This wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t watch so many cartoons. And I don’t mean, like, adult cartoons — though I watch those as well! I mean that 50% of the time, if the television is on at my house, it’ll be tuned to Cartoon Network (or mayyyybe Disney, because duh: DuckTales). And no, I don’t have kids. I am an adult, who is simply a sucker for shit like this:
And this, which is a pitch-perfect Final Fantasy riff that HAS to be aimed at parents, right? I’m not even sure kids these days would get what the hell this is referencing!
Point is — I ain’t sorry. I’m going to keep my TV tuned to kids shows. But the downside is that, in between all the awesome cartoons that TOTALLY DON’T SOMETIMES MAKE ME CRY, THEY’RE JUST REALLY TOUCHING, OK?! — there are commercials. For toys, and games, and I dunno, light-up fucking sneakers and shit. As clever and imaginative and emotionally intelligent as the cartoons have gotten, it seems the opposite is true of the crap we’re marketing to children these days. And I’m saying that as a person who grew up in the era when slap bracelets were a public menace, and Skip-Its were a viable alternative to jumping rope — one that eliminated the need for you to use your arms or make friends.
I know that there have always been dumb toys out there. But like so much else in the world these days, we’re finding ways to really push the concept of “dumb” to its outer limits. So here’s a sampling of some of the advertising you’re missing if you don’t have the tastes of an 8-year-old like I do. Remember: the children are our future. And this shit right here? This is how we’re preparing them.
Cut The Wire
Take the panicky, life-or-death scenario of “Operation” and combine it with the countdown mechanics of “Hot Potato”, and I guess it’s only natural that you’d come up with a game that LETS KIDS DEFUSE FAKE FUCKING BOMBS. No really, let that sink in. Because at least with “Operation” kids might be encouraged to become doctors. With this, are they going to suddenly think “Hey, maybe I should join a counterterrorism squad” or something? Do we really want bombs to be normalized to the point of being just another part of a fun family game night?
This isn’t wildly offensive, really. It just… kinda makes no sense? They are billing this as having 10 Levels of Adventure, which apparently are:
1. Find the treasure map! 2. Rip through the golden layer. 3. Use the coin to decode your quest. 4. Soak the brick to get ready for digging. 5. Use the X-Cavator to dig! 6. Find the bones and weapon. 7. Build your Treasure hunter! 8. Uncover the Treasure Chest… 9. Add water to fizz… 10. Reveal your treasure!
Those aren’t levels — they’re an elaborate unboxing ritual with flair. But hey! 1 in 18 treasures could be dipped in REAL GOLD! Honestly though, I kinda dig the skeletons figures. “Dig” — get it? I’ll take a dozen.
These actually aren’t that weird… FOR SOMETHING CREATED BY SATAN. Look at those fucking eyes. *shudder*
Cool Maker KumiKreator
“Back in my day, friendship bracelets used to be ugly little things that you slaved over, then knotted on your friend’s wrist so they’d have to wear it until it literally rotted off. Because that’s what friendship is like: effort, suffering, and slow disintegration. Tell me: what is the value of a friendship that’s labeled with a machine-assembled bracelet, huh? IT’S A HOLLOW GESTURE. GET OFF MY LAWN.”
(To be fair, I didn’t see that commercial on TV. But it IS a real commercial, for a real goddamn poop toy.)
Anyway, the kids are doomed. Happy Wednesday, folks!
Header Image Source: YULU