I know what I'm buying this year.
November 27, 2001 6:36 AM   Subscribe

I know what I'm buying this year. Reverend Rose of the Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford, CT has released his annual Warped Toy List. "A variety of toy stores and discount chains are visited on a monthly basis by members of the Grace Church Warped Toy Committee, in order to track what sort of toys are being offered for children ... Only the very worst, most psychologically dangerous and most offensive toys are selected."
posted by MegoSteve (37 comments total)
Should I assume the toys that aren't marked "Made in China" are American-made?
posted by delapohl at 6:57 AM on November 27, 2001

i want pictures!
but maybe i'd be held under the warped toys' hypnotising influence if i could see them...
posted by asok at 7:03 AM on November 27, 2001

“How far can you stretch your monster? Listen to him Scream!” “Squeeze your monster and gross!” (Puss comes out of his head) Interactively violent

Does that sound pornographic to anyone else here, or is it just me?
posted by adampsyche at 7:06 AM on November 27, 2001

Yah the Made in China thing is funny, most of the toys are likely commissioned/"designed" by US companies and only manufactured in China -- guess that doesn't fit as well with redneck consipiracy theories.
posted by malphigian at 7:09 AM on November 27, 2001

Wow, read the horror stories on the monster stretch screamer at Amazon. Sounds like a terrible toy beyond its implications.

Here's an excerpt: "exploded directly into my sons face and was burning his eyes terribly"
posted by zangpo at 7:13 AM on November 27, 2001

What? No integrated online gift registry?
How will my friends and family avoid duplicating their efforts?
posted by BentPenguin at 7:13 AM on November 27, 2001

Orc Overseer with whipping action. can whip New Born Urak Hai as he rises out of his birthing sac. Toy depicts sado-masochism, encouraging child to whip deformed new born being. Violently interactive toy, with deviant behavioral

As usual, the religious extremists don't get it. The Orcs are the bad guys. The toys are modeling what kids shouldn't act like.
posted by dnash at 7:21 AM on November 27, 2001

Hrm. That "Bounce n’ Shake Wacky Mike" does sound kind of bad though. I mean is it like "Now you can start learning to abuse before you can even do it to other people!".
posted by delmoi at 7:50 AM on November 27, 2001

I must be getting old. Fully 6 of the top 10 toys are things I would never let my kid have.

Now, granted, a couple of those are simply due to their mess-making potential (am I the only one in America that saw that the bulging eyeballs of the Electronic Stretch Screamers were guaranteed to burst?), but still...
posted by Irontom at 8:02 AM on November 27, 2001

encouraging child to whip deformed new born being

Someone needs to tell these people that portrayal does not equal encouragement.

As usual, the religious extremists don't get it.

Well if they weren't extremists then they'd probably get it. If anything is "as usual" here its more posts about fundies. It never gets old.
posted by skallas at 8:09 AM on November 27, 2001

You're not getting old, Irontom- I just looked at the list, and I wouldn't buy most of those for my kid either. They don't seem particularly warped to me, just annoying or messy, and not all that much fun to play with. The perponderance of "shake and yell" toys baffles me, my son had a Tickle Me Elmo and the entertainment lasted for all of a day or two. Now Elmo sits, quietly unabused, in a far corner of the toybox.

(Although I have to wonder what kinda grownup buys McFarlane toys for their kids- they're collector's items, man! I've got a whole shelf of them above my closet threatening to rip each other to pieces in my evil toy wonderland!)
posted by headspace at 8:11 AM on November 27, 2001

I agree with Irontom and headspace -- I must be getting old. A few of these do seem pretty bad to me.

That said, there is some irony value in listing #6, "Enemy cave with Rock Blasting Action," this Christmas.
posted by precipice at 8:15 AM on November 27, 2001

The stan winston creatures are listed as 8 and up on amazon, which is linked from the official (and pretty neat site), not 5 and up. That's a huge difference.

Here's Lita and Bubba Ray. I don't find that as suggestive as the Rev. makes it sound. And plus, violence against women? She's got him with her legs, about to finish him off. Girl power, no?
posted by zangpo at 8:20 AM on November 27, 2001

The only toy that appeals to me on this list is the Oh Deer –The Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper. I'm sure that my children would love it. The rest of this stuff is too violent.
posted by MaddCutty at 8:24 AM on November 27, 2001

I'd definitely agree that a lot of this stuff isn't kid-friendly, but it's a mistake to assume that every toy in Toys R Us is meant for children.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:26 AM on November 27, 2001

Looking at Lita and Bubba Ray, I have to feel sorry for the wives in the church committee. Or, be really, really jealous- imagine the tongue necessary to make that a lascivious pose.
posted by headspace at 8:51 AM on November 27, 2001

Frankly, I agree with Reverend Rose on most of this stuff. Is it really that extreme to suggest that you wouldn't want to give your kids toys like these?
posted by moss at 8:55 AM on November 27, 2001

Oh Deer –The Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper Midlon Foods, Inc.

Food? Poop? Huh?

Seriously, though, I'm out of touch with contemporary toys that I thought this page was a spoof until I checked out the metafilter comments. I'm sure there's another side to the story, but the descriptions here make the toys sound completely unappealing. What's wrong with legos, again?

And what's the deal with the site's author? A christian man named "Fr. Chris Rose," which I assume to take means "Friar/Father Chris Rose." But he started the warped toy list when he was shopping for his young son. Are priests allowed to have children now, or is "young son" a euphemism?

Significant victories from past years include the removal of “Steve the Tramp,” “Crash-Dummies Toys,” sexually explicit action figures, toy electric chairs, toys promoting racial, sexual, religious or ethnic stereotypes, and realistic toy guns from the consumer market.

Not entirely a bad thing.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 9:02 AM on November 27, 2001

dnash: This is a freakin' Episcopal church is Connecticut. Hardly a fundie church, it seems safe to presume, although probably one with (liberal, or at least communal) Puritan roots. Sounds more pushing an agenda of commercial/consumer restraint. How many fundie's are seriously concerned about, say, "violence against women."
posted by raysmj at 9:04 AM on November 27, 2001

“I’m Wolverine and my claws will take you down…My claws will finish you’re your breaking my leg…etc.”

Strange, I can't remember Wolverine ever saying that ... conjures up a wonderful image of him being distracted in the middle of a good threat, though.
posted by stuporJIX at 9:05 AM on November 27, 2001

crouton: It's Catholic priests who can't marry.
posted by raysmj at 9:14 AM on November 27, 2001

Do they realize how much this page reads like an advertisement? I think that's the problem with lists in general.

How big of a boost for "Family Guy" was it when they were listed at the top of that Evil TV Shows a while ago?
posted by dagnyscott at 9:16 AM on November 27, 2001

I think it's a mistake to think that any church official condemning products targeted for children's lives must be a slavering fundy. If I noted that my child was spending a lot of time mimicking whipping a baby creature as it emerged from its "birth sac" I'd take little comfort in knowing that the packaging and backstory explained that this is what evil creatures do. Come on already.

That said, if I really thought a pooping reindeer was offensive I'd have to make sure my future children never spend time in our backyard with the dogs. And -- psst -- Rev -- the reindeer's not a religious symbol, okay?
posted by argybarg at 9:16 AM on November 27, 2001

Catholic priests can't marry. But, a Catholic Priest can BE married, and have kids, and grandkids.... It's all in the process to become a priest. So, assumptions aside, it's possible for priests to have kids.

But, this was an Episcopal priest, and the Anglican tradition allows for marriage after consecration.
posted by dwivian at 9:27 AM on November 27, 2001

argybarg: And -- psst -- Rev -- the reindeer's not a religious symbol, okay?

Right, like he said: "Offensive to secular traditions of holiday seasons"
posted by moss at 9:36 AM on November 27, 2001

I thought the virtue of secular traditions was that they were inoffensible?

What happens if I openly mock Thanksgiving?
posted by argybarg at 9:55 AM on November 27, 2001

I happen to own the Orc Overseer, and Mainly it makes me not want to mess with orcs. Though with their description, I now have the lovely image of a bunch of orcs hanging about in an S&M club somewhere. Anyway, the ringwraith is much scarier in my opinion.

Meanwhile, in my toy searches I just came up with this, which is now #1 on my list of toys I really can't aford. Classic, funny and scary, woo hoo!
posted by kittyloop at 10:21 AM on November 27, 2001

Well then argybarg, me and my pal Squanto would have to open a big can of righteous holy whup-ass* on ya.

(unless of course you're bigger than me, in which case Squanto can go it alone, seeing as how he's already dead and all.)

*btw, does anyone know the correct sp of whup-ass? "whoop-ass? Luxury yacht? I'm so confused!
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:04 PM on November 27, 2001

It depends on the age, but how many parents would actually buy any of these for their kids? A lot of them sound a bit intense for their age rating. These are the toys that would be purchased by Impulsive, Funloving Uncle Larry.

Lists like this are worthless, since they only publicize the toys. Now, next time I'm at Toys R Us, I'll have to check out the pooping reindeer. Thanks a lot, Father Rose.

Toy shopping tip for those buying for other people's kids: toys without batteries are almost always better than toys with batteries.
posted by groundhog at 12:35 PM on November 27, 2001

dwivian, explain that one to me, please, about a Catholic priest BEing married and having offspring. Are you referring to a past incident or the ability for a currently married man with children to become a priest?

I wonder how many opinionators here have children... I do and I wouldn't go for any of these except the reindeer.

argybarg, Thanksgiving is not officially religious but has a really strong religious undercurrent. I wouldn't call it secular, either.
posted by mmarcos at 1:07 PM on November 27, 2001

I need to get into the city soon and see if any stores have a Santa Cthulhu. Mainstream "warped" toys are so tame.
posted by krisjohn at 4:08 PM on November 27, 2001

By virtue of the root of the word 'holiday' there aren't too many that are secular in origin (flag day, perhaps)
posted by QrysDonnell at 4:09 PM on November 27, 2001

Too bad they don't sell Jackhammer jesus in toys r us.
posted by alex3005 at 6:05 PM on November 27, 2001

Kafkaesque: Giant Can of WhoopAss
posted by swell at 7:25 PM on November 27, 2001

mmarcos -- I'd have emailed this, but you don't list an address in your profile.

A man becomes a priest of the Anglican tradition. That man marries and has children. After later developments in his denomination, he decides that perhaps he should have been RC instead. With a letter from the ArchBishop, and a quick series of classes, he is elegible for holy orders in the Catholic church, and is so recognized. With a wife, and kids. I've seen it, primarily because the Episcopal church is drumming out the more conservative elements in favor of a more leftist approach to religion (oh, ain't that one gonna be a bugger to work out!).

But, to make it perfectly clear -- Holy Orders are an impediment to marriage, but marriage is not an impediment to Holy Orders, under the current RC Canon. Very few people know that.
posted by dwivian at 10:33 AM on November 28, 2001

Count your blessings, folks (Episcopalian or otherwise). I live near Hartford and I'd had to watch this annual parade for a good decade now. Year after year, the local media jump on this toy list, promote the hell out of it (you can't escape this news story for the better part of a week around here), and bring a few grey clouds to my holiday shopping season.
posted by debrahyde at 2:44 PM on November 28, 2001

posted by mlang at 7:41 AM on November 29, 2001

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