If you were as oblivious as I was as a kid, you didn’t really understand the connection between Black Friday and the number of toys under the Christmas tree from Santa Claus. But by 8 years old (*cough* 12 years old *cough*), the gig was up. Not only did you understand, but you were helping your folks find the best discounts in town. As knowledgeable as you had become though, you were still powerless to stop the plight of toy deterioration. It wreaked havoc every year without mercy, but we’re grown-ups now and can put an end to this madness.
So to continue my 30th birthday blog-a-thon and help us all help ourselves, here is my list of the 5 toys that are bought on Black Friday but don’t work by Easter.
No. 1 – Toy Jeeps
Whether it was a Barbie Jeep or a Tonka Truck, these miniature vehicles were the talk of the neighborhood—until about St. Patrick’s Day. That’s when the batteries would die. For some strange reason, adults would never take the effort to buy a new battery or recharge the existing one. So by the time Easter arrives, kids are having to take turns pushing and driving the car. By the Fourth of July, the car is a bonafide yard ornament. The only thing is does at this point is grow algae and mushrooms.
No. 2 – Video Game Cartridges / Discs
I never had this problem at my house because I knew if I broke something no one was gonna buy me a new one. But at other kids’ houses, I witnessed this all the time. When we had cartridges, kids would get food and other junk in the games, and the cartridges wouldn’t work. In later years when we had discs, the discs would always be scratched up and completely unplayable.
In fact, on that note, I let one friend borrow a game from me once (“NFL Blitz 2000” on Playstation). He returned it with the case broken, the owner’s manual missing, and the disc scratched up. Luckily the disc still worked, but I learned a valuable: never loan anything valuable to friends if you’ll be mad if they lose it or damage it.
No. 3 – Tape Players / CD Players
I’m not talking about the good ones that your parents would have. I’m talking about the cheap knockoff Walkman or Discman that you got for Christmas. No matter what you did, the mechanisms in your tape player would eventually eat up a cassette tape that you spent hours recording radio music to. No matter what you did, your CD player would go haywire for no apparent reason. Of course, neither of these two incidents would ever happen within the 90-day warranty. They’d always happen a few months afterwards.
No. 4 – Barbie Dolls / Action Figures
Have you ever seen a decapitated Barbie? I have. And it’s not a pretty sight. Sure, when your G.I. Joe action figure’s arm gets eaten by the family dog, you can still make that toy disability work within your imagination. Unfortunately, your sister or your cousin’s decapitated Barbie just leaves you somewhat uncomfortable. It’s even worse if Barbie’s head is still around and the hair has been trimmed to the scalp. Yikes.
No. 5 – YoYo
I don’t know why, but such a simple toy always had a lot of problems. Most of the problems came from poor maintenance and harsh care by the kid who owned the yoyo (i.e. not oiling the metal in the yoyo). A tiny sliver of the problems came from parents who bought dreadfully cheap yoyos.
Did I miss anything? Drop a comment below and share this post on your social media outlets.