Monday, December 12, 2011

Children: Making the Impossibly Terrifying/Annoying Possible, One Toy at a Time

By now it should be no mystery to anyone that children can (or think that they can) do just about anything if they put their pleasantly moldable little minds to it. Sometimes, however, they do things best when they're not trying to - and had they tried it probably would have been impossible.

Take this Rapunzel hair styling bust for example: 

Her hair is long and flowing, little pieces of glitter added in, giving it a sheen as it blows in an imaginary wind... or at least that's how it looks ten minutes out of the box. The reality is a little more like this: 


Give a bust of princess Rapunzel to a three year old and you end up with... a bust of princess Rapunzel with dreads. HARDCORE DREADS. Legit. I tried to comb them out, I really did, but something about that goddamn tinsel sparkly business makes it pretty much impossible without ripping all the hair from her head. Which defeats the purpose of the hair styling part. In the end, all all I could do was braid it... but instead the child decided that she wanted it up in three ponytails. Meh.

Or there is the case of the My Little Ponies:

"Oh hey there purple pony, I'm just gonna play with this other pin-"


It's almost like the child's version of 'The Godfather'. You reach into the toy bin to play with your favorite pink pony, ONLY TO DISCOVER ITS HEAD. And only its head. I have no idea where the body was. I looked. Were I to find it, I would have tried to put it back together, but instead I just stuck the head back into the toy bin for the next unsuspecting child to come along. I'm a good person like that.

THEY HAVE TO LEARN SOMEHOW. It takes effort to rip off the head of a toy. IT TAKES A MANIACAL CHOICE.

Somewhere, I know, there are teams and designers and they work hard to make toys that are pretty and fun to play with, but I can't help but think that they never really give them to real children to play with ahead of time. Otherwise they would see these things coming.

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