The Worst Toys of 2012: The Child-in-Tears Award

Welcome to the 6th installment of the Worst Toys of 2012.

Today, I am bringing you the Child-in-Tears Award. This prestigious honor goes to the toy that is most likely to solicit some good sobs, not unlike the time I gifted a bouncy cobra in a wicker basket to my seven-year-old nephew. After he leaped back in fear, he said, “THIS is my present?” Tears—ones that no twenty dollar bill could subdue—followed.

Without further delay, then, I bring you the Child-in-Tears Award for 2012: Crayola’s Crayon Maker.

If you’re wondering what could be wrong with something as benign as a crayon maker, I say plenty.

Here are five reasons why Crayola’s Crayon Maker made the Worst Toys of 2012 list.

  1. Level of difficulty matters. Let’s take a perfectly simple childhood craft, like colouring, and make it impossible for a child to do independently. How does Crayola expect me to faff on my laptop if I’m busy melting wax?
  2. Parts matter. Originally, the Crayola Crayon Maker didn’t come with a 60-watt mini lightbulb. Nothing like teaching Junior to delay gratification…on his birthday.
  3. Size matters. And small ain’t good. I’m talking crayons, people. The crayons look full-size on the box, but once you make them, they’re just little nubs. These jokes write themselves.
  4. Color matters. The crayons are supposed to become beautiful two-toned swirls. But what happens? They turn to a lowest-common-denominator mix of brown. Yes, thanks to the Crayola Crayon Maker, your child will have to color that entire picture of you “crap brown.”
  5. Ratings matter. On one popular toy review site, the Crayola Crayon Maker received an average of two stars after over 100 reviews. People were irate because the crayon maker took forever, it was impossible to clean, and their kids were in tears.

Clearly, nothing says I love you like a semi-functioning crayon maker or a bouncy cobra in a wicker basket.

What do you remember crying about as a child? Tell me in the comments below, or I’ll send you a bouncy cobra in a wicker basket. 


In other news, you can win a subscription to US weekly if you guess what jobs I (and four other bloggers) may have held in our lives. Check it out at the Kelley’s Break Room, a hilarious blog.


  1. says

    I cried and cried the Christmas that my parents bought me a super high-tech, totally from the future CD player. It was exactly what I wanted. But I forgot to ask for actual CDs.

  2. Heather says

    I don’t know if I every cried, but I do remember one Christmas I asked for a leather jacket and all I got we a small looks like a leather jacket key chain thing.
    On another note my youngest has been asking for one of this since they first came out. I’m glad hubby and I put our foot down and said NO.

  3. says

    I once stacked wood for days to earn money to buy an X-Wing Fighter, with expanding wings and cool “realistic” sound effects. Then I left it on the floor and my mom stepped on it. That’s the day I learned to never work for anything.

  4. says

    I wish I could say you were wrong about this crayon maker, but you’re right on. It was the ONLY gift my then-7 year old had on her list last year, which of course meant there were none to be found anywhere. After searching all over town, we were thrilled to find one and buck up $50 for it. We’ve use it…once. And it was a mediocre experience at best. Glad to know, however, that it is not just my poor colour-mixing skills that produced the shit-brown crayons.

    My own tear-jerking memory had nothing to do with a toy itself, but rather the disappointment of not getting what I wanted. I was about 8, and I was POSITIVE that the little box wrapped up under the tree was the new video game “Blip” (look it up, and, yes, I’m ancient…) I was crushed when it turned out to be a jewellery box in the shape of a pirates chest.

  5. says

    Our eldest asked for an Ice Cream maker toy last year. We took one look at it in a store, and instead bought her the real thing. End result – half of our freezer is filled with a huge metal monstrosity that she has used once ever.

  6. says

    My favoUrite line? “These jokes write themselves, folks.”

    WTG on another stellar example of a marketing department designing a toy midway through their liquid lunch or Holiday Christmas party.

    “Hey! The boss is drunk and wearing those mirrors-on-the-toes shoes we gave him last year. Let’s catch him when he sidles up to the next cute chick and see if he’ll buy into this idea.”

  7. says

    I didn’t cry for this one but maybe my friend did. When I was 8, my mom gave me money to buy my friend a nice birthday present. I bought her the biggest, and most delicious chocolate bar EVER!!!
    Well, I ate it. LOL. I ate the whole thing….it was so good! I ended up getting, a really crappy, hand lotion for my friend with the left over money. LOL

  8. says

    We have one of the horrible things. The only way to make a multicolored crayon is to s-l-o-w-l-y melt one crayon piece at a time, dump it and move on to the next piece. But in the end you don’t get a cool crayon. You get a multilevel crayon. You have to get through each color at a time. Total suckage. Oh..and the one we have, if you leave it plugged in too long the metal parts get super hot and it smell like the plastic is melting.

  9. says

    Thanks seriously for sharing and will steer clear of this one for my girls. But on a side note, I still remember the Barbie Locker Room toy that I got one Christmas when I was a kid that the pieces wouldn’t fit together. It was so poorly made, my parents actually returned it the day after Christmas. I am 35 now and still remember that, lol!!

  10. says

    My mom got me a hand-sewn “Cabbage Patch” doll (imposter)l instead of a real one. I was so upset. I totally missed how thoughtful it was. I did however fall in love with it after my spoiled brat response abated.

  11. says

    We bought P Motion a bug maker last Christmas very similar to that crayon maker in that it is a total piece of crap.

    Got a bar of soap in a gift exchange when I was a kid. Sadly, I’d consider that a pretty decent present now.

  12. says

    I don’t know if I already wrote this in previous comments, but a few days before Christmas I was questioning my dad before going to sleep:
    – “So, daddy, what will I get for xmas?”
    – “Mmmh… I don’t know… We’ll see… What would you like?”
    – “A basketball stand!”
    – “Then basketball stand it will be!”

    Daddy didn’t figure out I was just toying and being randomly curios knowing that he would not answer me, and I would NEVER EVER wanted to know what my present would be DAYS in advance. (This sentence was waaay too difficult, please revise).
    Well, I didn’t cry, but it was a close sadness.

  13. says

    I was very angry when my husband immediately broke the infamous crayon maker on Christmas Day last year after my step-son so eagerly wanted to play with it, and it now sits in shame on the top shelf of the toy closet to remind us of his blunder, a constant source of shame and disappointment for our family ( the toy, not my husband).

  14. MA says

    I didn’t have any trouble with the crayon maker. I followed the directions and lined the colours up and it produced the swirly colours and my son loves them. Sorry that it apparently didn’t do what it was supposed to do for others. My only issues were yes, the crayons were small (but they do provide a dbl ended holder to put them in) and the tray was hard to clean and you have to run it under boiling water to get most of the wax out. Otherwise…enjoyable….

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