When you've got several toddlers you have the pleasure of getting to play with toys again under the pretence of Spending Time With Your Kids, or some other holier-than-thou activity name for a banal experience approved of by Mumsnet and Sainsburys ads. While it's a great excuse to get reacquainted with the surreal brilliance of instruction-free Lego construction (the little yellow heads fit onto everything!) it is also a form of torture.
Everything you believe in as a parent, nay, a human, is compromised and soiled by the toys your children obtain through bullying coercion or manipulation of your friends and relatives ("But he said he REALLY wanted one!").
Here is my top 5 most objectionable toys from a local toyshop, which I am desperately hoping to keep from my snotty infants:
#5 Mr Pencil.
Yes, you read correctly, it's the 'ultimate writing experience' for an iPad or whatever. Worth every penny. Unless you have...a pencil.
#4 The Baby Jake Doll
If you've been lucky enough not to come across this floating head of gibbering, acid-enhanced freakdom you might still have picked up on the garrotte-like contraption around its neck. The leer stretched across its Medieval bloated face only begins to suggest its potential for evil when grown up.
#3 The 'Bratz' Doll
Flinging its unbearability right at your face through its very name, this doll combines the facial features of a 4 year old girl with the makeup and the garb of a Soho transvestive. Like your daughters bratty AND slutty? This is the doll for you.
#2 The "The Rock" Doll
Uttering a barely intelligible Neanderthal threat when you rub its shiny pectorals, this doll remains...a doll. In other words, it's a Barbie, for that child whose Dad is too terrified to call it that because he's genuinely worried atoy for girls will make his son homosexual. Beneath this, a deep-seated terror of homosexuality haunts the nightly visions of such fathers. The thought of being trapped in a ring with The Rock covered in Flora margarine and thoroughly enjoying it.
#1 The "Peppa Parson" Dog-headed Fashion Mongrel
You thought I was just exaggerating the sheer weirdness of today's toys, didn't you. Well get a load of Peppa. She'll strut her stuff down that catwalk, then lift her leg and mark her territory like the best of fashionistas.
I have rated this as the most objectionable toy here but I have a confession. I bought one for my youngest niece who is most dangerously likely to become a fashionista (often caught 'mincing' about the garden in fancy dresses). Perhaps the Daliesque metaphor of this catwalk model will stay with her when the day comes that she is tempted to begin a career in fashion.
Looks like the sheer bizarreness of some toys can be a powerful weapon after all...
© David Kelly,  All rights reserved.