The Worst Toys of 2012: The Surrogate Parent Award

Welcome to the third installment of the Worst Toys of 2012. So far, we’ve given out the “Call 911″ Award and the Skankification Award.

Today, it’s time for the Surrogate Parent Award.

The Surrogate Parent Award goes to the toy that is designed to entertain your child for the length of time it would take you to have not only one glass of wine but the whole bottle and a nap.

And so, the 2012 Surrogate Parent Award goes to the Laugh and Learn Activity Monkey.

Five reasons why the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey is on my list of the Worst Toys of 2012:

1. Location, Location, Location. An iPhone fits securely in the belly of the Apptivity Monkey, almost like the plush primate is gestating it. Are you unsure how to remove your iPhone from its uterus? No problem. There’s gotta be an app for that. After all, it comes with seventy-five apps.

2. Noise. The Apptivity Monkey makes noise. Incessant noise. As in monkey “oo-oo-ah-ah” noise. Have a listen.

See? There’s a reason why the Apptivity Monkey has a protective case for your iPhone: When you fling the primate against the wall to stop the oo-oo-ah-ah-ing, your smart phone won’t break.

3. Age Appropriateness. The Apptivity Monkey is for six-month-old babies. Why does a six month old need to play with an iPhone? What’s wrong with sucking on car keys? Shouldn’t there be a law that you’re not allowed to use a smart phone until you can, I don’t know, walk? Feed yourself? Pick your own nose?

4. Questionable Claims. The Apptivity Monkey is “educational,” a word that has become the biggest euphemism in toy marketing today. Apparently, this plush primate enhances sensory development, fine motor skills, and cause and effect. Of course, so does babbling at your kid when she’s standing in an exer-saucer.

5. Longevity. The Apptivity Monkey is good for an iPod and certain types of iPhones. What happens if you have an iPhone 5 (or an iPhone 7)? That’s right: You can buy another, more recent version of the toy. Maybe Apptivity Monkey 2.0. I’m going to dig into my kids’ therapy college fund right now.

Coming up next, the fourth in the series of the Worst Toys of 2012: The What-the-Heck-Is-It Award.

Thoughts? Any other annoying “educational” toys out there?

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  1. says

    Call me crazy [It’s okay. Many do.], but I suspect any parent who gave this to a six-month-old baby through the terrible twos would find themselves spending more time clearing the screen of slobber, picking it up from whatever spot the child chose for their I-flung-it-you-fetch-it game than they would if they actually engaged with their child.

    Give me a kid-friendly lower cabinet filled with Tupperware any day. Who knows? They might accidentally find the top that goes with the blasted looks-like-a-TV-dinner divided container.

    The top is red, btw. If you have it. Please send it my way.

  2. says

    You are making me so happy that we are done with “crap” for the holidays. Now we gift shopping trips to favorite stores (with gift cards), coupons to choose dinner out at restaurant of our son’s choice, and of course, new underwear. My 13 yo just got a phone. Why would a baby need one? Oy.

  3. says

    When Monkey was in utero we told all our family and friends that we would not be accepting any toys that required batteries. Mainly because they annoy the heck out of me and I didn’t want to listen to that all day! While a few have crept in, I think we’ve done fairly well. Monkey doesn’t really like toys of any description anyway – just give him a box of tissues or a bottle of poison and he’ll be happy. I saw this one on TV and it just makes me want to gag. Seems ridiculous to me.

  4. says

    My son is twelve and still doesn’t have a phone. (Although I have it on good authority that Santa is going to remedy that.) Anywho… This whole giving a toddler a phone, even yours, to play with befuddles me.

  5. says

    What. I think this is brilliant. I’m downloading the “Mommy I just Shit my pants…come get me” App where communication to napping mommy in the next room is a breeze. No more crying, whining babies…they can communicate what their problem is without using actual language. It’s the way of the future, people.

  6. says

    This year we’re giving the kids each a box of things scavenged from various recycling boxes around the neighborhood. I call it the build-a-toy box. If they can figure out a way to incorporate batteries and/or smart phones, I might be convinced to allow it!

  7. says

    My son just receive a Chuck The Truck toy for his birthday. I was going to get him an empty cardboard box (fort, holla!) but his toddler friends are generous. The thing can sense movement and life. I’ve tried to turn it off but it races around the house spouting off noises and lights. It’s currently racing and giggling under a pile of lawn equipment in the garage.

  8. says

    Reblogged this on OUR LIFE IN 3D and commented:
    This is a Black Friday Alert: This is a customer service announcement for toys not to buy on Black Friday. Thanks to Leanne @ Ironic Mom for creating and lending me this list of toys to avoid on Black Friday. For more lists and laughs check out her kid show at the Ironic Mom.

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