Every Holiday Season we share the best and “must-have” holiday gifts. Many stories also circulate this time of year about the “worst kids toys,” offered as a cautionary tale for new parents.
We’d decided to sift through the worst-of-the-worst from the past few years, just in case you need help on what to avoid (some of these items are still on the market) or new ideas for annoying a family member, giving your partner an ulcer, or a ridiculous gift for a White Elephant party. These lame, inappropriate, and gross presents will surely give you a laugh, but just be prepared… if you gift them, you may end up on Santa’s naughty list!
1. Vibrating Harry Potter Broom
Back in 2010, Mattel started selling the Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 vibrating broomstick much to the delight of Potter fans worldwide. But when sex shops in New York City‘s Times Square started buying and re-selling the broomstick for double Amazon’s price, Mattel decided the fun and games were over, and discontinued the model. You can still find similar products on Amazon, just make sure to read the reviews, “This broom looks like it has been designed and created by muggles. I arrived late to Hogwarts and almost missed the sorting hat ceremony.” Ba-dum tsss…
2. Pretend Tattoo Parlor
While Spin Master Toys has been cranking out the hits for many years (including Star Wars, Paw Patrol and this year’s Hatchimals), every once in a while they have a dud. In 2006, they definitely hit a new low with a pretend tattoo parlor for kids. The set came complete with an electronic tattoo pen, washable ink, stencils, and, presumably, a pretend follow-up morning of regrets and a hangover.
3. Playmobil Security Checkpoint
Unsurprisingly, this Security Checkpoint model did not perform as well as other Playmobil models like Barnyard with Silo or Pirate Fort, so it was discontinued. If you have a kindergartner passionate about airline security, fear not, you can still purchase a discontinued model on Amazon for $249. The reviews themselves provide hours of entertainment, “This toy would be a lot more realistic with about 350 people standing in line for an average of an hour. It still makes a nice set with the interrogation room.”
4. Pee and Poo Dolls
Isn’t Potty Humor fun?! Don’t you want to cuddle with a defecation-themed plushy?! These Pee & Poo dolls are an early ancestor of the popular poop emoji we’re currently inundated with today (thanks, Uncle Poop!). Originated in Sweden in 2004, the Pee&Poo brand now have a dedicated website with a full line of products for your potty-obessed family and friends.
5. Dora Aquapet
Not only is this a horrifyingly bad design (if you haven’t noticed, take another peek), the whole Aquapet concept is a bit creepy as well (like, why isn’t she wearing scuba gear? Is this akin to toy waterboarding?). The suggestive design was first noticed in 2009, when the Dora Aquapet started showing up on moms’ Christmas lists on Amazon.
6. Yume-chan Doll that Cries
Introduced at the Tokyo toy fair in 2012, manufacturer TOMY (makers of Chuggington, Pokemon and Lamaze products) had the ill-fated idea that it would be fun for kids to watch their doll cry after immunization. A evil plot by anti-vaxxers to scare kids? We’ll never know.
7. Heelarious Baby High Heels
When we received the first press release for this product, we thought it was gag gift. And while it’s true the founder/creator of baby high heels has taken a tongue-in-cheek approach to her products, there are parents on either end of the spectrum either squealing with delight or venting with outrage, regardless of intent.
8. Barbie & Her Dog Tanner
Another Mattel classic sure to be discontinued (note recall for bite-sized magnetic poop pellets) and/or a future overpriced collectible. The $89 sticker price is a bit more palatable when you are entertained by Amazon reviews like this gem, ” God bless America! Does this toy teach young girls moral lessons about the responsibilities of pet ownership and the importance of cleaning up their mess? Or, is the feces-eating devil dog teaching impressionable young kids that its ok to consume their own excrement? Who knows, and who cares.”
9. My Cleaning Trolley
Look at little Arya, doesn’t she look like she is having fun vacuuming?! Put your kids to work starting at toddler-age, teaching them how to sweep, mop and dust. The gift offers the perfect inspiration for an aspiring janitorial career. We’re kidding. Of course, lots of kids love to “clean” and “pretend to clean”. The primary reason this sparked outrage was because of the packaging, which had a big, “For Girls Only” sticker on the front.
10. Poopy Time Fun Shapes
This image has been circulating on Reddit and Buzzfeed since 2009, though we can’t find an actual manufacturer or more product detail. Since parents seem willing to do anything to get their kids to potty train (rewards, gold stars, m & m’s), we’ll simply categorize this product as “good intention gone bad.”