It’s that time again…the time that all of the crazy baby catalogs in my mailbox have to move over to make room for all of the even crazier toy catalogs. I seriously just need to put a dumpster out front – the mailbox just isn’t cutting it.

And, since I wrote you a shopping guide last year to make your Christmas perusing easier, I couldn’t help but torture you with another one do it again.


Let’s start with fake pets, because really, who DOESN’T need one?

I’m sure that after a year of listening to the annoying whirl of the Zhu Zhu hamster your kid got for Christmas last year, you were (like I) REALLY hoping that fake hamsters were SOOOO 2009.

But no. Gear up to buy more fake hamsters…but this time, at least they don’t look like realistic rodents that MIGHT have made you scream once or twice as they came barreling toward you…

Apparently, hamsters have gotten more aggressive, now having morphed into “Special Forces Hamsters” and “Ninja Warrior Hamsters”…

(Because I always think of a fierce, predatory animal when I think of hamsters.)

OR they have gone the other way, and demand convertibles and pampering at their own salon..

IMG_1335 Rodents. You give them an inch of fame, and they go nutso…

But if you’re looking for a bigger animal to latch onto, I suggest Big Foot.

Somebody’s been doing their research into Big Foot Myths to make sure to accurately portray the giant’s talents… check them out:

Rapping. Just what I always picture Big Foot doing out there in the cold, Northern woods…

But if you’re one of those parents that tends to worry about all of the media-hyped childhood issues, there’s a toy that can solve the two biggest ones: make them exercise AND do math at the same time!!

Have you EVER seen a child so thrilled about burning through math problems and calories simultaneously? Obviously, this toy will bring much joy, smaller midsections, and higher IQs to your household – what more could your child want??

If you were a child of the 80’s and are feeling rather reminiscent of the toys you played with, you’re in luck – there is a very heavy 80’s influence in the catalog this year. I guess they think that parents of our generation will be totally suckered into buying our kids the toys that we played with.

Only problem is, our kids are used to stunning graphics, interactive controllers, and touch screen monitors. I don’t think they’ll be too impressed with Alphie, even IF we tell them that we loved ours so much we slept with it:IMG_1340
And they’re used to all riding toys being motorized or at least battery powered… Sit ‘n Spin… WAY too much work.IMG_1341
But the Ghostbusters…how could they NOT be thrilled by a giant puffy marshmallow dude in a Chippendale-esque sailor collar with no shirt attached?


But as our toys are finding new life, their toys seem to be aging rapidly. For instance, Dora seems to have hit puberty sometime between the 2009 and 2010 catalog:

I half expect to turn on Dora The Explorer tomorrow and the episode be titled “Dora and Training Bra Adventures”.

Moving on to a couple of toys to encourage your child in their future careers…

If you want your kid to want to be the next super-risk-taking-animal-scientist-TV-star, then this line of toys is for you:IMG_1349
…but they MIGHT catch you off guard a little more violently than last year’s Hamster.

Or, if you want your child to chase another television-inspired dream career…

…because who DOESN’T let their 10 year old watch CSI??

But, if you really just want to encourage your child to sit on their butts and enjoy the indulgent nature of childhood, then they REALLY need a TV with a Magic Wand Remote Control:


However, if you want to sell your kid on the idea that the outdoors are more fun than their magic wanded pink TV, then you TOTALLY need to buy them the ever-realistic Glamour Camper:


I’m pretty sure that the terms “Glamour” and “Camper” have never been used together before… Cousin Eddie would be so proud.

And, speaking of fostering realistic dreams, don’t forget Princes and Carriages…

IMG_1362I had no idea Ken joined a boy band… but wow at the hair. Is he supposed to look like Justin Bieber? Because if so, it’s a total fail – way too much helmetyness and way too little swoopiness going on.

If you want to offer more realistic ideas of life, though, then the Monster High girls are here for you:

…because it’s really best to go ahead and start preparing them, as early as possible, for how monstrous high school girls can really be.

Enough girl’s toys. Now for a few really great boy finds…

I don’t know about you, but when I was a tween, my friend’s brother’s favorite pasttimes were to spy on us. They would have had SO much more success had they been able to attain this device:

Yes, our spend-the-night parties would have been SO much more interesting…and filled with indignant screams.

And this one – this one is totally awesome for adult boys, too. Chris totally needs an alarm clock that says this to him in the morning:


And finally, this year’s scary-predatory-monster toy: because what family doesn’t need a fast-moving, projectile-spitting “Terrordactyl” that snaps at anything that moves??


Yes, Christmas still brings families together in SUCH a joyous way.

Now that your shopping list should be complete, get out there and get shopping!!

14 thoughts on “The Second Annual Holiday Shopping (Un)Guide.

  1. I saw something very similar to the smart cycle racer at Kid's Market & there were about 20 of them.
    I was totally baffled by them, I just thought they were kid's exercise bikes…I thought why in the world would a kid want that?!?
    But, they must be pretty popular b/c they were all gone by the end of Kid's Market.

  2. …or all the kids that they were originally bought for HATED them (hence the amount for sale), and all of the Moms at Kid's Market were optimistic of getting their kids to exercise and do math with a "toy"! :)

  3. My 2 year old totally perked up at Alphie – "it's a WOBOT!!"
    I never saw the point of the sit n' spin.. although I imagine I'd get a giggle every once in a while telling one of my kids to go "sit n' spin"
    I can't wait til my Toys R Us gets their big Christmas books in! Have I mentioned my weird obsession with catalogues? :)

  4. We got ours two days ago and James and Abbie have torn through it already. Abbie has started making her list and James really really really want the "Green Hamster!!!" I bet I heard "green hamster" 100 times that day.

    I told Jill that would be a good prize for him. She's the good yes aunt and I'm the bad no mom.

  5. for the love of all that is good! a remote control black widow! are you kidding me?!
    gonna link this up on my blog if you don't mind. LOVE the shopping guide!

  6. Great post! I love the way you look at things. :)

    We got a Toys R Us catalog this year. Do they go scouting around to the houses with kids?? We've never got one before and we never shop there so I am wondering how they know. K took one look at it and said, "Hey this is for me!" And went around pointing to things saying, "This looks fun, can I have this?" Thanks a lot Toys R Us. :P I haven't looked through it yet…I can't believe the stuff they are selling these days! Crazy!

  7. Our Target has had one of those Bigfoots on display for the last little bit, and the whole family finds it both captivating and horrifying as it rolls around and growls and beats it's pexiglass display case like it's about to bust out at any second.

  8. I was trying so hard not to laugh (since I'm reading this from work at the end of my day), and I made it all the way down to "Rise and Shine, It's Stinky Time." :)

  9. My kids hate big foot. Freaks big E out everytime we pass it. His beating of the plexiglass is enough for her.I happened upon the monster high girls tonight. How freaky! They are hideous! I saw monchichis tonight too if you remember those. And poor Ken. What can I say?

  10. It's that time of that year again huh? I know how you feel, when you open up your mail box expecting an important mail when there are these hordes of catalogs screaming Save and Buy now! I think getting a dumpster out front with a label "Catalogs Here" wouldn't be a bad idea.

  11. Ummm… Nathaniel says that the garbage truck was nice, but what he really wants is the wheelchair that the boy is sitting in. That way, he "can go really, really fast to chase the remote control spider."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *