Would You Give Your Kid a "Pole Dance Doll?"

Family Matters on 12.21.11
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Photo: cscott2006/Creative Commons

The scary thing about the list of worst Christmas gifts for kids recently published by Huffington Post is not the actual products themselves. Nope, the freaky part is the fact that somewhere along the line multiple people designed, pitched and green-lighted some truly ridiculous and even horrific 'toys' targeted to children. At some point in the product development process, someone at these companies should have put the kibosh on gifts like "Barbie and Her Dog Tanner" (comes complete with itty-bitty pooper-scooper to clean up teeny dog droppings), "Baby Wee Wee" (which urinates with actual anatomic correctness) and the aforementioned "Pole Dance Doll." If you need an explanation for that you were clearly more sheltered as a child than the kids these toys are meant for.

Plus, there are also several toys aimed at helping children develop skills that should probably best be learned on your average teenage hunting trip (Fish Preparation Toy) or at dental school (Play-Doh Dr. Drill 'n Fill). Not that I don't advocate the learning of important life skills, of course, but learning to de-bone a hypothetical salmon at pre-school age seems rife with potential for future issues with law enforcement.

I doubt that many of your normal retailers with any sense at all carry most of these toys, so the chances of your Great Aunt Edna sending one to your tot is slim to none. However, these items reiterate the fact that not everyone (even toy companies!) has the best interests of our children at heart. This has been made evident time and again thanks to repeated recalls of toys made with lead paint, items so poorly constructed that they pose major choking hazards and toys so loud that they can actually damage hearing.

In the interest of safety, it's a good idea for all of us to check out recall lists regularly and monitor the things your kids are given. If you really feel a pull toward purchasing any of these bizarre and ill-conceived toys, at least try to buy them for cheap and give them as gag gifts at your next White Elephant exchange. What adult wouldn't get a kick out of the Playmobil Security Check Point? You know, because going through airport security is so much fun in reality that we all need to rush home and reenact it over and over again.

What's the worst gift you've ever seen or received?

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