I thought I might start with a few Greenchy toys before I reviewed the good stuff. Use these in place of coal this holiday if you have a naughty monkey at home. These loosers are sure to disappoint!
Venus Flytraps are spooky-cool, but deadly difficult to propigate from seed. They don’t tell you that on the box!
“Sow the Venus Fly Trap seeds on the surface of peat moss or a mix of peat moss and sand or perlite. Keep the humidity high and the media moist at all times. Try to keep the temperature between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep the humidity high, it is best to grow then in a terrarium or in a mostly-sealed container in direct sunlight. Be sure not to let the seeds get too hot though if you put them in direct sunlight. You will have to open the container often to prevent cooking them. Alternatively, you can just leave the container open and mist the seeds a couple times a day. Make sure the soil always stays moist. Try to give them at least 13 hours of sunlight or fluorescent light a day. They should germinate between 15-30 days after sowing, though it could take a couple months. [...] Venus Fly Traps are very slow growing. It takes between three to five years to raise mature plants from seeds. The first year of their lives, Venus Fly Traps will be very tiny. It is possible to speed up their growing process by skipping dormancy the first year, but they will definitely need a dormancy period at then end of their second year.”
Goodnight iPad is a parody of the bears-in-chairs children’s bedtime classic Goodnight Moon. You either love Goodnight Moon or can’t wait for the very last hush. This techno-satire is just HD annoying to the extreme. I want my socks and mush back, please. I wouldn’t really care to review this timesuck, but they are selling this book for money! It might be a nano-bit funny if it were free, but Amazon has it listed for $10.17 for the hardcover. That’s right… HARDCOVER! It doesn’t come in a Kindle edition, so what’s the point? You can watch a YouTube video of the story for free—that is if your iPad can play YouTube videos.
Playmobil Security Check Point “The woman traveler stops by the security checkpoint. After placing her luggage on the screening machine, the airport employee checks her baggage. The traveler hands her spare change and watch to the security guard and proceeds through the metal detector. With no time to spare, she picks up her luggage and hurries to board her flight!” The customer reviews on Amazon.com have become a frequent-flyer scree about the hassles of air travel post 9/11. They are well worth reading for a wan chuckle and some commiseration, but why is this a toy? It is made of plastic and will last millennia! (Almost as long as I had to wait in line for the TSA last time I flew!)
“I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital.
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I’ve heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I’ll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead (it comes with a cute little memo from George Bush).”
“I like the basic idea. I applaud Playmobile for attempting to provide us with the tools we need to teach our children to unquestioningly obey the commands of the State Security Apparatus, but unfortunately, this product falls short of doing that. There’s no brown figure for little Josh to profile, taser, and detain? Where are all the frightened plastic Heartlanders pointing at the brown figure as they whisper “terrorist?” Where are the hippy couple figures being denied boarding passes? And shouldn’t someone be forcing a mother figure to drink her own breast milk?”
I would love to hear your toy disaster stories. Give us your worst in the comments.