2010-02-04

Consumer Report: Wandering the Super Target

Tooth Fairy 2: Cupid's Last ChanceBashing my head against a desk wondering why fax machines existed was getting kind of old, and I needed to get out of the house. My wife and I went to (Super) Target to wander around and take in the sites. We perused the clearance items for low priced Snuggie blankets and then moved on to the toy section.

The toy section is very telling of the current state of pop culture's future.Those isles should contain the cherished memories of the next generation waiting to be raped by Hollywood for a quick buck. So what did we find?

Girls: Barbie (Basic Line), My Little Pony (huh), Strawberry Shortcake!?, Rainbow Bright!? What year is it? Boys: Legos, assorted Marvel/DC/GI Joe action figures...same old, same old. Little Kids: a line of throwback toys from the 1960's. Toys my mom (and me and my brother too) played with and still has on a shelf. The toy market is collapsing in upon itself. Amid a late 1980's/early 1990's resurgence in clothing the raping of the same time period's toy lines for new movie ideas is causing a feedback loop in Toyville. I can predict the only movie idea that will be left by 2020: Webkinz: The Movie.

We have the most fun in the little kid section with the learning toys. They got 3D View-Masters, cat synthesizer keyboards, and Leapfrog stuff. My wife being a reading teacher noticed the Leapfrog Alphabet Pal teaches phonemes. The sounds letters make more/less. So we of course (in keeping with the time honored tradition began with Speak & Spell) immediately tried to make it say dirty words. We went straight for the F-bomb (/f/+/u/+/k/). Yes, the quality is poor. No fancy phones in this family.

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Leapfrog Techs: 1; Childish Adults 0. After you get the first two letters, the caterpillar interrupts with a giggle and, "That tickles!", followed by the the last phoneme! Frustrated we tried a word a homonym - damn. It censored it the same way! How is our imaginary son, Jubjub, supposed to learn how to say he went to the Hoover Dam? What do beavers build, Jubjub? Da-thattickles-m! Guess little Jubby will have to learn those words the old fashioned way: from mommy and daddy's heated "discussion".

We moved on to the holiday section. Valentine's Day rules this week, though St. Patty's Day has infected the $1 bin at the entrance. Do kids still exchange V-day cards in class or has the practice been PC-ed out due to sexual harassment suits? The cards were still for sale, so I guess not. The other usual candy and card suspects were all around in red and pink. Then I found the Reese's Tiger, who plays a booty-shakin' tune, I call it the "Reese's Cup V-day Booty Dance".

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Nothing says "I love Reese's peanut butter cups and jingles from Chester Cheetah knock-offs telling the me to buy more of them" like this tune. I expect a remix, people.

Overall, it was a good hour or so spent in the land of consumer goods. Now back to preparing Fu-thattickles-cking fax cover sheets by bashing my head against the da-thattickles-mn keyboard.

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