Quick– what happens when you take the dead body of the Toys R Us Christmas catalog with the aesthetic sensibilities of IKEA and plunge them into Jeffrey Dahmer’s magic acid for body disintegration?
Something super gnarly and righteous, I’m sure.
But we’re writing jokes. So for the sake of comedy, we’re going to use this natural segue and pretend the slimy results are the brand-new Amazon.com Christmas Catalog.
When I got this sucker in the mail today, I honestly thought it was the Toys R Us Christmas Catalog and that the poor, liquidated company forgot they shut down over the summer. Like maybe the catalogs were printed last year, and there were employees and elves in the North Pole counting down the seconds until Christmas. Just so excited that they get to do their one job.
Shipping takes a while from the North Pole, you know. I bet those catalogs were sent over the summer.
But they didn’t get the memo that the stores were shutting down! Imagine how happy all of them were up there. Just dancing and humming, all jolly and pleased with themselves. They get those suckers in the mail. They high five and drink some spiked cider. And then– bam. News of the closure hits the North Pole. The powers that be break the news to all of the employees and elves before giving them a solemn…
“You didn’t mail the catalogs already…did you?”
They look at each other, a glimpse of panic crossing over their nervous faces.
“Shit.” one whispers.
The rest of them nod with regret. Another starts to say no, but before he can finish, the elf next to him takes a bottle of cyanide pills out of the pocket of his bloomers before tossing his head back, swallowing them all, and jumping out the window.
That’s when I realized it was actually the Amazon Christmas Catalog. I sighed in relief. Then, I raised an eyebrow.
All right, time for some facts. Amazon actually announced their Christmas catalog over the summer, which I know because I found a bunch of articles about it. However, all of the articles, which anecdotally snark “Nostalgia never dies” or “Well actually, this isn’t that big a deal because Target and Walmart print catalogs all the time, this isn’t revolutionary, myeeehhhhhhhh… (and I hope you read that in Skeletor’s voice), all miss out on one dark and ironic point.
Toys R Us went under *because* of online toy sellers like Amazon!
Now, before you @ me with many corrections about how broken Toys R Us’ business model was, that they had too much stock and inventory, that they murdered their employees if they don’t like their face, or whatever information you have that I don’t, just know that it mostly doesn’t matter for the sake of this article. Toys R Us couldn’t compete with the price and convenience of sites like Amazon. So, that’s kind of that.
Now, turning our attention back to this Amazon Catalog; goodness, does it pander.
It’s the most wholesome, trendy, IKEA PR I’ve ever seen in my life. It makes me want to choke on my vomit and cry, because I know they know I have kids now, and I know they know that I don’t want to see “Not My Parents’ Antiquated Christmas Catalog”. Our generation wants a minimalist cardboard aesthetic, dammit. Our kids are fun and creative and play with actual Nintendo LABO “use your imagination toys”.
Which is all crap. Our kids play with phones and tablets.
In some ways, this catalog is kind of a maverick. It’s a stunning example of the future; a constructed world where people are using their hands and imaginations to create under the guise of nostalgia. This Christmas catalog is truly wearing Toys R Us’ stretched bloody skin over its face because you know what? This isn’t a Christmas catalog for a kid now.
It’s for you. It’s for me.
It’s for us people getting older.
Now, instead of us being six years old watching ten year old kids playing with toys (which used to make toys sell to a younger demographic) we’re grown ass Nostalgics who yearn for a composed universe where we get to imagine ourselves as these kids. Where we get to wish it was our Christmas time again. And if that’s the reality we’re supposed to want, and wish ourselves projected into…
I’ll take a pink Skip-It waiting for me under the tree next to Pop O’Matic Trouble and Simon, please.
Loryn is on Twitter, where she’s banking on that sweet Prime shipping to make the holidays better.