Silly toys may be child’s play, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t big business. Here are 11 of the dumbest items that, in the hands of children, turned into pure gold for the people who sold them.
These goofy wristbands are just silicone rubber, formed into shapes. That’s it. A pack of 24 sells for around $5 and was invented by Robert Croak, who told CBS news in 2010, “I definitely feel like I’m one of the luckiest men alive.” Seeing that this invention has led to a fortune estimated at $15 million, we’d say that sounds about right. Read more …
I’m of the opinion that the sooner kids figure out how the whole eating/farting/pooping cycle works, the better. Kong Suni, the gassy baby doll sweeping South Korea, does just that. Designed to help with the potty training process, this apple-cheeked doll eats cereal, farts when you press her tummy and eliminates waste in a tiny commode complete with an adorable little poo poo. Because poop is cute in Korea! Best part is, Kong Suni passes gas on command (a skill I have yet to master). I would have killed to have a doll like this when I was a kid. My Cabbage Patch Kids didn’t do anything on command. But I suppose that was what my little brother was for. [The Stir]
This is a “Playtime Belt Buckle” that’s currently for sale on Etsy. It is composed of a totally functional Etch A Sketch, and I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never been so keenly aware of the erotic qualities of those little nobs before. Damn. [The Daily What]
Suddenly I see what it’s all about, bronies! I totally understand how you could love My Little Pony as grown-ass adults. It’s no secret around here that Rachel and I are obsessed with weirdo Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld but he is even more adorable in pony form. My Little Karl is a piece of artwork by German sculptor/graphic artist Mari Kasurinen, who has created My Little Ponies in dozens of pop culture incarnations. Many of them are sold on her site … possibly to bronies. Check out my favorites — and yes, it was hard to whittle it down to just 20! [Mari Kasurinen]
Back in the day, Ken was always a hot commodity whenever my friends and I fought over whose Barbie would be the lucky lady that day. Turns out, Ken might not even be into plastic boobs, anyway. In a four-room set she built in an art gallery for a piece called “In The Dollhouse,” photographer Dina Goldstein captures Barbie and Ken’s failing marriage as Ken tries to sort out his own sexuality in an unseen lifestyle within the Dream House walls. [DinaGoldstein.com]
“Mad Men” may be almost done for the season, but fret not! Here’s a whole mess of “Mad Men”-inspired Barbie dolls to keep you entertained. No, Mattel hasn’t suddenly sanctioned LSD and sex out of wedlock. Artist Michael Williams of MyLifeInPlastic.com dressed each and every one of these old Barbie and Ken dolls (plus a Skipper doll for Sally!) himself. Their accessories are even funnier than the dolls themselves!
We can’t wait to convert the old Barbie Dream House into Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and play. We just have one question … where’s Don?! P.S. If you are a few episodes behind, spoiler alerts ahead. [My Life In Plastic]
The Chosen People among us (Kidding! Kidding! You’re all beautiful chosen people to me) know that part of the Passover celebration involves reciting the 10 plagues that befell the land of Egypt while they held the Jews in captivity. Typically, Jews acknowledge the plagues during the Passover ceremony by reciting each one of the plagues (which are, for the record, blood, frogs, lice, flies, murrain, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and slaying of the first born) and pouring a little wine out for each one. Enter this helpful BAG OF PLAGUES, which offers plastic representations of each plague instead. So when you’re like, “What’s murrain?” you can reach in the bag and see that it’s “a virus that affects cattle and eventually kills them.” Thanks bag of plagues!
But even if you’re NOT Jewish, a bag of plagues could be helpful. Pesky roomate? Drop some locusts on her bed. Annoying coworker? Leave a couple of gnats on her desk chair. They’ll get the picture real quick.
But what is her policy on drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge? Inquiring minds want to know, Mattel. [Racked]
It’s common knowledge that toys are marketed to boys and girls in hugely different–and often troubling–ways. Media literacy advocate and video artist Jonathan McIntosh has come up with a super effective way to illustrate those differences. It’s called the Gendered Advertising Remixer, and the concept is simple: on one side of the screen is a selection of ads targeting boys, on the other side are ads targeting girls. You drag one ad to the audio box, one to the video box, click “Mashup,” and you’ll watch a sweet, maternal ad for a baby doll accompanied by the explosions and violent rhetoric of a GI Joe commercial (or swap the audio and video for equally confusing results). Some of the remixes are funny, but all of them bring up major questions about our culture’s definitions of gender, how early they are instilled in us, and how harmful they can be. But you don’t have to take our word for it. Remix some ads for yourself! [Gendered Advertising Remixer]