September 22nd, 2021


The Worst Toys of 2015

Lenore Skenazy

By Lenore Skenazy

Published Dec. 11, 2015

With the holiday season upon us, it's time to buy toys. This year, some are moving faster than others.

And then there are the ones not moving at all:

Arm-Os: These are just like Legos, except they're shaped like arms. Kind of hard to snap together — and disturbing once you do.

Grown-Up Mutant Ninja Turtles: Still living in a sewer but now plagued by back problems, wheezing and "shell bunions." (Don't ask!)

Coolidge Logs: Modernized Lincoln Logs. But not that modernized.

Spider Farm: Just like an ant farm but bigger.

Bryan Cranston Chemistry Set: "Hey, kids, clean up that meth you made!"

Tickle Me and I'll See You in Court Elmo: A chastened Elmo neither tickles nor accepts tickling. He always has another adult Muppet present and wears a body camera.

Mr. Pot Head and his wife, Mrs. Pot Head: Put eyes all over them! Add an upside-down mustache! And how about a hat for a nose? So-o-o-o-o funny! Oh, man, like, seriously, that is the funniest thing ever.

Easy-Break Oven: Half the price of the Hasbro models.

Barbie's Nightmare House: Of course Barbie's got a job! She's got three: astronaut, pop singer and veterinarian. And she still can't make her mortgage payments. (Ken is AWOL with some Bratz doll.)

Cabbage Patch Cabbages: Better than the old Cabbage Patch Kids, because these you can boil or serve stuffed with ground meat and rice.

Skinky: Wrap these long metal coils around a friend's wrists. Voilà! Homemade handcuffs. Have fun!

Trumby: Bombastic, ginger-haired rubber figurine will not let any toys of other backgrounds into the playpen.

Ouija Bored: Slightly testy tool for communicating with the dead, often spelling out, "He's fine. Quit asking." Or, "She's busy — for eternity."

Power-Hungry Rangers: These Rangers roam the interstate, issuing exorbitant traffic tickets for cracked brake lights and failing to signal a lane change.

Payola Crayons: Crayons that will draw anything, for a price.

Chutes and Bladders: Get to the bathroom at the top of the board as fast as you can! Hurry!

Bernie Babies: Bernie Babies don't smile much, but they are earnest, are angry and come with a plush copy of "Das Kapital." Bernies are not available for sale — "unlike our government," as the Bernie motto goes.

Stomp Drones: One, two, three — stomp! Congratulations! You've launched your own personal attack drone. Watch it sail beyond your neighborhood, over the ocean and into the Middle East, where who knows what mischief it will cause. Time to get out your Nerf Grenade Launcher!

Rubik's Cubicle: Twist this supersize toy into a cramped and lonely workspace devoid of hope and cheer. Add a family photo! (But it won't do any good.)

Barrel of Monks: Not quite so much fun as its predecessor but far quieter.

Mobbed-Up Chatty Cathy: Cathy isn't so chatty anymore. In fact, she didn't see nothin', and she's not sayin' nothin'.

See 'n' Swear: Pull the string and see someone steal Dad's parking space! What does Daddy say now?

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