Toys Rn’t Us


This impressive stash of games was just dropped off to Goodwill the other day. It includes a backgammon game with such unintelligible instructions that we never even played it, a cheap plastic chess set, which also saw very little action, and a “craft” set called Pixos, probably my least favorite of all time. It was created by the most sadistic person who ever sat in on a toy company pitch meeting. Seriously, Pixos suuuuck. The kit consists of 3.2 million little plastic balls that get lost as soon as you open the box, requiring you to immediately order refill packets. The little beads are supposed to be placed into patterns and then sprayed with water to stick together (yeah, cuz that trick works super well, am I right, envelopes that require licking?) but instead they fall apart and end up all over the house leading to frustration on everyone’s part. I am getting full-throttle angry just remembering those damn Pixos.

The first toy catalog of the year arrived the other day to incredibly little fanfare.

No one ripped it out of my hands as soon as it entered the house. No one — except me — even flipped through it.

There was a time that the kids would fight over who got first dibs and in a matter of minutes, the catalogs would be graffitied in three different colors of pen with each color denoting a different kid and his or her dream toys.

The kiddos, now all teens, have segued into wanting clothes, shoes, their own en suite* or just money, please. They don’t even want gift cards anymore because they end up changing their minds and then want us to buy the H&M card off them, swapping what seemed like a good idea at the time for cold, hard, boring-to-open-on-Christmas-morning cash. I still care about toys, though.

I remember reading last holiday season about all the people whipped up into a frenzy over these plastic, animatronic Fingerlings that were impossible to find. They sounded so amazing that I decided I needed one. But, because I am an adult, I was able to wait until well *after* Christmas to scratch that itch. I excitedly opened the brown cardboard box housing Kingsley the Sloth only to discover that the novelty of a loud-blinking, weird-noise-making toy that slides onto your finger wore off in 30 seconds, which was probably 10 seconds longer than the actual 5-year-old who was the toy’s intended audience.

Weirdly, none of my kids ever wanted the impossible-to-find play things that marked their toy lovin’ years. Thank goodness because I would not have been able to handle the stress. Now that I look back on it, they always had some fairly quirky requests on their Christmas lists. One year, No. 3 wanted a calendar and a shoe horn, which is harder to find than you’d think, and No. 2’s wish list consisted almost entirely of different mechanical pencils.

So, I picked up the freshly delivered toy catalog, fully expecting to feel nostalgic about all the wonders inside. Instead I was just mostly confused. Why is food all of a sudden popular as a stuffed toy? Not puppies or kittens — avocado toast. AND it’s priced at $38, which is about what it costs to order in a restaurant. Seriously, why would anyone ever order avocado toast? Avocados are, like, three for $1 and …. it’s TOAST. Now, I like (homemade) avocado toast just fine, but I’ve never considered it especially cuddly. Nor have I ever wanted to snuggle a leg of ham, which you can also buy.

Um, hey toy makers, comfort food is an expression, it’s not meant to be taken literally. Sheesh.




*Too much HGTV — and prowling overly fancy open houses — means they think it is their constitutional right to have a bedroom with an en suite.

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