We’ve gone in search of the most inappropriate toys for kids that sink worlds below the realm of “bad idea” all the way down to the “what the hell were you thinking” variety. And you won’t guess what we found! In addition to terrible toy fails, bizarre toys, and just plain bad kid’s toys, we learned that inappropriate kids’ toys can be found in various sizes and shapes, just like the body parts they sometimes resemble.
Without further ado, here are 25 Shockingly Inappropriate Kids Toys That Shouldn’t Exist.
The Bear Coat Hanger
Asian culture can be pretty confusing, so we’re not really sure what to make of 3M’s decision to enter the toy market with their colorful coat hooks for children. There’s a bear, a cat, and a frog. Cute right?
That is until you realize that in the upper left corner of the box, the clearly aroused bear actually says, “Hug me.” Then you notice the cat, with a sneaky grin on his face and his protruding manhood that says, “Follow me.” And the frog, with its beady little eyes, squeezed shut in delight, that says, (we kid you not) “Kiss me.”
It’s not every year that you hand your little niece a neatly wrapped gift beneath the Christmas tree, only to discover less than a week later that the fun-looking Play-Doh set you gave her contains a rather oddly shaped tool. In the literal sense!
Hasbro had to go into damage control mode when irate parents published photographs of the extruder from the ‘Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain’ play-set, which ended up being called the Play-Doh “Dil-Doh” on social media. While many people found the Play-Doh mishap hilarious, others complained that it ruined their entire Christmas.
Simply at face value, any toy designed to realistically mimic poop is a terrible idea when it comes to Christmas gifts. Not only is this a real toy, but it was also one of the top-selling Amazon toys in 2013!
Unfortunately, poo-dough ended up on another list two years later – 2015’s most dangerous toys. That’s because it can induce allergic responses in children sensitive to wheat. The disposable container has an “allergy notice” stating that the dough includes wheat – but most people didn’t realize that gluten-intolerant children had to avoid the toy. Wheat allergies are not to be trifled with and can cause symptoms ranging from rashes, headaches, and difficulty breathing to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
When put into context, the Play-Doh “Dil-Doh” doesn’t seem that awful after all!
The Breast Milk Baby Doll
This has nothing to do with the traditional breastmilk vs. formula debate but rather with finding it weird to see your three-year-old strap on a bra and connect a doll to her plastic nipple. Yeah! How early is too early to start breastfeeding?
Realistic baby dolls have been around for a long time. However, the Spanish manufacturer Berjuan has gone a little too far with Bebé Glotón, the breastfeeding doll. Parents despised the strange doll that’s outfitted with a halter-top-like bra that girls can wear and pretend to nurse with – complete with flowerlike nipples that emit a loud sucking sound. While some parents applaud the company’s goal of educating children about breastfeeding, most are disgusted by a toy that allows girls to simulate nursing before they are even mature enough to understand it. Opponents claim the doll could even potentially increase the risk of teen pregnancy.
The 9/11 Toys
You would have to live on another planet to not understand that the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers should not be made fun of. Despite this, toys depicting the attack and a guy resembling Osama bin Laden at the Twin Towers began appearing in candy bags in 2004. Consumers and Lisy Corp, the corporation that supplied the sweets, were shocked. The toys were purchased by the distributor from an importer as part of a mixed lot, with the offending figurines classified as plastic swing sets. Lisy acted promptly, recalling the chocolates and, no doubt, delivering really harsh remarks in the direction of the manufacturers.
The Dora Aquapet
Have you ever heard of the Dora Aquapet? It was a Dora the Explorer figurine in some sort of tube or shaft. Aquapets apparently sing and react to the sound of children’s voices and other ambient noises. Sounds completely innocent, so what happened to get it on an inappropriate toy list?
Well, this one is all about appearances, and it should just take a glance to see why it created such a “stir” … I should probably mention that it also needs batteries to operate.
The Talking Troll Doll
The Talking Troll Doll made waves in the news during 2020, & for good reason. She was cute, & has the perkiest little voice… until you press the button located right between her legs to make her giggle, laugh, & gasp. There were many, many other parents who were enraged at the idea that ANY designer with any brain would approve of such a design.
Hasbro recalled the doll after complaints that they were grooming children for sexual abuse later that same year.
Baby’s First Baby
There will always be a lot of garbage on the toy market during the holidays. In 2012, we had Baby’s First Baby – a pregnant baby doll whose fetus is also pregnant! Fortunately, this toy never made it to the shelves; it was the nightmare creation of artist Darren Cullen.
The words “Real pregnancy action” are emblazoned over the presentation box, which also includes three milk bottles, one for each generation. The back of the package reads “stretch marks! Cravings!” with an additional “Waters really break!” The charming gift was also available in a “twins” pack, ensuring that “the fun never stops!” After the shock wears off, you may find yourself wondering what Cullen was trying to say.
The ET Finger
Even though this toy portrays a memorable scene from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, it is by far one of the worst toys ever. Hulk Hands is awesome, but this E.T. “finger” isn’t. I can’t quite figure out why… oh, wait! I understand why. It’s because this wrinkly old finger resembles a prop from Boogie Nights rather than a toy from a children’s film!
Unsurprisingly, they converted this toy into a complete hand version in later editions. You can still pick it up on eBay if you want to add this retro toy to your collection.
Pee and Poo Plush Dolls
Pee and Poo plush toys were created to help your children become more comfortable with the idea of pee and poo. That’s all good and well. But why would anyone want to make their kids comfortable with the concept of PLAYING with their pee and poo? While these are obviously intended to aid with toilet training, it appears to me that teaching toddlers that handling poo is ok is not the best idea.
According to the packaging, it was created in 2004 in Sweden by renowned designer Emma Megitt with educational and safety components in mind. Emma probably doesn’t have a toddler of her own.
The Punisher Shape Shifter
Yeah, so this happened, and no one raised an eyebrow? The Punisher has a gigantic missile launcher for a penis! We came in thinking most of this was just an innocent oversight, but this? Why does the missile have to come from his crotch? His chest is open. His abs are branded with a skull-mouth. Why didn’t they put it there?
It would be horrifying if the rocket came bursting out of the teeth of the grinning skull on the Punisher’s stomach; as it stands, he merely looks thrilled to see you… to death. This particular gem was one of a line of “Shape Shifter” toys – essentially a Punisher transformer – and we caught him mid-transformation (we’re presuming Frank Castle’s transformer skills aren’t limited).
The Nestle Rafiki and Kiara Figurine
In the movie The Lion King, a wise baboon called Rafiki acts as Simba’s spiritual advisor. That setting was masterfully replicated in this little figurine from the second film, Simba’s Pride. Or it would have been – if the placement of the infant Kiara and the movement of the Rafiki figure hadn’t turned it into a depressing show of child molestation in the Animal Kingdom.
The principle is straightforward. Rafiki’s tail is pushed, and he pulls Kiara into the air. Kiara is lowered again when you release the tail. Unfortunately, the toy did not work correctly, and no matter how hard you press on the tail, he only raises Kiara a few millimeters upward.
Growing Up Skipper
Skipper was initially intended to be Barbie’s little sister, but in 1975, Mattel thought it was high time for Skipper to experience puberty. To illustrate puberty for a young girl as accurately as possible, Mattel spent about twenty minutes researching.
Yes, factually accurate puberty-hitting Skipper could grow an inch taller if you twisted her arm, and she would magically develop breasts. Just like a real teenage girl! Obviously, the doll created a lot of uproar, so much so that Mattel never attempted anything that dumb ever again. Ha! I’m kidding! They actually took it one step further.
Barbie’s Pregnant Friend
Imagine the uproar if Mattel had made Barbie the pregnant doll. Mattel reasoned that it could get away with making Barbie’s “happily married” pal Midge a mother-to-be rather than the renowned blonde, who, despite her house, car, and impossible proportions, can’t convince Ken to ask the big question.
But marriage doesn’t make the toy any more appropriate for young girls, mainly because a curled-up baby pops out of the doll’s stomach when it’s opened. Yes, it is the marvelous miracle of life, but very few parents like to see their child recreate a C-section.
Bratz dolls, the rival doll line that sprung up in the early 2000s in direct opposition to Barbie, have been controversial in the world of toys since their inception. With their outrageous make-up and unrealistic proportions, they have been criticized for promoting unrealistic and sexualized body standards for young girls.
The first obvious topic on the chopping block is their looks – with eyeliner that would make a scene kid blush, lips that probably required more than a couple of fillers, and the signature smoky-lidded eyes, they seem more like a problematic Instagram influencer trying to pull off an edgy but ill-advised look than a toy meant to entertain young girls. Not to mention the mini skirts and dozen-inch heels that make Barbie’s outfits seem puritanical. And somehow, it doesn’t stop there. On more than one occasion, the Bratz doll line has been accused of promoting a harmful message to young girls – that appearance comes before substance. Not to mention their history of alleged cultural appropriation with several of their products! Who knows, maybe parents are just scared of eyeliner.
Harry Potter’s Vibrating Broom
This was one way of keeping Harry Potter fans engaged as they grew older. Mattel’s now-discontinued battery-operated Nimbus 2000, modeled after Harry’s first broom, included a grooved stick and handle for kids to ride around home. The questionable part: it vibrated. Some of the (now-deleted) Amazon comments were so excellent they had to be posted with a wink – like the one from the 32-year-old mom who wrote that she enjoyed riding the broom just as much as her two tweens. We bet she did!
Rad Repeatin' Tarzan
This one REALLY made us laugh. There’s nothing wrong with this doll as long as it’s not moving. Sure, a crass teenage boy may claim that his right hand is positioned as if it were holding a hidden, um, you know. But the real magic happens when you pull the small lever on Tarzan’s back: Please do yourself a favor and watch the hilarious YouTube clip on this toy. There’s no doubt about what he’s doing. Amazingly, Mattel built him with a mechanism that can only do… that. Mattel had to redesign the doll after roughly 100% of the boys who picked it up had Tarzan doing the dirty after less than five seconds!
The Chopped-Up Woman
Only in Japan would such a toy ever be created. This toy is a bag containing an anatomically correct woman who has been chopped into several bloody pieces. We kid you not!
She has blood seeping from her wounds and bloodstained spurts across her face. Perfect for the parent who wishes to divert their future serial killer child’s attention away from animal cruelty.
The Racist Golliwogs
Golliwog dolls, named after a blackface character in the 1895 book The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg by Florence Kate Upton and Bertha Upton, were incredibly popular in England and elsewhere in the first half of the twentieth century but lost popularity in the 1960s during the civil rights era – for obvious reasons.
However, their popularity was revived when a shop on the Queen of England’s estate was discovered selling the toys in the 2000s. They were promptly removed from the shelf, but more “gollies” were found in other English stores. It appeared to be a case of nostalgia, as many grandparents wanted to acquire them for their grandchildren. Some things are better left in the past.
The OREO Barbie
While we’re on the subject of racist dolls, we thought it would be a great idea to add Mattel’s Oreo Barbie to the list. A toy company collaborating with a company that offers sugary treats may be considered problematic in and of itself. Still, Mattel took the partnership to an unacceptable level when they collaborated with Nabisco’s Oreo cookies to produce a black Barbie in 1997.
There was clearly not a single black or even socially aware person in the boardroom when this decision was made nor during the lengthy design and marketing stage. If there was, they would have undoubtedly explained that “Oreo” is an ethnic slur used to define a black person who is “white in the middle.” The dolls were met with fury and disbelief, and Mattel promptly recalled all Oreo Barbies from stores once they realized the extent of the issue.
So, for the second time, we have to wonder if the folks who design items for children are incredibly naive or if they’re a bunch of giggling stoners trying to see what they can sneak past the marketing team. The Fr-ooze Pop resembles a prosthetic penis – for lack of another Youtube-accepted word. Okay, you can say that regarding a lot of food. However, licking the Fr-ooze Pop long enough results in a gooey material squirting into your mouth. The Fr-ooze Pop was promoted to children in Singapore with a voice that said, “lick it, suck it.” Perhaps they’re not as cynical as we are over there?
Ah, now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Some squirt gun, right? Well, here’s a photo of what it looks like to get shot by The Oozinator… They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is fortunate because typing a description of what appears to be occurring to the child in the picture is definitely criminal in all 50 states. But that’s not water, though -it’s “ooze.”
It’s far worse in action, believe us. Just watch the YouTube ad. Of course, it had to be pump action. And since we’re on the subject of dodgy squirt guns, we guess we have to tell you about the…
The Batman Water Gun
If you want to give it a go, please try to convince us that the toymakers saw nothing sexual about this vintage 1966 toy. So what if you pull a plug out of Batman’s hiney to fill it with water and then press his private parts to make him shoot water out of his mouth?
They probably did that all the time on the playground in the 60s, right? Either way, we’d hate to see what his trusty sidekick, Robin, looks like.
Wolverine’s Squeaky Hammer
Yes, that’s Wolverine glaring at your child with his “genitalia” on full display. Let’s get that out of the way immediately. We recognize that many of you have previously seen photographs of this squeaky toy without any context. But where did it come from? It has to be a one-time manufacturing error, a deliberate prank, or some cheap imitation toy sold on the streets of Beijing, right?
Wrong. It is an officially licensed Marvel toy, and they all looked the same. We even found the video evidence to prove it. I mean, really, what happens when your child returns home and discovers that his Wolverine Squeaky Hammer has deflated, leading him to believe that “Wolverine died!” And then his imagination kicks in, and he thinks, “I can save you, Wolverine!” and grabs the deflated hammer, buries his head at Wolverine’s happy place, and blows for all he’s worth, and Wolverine comes back to life? Why doesn’t anyone ever think about that?
The Interesting Kids Slide
A few years ago, this giant inflatable “clearly a penis” slide turned up all over the Internet, but no one seemed to know where it came from (“Europe” was as close as anyone came to nailing it down).
As soon as you see it in action at what appears to be a child’s birthday party, you’ll expect a SWAT team to be swooping in. So, if the clip leaves you confused, we’re here to help you out. What you can see is part of an inflatable train that kids can wriggle through. We just want to know why the train has to end in a giant “member”? Honestly, nothing on a train looks like that. And why do the kids have to crawl out of the opening at the tip? And why are we the only people who think there’s something wrong with letting your kids play in there? We have so, so, so many questions…