Oh, you love the annual Gift Guide! I love the annual Gift Guide! What crazy crap did I dig up in my adventures this year?
As you may have heard, I went to Disney World early this year. In addition to the pin trading and other stuff, the Disney parks have new things to collect. These are called Vinylmation figures. They are the latest in Disney’s rather sad trend to find something new and popular with the kiddies (designer toys in this case) and cry out, “WAAAAH!!! Me too!”
I’ll admit I like that they’re at least highlighting obscure characters, like the little “ping, ping” tortoise and the angry Ostrich/Emu from the Disney character shorts, but what I really love is the figure in the upper-left. It looks hauntingly like Chip and Dale are storing acorns in Mickey’s disemboweled carcass.
One of the odder trends in the Disney theme parks is the sudden influx of “Star Wars” stuff. I guess they have had the Star Tours ride (a personal favorite of mine and I am kicking myself for not riding it this trip) in the parks for years and years, but the “Star Wars” presence had always been less obtrusive before. Now it is seemingly everywhere, and results in bizarre crossover items like the foot-tall statues above and these conceptually confusing action figures:
What’s worse? Minnie in the slave Leia bikini? Mickey as the future Darth Vader? Minnie as Mickey’s own daughter?!?
I find these retro toys lovingly displayed back here at the mall near my home oddly poignant. Some well-intended adult is going to buy one of these Monchichis for a child whose want list is dominated by robot hamsters and X-Box peripherals and little dinky things that you can only really play with over the internet and whatnot. And that little thumb-sucking monkey doll is going to have an interesting life.
These are Sing-a-ma-Jigs, and they are apparently this year’s Hot Toy. I hate the fact that I can’t look at them without thinking that their mouths look… vulgar.
God. Dammit. So. Much.
And while we’re on the subject of Paleo-fails. Little head’s up for the people who are paid to make and market educational toys for children:
Pelycosaurs like our friend Dimetrodon here are very definitely not dinosaurs. Not every animal skeleton on display at Harvard is a dinosaur. If Dimetrodon could fit in a neat little Linnean box, the best one probably would be… mammals.
And speaking of things that upset me deeply for reasons that, were I to explain them to anyone I know, I would only get weird looks…
F***ing Hot Topic. You ruin everything.
You’ve probably heard of this one already. This is Video Girl Barbie and she is equipped with a video camera inside her body. The Concerned Parental Groups out there are all up in arms over this doll because they are afraid some pervs are going to buy a bunch of them, hide them in girls’ rooms, and… ugh. Just, ugh. (The sad thing is, every time I read a story like that, I can’t help but worry that a lot of pervs are thinking, “I never even would have thought of that! Thanks for the idea, paranoid news reporters!”)
Never minding all that for now, this is a Barbie doll. With a camera. Inside her body. From, just as a reminder, the same people who gave us this little brain-tulip (it will never stop being hilarious). I’m pretty sure that in itself is creepy enough for many people. Speaking of creepy and possibly perverted…
Candles are still one of the top “I don’t know what to get you, so here is something blatantly uncreative” gifts. I admire Yankee Candles, err, “sugar lumps” here: they’ve given their coconut candle a Christmas label that basically goes right out and says, “Yeah, this is Coconut with a different label; what are you going to do about it?
Yankee Candles and Hallmark seem to associate freely with one-another, so what Keepsake ornaments are available this year?
I am constantly amazed by the… quality of the official “Avatar” tie-in merchandise. Still, nothing beats that amazing Halloween Costume.
“Twilight” Manillows! – What, you thought I was going to forget these?