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?