5 'Luxury' Toys for the Children of Wealthy Douchebags
Everybody knew a rich kid growing up: the one who got all the toys the rest of us couldn't afford, and then used them instead of personality to win friends. He sure looked like he was having fun, though, with his video game consoles and in-pool water slides. Maybe money really can buy happiness? Well, that all depends: Some well-off parents buy their kids a full-size, functional Transformer for their 10th birthday, sure, but some of them just buy their kids the kind of boring, expensive toys that only serve as status symbols -- status symbols that children are way too young to understand or care about. Because hey, it's never too early to get a head start on being a detached, rich little dickhead.
Sports Pedal Cars
As we've already covered, there is apparently no shortage of wealthy parents willing to front $100,000 for kid-sized Ferraris. Man, your kid is going to be knee-deep in cooties when he rolls by the playground in that sucker. Kindergarten bitches love Italian; everybody knows that.
"And unlike most adult Ferrari owners, I have a reason for being hung like a child."
And to be fair, that actually does look awesome. If your rich parents buy you that car for your Sweet 8, they either love you very much or secretly want you to die in a fiery accident as soon as possible. But what if you want the other second graders to know that your kid is better than them, but you don't particularly care if he has something as pedestrian as "fun" while doing it? That's where luxury models like Playsam's Roadster Saab come in. For only $500, you can purchase this mini-replica of an Ursaab 92001:
Finally, your child can fret about Indochina with style and authenticity.
Look how refined! Look how tasteful! What child doesn't dream of tooling around in a vehicle with such subtle lines and an artfully minimalist black-and-beige color scheme? Why, doesn't every red-blooded young lad have a poster of a vintage Saab sedan on his wall?
Children do not appreciate refinement and taste: Children appreciate the color red and the fact that it turns into a robot. Forcing this thing on your children teaches them one lesson and one lesson only: It's only important that your car is expensive, not enjoyable.
And if a $500 wallet enhancement isn't rich enough for your blood, you could spring for the $16,000 Type C pedal car offered by Audi. It's a little cooler looking, true -- but still in a sleek, old-fashioned kind of way that you won't learn to appreciate until your early 40s, when you start longing for the days when racing was still a gentleman's sport.
This costs more than most people's actual cars.
Helpful hint: If your 4-year-old starts waxing nostalgic about the race scene of the 1930s, throw him in a bag and bring him to the police station. That is an elderly midget who has kidnapped and attempted to replace your child. And he is doing a very bad job at it.
Take a good look at your child. Does he look like he would enjoy a good beating? People are born different, you know: Some of them get off on pain. If your toddler is waddling around with a dog-eared copy of the Marquis de Sade's biography in the kangaroo pocket of his OshKosh B'gosh, then perhaps Kate Rees personalized clothing is for him. Guaranteed to elicit only the most brutal and ceaseless of beatings from their friends and peers, these tasteful, monogrammed beige onesies will prove to your children that nothing is as exciting as understatement:
Look at the boy's eyes. He knows the wedgies are coming. He knows.
They'll only set you back $90 apiece, though, so if you insist on dropping a fortune on your child's wardrobe, why not try this $1,090 leopard-print vest?
It's one sandbox away from being a $1,090 trash can liner.
It was designed by "an iconic Parisian fashion house," and is billed as "the latest in safari chic." So it will be a perfect complement to your child's current favorite outfit: her underwear and a piece of garden hose she's pretending is a whip.
Or how about this $1,500 cardigan?
"This ... this was the moment I chose to send you to the bad nursing home."
No matter how rich you are, we promise you: This is not what your children want to wear. They want to wear their Halloween costume to school every day. Children are utterly incapable of appreciating abstract concepts like "safari chic" and "designer brands," because they're too busy eating things they find in the sandbox. If you insist on blowing a fortune to dress your spawn, even though their clothes will be absolutely destroyed the very second they step out your front door, at least do so in a way that makes them happy. If it's a boy, buy him a completely authentic little Batman costume. If it's a girl, buy her a completely authentic little Batman costume.
The desire to be Batman is non-gender-specific.
Customized Birthday Parties
It's no surprise that people go all out for their kids' birthdays: Children are too young to have learned the humility and shame that yet another year of their own senseless, continued existence should bring, so why not hire Spider-Man to shoot Silly String in your backyard? Your trust-fund babies deserve to have a little fun before they fully learn to appreciate the parasitic nature of old money and spend the rest of their lives trying to drown themselves in highballs.
So what does a child's special day look like when his rich parents have unfathomable resources to blow on it?
"I'm so glad I'm too young to form lasting memories of how stupid this is."
It looks like a Mormon wedding. Those kids sure will love the muted color palette, featureless bags of unadorned crackers and sparse, avant-garde balloon arrangements, won't they?
These tasteful designer birthdays are called bespoke parties, and they're turning out to be a hit: Dozens of companies all over the world offer custom-tailored child birthday services like these, and they can set you back tens of thousands of dollars a pop. Here, check out this refined disco-themed party offered by Les Enfants:
Eight. The kid is turning 8. You know what an 8-year-old child would like better than this?
Anything. An hour at the arcade. Your drunken uncle in a Teletubby costume. The cardboard box those disco balls came in.
No child wants to spend his birthday appreciating the subtle irony of a tasteful disco-themed party. If you tell your kid he's getting a special treat this year, and then fling open the doors on something a jaded yuppie socialite might find a few fleeting seconds to smirk at between double martinis, he's going to be crushed. Your little girl wants to ride a horse through Hogwarts. Your little boy wants to hit a clown with a foam bat. Only your Pinterest friends are going to dig the playful intermingling of neo-aristocracy and retro-bourgeoisie on display here.
You know those little wooden mazes you have to tilt to move a ball through? This is the $30,000 version:
"Thanks, but I would have preferred literally anything else."
That's the Superplexus, and it actually looks kind of awesome ...
To an adult.
Look at that kid. He's posing for the picture trying to sell this thing, and he looks downright suicidal.
"Come on, you bastard, make a fart noise. Just one!"
An adult sees that ornate orb and appreciates the craftsmanship of the ramps and the intricate challenge of the puzzle -- because after decades on this mean old earth, we have become disillusioned with the simpler things in life and require increasingly baroque distractions. A kid can stack three pillows on top of each other and happily spend the rest of the day defending Fort Fluffenblock from the evil machinations of the cat.
According to the seller, completing the maze requires a minimum of 425 turns through an obstacle course that "challenges the limits of your manual dexterity and spatial understanding." A single mistake will knock the ball completely off and force you to start over.
Because those are the two things children love most: punishing difficulty curves and exercises in extreme patience.
Perhaps the most prominent status symbol of the fantastically rich is the home. Some more affluent members of society live in mansions so grand and opulent that they'll never visit half of the rooms inside them. If there's any perfect, cutting metaphor for the empty pretense of the purposelessly rich, it is the sprawling, dusty, unused mansion.
Now, finally, children can have their own!
"Shall we sup at home, dear sister, or abscond to our parent's manse?" - Some little shithead
You're looking at the Grand Victorian Playhouse and two children who, judging by their facial expressions, have already started drinking to quiet the unrest inside. There's no way those kids love their new playhouse. That little boy wants to take his shirt off and stand screaming atop Castle Greyskull; that little girl wants to frolic through Snow White's forest. Neither one of them, if asked what their ideal play environment would be, would answer "A tasteful Craftsman, papa!" But that's what they got. And they'd better appreciate it: It starts at $20,000. Period-correct furniture, a skylight and an additional wing will set you back even more, but really, can you put a price on disappointing your children?
If that old school Victorian look isn't for you -- you want to raise a douchebag, sure, but not an anachronistic one -- the next step up is the $50,000 Mediterranean Villa:
"Our 4-year-old is really into Spanish tile."
It actually comes with connections for cable, electricity and water, with optional air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. That doesn't leave a lot to the imagination. So ... what game are your kids "playing" in here, exactly? Is it the "you can't legally move out for ten more years, but mommy is hungover and your shrill little child's voice is like a dagger in her skull, so kindly go live in the yard" game?
Then there's La Petite Maison, which, at $76,000, costs more than many actual, full-size houses in some parts of the country:
"Doing your own gardening? You must be new money."
In addition to all of the features of the Villa, La Petite Maison sports a full kitchen and a media room. Wait ... a full kitchen? Never mind that your kid could be playing unsupervised with a working stove -- you're encouraging your children to cook for themselves? What's next, cleaning? That's preposterous. But Lupita, your housekeeper, couldn't possibly fit through that tiny doorway -- she has the squat, bulky shoulders of the peasant class. Maybe you should see if her 8-year-old daughter is available on weekends ...
You can read more from Mark at Zug and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. Or check out his personal website. Jacopo della Quercia is on Twitter, or Also, check out this article he wrote for the Huffington Post.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Questions for the (Now Bankrupt) Tupac Hologram Company.