Top toys that I will never buy

I sat down to write my annual list of horrible toys that I hope no parent actually ever buys, and I wasn’t quite sure where to start.

First, there is the continuing trend this year of putting a smartphone or iPad in ridiculous places where such devices simply shouldn’t be.

For example, here’s the iPotty.  potty I’m glad we are sending the message to kids early that there need never be a break in screen time. EVER.

Then, of course, there is my ongoing rampage against the trampification of dolls. I’ve written about this before as I watched atrocities such as Bratz dolls occur. If you’re not familiar with them, Bratz dolls are like Barbie but hooked on meth and working the street corner for cash. My daughters call them the “scary Barbies.”


This year, Monster High Dolls are all the rage. The best way to describe these dolls is simply that a Bratz doll gets killed after coming up short on meth money and then is reincarnated as a vampire or some other undead monster.

Here, see for yourself:

Monster_High_dolls But are toymakers stopping there? No! If we can turn regular dolls into short-skirted-vixens, then why can’t we turn horses into them too.

That’s right, folks, make way for Equestria Girls:

My-Little-Pony-Equestria-Girls-Rainbow-Dash-653569843986-A3995(2)My Little Pony is all grown up and having some sort of break with reality. The ears and tail say horse. The body and face say girl. My gut says run away girls, run away!

But after my initial horror at some of the products out there, I began to assess my own Christmas gift list for my daughters. I realized that I have quite a few items on there that many feminists would  say are horrible, brain-numbing gifts to give my daughters.

My 3-year-old, for example, wants a Rapunzel bride doll more than anything because she is obsessed with getting married. She and I get married at least once a day and dance in a small circle in the living room, after which we kiss and she pulls a stuffed animal out of her shirt and declares, “Our baby is born!” Yes, I can hear feminists gasping and burning their bras around the globe in protest.

But here’s the thing: She is 3 and fake wedding ceremonies and bride dolls make her happy. I seriously doubt they will result in her having a shotgun wedding and dropping out of high school.

Still, when I looked at my list, I decided I’m in no place to judge other mothers for what toys they buy their kids. If their child loves those ghoulish Monster High dolls, then that’s her own preference. She will most likely not end up as an undead harlot. So while I will never own a potty with a TV or a horse-girl doll in a mini-skirt, that is my choice for my children and other mothers can make the best choices they can for their children. Every mother knows her own child best.

I do think, however, that balance is key. My daughters will also be getting LEGOs and a microscope along with dolls and princess dresses. I want them to know they can be beautiful princesses if they want to, but they can also use their brains while wearing that sparkly dress.

What toys are on your children’s list this year? Any toys that you love or hate?


  1. Momof7

    There are a lot of toys that are on my do not buy list. I agree with all the ones you chose. I have for years hated anything SpongeBob. The character is rude and disrespectful. Just the name Bratz suggests something.

  2. Danny

    Those are some good suggestions (of what not to buy)!

    I’ve tried to keep my girls away from commercial advertising as much as possible. At least that way I know that when they want something for Christmas, it was their own idea and not some toy maker’s. I’m sure this won’t work for much longer, but my eldest is only 6. I try to get them things that are enriching (and fun; I’m not that mean of a mom), not just dumb pieces of plastic. This year we’re going with craft and art supplies and simple musical instruments. My six-year-old did ask for an iPhone, though… Maybe in, oh, 10+ years. When she can get a job to afford her own data plan.

    Hmm…Maybe I am that mean of a mom.

  3. Gwen

    I think you need to revisit your understanding of feminism. I am proud to be a feminist, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t let my daughter wear pretty dresses or pretend to get married. That’s not what being a feminist means anyway. I am pretty happily married and I hope that my daughter can experience that someday too, including motherhood. I hope that she can experience all of the great things she sets her mind to!

    But yes I share your revulsion with the Monster High dolls. We can both agree that girls are sexualized way too early anyway, and these dolls just add to that. We certainly won’t be buying her these types of dolls anytime soon (or ever!).

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.