Tag Archives: Toy WTF

Toy WTF: A Little Too Much on Display

There’s a problem with, oh, probably ALL the Tinker Bell action figures.

The only way they’ll sit is spread eagle. They can’t stand unsupported, so if you want them to place them in an upright position, they have to sit. Spread eagle. Their skirts are short, so you get a good glimpse of their underwear.

I guess at least they are wearing underwear? All their dollie goods would be on display otherwise.

I mean, it’s pretty vulgar to see your fairies go all spread eagle and flashing everyone.

Surely there’s a better design for this? Barbie never sits like this. Barbie is a lady. She’s prim and proper. She keeps her legs all straight and together when she sits. Sure, she’ll make out with Ken until one of their heads pops off, but she generally doesn’t sit spread eagle.

Seriously, WTF with the Tinker Bell flashers?


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Toy WTF: Tiny Shoes

Lily got This Kohl’s exclusive Tinker Bell doll set that includes three fairies as well as three extra outfits and plastic charms for… what I haven’t figured out yet. The charms don’t have attachments to link them to any pre-existing necklace, so their purpose confuses me. I assume their purpose is to clutter the floor and eventually get lost. At least that’s the purpose at our house.

For the link phobic, this is the type of doll we got, but in a slightly different set.

Lily loves the dolls, but now that they are out of the box I am absolutely baffled by the removable clothing, especially the shoes. These dolls are about as slim as my index finger and I have small fingers. It’s almost impossible for me, an adult, to change their clothes. Lily can’t change the clothes at all. They are so little and tight, it’s ridiculous. When dolls are this size, they should not have removable clothes. Their clothes should be a permanent part of them.

But these dolls’ dresses are almost generously sized compared to their shoes.

These wouldn't be easy to lose at all.

That’s right, two shoes fit inside a dime with room to spare.

This is ridiculous. Barbie shoes are two to three times that size and they are almost impossible not to lose. Lily and Rose immediately started knocking the shoes off the dolls. I put rubber bands around them, but the rubber bands and shoes continued to fall off almost constantly the first two days we had them.

I ended up super gluing the shoes onto these dolls’ feet. There was absolutely no reason these shoes should have been removable in the first place. These are teeny tiny plastic dolls for small children. No one would have complained if the dolls had shoes painted on their feet.

Instead someone decided to get fancy and make these ice cream sprinkle sized shoes removable.

Stupid and dumb. WTF?


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Toy WTF: Swapping Heads Revisited

Previously on Toy WTF, we explored Mattel’s decision to make Barbies with removable heads. And we all said “WTF? That’s disturbing!”

Well, now one such Barbie has made her way into our home.

Ack! Where'd her head go?

I still am disturbed and don’t get it. When you press a button, Barbie’s head and neck come off all the way down to her cleavage. Then, if you have another swapping head doll, you can pop the head on the other Barbie and she can go off in the other doll’s clothes. Except, she could have kept her own head and just changed her clothes the way she did when I was a kid. I really don’t get the benefit of removing her head.

When my sister found out about Swapping Head Barbies, she got really excited and pointed out that Barbie’s head popped off all the time during kissing accidents and you couldn’t get it back on properly. We had many Barbies facing this affliction when we were kids. She said with a swapping head, you wouldn’t have to worry about a broken-headed Barbie because it was designed to come off anyway and would still fit back on.

It’s a nice theory and would be a great explanation of the benefit, but Barbie’s head still attaches to her neck the same way. The construction there is identical and I assume that a make-out session with Ken could still result in a broken-headed Barbie.

So what we have here is still a very disturbing doll who is easily decapitated for no good reason. And, of course, my girls absolutely love popping her head off. It is possibly the most exciting (and disturbing) thing they’ve ever played with based on their enthusiasm about decapitating this Barbie.

I am disturbed.

WTF, Mattel?!


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Toy WTF: Nameplate

We finally finished our swing set on Wednesday.

It looked like it was done for the last few days of construction, but a bunch of the adorable details needed to go up before it was finished.

But, technically, if you read the instructions, we are not finished yet. We skipped what is obviously a vital piece of our swing set.

That’s right, after 30ish hours of construction (when 8 were predicted) and tightening hundreds of screws and bolts at sometimes precarious angles, our swing set is not complete until we drill in the brand name.

Will our swing set fall down without this?

I actually tried to get my husband to install this because I thought it was hilarious, but I lost that debate. I could technically do this myself, but he’s right. Their expectation of us to install this is completely obnoxious.

Seriously, Gorilla, if you want your brand name on the swing set in other people’s backyards, YOU put the screws into the wood to display it. The people who just spent 30 hours building a swing set aren’t going to do it.

Other than that and our unexpected new tooth cost induced by the new swing set, we love this thing. It’s way cuter than the house we’re living in. Also, the kids seem to think it was a wise investment.

This seems like an insane thing for a 22 month old to be able to do.

Swing set fans forever.


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Not for Short People

So we have all the tools and accessories required to build this swing set, but something almost went very wrong when it was time to put on the roof.

I don’t know how your average sized ladder is supposed to make it so you can reach the top of this roof, but my husband and I both realized this part of the project was meant for people much taller than us.

Recommended size ladder isn't tall enough when you are short.

I’m a whopping 5’3″. No matter what I stood on, I could not reach the top of this thing, much less tilt a drill at a proper angle to get a screw in properly. I can barely use a drill properly when I CAN reach things, which might be part of the reason we are on Day 4 of this project and aren’t finished. My husband is somewhat better than me with tools, but he’s only 5’6″ so he had trouble reaching things too. He had to stand on the swing set platform and stand on his tiptoes to reach to put in the top boards in the roof. It was incredibly awkward.

The whole time he was doing this, we were both thinking about how much easier it would be if one of us was properly tall. A tall person could reach this roof with no problems.

Instead, we were handicapped by our shortness. If my husband had been even an inch shorter, we might have lost an hour or so hunting down a taller ladder.

We put in another 3 hours today, bringing us to at least 24 hours of work, 3 times what was predicted. We aren’t finished yet. We have at least another couple of hours to go, but we’re getting close.

It may look done, but trust me there's a lot of work left to do.


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8 Hours

Our swing set instruction manual predicts complete assembly in 6-8 hours.

Swing Set Hour 5: Way more complicated to get to this point than you'd expect.

We’ve been at it at least 21 hours, not including the 3 hours my husband spent sorting and labeling parts, and while we have made good progress, we are nowhere near finished.

And yet our swing set instruction manual says we should have finished this project 13-15 hours ago.

This is what our swing set actually looked like at the 12 hours of labor ago. Totally done, right?

We knew our instruction manual would lie about the amount of time it would take to build the swing set. We are no strangers to this phenomenon, plus everything we read on the internet warned us about this fact. All of our friends whined about how time-consuming their own swing sets were to build. So when I read the 8 hour time prediction, I couldn’t help but laugh.

The prediction is just so ridiculous. Just looking at all the pieces that came with the kit, you can see that there’s no way that 8 hours will finish the project. There are 390 screws, 42 tee nuts, 99 washers and 72 bolts that need to be properly placed on an insane amount of wood and tightened in sometimes awkward positions.  That’s 603 specific pieces that need to be put in place, not including any of the wood or plastic.

My husband, our noble hero, drills the 350th-ish piece of hardware thus far.

What I figure is that Gorilla (our swing set company) did some mathematical equation that resulted in giving us 1 1/4 minutes per screw/bolt/what have you, and this equation resulted in 8 hours… but not everyone will take 1 1/4 minutes to use a drill, so clearly they needed to deduce 2 hours for the people who are better with tools than we are (every time I use screw, tool or wood in a sentence, I feel a little dirty).

This leaves no time for the stuff you REALLY need to do when building a swing set– like figuring out what unlabeled piece is what, finding it, assembling it correctly, making sure things are level, realizing you lost a screw in the grass, reading and rereading and RErereading the instructions and much more.

"Is this ladder level?" he thought and then continued to stare at it for 20 minutes.

We’re definitely making progress on the swing set (and by “we”, I mean 90% my husband 10% or less me thanks to childcare obligations and a shortage of tools), but we have a long way to go even after 21 hours. It will forever remain a mystery to me why manufacturers (AND chefs for that matter) can’t be honest about the construction times. The truth is ugly when it comes to these time commitments, but wouldn’t it help us all schedule our projects better if we knew how long it would REALLY take?

I know it LOOKS almost done, but trust me it is not.

Tomorrow: Hey Gorilla, short people build swing sets too!



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More Fun with Shipping

I know you all are just DYING to hear if our swing set ever arrived.

Or maybe you don’t care at all.

Whatever the case, here’s the latest on the Swing Set Saga.

When we last left Swing Set Drama Manor, it was 4:30 pm-ish and I still hadn’t gotten a call to warn me (not ask me) about what 4-hour window of time my swing set would arrive the next day. At 7:30 pm, my phone rang. And we couldn’t find it before it went to voicemail. We were cursing at each other for missing an important call.

Don’t worry, “they” called back again 2 minutes later. “They” were an automated voice message informing us that we needed to be home between 3 and 7 pm Wednesday to receive “a package”.

A COMPUTER told us less than 24 hours before our swing set was due that we HAD to be home after regular business hours. There was no way for us to say “Oh, that time doesn’t work for us” or even confirm that we could be there because a COMPUTER called us. The computer repeated itself twice with a phone number to call if there were issues, but if you didn’t have a pen or a really great memory, that information was gone awfully quickly… and probably led to a customer service facility that wasn’t open anyway.

It seems to me that when you pay a place $950 for something, they should at least have a HUMAN call you to make sure the window they gave you works. I said Wednesday was an ok day for us, but I think most of us would assume WEDNESDAY meant something like 8 am to 5 pm, not 7 pm. What if we had an evening commitment? Apparently we were supposed to have 24 hours free when they said “Wednesday”.

So, Wednesday was a waiting game. We waited and waited and waited.

Guess what time our swing set arrived? 3? 4? 5? 6?

Nope. 7:45 pm.

Exciting moment that should have happened nearly 5 hours earlier.

That’s right, they had a FOUR HOUR window to deliver this package and they were still 45 minutes late and didn’t call us about it until about 7:20 when I was already enraged and calling customer service, which closed at 7:30, but directed me to leave a message or call back tomorrow.


Whatever, the case, it’s here now and somehow we are expected to transform this

I thought you said I was getting a swing set!

and this

into this

Fictional swing set that will magically appear in our yard next week.

Man, Gorilla has a lot more confidence in us than we do.



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State of the Swing Set Delivery

I called Walmart about the swing set yesterday. After a lot of holding, the customer service rep patched me through to the people delivering the swing set. Why wasn’t I given that number to begin with? I don’t get it.

BUT ANYWAY, I updated my phone number no less than three times. They asked me if they could deliver the swing set Wednesday (tomorrow). I said fine. They said they’d call me back Tuesday (today) to give me a 4 hour window in which they’d deliver my FIVE HUNDRED POUND ITEM. You’d think you could get more specific with something that large, but WHATEVER.

Lily is in day camp this week. Other than drop off and pick up, I can be home, but obviously there’s two half hour periods I can’t be home. I was hopeful I could work around these two time slots with the company.

But guess what?

They haven’t called me today. It’s 4:39 pm Tuesday. When will my swing set be here tomorrow? Who the hell knows.

Again, the plight of the $100 shipping v. the $400 shipping (although we can all guess that $400 shipping would be just as bad or worse).

Will my swing set ever get here? Will I sit here all day tomorrow, but miss delivery because I’m dropping Lily off at day camp?

Stay tuned to Creative Kids Play’s Swing Set Adventure to find out!



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What’s the deal with shipping?

We ended up getting this Gorilla brand swing set from Walmart, and we’re very excited for it to come… any day now. The shipping from Walmart was an apparent bargain at $100 after the $400 ridiculousness that transpired at a major toy retailer (you can probably guess which one). No store pick-up was available on this model, but after what happened with the $400 shipping swing set that you also couldn’t pick up at the store, we’re downright agreeable to this.

But apparently our swing set delivery saga is not over yet.

After my husband confirmed our order on my account, he noticed Walmart had my old cell phone number. I changed to a local number more than 2 years ago, but I guess I never updated my Walmart.com account. It didn’t mean much when all I usually buy off the website is photos shipped to our house.

With a $950, five hundred pound delivery, that phone number might be important.

I immediately updated my phone number on the website. I knew our order had already been placed, but the new phone number and record of a phone number change should have been available on the site. I hoped.

I got an email from Walmart confirming that our swing set was shipped and I could expect it within a week period. It said nothing about phone calls or people contacting me, which surprised me because you’d think they’d want to let you know before 500 pounds of swing set blocks your driveway. 500 pounds of wood dumped randomly in our yard? No big deal.

Whatever. I just wanted it to get here.

Flash forward to Friday night. I was out of town and finally turned on my computer after being offline all day (I still have an unintelligent phone). I got this email:

We want to alert you to a delivery issue. Carrier Home Direct USA is attempting to deliver the Gorilla Playsets Landing Wooden Swing Set from your order number xxxxxx. They have attempted to set up a delivery appointment by calling you at (My OLD phone number).

Please contact Home Direct USA at (their number) in the next 48 hours to schedule delivery. To ensure expedited service during your call, please provide tracking number xxxxx when you call.

If you are unable to set up a delivery appointment, your item will be sent back to the supplier or return facility. A refund will be credited to the original form of payment when the returned product is processed.

Ok, so they apparently didn’t get my new number. Fine. My fault. It’s on me… though you’d think they’d be able to find it if they really tried. You’d also think that if the correct contact phone number was that important, they’d have us specifically fill out a form about where to best contact us for the delivery.

I immediately called Home Direct USA.

They are only open Monday through Friday during typical business hours.

But the email says I only have 48 hours to call them or we lose the effing swing set. Forty-eight hours technically ends BEFORE they can answer my call.

This puts me in a conundrum. Will I lose my swing set because of the weekend, or do they mean business days? If they mean business days, the email should probably say “48 BUSINESS hours” so that when people like me call on the weekend they know their giant ass purchase isn’t sent back or delayed by another week.

I panicked until I noticed an email option. I emailed them all of my new information, how I changed my phone number on my account the day I made the order, how and where to call me, what days/times would be good for delivery etc.

I get back “Call us Monday.”

Am I the only one who thinks they should call ME on Monday? I tried to call them within the 48 hours. I gave them the information they needed, but it’s back on ME to call THEM? I’m the one paying all this money for a swing set and they can’t be bothered to call me back? Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?

Maybe our problem is the $100 shipping. Clearly with $400 shipping the swing set would have arrived wrapped in gold and delivered by shirtless underwear models within 30 seconds of our order. With our cheap $100 shipping, we get a “well, we can’t call you or be bothered to double check the phone number on your account, so I guess we’ll just send it back to the store.” If the $100 shipping swing set ever gets here, it will probably be dumped carelessly anywhere by a truckload of sweaty fat men sporting wifebeaters and plumber butts.

Who knows if and when this thing will ever get here. And IF it does get here, if we have the skills (or time) to assemble it.

The magic 8 ball in my head says “Outlook Not So Good”.


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Toy WTF: Creationary

Disclaimer: If you don’t believe in evolution, this isn’t the post for you. I’m not looking to get into a debate about it.

A couple weeks ago I noticed Creationary in the toy aisle of our Ben Franklin.

Are these Lego people contemplating the existence of dinosaurs?

And I thought “Holy crap! Ben Franklin caters to Creationists!”

Because when I see the word “Creation” on a game that has a picture of a dinosaur on it, I think Creationism.

I was baffled about how one would play a game about Creationism. I envisioned touring a diorama in which Adam and Eve hang out with dinosaurs. How on earth is there a game to play about Creationism. Is it like Monopoly? “Visit the Garden of Eden!” “Rest here for the 7th Day!” “Go to jail for eating that forbidden fruit!” “$100 fine for skipping church!” “If you buy Jerusalem, you win the game!” I honestly don’t know what this game would entail because I’m a super lax Jew who likes scientific theory.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I went and picked the game up and discovered my idea of the game was completely off. It turns out that it’s a Lego game like Pictionary where you CREATE different things with blocks.

Ah, that explains the “CREATION” in “Creationary”. It also explains the “-ARY” (PictionARY).

But still, given the political environment and anti-evolution crowd running about, “Creationary” might not have been the best name for it.

Or maybe Lego was trying to draw in the Creationists?

Whatever the case, WTF? Good game idea in theory, bad name in practice. And perhaps the dinosaur wasn’t the best choice as a box graphic… And the question mark over that guy’s head? Totally pondering the nature of human existence. At least that’s what I thought when I looked at the box, read the title and saw the dinosaur.



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