February 2, 2024

The Terrible Toys

After the other day's post about the Terrible Twos, I thought I'd just let all the negative posts loose and write about The Terrible Toys.  You know the ones, parents, the noisy, annoying, frustrating junk that of course WE never buy (lol) but are gifted to our kids.  The stuff that breaks, plays irritating songs that always seem to go off in the middle of the night, or is otherwise just plain ugly.

In the ideal world up in my head, our house would have the simplest of playthings, like wooden blocks, simple cars, finger puppets, puzzles, Legos, a chalkboard or easel,  maybe a play kitchen.  However, reality is a different story.  While I do my more-than-fair share of weeding out the previously-mentioned toys, they just seem to keep coming into the house, from grandparents, late Christmas gifts, pre-birthday gifts, etc.  The latest one that Chris and I are praying will just disappear, or better yet, break, is this:
The Hot Wheels Sharkbite Bay playset, which I'm not even going to link to in case one of your crazy parents thinks it might be a nice toy for your kids.  Let's just say the 2-star rating on Amazon should tell you enough.

This toy is beyond annoying
  • Its tracks fall apart all the time, creating tears and frustration (from me as I have to constantly fix it) because the cars keep falling off
  • It doesn't fold up well like supposed to
  • It has an irritating commentator (ie. the shark) who says things unintelligible things and even burps. Lovely.
  • It's ugly!
Another one that we parents hate, but of course Soren loves is the Handy Manny wrecking ball set. 
Now S has no clue who Handy Manny is, which is fine by me (we don't have cable TV--a post on which is still percolating in my brain), so it's not the branding of this toy that bothers me.  It's the parental involvement!!  I honestly can say that I'd pay $100+ dollars for a toy that leaves me out of the picture and keeps my son interested for more than 10 minutes (I've yet to find that toy, by the way).  [NOTE: Read The Idle Parent, if you'd like to learn more on my philosophy about playing with your kids.]

The set comes with a shoddy building meant to be topped by the wrecking ball.  S is certainly capable, but easily frustrated, with the building of the structure, which means hours of me or Chris building, and 10 second of him wrecking.  But he does love that toy, so we're keeping it, for now.  And showing him other ways to use it (like a shark attack).

And to keep this post to-the-point, I won't even get started on the many small cars that are underfoot all day long. 
Now I don't think I'd mind stepping on a svelt Corvette, however this ugly, Zebra-print Hummer really hurts!

What toys are underfoot in your house?  And please name your worst offender, just so I make sure it never enters our door!


  1. OGM, I HATE SHARKBITE BAY! I can NEVER fold that thing up, and it totally does not work. This is closely followed by my disdain for the Hot Wheels castle-thing my son received for his birthday last month. It is still in pieces because the assembly directions make no sense.

  2. Duh, I mean o-m-g..... I was so wrapped up in my hatred for Shark Bite Bay that I did not proof my own work.

  3. The ball popper!! You know the one I'm talking about lol. When my 2 yr old was younger he kept sticking things in there and getting them stuck.. then recently he brought it out (I had put it away) and since all the balls were lost, just kept pressing the button to play the music over and over and over. I threw that sucker out first chance I had.

    At our house everything is always in the way. We have a tiny house. Somehow the toys never stay in the bedroom. I hovered too much in the beginning and played with him constantly and because of that he now wants me to entertain him all the time..which I do not! Trying to get him out of this stage.

    Oh and about the tv? Yeah I hate the tv. I want to smash it somedays. Bad mistake on my part. "Ooh look how cute he's watching the tv!". heh..

  4. I have daughters, so I hate My Little Pony everything (I trip on it constantly). I hate Barbie shoes and accessories that get sucked into the vacuum. I hate the Fisher Price animal toys (barn, zoo, it all makes NOISE).

    I used to hate Polly Pocket stuff the most, but it got left underfoot so often, I just started throwing it away every night I found it out of the toybox, and now there is none of it left.

    I'm reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to my daughters now, and the idea of them having only one COMPLETELY SILENT doll (and nothing else) is heavenly. I feel like a terrible mom...

  5. JDaniel was given a garbage truck that farts for Christmas.

  6. I HATE SHARKBITE BAY TOO!!! Even my kid had no interest in it anymore after five minutes.

  7. I'm trying to remember...and I can't! I'm so frackin' old.

  8. I swear you're just blogging everything I want to vent about - which is great. Saves me the time. ;)

    We're big on toy purges. In fact not more than a week after she got it one of her holiday gifts was donated. It's funny, because from the start we've said that we'd like old school toys. No batteries required. Preferably made in the US or not in China. And 98% of the presents from my in laws is just that. I'm now immune to the tinges of guilt from purging said presents.

    The most obnoxious for me was a Vtech laptop. We kept it out of her reach in a closet and only played with it once in a while. It eventually got donated.

    Reading, creating/building things, blocks, wooden toys, puzzles, flash cards, toys that let her imagination run the show... those are all welcome in her room. Especially books.

  9. amen!!!!
    The girls seem to play with dolls, or their kitchen for the longest without any mom or pop help. I agree with the above comment, the vtech laptop is so annoying! i have to direct every action, and you can hardly see the screen.

  10. We have a remote control car that plays really loud and annoying music, and there's no way to shut off the music if you use the car! The button that sets off the music is right in a spot that the kids hit all the time in trying to operate the car, and it drives me nuts. I think that toy is going to have to "disappear"!

  11. Ditto to My Little Ponies--the books are atrocious!

    As far as boys' toys, the Fisher-Price Toy Story 3 Shake 'n Go Track is pretty terrible. When he opened the gift, he didn't care much for it, but I loved the concept of shaking a car to make it go. Then I opened the box to discover that not only do the cars require batteries, but the track overlaps and the cars crash. Plus tracks don't lead to open ended play.

  12. Amen! You would think that all of our loved ones see the toys that we want our kids to play with. I know my mom hears me complain about some of the toys that my daughters have, but, they continue to get them anyway. Honestly, it is just a waste of money, because they do not last long in our house. Donate, donate, donate.

  13. I don't remember the name of it, but my boys have TWO identical Hot Wheels tracks that hang from a door. I swear they are over four foot in length and won't fold up so they take up an ungodly amount of room. They also don't snap together correctly.
    For girls, I'm not a fan of Polly Pocket or other teeny tiny dolls.

  14. My husband has been teasing me about my early nesting tendencies: sorting through our newborn diaper stash (5 diapers--How did we survive? Oh, yeah--Kidoodle was 9 lbs.), planning freezer meals, and fretting about junk. My biggest concerns are our huge book collection, the repurpose project stash, and the annoying toy assortment.

    Our most annoying toy is a Fisher Price baby bat & basketball set that Kidoodle still wants to play with. If it's on, it plays music and lights up. If it's off, it is a fine little basketball hoop, except that it's awkwardly shaped and doesn't fold up.

  15. This post reminds me of the direct tv commercial with that ANNOYING doll bobbing her head and making this weird noise. Lol

    Thankfully, I don't have to go through any terrible toy moments.

    Good luck to those who do though!

  16. You had me laughing SO HARD at this!!! We literally take any and all potentially annoying toys STRAIGHT to Goodwill after the holidays or a birthday. Certain relatives will make a point to remove a toy that they've gifted to our children out of the box and get them playing with it, but we still give pointless, noisy toys away as soon as possible. And you know what? The kids never even miss them. ;)

  17. I'll trade you a singing Taylor Swift doll? Are you game?

  18. My husband and I have said for years...there is nothing to buy at Toys R Us, Walmart and Target. It's all the same crap...and not even interesting at all! When we have shopped for Christmas or birthdays for our kids, we just go round and round the toy department and come up with nothing. Any more, if you want something old fashioned, which we prefer, you have to go online. We always said if we opened our own toy store, it would be the best in town because we would know exactly what parents are looking for...and from what I am reading in these comments, I think most parents are in agreement with the poor quality and annoying toys on the market today. And by the way, the Hot Wheels tracks things have always been a disapointment...they fall apart and don't work the way they claim to on the tv ads. Total waste of money!
    Great post!


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