As clowns have taught us, there is a very fine line between mirthful and downright creepy.
But when you look at some children's toys from the last few decades, you can't help but wonder how in the hell they designed these things without realizing how deeply, deeply unsettling they are. Just take a look at...
We like to think we're above pointing out that this thing totally looks like a cock, which by the way, it does. A cock that shoots dangerous projectiles that can put an eye out (chew on that, Freud).
But besides clearly looking like something mom mistakenly bought for herself, the Sixfinger fulfills every child's dream of having a grotesque birth defect. As you can see from the downright nightmarish ad, it might as well be a strap-on clubbed foot that's also a water pistol.
Presumably the Face Bank exists for parents who want to terrorize their children out of ever asking for an allowance.
Seriously, kids would rather swallow handfuls of change themselves than come anywhere near this damn thing. It looks like Leatherface's mailbox. Banpresto, the company responsible for the Face Bank, redesigned their product to make it a little less creepy. The new version looks like someone made Dustin Hoffman into a Gumby character and then chopped the top of his head off.
Oh yeah, totally less creepy without the fucking eyes.
Besides being a vaguely racist four-foot tall combination of every non-white culture in the world, Big Loo will haunt any corner of the room you stick him in. He has a pendulous right arm perfect for crushing the malleable skulls of small children, and a grin that says, "As soon as you fall asleep, I will wheel myself down the hall and flay your parents alive."
If you want to hear him actually speak, just turn a giant crank on the back of his head and listen as he spits out what sounds like the garbled distress call from Event Horizon.
Also, Big Loo shoots darts from his nipples. From his nipples. The best thing to do if you find this unholy bastard under your Christmas tree would be to chain him up in the closet. And then move out.
Nothing screams fun like drilling holes into the face of a fangletoothed Telly Savalas. The "gold-colored compound," presumably included to simulate gold fillings, really just makes it look like the guy ate a fistful of shit on his way to the dentist's office. Maybe next Christmas, Toys "R" Us will put out the "Meth Teeth" edition so kids can delight in ripping molars out of a plastic Jodie Sweetin.
Of course the far more unsettling issue is teaching your kids the lesson that "drilling teeth is fun!" when most of them are perfectly capable of finding daddy's power drill in the garage. What could possibly teach children a worse lesson than that?
Ah, here we go. Eviscerate-Me Erwin seems like the type of gift you'd package along with a Cannibal Corpse record and a poster of Marilyn Monroe with the eyes cut out.
We know you're supposed to encourage your child's talents, but give them this doll to cut open and pretty soon they're moving up to frogs, cats, dogs, hookers and federal prison. Although we must admit, Erwin would make the most entertaining Show and Tell day ever.
A jack-in-the-box is already designed to startle a child, so spring-load one with a dead-eyed purple space Hummel and every toddler in the room will have shit tearing through the back of their OshKoshes. There's no reason a catatonic alien doll should ever leap out at anyone unless it's holding a birthday cake or something. And even then we think it should knock first.
But what takes this to the next level beyond simply "startling" is the expression on this fucker's face. Look at it. He's not smiling, kids. That's a look of alien curiosity and/or hunger that we refuse to believe was accidental.
Just squeeze a stumpy orange dick and watch fear come yodeling towards you in a pair of fat dancing ghost pants. This was either invented by a Nazi war criminal or Walt Disney. Maybe both.
We're half convinced some company had a warehouse full of World War I-era gas masks and figured they could move the things by gluing a stuffed animal face on there.
But as creepy as the thing looks when it's off, stick it on a child's face and now you've got a disembodied dog head with two giant warped child eyes staring out at you. At least they could have tinted these things to make them quite not so disturbing. Oh, wait...
Yeah, that's actually much worse.
Little Island is a Japanese company that has made it possible for you to get a doll with your own face on it and speak to you in your own voice, as well. Just make sure you have a streetwise Asian boy around to keep the Maharaja from stabbing it with a jeweled dagger, because we're pretty sure this thing is a fucking Voodoo doll. Either that or it's a replicant sent to take your place after its robot overlords vacuum your brains out in your sleep.
Actually, even if it's none of those, we still have the very unsettling fact that it is apparently a toy intended for adults. We can't think of a single non-creepy use for such a thing unless they intend to use it as a decoy to fool incredibly incompetent assassins.
The manufacturers claim that "Struts," the My Little Pony-esque horses dressed up in 19th Century lingerie and stripper heels, "combine a little girl's love for horses with her love for fashion dolls."
To us, however, these things appear to be the product of a failed teleportation experiment where instead of Jeff Goldblum and a fly, they had Christina Aguilera and Sea Biscuit.
This flying stunt-monkey seems like a perfectly straightforward toy, until you spot the advertising point "Hear Me Scream!"
Apparently the Amazing Flying Monkey is designed to be used like a slingshot, so this is literally a shrieking terror beast to be fired into the faces of other kids.
A hairless, vacant expression, a trunk full of disguises, a bolo tie--without question, Hugo is a man of a thousand serial murders.
This doll is like a Ted Bundy Potato Head. The face on the box has the ghoulish stare of a guy that literally can't wait to stab you to death and drag your body down to his basement. He's even wearing disposable clothing, presumably to be wrapped around severed limbs to keep them from bleeding all over the interior of the station wagon of a thousand screams.
But on top of all that... why the fuck does he need those creepy little atrophied arms? They serve no purpose! They intentionally went out of their way in the manufacturing process to make him just a little more terrifying.
So say hello to the "Mindflex." It's a machine that gives your children telekinesis.
No, it's not a hoax, it's made by toy giant, Mattel. Your kid straps the device to his head, and suddenly he can levitate a little ping pong ball through pure thought.
OK, he is actually manipulating a tiny fan that blows the ball causing it to hover various heights. With his mind. The child can manipulate the fan through the machine reading his brainwave patterns.
Hey, remember that old Twilight Zone episode where a kid takes over his town and forces everyone to do his bidding, because he can think anything and it becomes reality? Including turning people into giant Blippy in the Boxes?
It's only a matter of time, people.
Yeah, you think we're overreacting, that it can never happen, but you also didn't think we'd have mind-reading telekinesis machines in Toys "R" Us this year.
And stop by Cracked.com's Top Picks to see DOB play Feeley Meeley by himself. Bring the kids! (But don't, seriously.)
For as much as people love them, the 'Star Wars' movies have gotten rather awkward from time to time.
Bawitdaba, pass the green beans.
Going for that 16th minute.