50 Epic Toy Design Fails That Are So Bad, It’s Hilarious
You can often find a lot of variety within a kid's toy collection. And I'm not just talking about old noisy cars and soft cuddly teddies.
This time, Bored Panda is focusing on the creepy ones. Those that parents hope their child will never notice or at least come across in the store because there's something disturbing about them. Like Bilbo Baggins who looks like an addict. Or bootleg dolls with anatomical deformities.
So continue scrolling to check out some of the funniest, strangest, and downright scariest toys ever made. I don't know what their creators were hoping for, but these abominations are probably responsible for one too many nightmares.
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While I understand why people wouldn't like these atrocities in their home, shielding kids from scariness entirely isn't ideal too.
A survey of 1,003 UK parents by online bookseller The Book People found that 33% would steer clear of books for their children containing frightening characters. Asked about the fictional creations they found scariest as children, a fifth of parents cited the Wicked Witch of the West from L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with the Child Catcher from Ian Fleming’s Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang in second place. Third was the Big Bad Wolf, in his grandmother-swallowing Little Red Riding Hood incarnation, fourth the Grand High Witch from Roald Dahl’s The Witches, and fifth Cruella de Vil, from Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians.
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But psychologist Emma Kenny told The Guardian that fear is a natural response. "When you are reading a scary story to a child, or they’re reading to themselves, the child has got a level of control – they can put it down, or ask you to stop. And the story can raise a discussion, in which they can explore and explain the way they feel about a situation."
Being frightened by a book, according to the psychologist, "helps forge resilience."
"The world can be a scary place – children will get into situations where they're told off by teachers, or fall out with friends. Knowing how to confront fear is a good thing."
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The good thing is that many of us know that. At least intuitively. The Book People’s survey also discovered that while a third of parents avoided books with scary characters, 78% said that baddies helped children "differentiate between good and evil", 53% that they helped children "learn to cope with difficult situations", and 48% that they help conquer fears.
"Children are often being wrapped up in cotton wool," Kenny added. "Risk and fear are something we need in childhood. We know that people who take risks, in the long term, do better than those who don’t … And how can you feel safe and secure until you know what it’s like to be afraid? Anything that gives you a wide range of emotions in a safe and controlled environment is great."
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Some of the most common childhood fears are:
- Being alone;
- The dark;
- Dogs or other big animals;
- Getting shots or going to the doctor;
- Unfamiliar or loud noises;
- Imaginary monsters — the “thing” under the bed, etc.
But again, "Being afraid sometimes is a normal, healthy part of growing up," says Elianna Platt, MA, LMSW, a licensed social worker. And, while kids do unfortunately sometimes face things that are truly frightening, most childhood fears don't represent an actual threat — the "monster" in the closet is just an old coat you’ve been meaning to donate — which means they actually present an ideal chance for kids to work on their self-regulation skills. But for that to happen, parents have to address their own anxiety first.
"We want to give kids the chance to practice getting through difficult situations," Platt adds, "but for a lot of parents, that’s easier said than done."
When you see your child in distress the natural response is to want to make it better, especially if the fix seems easy. But even though jumping in might help your child be less afraid in the moment, in the long run, it can actually make it more difficult for them to learn how to calm themselves down. "If kids get the message that mom or dad will always be there to do the comforting, there isn’t much incentive, or opportunity, to learn how to do it themselves."
So if they, for example, stumble across a spooky toy, try to allow them to make sense of it on their own.
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Once you know that you're child is afraid of someone, let them know you're taking the situation seriously. "When a kid says something’s scary, there's a pretty good chance that we as adults don’t think it’s scary," Rachel Busman, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, explained. "But we always want to start by validating their feelings."
For example, instead of "Oh come on, that wasn't scary!" or "What is there to be afraid of?" try something like, "Wow, it sounds like you were scared!" or, "I know a lot of kids worry about that."
Lord Of The Rings Toy (Bilbo Baggins) Looks Like An Addict
Once you've offered reassurance it's important to move on quickly. "We don’t want to dwell on offering comfort around the scary thing, because even that can become reinforcing and take on a life of its own," Dr. Busman said. Rather, start talking about how you’ll work together to help him start feeling braver and get to the point where he’s able to manage the fear by himself.
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But not fears are the same. "[The ones] that don’t interfere with a child's life don't always need getting over," Dr. Busman said.
So if your little one doesn’t like scary movies, for instance, that's fine. It may actually be a testament to his self-advocacy skills, Dr. Busman noted. "Deciding, ‘I don’t like these, I’m not going to watch’ is your child standing up for his needs and saying, 'This is my limit.'"
Which, I guess, kids said about most of these toys.