It is Christmas morning circa 1999. You've barely slept a wink as your anticipation for Santa's arrival down the chimney and you are yearning to hear Rudolph's hooves on the roof of your house, keeping you up into the wee hours of the morning. You awake promptly 6:00 a.m. and rush to see the magical display of gifts Santa left for you the night before. You soon forget how you somehow managed to miss his arrival despite your attempts as you stand in awe of the arrangement in your living room. There it is...the toy you have been waiting for all year long. It was the toy at the top of your list to Santa, the one you told your friends you would 100% be bringing to show-and-tell upon your return to school. There it is in all of its glory. You are on top of the world. However, this glory quickly fades when you realize the all too common feeling of disappointment in your dream toy. So here is a tribute to all of the crushed Christmas toy dreams, may they rest in peace.
The Easy Bake Oven
As a victim of the crushed Easy Bake oven dream, this one hits close to home. The year was 1998 and as a mere five year old, I dreamed of baking my own perfect cakes just like the little girls in the commercials. I even planned out which cake I would bake for each of my friends. However, I soon came to realize they would probably be offended by the mutated cakes that emerged from my Easy Bake oven every. Single. Time.
If you happened to fall in the 1% of ten-year-olds to have read the small print at the bottom of this advertisement, you would have noticed it warned not to use the disk in windy conditions. For the rest of us, however, we experienced this Christmas toy fail most likely during the first day of use. While tossing the inflatable disk outside we either watched it get stuck in a nearby tree or cringed while witnessing it pop, shrivel up, and get carried away by the wind never to be seen again.
Chances are, Santa was a bit stingy with the Floam this year and only provided you with two colors. How then, you wondered, are you to make the Floam house in the commercials or the Floam parrot pictured above? You also soon realized it was only a version of Play-Dough that you deemed cooler and more mature but soon realized was really lame. Thanks Nickelodeon.
I'd say the promise of "flies up to 50 feet" would have been a stretch, but 300 feet? No way. Also, this is assuming that the little rocket actually launched when you jumped on the inflatable launcher. This is also assuming that the launcher did not deflate after two or three uses. You probably had better luck just throwing the rocket up into the sky yourself.
No matter which corner of a room or which closet you put your Furby in, he always seemed to show up in random places around your house and make creepy noises. You may or may not still have recurring nightmares about this little guy.
So this Christmas as we roll out of bed around noon and mosey on into the living room to await the opening of gifts with our family members, let's pay tribune and remember the 90's. Let's be thankful for these Christmas toys that gave us hope and happiness, if at least for a little while. Most of all, let us be thankful for getting to look back and laugh at the Christmas toy fails of our past, while also looking forward to what new memories this holiday season might bring.