a Bob the Builder phone here, that rings and then asks, "CAN WE FIX IT???"

and then it waits for an answer.

12/25/09, 10:48 PM  
Blogger Baby Sweetness said...

Just got this post forwarded to me (as my daughter got this dog that says her name when it talks - but with an eerie, chuckie like pause first - hello... [insert name]... Do you want to play with me... [insert name]?) and I laughed out loud! AWESOME! I always felt bad for the island of misfit toys as well (except that it made for a great nickname for the last table to be filled at any wedding. Hmm, let's see I'm a date to a groomsmen and don't know anyone and I'm sitting with 3 other random dates, a 4th cousin and the minister... yup, table of misfit toys, alright), but now I TOTALLY see your point!

1/6/10, 11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys,
not to burst your incredibly creative and ultimately hilarious guesses as to why the doll is banished to misfit island, because in truth, a bi polar or lesbian doll would be more interesting than the sad truth:

The doll has red hair.

Back in the day, every doll was made with blue eyes and blond hair. You know, Hitler beauty.
the "norm".
but this unfortunate little dolly was made with brilliant orange strands, therefore subjected to an island of other misfortunate toys.

poor girl.

red heads are cute, dammit.

1/14/10, 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ikr, I no dis story is old n all, but I herd bout dis dude who had a life-size dora doll fer his kid. He took the batteries out of it and it sumhow found its way to da bathroom. He askd his kid if she did it n she sed honestly no. He went to chec on his daughter at nite n da doll was standing ova her wile she was sleep. Remember, THERE WAS NO BATTERIES IN THAT DOLL!! Thats sum creepy stuf. Then, he nu he had ta get rid of it. He destroyed it and wile he did it, it released a demonic laugh. That is reeaally creepy. I wud b callin on da name of jesus..(wile beatin the crap out of the doll)

2/21/10, 8:35 PM  
Blogger Rosalinda Vargas said...

And then came Discovery Toys to save the Toy Problem!

10/16/10, 1:47 PM  

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