The Most Evil Baby Toys Ever Made

About four years ago, I decided to document some of my son's more awful toys, the ones that I used to hide in his closet until times of great despair and desperation. I'd nearly forgotten about the great lengths I had gone to in order to capture their horror (as long as "great lengths" = "taking half-assed photos of") until recently, when a friend was telling me about the baby toys she'd received and secretly planned to donate as soon as possible because they were just THAT annoying.

Instantly, it all came back to me: the diabolical devices packaged and sold ostensibly for the purpose of entertaining babies, but which unerringly have the result of driving parents completely insane.

Without further ado, please enjoy the worst baby toys I have ever had the misfortune of owning, and let me know if you share my undying hatred for these things:


The popcorn baller. Oh, it seemed like such a cute toy idea for his first birthday. And it was cute, sort of. At first. You know, until he'd been pushing it for longer than 2.3 seconds, after which time the BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG of those balls “popping” kind of, ha ha, made me feel like ripping out my brain with a crochet hook.

The talking, singing dog. My mother bought this for my son, because she is a vengeful soul who has never forgotten the Manic Panic hair dye stains I left on the towels in high school. This terrifying Fisher-Price plush hellhound giggled, sang, and chirped little phrases, depending on where it was being touched (Inappropriate Contact Dog complete with rape whistle is a separate model). I can personally attest to the fact that if you throw this dog into a closet with great force, it will pause long enough for you to assume it’s turned off, then an unearthly giggle will float out from behind the closet door and a squeaky voice will accuse, “You got my nose!”  

The talking, singing fridge magnets.
This was a LeapFrog product that had various animal shapes that could be stuck together, and a plethora of things that could be pushed in order to produce noise. The animal shapes, when pushed, belched forth a hideously catchy tune that went, “You made a match! Look what you’ve done! Something something something cow pig horse something SOUND! MOOOO (baaaa, neiiigh, ETC.)!” The whole nightmarish ensemble was meant to cling to the fridge, presumably so that even for some miraculous reason you were able to enjoy a hot meal, your small child could still ruin your dinner.

The wooden puzzle.
Say, this seems pleasant enough, doesn’t it? Sure it is, until you’ve stepped on one of those sonofawhore pieces of wood in the dead of night for the billionth freaking time. That missing piece in the upper left? Is totally embedded in my right foot to this day.

The Pop Goes the Weasel phobia-box. (Don’t go freaking about the stuffed octopus, now. Octopuses = totally cool, unlike the monkey death box.) I got this music box toy as a baby present when I was still pregnant and had to put on the fakiest smile of gratitude you ever saw because I swear to god I would have rather opened a box of live tarantulas than this box that requires you to turn a little crank while it plays its horrifying tune and the inevitable heart-stopping conclusion grows ever closer as the music tinkles on and on and a single solitary droplet of sweat begins to run down the side of your face oh my god oh my god and the crank turns one ... more ... rotation and space and time seem to hang silent and echoing and AIEEEEEEEE -- a monkey leaps out and eats the face-flesh off your skull pops up. Seriously, that thing was even worse than those Pillsbury biscuit cans.

What's the worst baby toy that's taken up residence in your house? Did you just endure, or did you get rid of it?

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