Mental Floss

5 Dangerously Popular Holiday Toys

Jenn Grabenstetter
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It's not really the holiday season until you've waited in an interminable line in adverse weather conditions to spend money on a toy that has been hyped within an inch of its life. To get your festive fix of fisticuffs, we present to you the Top Five Most Dangerously Popular Holiday Toys of the last two decades.

1. The Toy: Cabbage Patch Kids

The Year: 1983
The Chaos: My very own parents can attest to the fact that these (admit it) sorta-ugly dolls were THE must have Christmas item for much of the early 80s, thanks, in part, to a few big celebrities who were apparent fans of the little dimpled tykes, including Burt Reynolds (His wife, Loni Anderson, was a toy collector. We assume he bought them for her. That has to be it, right?) I had two. My first adopted daughter's name was Jemima. I don't remember the name of the second, but I do recall that her new special feature was that you could "curl" her hair by winding it around your finger. Basically this meant that instead of normal yarn-like hair, she had strands that felt like oily, waxy Twizzlers and were probably made from something we'd rather not think about. As for the frenzy surrounding these dolls, we'll let the You Tube footage speak for itself:

2. The Toy: Tickle Me Elmo

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The new Elmo on the block, "Elmo Live," doesn't just giggle; he sits, stands, dances, sings, tells jokes and crosses one leg over the other. It's terrifying and just a little bit awesome. See for yourself:

3. The Toy: Furby

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4. The Toy: Beanie Babies

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5. The Toy: Nintendo Wii/Sony PS3

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We don't know yet which toy will claim the top spot under the tree this year, but here's a gallery of the contenders. Our money is on Kota, the dinosaur who munches leaves and whom that small children can sit on and ride. What we wouldn't give to be six again.

What's your best (or worst) must-have toy memory?

Jenn Thompson is a freelance writer for publications including Charlotte Magazine, Variety, and Time Out.

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