And the worst toy of 2012 is…
1) Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey by Fisher Price, $30, age 6 months and up. A teddy bear just won’t cut it for today’s jaded, screen-addicted babies. That’s why the triple trademarked Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey makes the perfect gift for your favorite droolers. It’s the first stuffy with an iPhone in its belly, so your little one can get everything she needs—Hugs! Video games! Milk!* —from the same creepy package!
2) LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop, $29, ages 6-12. How do you turn one of the all-time great toys into a TOADY contender? Give it a makeover! Introducing LEGO Friends, just for girls and so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush. Bye-bye square, androgynous figures; hello, curves ‘n eyelashes! And 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.
3) TheO ball by Physical Apps, price and age coming soon. Since the dawn of time, children have longed for something fun to do with 3-dimensional round objects. But thanks to the geniuses at Physical Apps, the wait is over. Simply insert your $400 smartphone into the TheO ball, hand it off to your kids, and in no time, they’ll be playing games their technologically primitive ancestors couldn’t dream of—like “Hot Potato.”
4) The 7-11 Slurpee Maker by Spin Master, $35, ages 6 and up. Playtime will be sweeter this holiday season with the 7-11 Slurpee Maker! There’s nothing pretend about the sugar rush kids will get by combining soda and ice to make their very own Slurpee. But it’s the branding, not the empty calories, that really makes this toy so TOADY-riffic. 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?!
5) The Put Me In The Story App by Jabberwocky Kids. App: Free; ebooks: $4.99. Ages 3 and up. You know what kids hate more than anything? Books! Why? Because no child cares what happens to Olivia, Max, or Sam-I-Am. But now, thanks to the Put Me In The Story App, you can instantly transform best selling children’s stories into e-books starring your own child. 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.
Any child psychologist, pediatrician or educator will tell you that little kids don’t need screen time. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to keep kids under age 2 away from television, smart phones and video games because screens provide no educational value whatsoever.
And this folks is why the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey has won this year’s TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year. The stuffed monkey comes with a smart phone snuggled into its tummy—making the sad statement that “a teddy bear just won’t cut it for today’s jaded, screen-addicted babies.” Mom and Dad have phones, so baby should too, right? (I think not!)
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood puts on the TOADY awards and users of its site vote on the worst toys of the year. In the closest TOADY vote ever, the Apptivity Monkey earned 33% of an online vote, barely besting the LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop (30%). TheO ball (21%), Spin Master’s 7-11 Slurpee Maker, (10%), and the Put Me In The Story app (7%) were the other runners-up. Find out more about all of these toys in the photo gallery above.
“The TOADY voting reflects growing resistance to the toy industry’s cynical attempts to foist screens of every conceivable size and shape onto infants,” said CCFC’s Director, Dr. Susan Linn. “Screen-free stuffed animals have been a source of comfort to young children and a springboard for creative play for generations. The Apptivity Monkey is a textbook example of more being considerably less.”
Now that you’ve taken a look at the worst toys, check out Toys R Us’s list of the hottest toys of 2012. These are the toys that are selling the best this holiday.