Last year’s winner of the TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award was the Vinci tablet for babies, which retailed for about $479.
This year’s nominees represent everything from low-tech classic toys to high-tech variations on a basic game like “hot potato.”
LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop by LEGO
Recommended Age: 6-12
The CCFC says this just-for-girls makeover for LEGO is “so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush… at the LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop, your little princess won’t need to worry her pretty little head about icky boy things like building. Instead, she can ‘get primped and pretty and have some serious salon fun.’”
TheO ball by Physical Apps
Price: Coming Soon
Recommended Age: Coming Soon
Yes, it’s a ball… that you put an expensive smartphone in… and then give to kids to throw, kick, and bounce around. “Since the dawn of time, children have longed for something fun to do with 3-dimensional round objects,” jokes the CCFC. “But thanks to the geniuses at Physical Apps, the wait is over… in no time, they’ll be playing games their technologically primitive ancestors couldn’t dream of—like ‘Hot Potato.’ Kids will love a ball that tells them what to do. And parents will love that their little ones no longer have to choose between exercise and excessive screen time!”
The Put Me In The Story App by Jabberwocky Kids
Recommended Age: 3+
Here’s an app that lets you put your kids directly into an e-book, an idea that the CCFC thinks might not be the best way to develop your child’s ego: “It’s the perfect way to insure that your little one never grows out of that cute, all-about-me stage. Right now choices are limited to Dream Big, Little Pig, The Night Night Book, and If I Could Keep You Little, but hopefully soon your little narcissist will be sailing off to Where the Wild Things Are, attending Hogwarts and tramping through Mordor. A special feature makes the books a cinch to share on Facebook so your “friends” can feign interest.”
Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey by Fisher Price
Recommended Age: 6 months+
Just like the TheO ball apparently improved upon one of the ball’s worth as a plaything, so does this Fisher Price toy up the ante on the Teddy bear… by adding an iPhone. “[W]hile the Apptivity Monkey won’t assure baby a slot at Harvard, it is guaranteed to give her a head start…on a lifetime of needing screens for comfort,” writes the CCFC.
The 7-11 Slurpee Maker by Spin Master
Recommended Age: 6+
DIY frozen dessert makers for kids are nothing new — I’ll never forgive my mom (I know you’re reading) for throwing out the Snoopy Sno-Cone machine — but the CCFC says it’s the branding on this sugary, slushy drink dispenser that makes it worthy of a nomination: “The Slurpee Maker is emblazoned with the 7-11 logo and comes with a free Slurpee coupon, guaranteeing your kids will be nagging you for a trip to the convenience chain for a taste of the real thing. And with Slurpee’s 17 grams of sugar, your kid will down a full day’s worth in one shot – how convenient is that?!”
If you want to vote for any of these toys for a TOADY, go to the CCFC site.