[Ed. Note – Please disregard all of this. These are the ramblings of a man with too much time on his hands.]
I’ve been off of work all week in order to recover from surgery that I had on Tuesday. Between the abundance of free time I’ve had and the steady supply of painkillers that I’ve been consuming, I’ve had a lot of time to think over the past few days. The other day, I came across something that stunned me. One of my favorite toys from my childhood – a product that must have resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, probably even millions of lawsuits – is still in production!
Back in the day, toys were just the best, right?
See that? I tricked ya. That’s what we in the blogging business refer to as a “leading question.” Anyway, this development got me thinking even more about my other toys, and how great they all were. Unfortunately, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my toys weren’t nearly as great as I remember them being. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of The 5 Worst Toys That I Loved As A Child, in order to ensure that no other parents make the mistake of buying their children these awful toys that I loved so dearly. I was shocked to learn that most of these toys are still in production. Pay close attention, young parents of the world, because if you can avoid accidentally giving any of these terrible toys to your tots, your lives will be better for it.
Sure, it make look like an innocent arts-and-crafts accessory, but this stuff was carpet kryptonite. The spawn of Nickeloden’s Gak (we’ll get to you in a bit, Gak), Floam touted it’s cleanliness as an asset in order to infiltrate households across America, only to crumble after a day in the open air. Sure, the first five minutes of their Floam experience were a special moment in every child’s life, but that’s only because the toxic adhesives that bonded the sticky balls together left children with a euphoric high that they’ve been chasing ever since.
4. Stretch Armstrong
I took the liberty of doing some extensive online research to find a real-life portrayal of this toy. I think that this guy is about the closest that I’m going to come. Anyway, if that guy showed up at your front door wanting to play with your son, your first reaction would probably be to call the police and lock yourself in the bathroom with your child secure in your arms. Somehow, parents everywhere overlooked this in the 90’s and allowed this thing into the bedrooms of children nationwide.
I haven’t even touched on the fact that this toy has absolutely no abilities besides stretching, and when you finally did stretch him past his tensile point, a sticky, horrible substance would slowly ooze out of him and ruin everything it came in contact with. Also, extensive studies have concluded that Stretch Armstrong does not hold up well after being left outside for the entirety of a snowy, Wisconsin winter.
Even as a child, I knew that Gak was a bunch of bullshit. This watered-down, poor-man’s version of Play-Doh began its reign of terror on upholstery in the early-mid 90s, and has been on an unstoppable tear ever since. One of the coolest features about Gak used to be that if you pressed down on it while it was still in the case, it made a farting noise. This shit was comedy gold for 3rd graders everywhere. You know what else you could do with Gak? Nothing. It didn’t have the strength properties to be properly molded into anything. The entire purpose of this toy was to see how long you could keep it out of the container before you accidentally did something with it to get yourself grounded. Unfortunately, the sad truth behind that game was that regardless of how well you thought you did, you always lost.
2. Socker Boppers
It’s time for a confession: These things don’t belong on this list. These things were, and continue to be, goddamn awesome. I initially put them on here because of how dangerous they were, and how many injuries and tears they were responsible for in my youth, but looking back, it was worth it. My parents would never let me fight with other kids, yet somehow these things turned punching into a game, which made everything alright. A turning point of the Socker Bopper movement was the realization that by deflating them a little bit, both fighters could swing as hard as they wanted without having to worry about popping the Boppers. Seriously, look at this commercial. I wish I still had my Socker Boppers. These were great.
1. Moon Shoes
Look at that shit. Back in the opening paragraph, I mentioned a product that I couldn’t believe was still in existence. Here it is. Fucking Moon Shoes. I would love to see a list of severe injuries that came as a direct result of these things. Kids love to race, and when we strapped on Moon Shoes back in the day, it was time to run. That was almost always followed shortly thereafter by a designated time to ice our twisted or sprained ankles.
Regardless of the circumstances, jumping up and down is boring as hell. That’s exactly why kids with trampolines always have to put them next to basketball hoops before they destroy their knees. If I was a lawyer, I would just hang out at Toys R Us, and follow every vehicle that leaves the store with a pair of Moon Shoes. Within 24 hours, that kid will be seriously hurt, and you’ll have a goldmine on your hands. Go get ’em lawyers. Screw you, Moon Shoes.