As safety standards and methods of production evolve, certain toys just aren’t made like they’re used to. They can’t be, nor should they be. Toys run their course. And just because you had a favorite toy from your childhood, there’s no reason that same item should be available until the end of forever. Did you know that the original old-school Lite-Brite toy was a fire/electric shock hazard? But sometimes the toys come back anyway! In fact, many toys from Yesteryear have in fact been resurrected in the form of total trash heaps that literally hardly functions, such as…
1) The Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker
I’m not exaggerating when I say that everyone in the world had this Snoopy Snow Cone Machine. Just having your mom or dad bust this thing out of storage was like a holiday. We gathered around the machine while mom stuffed it full of ice cubes. One of the kids, wholesomely laughing, would push down on the Snoopy-in-a-Devo-hat plunger, just like in the commercial.
No one would fight, everyone waited their turn, and within seconds, a mound of freshly shaved snow magically appeared for you to drizzle your Kool-Aid syrup on.
So, back in 2011 when I saw this toy reissued, I knew I had to have it. I didn’t even have kids yet! I waited until I had children to crack this sucker open. But no… this thing doesn’t work. It’s flimsy, it falls apart, the grating cylinder doesn’t work…and this is a top selling item. It’s available everywhere! But around here? It’s literally just decoration.
Simon was a memory game first introduced by Milton-Bradley in 1978. It goes to say without any exaggeration that it’s one of the best games that ever existed, true fact. The game was a test in brain function, visual retention, auditory recognition, and reflexes before Nintendo ever made you jump Mario over that pit.
The game play was simple, yet addicting- one of four colored arches lights up with a color. Along with that color is a corresponding sound. The lights and sounds play on repeat, adding a new one to the end of the sequence each time you complete it correctly. The longer your combo continues, the faster the game got, until it was a psycho-song reeling through your face and your hands flailed on autopilot. Eventually when you lost, the game gave you the buzz blare of death. It was a great game.
Alas, it disappeared but other games appeared in its wake. But these were less like Simon and more like Bop-It, and it was a reality we accepted. The original vanished into obscurity. Until, that is in 2016 when this clone Simon son of a bitch appeared.
It looked just like the classic game! It straight says “IT’S BACK!” It had all the original sounds, the original game play. But this Simon was terrible. The buttons didn’t actually depress…like, press down. There was a sensor under the plastic that detected if you were there. And what happened once you kept the combo going and didn’t lose your way? Nothing. The sounds never sped up. What is the point of Simon if it doesn’t speed up? What is the point if you can’t actually push the buttons?
3) The Fisher Price Cassette Recorder
Behold, the OG Fisher Price Cassette Recorder. AKA, The Master.
The one here is the 90s apprentice.
And this thing down below…is a pile of hot trash.
The new reissued version of the Fisher Price Cassette Recorder is leaving many people on Amazon…confused, to say the least.
This new toy is like a bait and switch! It prances around proudly, declaring itself a Cassette Recorder…only to not be able to use cassettes. And why would it? I mean, you can’t even find tapes at the 99 Cent store now. What would be the purpose of having one here? So, in addition to not being able to record on real cassette, this toy’s microphone apparently doesn’t function correctly. The audio is reported as scratchy, bad quality, and there’s a sound that comes from the microphone, maybe feedback? I searched for how long of a recording the chip can hold, and I couldn’t find an answer.
But remember; OG cassette tapes held 90 minutes. Do you know how many personalized Radio Shows or Captain’s Logs that is? Lots.
4) Playdoh Plus
There are fewer toys more important to a kid’s early taste buds, I mean, senses as Play Doh. It’s bright, colorful, salty, and it has that familiar scent that truly perfumes your childhood. It’s an American staple that has origins from the 1930s, apparently as a wallpaper cleaner. Fortunately for all children, namely me and my garbage mouth, Play Doh is non-toxic and wheat based.
But more recently, a new Play Doh product touted as “Play-Doh Plus” has hit the scenes. The containers are tiny and half full. It’s more expensive than its regular counterpart. It also supposedly never dries.
And really, that’s not always a good thing.
Play Doh plus is a light and foamy product, perfect for the frosting on those Play Doh cakes your kid learns how to make by watching endless hours of weird toy reviews on YouTube. Now, while other parents might complain about Play Doh drying out, that’s really its most redeeming quality. When things dry out, you can vacuum them. And when they’re wet and sticky, they don’t. And with the foam sludge heap that is Play Doh Plus, its light airiness just smears onto the furniture because your kids think you’re a hack parent and won’t listen to you in spite of your protests and begging and bribing and constant buying of ice cream, and…
5) Kinetic Sand
And lastly, on the topic of Play Doh and touchable-molding-fun time-toys, let’s take a look at some other crafting toys that have graced the market. Back when I was a kid, I loved Nickelodeon Gak because it was like slime, had a firm bite (yes, I’m the worst, let’s move on), stunk like chemicals, and farted. Naturally, the farts were the best part.
Floam followed, a foamy slime substance, and Moonsand wasn’t long after. My parents would deliver the goods, send me outside, and my foamy-fart-gloppy-gross toys would have a great time together.
But my kids don’t listen to me. And then I found a product called Kinetic Sand. It was filled with fun-time promises that it would stick to itself and never dried out. It lied. Not only does this trash dribble all over the place, but it sticks to my kids’ HANDS. So, simply put, I have a mess on the table, it drips all over the floor, sticks to the chairs they were sitting on, and devours my floor with a hatred worse than a starved dog at a Sizzler Buffet.
No, but really. Kinetic Sand is the worst.
Follow Loryn on Twitter!