The Canadian Toy Association recently showcased its annual list of “must-have” toys for the holidays, featuring the usual array of gadgets and gizmos that require enough batteries to power the sun.
This list of hot toys always attracts some good press. Getting far less publicity, for some reason, is my annual list of Worst Toys for Christmas:
Stupid Thing From China You Can’t Get Out of the Package, Dammit. You’ve tried scissors, a screwdriver, now a blowtorch—but the sucker won’t budge. So many wires! So much plastic! The sweat is beading on your forehead. Your hands are starting to shake. That thing’s not coming out and your kid is not getting any happier. Hurry up, Daddy! WANT THE UNICORN NOW!
Baby’s First Reciprocating Saw. The perfect gift for those who feel their grandson is being overprotected. Why, back in my day EVERY little boy grew up with a pellet gun by his bed, a bowie knife under his pillow and a nest of live hornets in his closet—and at least 60 per cent of those guys lived to see adulthood. Darn mollycoddlers of today!
Make Your Own Lip Balm. This is an actual product that you can actually buy because hey, what kid doesn’t get pumped at the prospect of making a waxy substance that provides an occlusive layer on the lip surface to seal in moisture and inhibit chapping? Fun—especially when Junior winds up eating it all instead.
Lindsay Lohan. As is.
Occupy Sesame Street Elmo. Demonstrate your child’s proud membership in the 99 per cent by joining the drum circle outside Mr. Hooper’s Store. Occupy Sesame Street Elmo comes with a protest sign, a hacky sack and no discernible prospects for employment. Infants in particular will get a real kick out of how Elmo vibrates when he’s tasered by riot police after storming the Count’s castle.
Europe. The perfect gift for the child who has everything except the paralyzing anxiety of a catastrophic debt crisis. Imagine the look on your kid’s face when he or she finds an entire continent under the tree! Rich history, magnificent culture and just a tremendous number of awful synthesizer bands—all this can be yours for the low, low price of keeping Italy solvent. (Greece sold separately through factory outlet.)
Bead Bucket Activity Kit. This is another real toy and it’s the perfect gift if you happen to still be friends with people you don’t actually like. Believe me: give their kids this huge bucket of 6,000 tiny, tiny beads and they will never talk to you again.
A Certified Piece of Rick Perry’s Brain. Act now—quantities are very limited.
Justin Bieber’s Li’l Paternity Kit. Now your young scamp can experience the life-changing thrill of being accused of knocking up a pretty lady with 30 seconds of intercourse in a washroom. Comes with DNA collection materials and a team of frantic publicists all having a simultaneous aneurysm.
Care For Yourself Bears. The official stuffed animal of the Tea Party! These creatures help teach children the virtues of fending for themselves: choose from 10 Care For Yourself Bears, including Self-Reliant Bear, Sharing-is-Socialism Bear and Compares-Everyone-to-Hitler Bear.
Barbie’s Malibu Dream House. Three stories, six bedrooms, four fireplaces—and all of it in foreclosure! Ride the fabulous pink personal elevator to the top floor and see where Ken has ripped the copper pipes from the wall to sell for booze money. Walk into Barbie’s luxurious bathroom to visit the family of squatters roasting a squirrel over an open flame. The Dream House comes with a duly notarized eviction notice tacked to the front door. Real-life sounds available at the press of a button include doorbell, flushing toilet and the shattering of the American dream. Sold separately: Barbie’s 1983 dented pink Corvette, which is where she now sleeps.
Herman Cain action figure. The Republican presidential candidate comes with suggestive gestures so lifelike they’ll earn your son a sexual harassment lawsuit or a memorable evening with Ann Coulter! Pull the string on his back and hear eight types of innuendo and 16 kinds of crazy.
Kim Kardashian’s Quik-E-Divorce Kit. Now today’s tweens don’t have to wait to experience the romance of finding Mr. Right, coaxing him into a sham marriage to fulfill a reality-show contract and ditching him after 72 days. Warning: kit will cease to function if exposed to one or more ounces of shame.