When it comes to the world of children’s toys, you’d expect to see the usual suspects like stuffed animals, plastic toy guns and figurines of all shapes and sizes. However, there are some toys that just seem to miss the boat on ‘appropriate design for children’.
Take the Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 Broomstick, for example, which looked pretty much like the version in the movie franchise, but with one extra feature: the broom vibrates! What do you get when parents find out about a phallic toy that vibrates when slid against a child’s crotch? Product recall and hilarious online comments.
Cock-Ups: Shape of things to come
Last year, Hasbro released Play-Doh’s “Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset” which came with an (in)appropriately named “extruder” tool – a penis-shaped syringe to squeeze Play-Dohs from. Images of this ‘Play-Doh dildo’ went viral, to the chagrin of their overworked social media team who tried to delete all the suggestive images.
Then you have the Dora Aquapet, which has been given a bunch of nicknames along the lines of ‘Dora Dong’. Dora the Explorer – and other characters like Spongebob Squarepants – were part of Aquapet’s limited edition release, so you’ll see them bobbing inside a phallus-shaped tube, propelled by a pair of suggestive domes.
Trust toy companies to make childhood characters creepy. ET’s finger has been severed and sold has ‘Finger Light’, which lights up when you press it. Apparently nobody told them that the flesh-coloured ‘finger’ with veins looks like something else…
Not all rude toys have to be imported – Singapore created the Fr-ooze Pop, which is basically jelly that you squirt, suck and lick out of a dildo-shaped container. Children were supposed to shove said candy stick into their mouths, and ‘squeeze and lick again and again’, according to TV ads that popped up in between cartoon shows.
Jack Up: Rub and repeat
Action toys may be fun for kids, but when they’re inappropriately designed, hilarity – and parental complaints – ensue.
In 2008, Disney released the “Rad Repeatin’ Tarzan” action figure, which looks like the animated hero except his right hand looks like it’s holding an invisible erm, flagpole. Perversion goes to another level when you activate the lever on its back: his arm moves up and down in a motion that’s not ‘child-appropriate’, as he yells like a beast. No wonder there’s a ‘choking hazard’ label on the box…
Then there’s Disney’s Lion King toy featuring Rafiki and Simba. The action was meant to recreate the inspiring moment from the movie when Rafiki raises Simba to show the kingdom their new prince. But Simba was placed so disturbingly far down Rafiki that when you press his tail, it reminds you of an animal kingdom version of child molestation. And it’s a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy!
Blow Up: Puff
Inflatable toys are always fun, but when they can give the word ‘blow’ a whole new meaning.
The Marvel’s inflatable Wolverine looks innocent enough, until you have to inflate it – via its crotch. Whether it’s a production mistake or an intentional design, it can be a bit awkward to place your lips around the Clawed One’s protruding member.
Taking inflatables to a whole new scale (literally) are Pikachu and the erm, Penis Slide. The Pikachu bouncy castle makes you wonder why it looks so damn happy when kids are going in and out of its er, entrance.
The Penis Slide, unfortunately, doesn’t resemble anything other than a penis. The inappropriateness goes to a whole new level when you realise that kids have to slide through this inflatable phallus, and then emerge out the other end like a pee dribble.
Shoot Up: Big Guns
What’s not to love about action heroes and guns?
The “Punisher Shape Shifter” is part of a range of toys that transform from human to something else. Perhaps intentionally, Punisher’s big gun protrudes from his nether regions (macho!), but when he transforms, it ends up sticking out from his behind (errr…).
Then there’s the Batman water gun which takes the shape of the caped crusader bent over, with the trigger positioned at his crotch. And you fill it up by unplugging the butt plug. Seriously.
Moral of the story? Even if it’s a children’s toy, it doesn’t mean that the designers can’t have a bit of fun (if they can get away with it).