(Scorpions and Centaurs)

Hey LEGO, Why Are You So Grumpy? Study Wishes Those Frowns Were Upside Down

The night is dark and full of terrors, but playing with toys is always such a happy respite from the woes of the world. Like LEGO toys! They’re great and creative and why is that little man glaring at me? Does he hate me? Why is everything so sad? A new study says the happy faces on LEGO people are decreasing and the grumpies are gaining. And that can apparently have an effect on kids and how they play. [More]

Fred Meyer Recalls Stuffed Chicken That Plays Excessively Loud Chicken Dance Song

Fred Meyer Recalls Stuffed Chicken That Plays Excessively Loud Chicken Dance Song

Did you know that there’s an upper volume limit for how loud a noise-making toy can be before it’s considered a hazard to your hearing? It’s true. Despite what some toddlers’ parents might think, most toys that beep, talk, or play music don’t come close to the standard. One Easter toy sold at Fred Meyer stores does, though, and the chain has issued a recall to save everyone’s ears. [More]

Customers Revolt, Make U.K. Pharmacy Chain Stop Sorting Toys By Gender

Customers Revolt, Make U.K. Pharmacy Chain Stop Sorting Toys By Gender

Early on, kids don’t care very much about what they’re supposed to enjoy playing with. Sometimes boys play with trucks, and girls play with sparkly magic wands. It bothers some people when toys are sorted into “Boys” and “Girls” sections, even if they aren’t explicitly labeled as such. But customers of UK pharmacy chain Boots got very upset when they noticed that toy sections had clear pink and blue labels, and a line of scientific exploration toys were only in the “boys” section. The message, detractors said: science isn’t for girls. Perhaps that caring for babies ins’t for boys, either. [More]

SHARK PLANE.

Accidentally Sexist Toy Mixup Means My Niece Gets Pink Car Instead Of Awesome Shark Plane

At left is the totally awesome shark plane that J’s parents bought for Christmas for his niece. It’s an online-only item from Toys ‘R’ Us. Any child would be lucky to receive such a fun and cool-looking gift, right? The problem is that thanks to an accidentally sexist shipping mixup, they didn’t get the plane: they got a pink pedal car instead, a week before Christmas. This kind of thing happens all the time, though, so Toys ‘R’ Us should be able to handle a vehicle swap with no problem. Right? [More]

Actual koala feces not guaranteed to sparkle.

This Fashion Doll Presents An Unrealistic Image Of Pet Ownership Where Animals Poop Jewels

Moxie Girlz are from MGA, the same company that brought us Bratz dolls. They’re like a softer version of Bratz, wearing less makeup, having slightly more human proportions, and they’re even fully clothed. [More]

Eww, fishies!

How To Make A Toy For Girls: Take Gender-Neutral Toy, Add Fairies And Flowers, Make It Purple

As a child, did you ever have one of those magnetic fishing games where plastic fishes’ mouths snap open and shut and you try to snag them with a magnet? I had one, and I enjoyed that toy very much as a little girl. Let me emphasize the “as a little girl” part. One would think that this is a toy that doesn’t need any girling up, but apparently you and I don’t think like a toy company. That’s why the Tinkerbell fishing game exists. It’s the same thing as the primary-colored, gender-neutral fishing game. Except it’s purple and Disney Fairies-branded. Because it’s for girls! [More]

(Josh Derr)

Mom Displeased That Toy She Bought Her One-Year-Old Turns Out To Have A Potty Mouth

Kids have the tendency to repeat anything they hear, like tiny parrots who are trying to learn about the world around them. And often, those kids get a kick out of repeating anything that’s even slightly inappropriate with much glee, as parents everywhere have surely experienced. One mom  in the UK is none too pleased that a toy she bought her one-year-old at a town festival happens to chortle questionable song lyrics. [More]

(The Consumerist)

Chicago Strip Club Offers Free Lap Dances To Boost Holiday Toy Drive Donations

It’s not Toys for Tots, but the goal is the same: A Chicago strip club is embarking on its third annual toy drive with its unique angle on convincing customers to give this holiday season — you give an unopened toy suitable for a child  and you get a lap dance. It’s a simple premise and it’s likely a very popular scheme with the club’s patrons. Lap dances are usually very expensive, after all. [More]

(bclinesmith)

Toys ‘R’ Us Either Restores Canceled Order Or Screws It Up Again

Some good news out of Toys ‘R’ Us: after a seeming fit of disorganization, randomly canceled orders, and no information getting out to customers, we’re getting reports that maybe–just maybe–things are getting straightened out over at Big Giraffe. [More]

(The Caldor Rainbow)

Toys R Us Takes Holiday Toy Orders, Then Ignores Customers

Yesterday, we shared JC’s sad story about the Little Tikes pizza oven he ordered from Toys R Us that is stuck in the bowels of the Toys R Us ordering apparatus with no explanation. He ordered that kitchen much earlier than most customers, but he’s not alone in wondering where his order went. In Jen’s case, she just went ahead and ordered the same item cheaper from another vendor, but couldn’t get through to TRU to cancel her original order. [More]

DIY Slurpees rule!

LEGO Set For Girls, Slurpee-Maker For Kids, Top Nominees For Worst Toy Of The Year

It’s the holiday season, which for many parents means it’s toy-buying time. It also means it’s time for Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood to unveil its selection of the toys that it believes embody the worst the marketplace has to offer. [More]

This looks super fun.

Little Tikes Pizza Play Kitchen Does Not Come With 30-Minute Delivery Guarantee

JC’s child is an aspiring pizzeria owner, or maybe just a 3-year-old who appreciates a cool play kitchen. Whatever the case, the Little Tikes pizza kitchen of his kid’s dreams went on sale at Toys R Us back in October, and he ordered one to be shipped to the local store. Then it vanished. Well, it didn’t vanish, but the kitchen is stuck at “in progress” in the store’s delivery system. JC’s debit card was charged, but where did the toy go? [More]

(gumbyliberation)

Tiny Terrors: This Holiday Season’s Troublesome Toys Include Choking Hazards, Lead

Don’t want your kids messing around with potentially dangerous phthalates, picking up traces of lead or swallowing tiny toy parts? You might want to check out the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s 27th annual survey of toy safety. The someone ominously titled “Trouble in Toyland” report looks into the most common dangers plaguing the toy industry and also gives tips on how to avoid buying anything that could potentially harm a child. [More]

(Stéfan)

Study: Amazon Has Cheapest Toys Online [Cue Other Retailers Scrambling To Cut Prices]

In the retail world, it’s all about beating out the competition. And if you can offer the lowest prices and thus lure the most customers, well then you’re the winningest of all. A new analysis of retailers has come up with a big old carrot of motivation by saying Amazon has cheaper online prices for toys than major chains like Walmart and Target. Let the price wars begin, just in time for the holiday season. [More]

Little Tikes Offers Refund If I Write All Over My Daughter's Toy Pony

Little Tikes Offers Refund If I Write All Over My Daughter's Toy Pony

Tatiana’s daughter has a Giddy Up and Go pony from Little Tikes, a cute toy horsie that isn’t cheap. When there was a problem with the toy and it was beyond repair, she contacted the company and they offered her a refund, but with a catch: she had to mutilate the pony beyond the point where someone would pick it up from the curb, somehow keeping her daughter from seeing this. Then she had to send Little Tikes detailed photos of the mutilation. This makes sense, but Tatiana has never heard anything like it, and wonders whether other readers have either. [More]

This Toys 'R' Us Coupon Excludes Toys. No, Really

This Toys 'R' Us Coupon Excludes Toys. No, Really

Phillip and his wife set up a Babies ‘R’ Us/Toys ‘R’ Us registry for their soon-to-arrive new baby. After all of the fun of zapping items in the store with guns, they received a registry completion coupon in the mail. After the shower and baby gifts stop coming, they could buy anything left on the registry for 10% off. These coupons are pretty common, and come in handy. Well, unless you’re Phillip’s family. Their registry completion coupon isn’t very handy at all, because it excludes just about everything on their registry. [More]

Everyone Knows You Need All Of The Pieces To Make A Voltron… Except Mattel

Everyone Knows You Need All Of The Pieces To Make A Voltron… Except Mattel

Sure, Salem had a happy childhood in Dubai. But it lacked one crucial thing: a toy Voltron. He eventually moved to the United States for a decade, enjoying all that New York City has to offer: career opportunities, a variety of cultural experiences, and the ability to order special-edition Voltron subscriptions from Mattel that aren’t sold overseas. You know, important things. He subscribed to a five-toy collector’s series comprised of five lions that join to form a Voltron. He moved, and the blue lion (Voltron’s right leg) shipped to his old address in error. Mattel is happy to refund his money, but won’t send a replacement blue lion. It’s not about the money. The blue lion is sold out. [More]

LEGO Piece Crammed Up Nose For 3 Years Causes Child's Chronic Health Problems

LEGO Piece Crammed Up Nose For 3 Years Causes Child's Chronic Health Problems

The six-year-old Utah boy was sick for no clear reason. Just bad luck. For years, he had terrible sinus problems, and doctors assumed that it was bacterial, prescribing antibiotic after antibiotic that never solved the problem. Then one physician looked outside of the box (outside of the nostril?) a bit and noticed that there was some kind of foreign object up the child’s nose. Did he remember putting anything up there? No, of course not. A specialist removed the obstruction, which turned out to be a “ball of fungus” surrounding a tiny, flexible LEGO tire. The child’s health problems abruptly disappeared. [More]