So my brother's girlfriend, Terri, has a little girl and she is going to be turning five this weekend. I went through university to become a teacher and -- surprise! -- I really enjoy kids. I also love toys. So I have been researching the latest toy trends so that I will have some idea about what Marissa (the little girl in question) will want. I have found some great new toys that I am sure will be a hit at the birthday party we are throwing her. And I found one that I will definately *not* be buying but which had a review so funny that I just had to link you all to it so you can laugh too. :D So anyway, here we go...
The Good: (i.e. things I might buy):
1. Webkinz: I love these. They are totally adorable, they are educational, they are multi-purpose toys since they have an offline and online component. Not only will she get her very own pet (I am showing her the Webkinz site this evening to see which pet(s) interest her) that she can cuddle with while watching TV or take to school for show and tell but that pet also doubles as a virtual pet on www.webkinz.com that she will be able to feed, play with, decorate a home for and play mini-games to get more items for. It is an excellent community for kids that monitors what is being said either through excluding bad words or things that could allow the giveaway of personal info, or by allowing her parents to give her a "canned" chat where she can choose from pre-constructed phrases. Further, I could also get her a Webkinz jr pet instead as everything on the Webkinz Jr. site is voiced over.
2. Dora the Explorer stuff: I already got her a Dora pencil case (almost time to go back to school) and I know my parents want to get her a Dora backpack and lunch bag. I am also hoping to find a Dora t-shirt for her too. I may also get her a pair of jeans to go with that. We'll see.
3. Wizard 101 account: I already have one and this is a side-gift so what I am doing is letting her make her own wizard on my account. The big pluses about this are (a) I can pass money to her wizard, (b) the entire game is voiced, (c) its another kid-friendly game, and (d) since I already have the account its just going to get the account more use for the $10 a month that I pay to own it.
4. Art supplies: What little kid can resist art supplies? Construction paper, kid-safe scissors, kid-safe glue-stick, crayons, stickers... The Dollar Store should have most of these assorted goodies (except the stickers, which I have brand new here at the house). Also need to buy her a good quality (hopefully pink!) pencil sharpener to go with the pencil crayons my parents got her.
THe Bad / Very Ugly (Who came up with this?!)
This is just plain disturbing and the toy does actually exist. There is no WAY I would let a kid play with this if I had one and there is even *less* way I would give this to someone else's child as a gift. Whoever developed the concept for this toy should be investigated for possession of child pornography. Whoever approved the design and manufactoring of this toy should be banned from the toy industry all together. The things people will not come up with... This definately takes the cake on the most "ballsy" toy I have seen.