Toys are the cornerstone of any good childhood—but today we’re going to look at the toys that probably should’ve been left on the conveyor belt because they’re simply weird or downright stupidly designed. We’ve all seen a toy or two that have fit this description; perhaps you were at your local dollar star where you caught a Batman rip-off, and instead of seeing your favorite caped crusader you were met with a neck-bearded weirdo wearing a bat costume—it’s happened to all of us at one point.
Now, as I look around at all you “younglings” of today, I get a little choked up at the sight of seeing toys being replaced by iPads, cell phones, and Switches (though I’m cool with this one). It’s sad to see stores like Toys 'R Us going out of business and watching the slow demise of toys and their impact on children. But I don’t want to be “that guy” who wears his age on his sleeve by saying stuff like “Well, back in my day, tweeting was for the birds and we didn't have these cell phone thingys; all we had were 2 soup cans and a string.” As much as I want to be that guy to preach about the beauty of toys, I’ll save it for another day.
Today we’re going to look at the failures and the abominations that had the gall to call themselves toys. Some of these things are so laughably bad that I don’t even think they hit dollar store quality. But even the bad toys deserve to have a spotlight just so we can itch our morbid curiosity—so strap on your seat-belt, because you’re seriously in for a heck of a ride.
27 The Wrong Kind Of Buzz Lightyear
It’s always best to start a list off strong, and here we have a toy designed so unbelievably bad that I seriously don’t want to see the toys that top this. Honestly though, who actually decided this should be on shelves?
This is just so painfully obvious as to what’s going on here that we don’t even want to point out the obvious.
My favorite part though has got to be the way that Buzz crosses his arms, like he's getting some sick satisfaction out of this whole situation.
26 Any Other Cookie Will Do
With a list like this, you're bound to see some bad ideas, but this, this is just “shaking your head” type of material.
Oreo is typically used against people meaning that the person may “look” black on the outside, but the way they act is more associated with white behavior. Somehow, Barbie thought it’d be a good idea to slap an Oreo logo on a black barbie.
Can't believe this early I’m at a loss for words, to put it simply, this was a really bad idea—should’ve gone with Nutter Butter instead.
25 He's Pretty Gooey
This game really appealed to all the booger eaters and belly-button pickers, and man oh man did I hate this game as a kid growing up in the 2000s. It was marketed as an extreme gross-out game that really didn’t even have a point—it really was just another way for gross kids to be gross.
You couldn’t really win this game and it just doesn’t really even have a point. This game just replicated the experience of Play-Doh and turned it into something that I’m honestly ashamed to even look at.
24 The Harry Potter Broomstick
We’re going to cut this one some slack because it’s the first toy that truthfully feels like an honest mistake—but unfortunately for the toy creators, the mistake was laughably horrific.
For, you see, Mattel’s Harry Potter Nimbus 2000 is a broomstick that happens to vibrate when you use it, to simulate flight.
The toy was marketed to ages 8-12 but it seems all ages enjoyed the toy, as at one point the toy was being sold at both the Toys R Us and a weird video store in Times Square.
23 The Quagmire-Themed Transformer
Yup, you read that right, there’s an Autobot named Erector, and he can turn into a construction vehicle that erects stuff, we guess. It’s definitely not the best name for an Autobot and it seems like the creators of this robot were trying to slip in one clever joke.
But this infamous Autobot was somehow turned into a toy, which truly makes us wonder if anyone stopped to see the problem here. Pretty sure no parent is going to buy their children any toy of any kind with that word on it.
22 So Very Huggable
You would think that someone, anyone, even the janitor would let the designers know that this toy looks a bit like something else—but here we are with a teddy bear that looks like it should be sold at a different store.
Honestly, I don’t even think I’m old enough to play with a toy like this.
But this truthfully looks like an honest mistake, because the bear is supposed to shoot the ball out, making it, I guess, unique, at the very least. Still, we really don’t want to see its mouth after that ball is out.
21 The Inflatable Baby Boat
Of course, when you’re young you're always looking for the hot new toy, but your parents are probably more concerned with your safety above everything. Well, you should seriously thank your mom and pops for never putting you in this thing because it’s crazy bad.
Thankfully no children were ever seriously harmed (reportedly), but this lifeboat had a problem where the leg strap of the seat (the part that the baby sits in) tore quite easily and frequently. And to make matters most, the company knew about the risk and pushed it out anyway.
20 Elmo Doesn't Know How To Tickle
This is... weird, to say the least. In an effort to strike the same success that “Tickle Me Elmo” had achieved, a “Hug Me Elmo” doll was released in the 2000s.
The doll itself was successful, but the box seemed to look like Elmo turned Solid Snake as he put his targets to sleep.
Obviously, this box was tampered with, but even the normal boxes gave off the impression that Elmo was giving a hug that was possibly a bit too hard.
19 We All Owned One Of These
Everyone’s seen this toy before—and it’s probably the toy that you really can’t describe to any kid without it sounding kind of weird. It’s a slimy bag of water (we think) and all you really can do with it is play with it in your hands.
Once you get older you realize this toy could have another meaning, one that you'll never unsee.
I was strolling through Walgreens the other day, and when I stumbled upon the toy I almost felt as if it needed a censor tag.
18 Not Heeding The Call Of Duty
Besides making blunders in the video game industry, Call of Duty decided they’d like to bomb in other industries as well, including the toy industry. And here we are with one of those bombs, an officer themed action figure.
Obviously, kids love playing with the bad guys too, but, well, we think this might be taking it a little too far.
Survivors and Jewish groups were among the many that took offense from the toy calling it “painful.” Thankfully, Activision is out of the toy market as there wasn’t enough DLC and microtransactions to be made on toys.
17 What’s Her Face Dolls
These dolls should be applauded for letting girls design their own image of beauty instead of portraying what it should look like in Mattel's main line of blond, blue-eyed Barbie dolls—but that doesn’t make them any less creepy.
These dolls come with blank faces making them look like slightly more fashionable Slenderman rejects.
As a guy who still likes a night light in the hallway, I can say that anything that has a blank, smooth face is just something I can’t endorse.
16 A New Kind Of Battle
Fighting was always wrong in my household, especially physical stuff… unless it was settled with Socker Boppers, and then it was alright.
So don’t get us wrong, these things were awesome, especially since you were granted the freedom of getting the snot out of your siblings.
But you can probably assume why they probably made the list, because sometimes we all go a little overboard and go for our brother or sister just a little too hard. Granted, it’s still massively satisfying, but try explaining that one to your parents.
15 Barbie's New Look
Barbie really is our MVP for this list, as they’ve made some questionable decisions when it comes to the designs of their toys. Christian groups were up in arms at the design of this toy, based on Black Canary from DC. These groups were mainly furious about the toy looking extremely reminiscent of workers you see hanging out at corners.
And it’s hard to defend this comic book-inspired Barbie doll when it has a working zipper that goes all the way down to her crotch—mix that with her black fishnet stockings and you have a recipe for reasonably angry parents.
14 Not A Great Investigation
Just noticed the title of this list includes the word hilarious… welp, you can throw that out the window on this one. Back in 2007, CBS released the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, which gave kids a chance to be real-life forensic investigators but with an undiscovered side effect—being the dust included with the kit contained up to 7% of one of the deadliest forms of asbestos.
Asbestos is known for causing lung cancer later in life, and can greatly affect you from one SINGLE exposure. The only thing funny about this entry is the toy manufacturer is thankfully bankrupt.
13 Yes, This Is An Official Doll
Not only does this doll make it look like Emma Watson is balding, as one user points out it looks like this toy should be part of the John Malkovich collection. This is just bad, like “I really hope Emma Watson complained to Disney” kind of bad.
Usually, when you have a good looking person it isn’t hard to translate that to a toy; guess that applies to everyone but Disney.
The icing on the cake for this one is that Emma Watson’s face is in the corner of the box, giving you something to easily compare this monstrosity to.
12 Quaint-Looking Fairy Toy? Nope
Don’t judge a book by its cover is the lesson to be learned when it comes to a lot of these toys, especially with this toy here. They were called Sky Dancers, and we say “were” because they were recalled in 2005, as the toy could really be used as a weapon.
They would work by you placing your “dancer” in the base, pulling the string, and watching her majestically float through the sky. If only it were that splendid, these things were a hard piece of plastic that caused a whole slew of problems.
11 Not Your Mother’s Super Soaker
This is the result of a super soaker, the alien, and that Gooey Louie game combined. Oh, and I guess we can add a dash of your nightmares in there as well, because instead of shooting water this thing spurts out a foreign alien liquid, or “bio-ooze.”
The Daily Show voted The Oozinator as “The Number One ‘Devil’s Plaything’ for Christmas” in 2006.
It’s just a weird spin of the super soaker and something that I hope no parent got their kid for Christmas. Anything that shoots out a vicious white liquid is not too be trusted if you ask me.
10 Barbie's Getting Tatted Up!
Well if you’re having second thoughts about getting a tattoo, or maybe you’re regretting that Bill Cosby tattoo you got as a kid then Totally Tattoo Barbie might not be for you. Apparently, parents thought this doll would encourage their kids to get tattoos, and the Ken tattoo that Barbie could get on her lower back was apparently the final straw.
A Barbie that can receive tattoos is kind of cool, to us at least, but the Ken heart tattoo seems a bit extreme for kids, especially since it looks weird on her lower back.
9 Not Your Typical Plush
First off, this looks more like a dog’s chew toy and less like something a child should play with—but we guess that’s why it’s making the list.
It makes the list for other reasons too, but those are just so glaringly apparent that we can’t even begin to understand how this toy was greenlit.
This toy looks like a mascot for Happy Tree Friends, definitely something you don’t want kids to see. So if you see a kid snuggling this to bed then it’s safe to say he might be slightly messed up for life.
8 Kids Toys Have Been Reduced To This
You’re probably running out of ideas when you start selling things revolving around #2. The case for that is clear as we can see that this Moxie Girl comes with your very own pet Unicorn, that in fact, goes rainbows.
As a kid, I truly never imagined a world where toys were reduced to unicorns making rainbows, but here we are.
It’s almost as if Moxie Girls were riding that randomness hype-trend and thought, “Hey you know what! I hear the kids love some random stuff and there’s nothing more random than #2.” All this followed by some intern pitching the idea of the stuff being rainbow colored, and the rest is history.
7 Video Girl Barbie Is Ready To Capture All The Action
Carrying on with the list of failed Barbie dolls that were slammed with controversy we now find ourselves with this “Video Girl” Barbie. Yeah, that name is plastered all over the box, and it’s probably one of the worst names you could call your Barbie.
A video girl is typically not a well-respected woman by any means and can range from half-unclothed girls in rap videos, or just girls that do videos to post on the internet. That’s probably not the image you want surrounding your new Barbie doll.
6 Hearts And Clubs
Based on the title of this list, you could definitely make this toy today, but would you? Well, if you have a sliver of common sense then I would hope the answer would be no.
For the new decks the Queen Of Hearts was thankfully made into the queen of hearts card, but that doesn’t excuse this moronic mistake.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the full deck of cards so we might not ever know who replaced the Queen as the queen of hearts in that deck of cards.
5 A Playmobil Situation
Playmobil was always seen as the discount Lego sets when I was a kid. It wasn’t because they were cheap, because trust me they weren’t, but it was more so for the fact that it made kids wonder why you would waste your time with that toy.
Legos were just so much better, and for the most part, they still are. But Playmobil isn’t as bad as I’m making them out to be, but they sure do look dumb for this set. Build your own bank, AND THEN ROB IT!!
4 We Hope This Is A Knockoff
This Paw Patrol set just seems a bit off the mark. It just seems pretty self-explanatory that you would never, ever use those two words in conjunction with each other.
The saddest part is that I don’t even know what they were really going for, like what in the actual heck were they intending. Are those dogs going to a camp where they need to concentrate super hard? Or are they going to a camp to learn about concentration? Come on, Paw Patrol, just pull it together.
3 Looks Cool, Tastes Bad
When you see those warnings on the sides of toy boxes it’s easy to brush them off, but you should seriously heed the warning on the side of the box for Aqua Dots, because these things are wickedly dangerous.
These dots might look cool, but they're not great for you if eaten. Unfortunately, an 18-month old child learned the powerful potency of these dots after eating more than a few of them. These are best left on the shelf.
2 The Simpsons Have Never Looked Better
Usually, when we see toys that look this messed up, we’re usually looking at some Dollar Store quality stuff. But we’re really not sure what to make of this, or where it came from.
I mean, it has the official Simpsons stamp of approval at the top, yet something just feels off about these toys—maybe it’s the fact that Bart looks wired out and Maggie looks like she has beef with the next person who crosses her.
I’d buy this whole thing just for Maggie alone, so I guess these toys aren’t too bad.
1 Barbie And Baby
It only seems fair to give one last spot to Barbie, since a lot their laughably bad creations dominated most of this list, but this one truly takes the cake.
This Barbie seemed like a good way to talk about the miracle of childbirth, except it wasn't at all.
This Barbie delivers a baby by having her entire stomach removed to reveal a baby-like creature hiding in the depths of her body. And while I’m not entirely sure, I believe that’s not how the process is done.