Archive for the 'toys' Category

Some Toys Scare Me: Roboreptile

January 24, 2007

About a month ago a group of friends and I went to see a taping if ‘The Ellen Show.’ While my friends were big fans of the talk show, and Ellen Degeneres in general, I had never bothered to watch it before. Regardless, I enjoy going to tapings of television shows, especially daytime talk shows. You see, going to a taping of a talk show isn’t just about seeing celebrities in person or spending the day in Burbank — it’s about all of the free stuff you can get.

I’m not sure when it became standard practice for daytime talk shows to give the studio audience prizes. Game shows, sitcoms and late night talk shows give you nothing, and usually take much longer to tape. Still, I’m not complaining, try to attend as many tapings as we can. Oprah is still the queen of giveaways, but The Ellen Show, which doesn’t require a five-year waiting list to get tickets for, runs a close second. Last year my Mom received a digital camera and luggage set from the show, and all she had to do was feign interest in a set of B-list celebrities for about an hour.

With the holidays approaching I was very eager what kinds of prizes the audience would receive. I had heard that around Christmas it wasn’t uncommon to receive fabulous vacation getaways, shopping sprees, or iPods. Needless to say, my expectations were very high…

…and then I got the Roboreptile.

Wow Wee Entertainment has done it again. Or, to be more accurate, they’ve done it for the first time. Much like The Plague and Racism that came before it, Roboreptile cannot be stopped. It is a growling, biting, destructive beast that only rests to feed (or to get its’ batteries changed.)

We were very unhappy with our gift from the show, but I figured that I could pass it on to ‘Toys For Tots,’ or some like-minded organization. Unfortunately, I soon found out that tots don’t want battery operated toys for Christmas, and I would have to find some other way to get despose of it. Time passed, and before I knew it the holidays were over. Now I was officially stuck with one of the most useless and overhyped toys of the holiday season. Worse yet, Aaron loved it.

Perhaps indicative of how much abuse he tolerates from me, my beau thinks that it’s great to have a small thunder lizard parading around the house, screaming loudly and knocking things over. He’s even started to think of it as a pet, and says it will be great to ‘keep me company’ while he’s away on his long business trips.

So, for now, I’m stuck with this unnamed robotic death machine, and anxiously await the day it waddles out of my life for good. In the meantime, I’m keeping my bedroom door closed. Nothing is more frightening than waking up to discover that the Roboreptile has been watching you sleep all night.

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Batman Legos

January 9, 2007

What’s something you bought, knowing it was a total waste of money?

This is a QOTD very near and dear to my heart. As anyone who has been shopping with me knows, almost all of my purchases are a complete waste of money. Just today I bought two different brands of dish soap, just because I couldn’t figure out which one I liked more. It’s not that I have a large amount of cash to spend on stupid things like this, I’m just terribly indecisive. This, combined with my nerdiness, often results in purchases I end up regretting.

A good example of this is the LEGO: Batman Arkham Asylum Playset. For a mere 80 dollars Aaron and I could spend countless hours putting together 860 pieces of fun. The age range specified ’12 or older,’ so I figured that between the two of us we wouldn’t have difficulty with it. In my youth I spent many hours playing with Legos, so this would be a fun way to reconnect with that. If you’ve ever read a blog post by me, or understand three-act structure, you know all too well that things didn’t turn out as I had planned.

Joshhateslegos

The first problem arose when I realized that there was no organization to the 860 pieces presented in the box. While I don’t expect LEGO to make the assembling proccess easy, this was ridiculous. For example, if I were looking to find all of the pieces of the Arkham Asylum ambulance, I would have to look through every one of the 15 bags of crap they provided.

Several hours were spent simply trying to put the different legos into different piles, and by then we were exhausted and angry at one another. Starting this new hobby off with the most difficult Lego set may not have been a good idea. Admitting defeat we finally placed everything back into the box, and shoved it as deep into the closet as we could.

RiddleMeThis

I’m not really disappointed with the purchase, but acknowledge that the money could have gone to a much better cause. At the very least, I got some cool Batman-themed Lego men out of it.

QotD: Books From My Childhood

December 11, 2006

What books did you love as a child?
Submitted by hearts.

Some of my favorite books growing up were the ‘Clue’ mysteries, based on the popular board game. There were 18 in total, each containing ten self-contained stories. These stories featured a wide variety of mysteries, ranging from who stole the last piece of cake to who killed Mr. Boddy. It should be of no surprise to anyone that I wasn’t very good at solving these mysteries. I mostly read them for their (seemingly) sophisticated humor, and because I was obsessed with the board game.

Clue

Poor Mr.Boddy. Although he was only a corpse in the board game, here he was a real-life, interesting character. These stories helped to flesh out the world of ‘Clue,’ and made you care about Mr. Boddy before he was ‘killed’ off in the final chapter of each book. Don’t worry, though, in the next installment he would miraculously reappear, ready to invite back the guests who had just attempted to kill him. Part of me always felt sorry for the guy; although none of my houseguests had attempted to push me down the stairs (that I know of) I knew what it was like to have rude houseguests.

I remember begging my Mom to take me to local book stores, searching desperately for the missing books in my collection. Before the days of the internet or Barnes & Noble, finding certain books became quite an undertaking. Of the collection I think I only ended up with a dozen before I lost interest in the series as a whole. Elementary school students are incredibly fickle, and by the time I had given up on Clue I was into fantasy novels by way of Tolkien, Lewis, and Baum.

Some Toys Scare Me: TMX

September 26, 2006

I’m a huge fan of toys. At the very least, I’m a huge fan of toy stores. The novelty of most toys wears off for me after a few minutes, so rather than spending my money on an Easy Bake Oven I can go to the store, stare at the box for a few moments, and leave satisfied. Those few toys that I do buy usually end up on display in my bedroom, although that’s not really an option for my current living situation. One day I tried bringing a Batman Lego set to the apartment, and Aaron made me put it together in the closet.

Anyway, my outrageously heterosexual friend Steve came over the other day, claiming he had something that he needed to show me right away. Me, fearing for the worst, figured it was a new addition to his vast gun collection, or some kind of annoying Flash animation.

Sadly, this was much worse that I could have possibly ever imagined.

For some reason Steve was walking through the toy aisles at Target when he stumbled across a large crowd of parents lining up to get a copy of the new Tickle Me Elmo 10th Anniversary Doll, Codenamed “TMX.” Seeing an opportunity, he lined up with the group and purchased two of the dolls on the spot. From there he went straight to my apartment to show the dumb thing off.

I can’t really explain why Elmo frightens me, but I think a big part of it is the full range of movement it has. When I was a child I had a Teddy Ruxpin doll; although it was a Great-Grandfather to TMX in a lot of ways, all it could really do was move its’ mouth and read a story.

Elmo is smart — really smart. Also, a bastard. If you ignore him for a few minutes, he will ask why you aren’t tickling him. Then when you do tickle him, he begs for you to stop! He can’t make up his mind, and it drives me insane. Growing up I was never concerned that Teddy might start a machine uprising against me and my loved ones. With Elmo I think about it constantly.

Thankfully Steve auctioned off both of these monsters online for a tidy profit, and with them sold out across the country I won’t have to worry about the invasion for a while at least.