5 Stupid/Terrifying Hottest Christmas Toys of 2016
It’s that time of year, folks. Empty store shelves, friends and family huddled under one roof, crackling fires, immense feasts, and the smell of roasting meat. That’s right, I’m talking about the dwindling human race’s struggle to survive against the warring races of killer toys I predicted last year as they burn our cities and feast on our corpses. Why? What did you think I was talking about?
Actually, in an ironic twist, we have survived last year’s fated Toypocalypse (more on that later). So now, in complete seriousness, this is the time of year when I gravely assess the direction toward which mankind is headed based on the most shockingly stupid and/or terrifying toys that have still, bewilderingly, earned the prestigious honor of appearing as a must-have Christmas toy in those Christmas toy catalogues that have recently junked up our coffee tables. So it’s kind of a “worst of the best” Christmas toy shopping guide/doomsayer’s warning of the end of all life. I was correct when I told you I’d make this an annual tradition. But, unfortunately, none of my other predictions from last year’s toy guide came true to end the world as we know it. Great, now I just look stupid. Or do I?
Maybe my predictions were so convincing that they shocked toy companies into preventing the destruction of mankind instead of engineering it. Thus, I have reverse-psychologied the Toypocalypse out of existence. No, really! And not only that, but it looks as though I did such a good job saving us all from Toypocalypse that there isn’t much to worry about from this year’s toy selection, either. That is, most of the toys this year are leaning way more toward the “Stupid” side of the Stupid/Terrifying scale than last year’s horror show. Which is why my traditional “Fails That Didn’t Make the List” section of my intro includes: a pooping doll, a disturbing Elmo, and a robot trying to take over the future, all the toys I predicted would be on this year's list, all of which are now nowhere in sight because I CLEARLY PREVENTED THEM by calling out their stupidity last year. You’re welcome, world. Merry Christmas. I hope you’re enjoying the continuation of mankind I got you. Now maybe you’ll forgive the fact that I missed my Black Friday deadline (and even my secondary Christmas deadline [and even my thirdary New Year's deadline]) with this list and, at this point, am just pointlessly warning you about Christmas gifts you probably already bought. Including:
1. THOMAS & FRIENDS MINI BATCAVE DC SUPER FRIENDS PLAYSET IS MADE BY INSANE PEOPLE
There's 16 goddamn minutes of this.
So… yeah. Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Yes, this is the same Thomas the Tank Engine that has never been cool, even when we used to watch it, even when George Carlin was the Conductor. In fact, we’re not sure why we used to watch it because it has never been cool, and we knew this, but we watched it anyway. It was probably because we didn’t have cable, so it was that or Judge Judy, who is no less frightening to children than Pennywise, the clown.
Yet, despite no conceivable demand, production of Thomas toys and videos have never ceased, as if constantly churned out by the world’s most fiercely boring Oompa Loompas. Kind of like how someone keeps using the Flintstones to sell children’s vitamins and cereal even though there hasn’t been a child in 20 years who knows what a Flintstone is. Which brings us to the newest hideous train toy by whatever cut-rate Illuminati keeps making them: Thomas & Friends Minis Batcave DC Super Friends Playset.
If you are confused by the title, that’s probably what they going for because the toy itself is exactly as baffling. That’s right, this is Thomas the Tank Engine dressed as Batman—a train dressed as a man dressed as a bat. Or maybe a Batman that swallowed a train? We also have a Joker train who presumably fell into a vat of chemicals after murdering Thomas’s parents.
Why are they doing this? Does it make Thomas more cool to dress him like Batman? No, it fucking doesn’t. Does it make Batman cooler to turn him into an ugly train no one cares about anymore? Here, You tell me:
Expert Tip: Watching this video will only leave you more baffled.
Who could possibly benefit from this mash-up monstrosity? Trying to make Thomas cool is like trying to teach Checkers to a corpse. And why must every Christmas find some new way to humiliate Batman? What did he ever do to you guys? I’m now convinced that all Batman villains have retired from crime (and sanity) and banded together to form the League of Shitty Toymakers to make shitty toys to embarrass Batman. In fact, insane villians making toys might also help explain why "Ha! Ha! Ha!" is spelled backwards on the box.
Also, in their insanity, they thought enough people would care about this crap that they included a second language. Now your child can be bored in two languages. And for some reason, to me, the French for "Catch me if you can!" looks like "Rape me if you do!" But that one's probably not their fault.
RATING (OUT OF 10):
STUPID: 10 An archaic licensed character so outdated that only 0% of children will even realize it’s not generic teams up with the coolest super hero ever to disgrace them both (and everyone involved in making it) like it challenged itself to some kind of disgrace race. And won.
TERRIFYING: 1 Given that Batman V Superman recently rebooted Batman as a violent, one-step-away-from-serial-killer psycho who takes pride in maiming and cattle-branding criminals so that they get raped in prison, as well as an easily-tricked dumbass who tries to murder the superman who just saved the world because he thought Superman called him names, and whose face is played by the world’s buttiest chin, I feel that worrying about DC shitting on Batman’s dignity is now kind of past the point of relevancy. (...Like this article.) There’s not a whole lot left they could do to tarnish his legacy that would surprise me. Nor am I terrified of the secret society/retirement home that keeps funding Thomas the Tank Engine products. On the other hand, I’ve always found Thomas the Tank Engine’s face kind of terrifying, so I at least gave a point for that.
AWESOME: 0 Nah…
HOW SCARED SHOULD I BE: 1
This toy is a warning sign that The League of Shitty Toymakers in collaboration with The Shadow Knights for the Manipulation of Society (and Bridge Club) are planning on taking over the world in the most passive and unfocused way that any have yet attempted. You know, “planning” is the wrong word. It’s more that they “deliriously believe” that they are taking over the world in between mild chili cook-offs and Friday Night Bingo. So, yeah, I’m not feeling threatened here.
TERRIFYING TOY OF 2017:
Glitter Fashion Princess Batman!
TERRIFYING TOY OF 2389:
Thomas the Tank Engine Fusion-Powered Food Synthesizer!
2. WHEELCHAIR TOYS ARE NOW A MUST-HAVE CHRISTMAS ITEM, TREEGNOME OVERREACTS
If I gave any shits about political correctness, I’d be hesitant to put this on the list, but I don’t. In fact I despise it. Political correctness demands we treat everyone the same while ignoring the fact that that’s stupid because we’re not all the same. We’re all different and we deserve to be treated truly and realistically. Instead of treating our differences as special and unique, political correctness actually battles against diversity by trying to pretend it doesn’t exist. If political correctness were a person, it would have no genitalia and speak only in nouns. Fuck that guy. And yet, as a result of political correctness standards, any published work or advertisement that doesn’t go out of it’s way to cram in at least one representation of every conceivable variation of human culture is labeled “bigoted” for not portraying a society with such unrealistically proportioned diversity that no such society exists anywhere in real life. So Political Correctness tells us not to acknowledge our differences and then yells at us every time we don’t acknowledge every human difference that ever existed. Fuck that guy. Even if I had some shits, I wouldn’t give him any!
Oh. Uh... hmm... Sorry, not sure what happened there. Yeah... Well, with that escaped madman of an intro now disappearing over the horizon, let’s shift back to the review before he comes back.
Just this year, I’ve noticed a strange, handicapped-centric trend in Christmas toys. For one, every catalogue I’ve studied this year seems forced by political correctness to now include at least one handicapped kid.
Second, I’ve also seen handicapped-themed toys in these catalogues for the first time, including a doll wheelchair, a Power Wheels electric wheelchair and even a goddamn Wheelchair Hulk!
I’m conflicted about what this implies. On the one hand, I feel like we humans used to dream bigger than wishing our dolls and ourselves were handicapped. Like when I was a kid, I’d pretend I was a super-strong, magic warrior, but, like, one who could still use his legs. And even if I was a handicapped child, and I was daydreaming up my wildest fantasies, I imagine “being able to walk” is the first thing those fantasies would include. But on the other hand, these toys may help handicapped kids feel better about their situation. A doll with a handicap is an awesome, relatable friend who shares their struggle and can teach them to be strong in accepting their condition, especially one that’s also an indestructible hulk-monster! And from what I’ve seen, that Power Wheels wheelchair is faster and way more awesome than any actual electric wheelchair and costs 10 times less!
But what worries me is the fact that demand for these toys is suddenly so immense that wheelchair toys have transcended beyond the special order catalogues they used to call home and have earned precious, expensive space on the prestigious Kmart Holiday Toy Shelf. That is, Kmart calculated that so many kids would want to buy wheelchair toys that there are actually toys out there that got bumped to “online only” status to make shelf-space for wheelchairs, like this robot dinosaur.
That more kids want wheelchairs than this robot dinosaur tells me one of two terrifying things: either human imagination has reached an all-time low and a grain of sand is all that is left of the once vast empire of Fantasia, or the percentage of disabled people is rapidly increasing to epidemic proportions. Either way, while the Neverending Story warned us of the dangers of squelching imagination, no one ever thought to warn us of an apocalypse by rapid devolution (except me). I guess Birth Defectocalypse is as unprecedented as it is unmarketable.
Dear evolutionists: this is what mutation actually does to a species. It does not give it survival superpowers. That's dumb.
So there. …Oh, the toy! Well, I cheated this time, there’s three in one list entry:
First, Wheelchair Hulk! With his paralyzed lower half confined to a makeshift wheelchair made out of a butt-smashed Humvee, Marvel RC Hulk Smash vehicle still beats the shit out of everything anyway!
So there’s a positive, albeit violent and enraged, role-model for handicapped kids. Next, a doll wheelchair which, you know, is a wheelchair, for dolls. Inspirationally or depressingly, depending on the circumstances, these dolls can be made to stand on their own, while their owner might never be able to.
I’m serious, here, that’s really fucked up. To me, it seems more like a slap in the face of the wheelchair kid community, but I can see how it would be nice for girls who are stuck at home due to a broken leg as they, like their doll, will also be able to walk again one day. Lastly, the Power Wheels Wild Thing, AKA the Power Wheels Electric Wheelchair. While awesome for kids without the use of their legs, for the rest of us, it is not as fast, as cool or as healthy as riding a bike.
"You're still using legs? What is this, 1983?"
Also, given all the other Power Wheels choices, from Batmobiles and Corvettes to Disney Princess Carriages, "Electric Wheelchair" seems significantly less glamorous to say the least.
Ultimately, they’re all really great toys in their own, absurdly narrow demographics, but with dire implications.
RATING (OUT OF 10):
STUPID: 0 There are legitimate reasons for these toys to be here.
TERRIFYING: 9 Those reasons are terrifying.
AWESOME: 2 I guess it’s awesome if you have no legs, or if you like apocalypses. But even then, as far as apocalypses go, devolution is about as lackluster and anticlimactic as the extinction of mankind can get.
HOW SCARED SHOULD I BE: 8
You know, with all my bullshit overreactions to stuff and bizarre conspiracy theories, rapid increase of disabilities in the population is probably the first legitimate threat to human civilization that has ever made it onto one of my lists. That and malfunctioning Sega CDs. On the other hand, that Power Wheels wheelchair will be a pretty awesome way to ride out the death of our species. Maybe I should have given it an “AWESOME” rating higher than “2.” Oh well. Good thing my point system is entirely made up and means nothing… What am I doing with my life?
TERRIFYING TOY OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE:
3. ZOOMER CHIMP IS MADE OUT OF MY NIGHTMARES
This brain-melting fear-orgy is a hellish, robotic upgrade of that damn eye-popping chimp with cymbals that has terrorized children and blighted the Earth for centuries, presumably as one of Satan’s minions at the dawn of mankind. With Zoomer Chimp’s soul-piercing eyes, jarring seizures, and humping motions, it’s every disgusting feature seems designed to invoke apprehension and terror. It combines all the horror of demons, possessed toys and angry, uncontrollable robots to form the most disturbing piece of plastic since baby Renesmee. In every conceivable way, it’s exactly like getting a tiny, tantruming Cher for Christmas. Even more nefarious, it’s revolting randomness is somehow as hypnotic as it is nauseating. Like how the Saw movies make you sick to your stomach but you keep watching anyway.
I could say more, but that video on it’s own is worth 1,000 cold sweats, so just watch that again if you want to. Then you can join me in my night-terror support group, unless Zoomer Chimp destroys us in our dreams and the police have to haul us away in buckets like Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street.
©New Line Cinema
RATING (OUT OF 10):
STUPID: 0 I Feel only fear.
TERRIFYING: 10 I feel only fear.
AWESOME: 5 If “AWESOME” means “really cool”: 0. If “AWESOME” means “I stand in awe of it’s grotesquery”: 10. Average: 5.
HOW SCARED SHOULD I BE: 10
Sure, it’s unnerving to look at, but am I really afraid it could hurt me? YES, YES I AM. And I’m sure it will continue to haunt my dreams until God hurls it into the Lake of Fire with Satan at the End of Days. So, thanks in advance, God.
TERRIFYING TOY OF CHRISTMAS FUTURE:
Zoomer Bleeding Hell Corpse!