The Most Bizarre Toys From The Past Decade

Everyone loves toys, and The National Toy Hall of Fame helpfully provides a snapshot of which ones the young, and the young at heart, have enjoyed most throughout the decades. Each year they induct a new selection of favorites, and give them recognition for their popularity, timelessness, and educational value. Among some of the earliest added were wholesome classics like the teddy bear, marbles, and Barbie. In more recent years, little green army men and paper airplanes appear on the list. During the years 2010-2019 a very noticeable change in toy trends occurred: Past favorites lost luster in favor of new releases with a more, um, humorous angle. 

By the end of the decade, slime, sand, dough, and anything poop-related emerged as popular new trend elements in toys. Anything having to do with a surprise and/or "unboxing" element was popular as well, thanks to the strange YouTube phenomenon. According to Forbes, kids have less focused time to play these days, so they seem to gravitate towards fast and gross.

Looking at our selection of some of the more bizarre toys to come out during the past decade it's anyone's guess as to which, if any, will land in the Hall of Fame next. A rubber turd maybe? Seems likely. 

Squeeze Popper Huggables looked far more adult store than toy store

Squeeze Popper Huggables came out in 2014 and the National Parenting Center gave them their seal of approval for quickly becoming a hit with the kids at their testing centers. In singing the toy's praises they point out that kids had a great time playing with the stuffed animals, laughing away as they pushed the toys' tummies to shoot "soft little balls" out of their mouths. They also make mention of the fact that the little balls fit inside the animals mouths perfectly, and are soft enough to not be a danger of any sort. If you're thinking that all of this sounds a bit ... different, yeah, you're not alone there.

As soon as this toy hit the stores, people noticed that when the "soft little balls" were loaded into the mouths of the Squeeze Popper Huggables — especially when the packaging's plastic ring was still wrapped around their heads – it kind of looked like they were wearing a ball gag. If you're not familiar with what that is, you are definitely the right age for this toy.

The designers did not think Hatchimals WOW all the way through

The original Hatchimals toys hit stores in 2016 and almost immediately reached Cabbage Patch-levels of popularity. The following year, Money reported that co-CEOs and chairmen of the company behind the toys, Spin Master Ltd., were already billionaires, in good shape to go on to earn even more off of the egg-shaped toys that "hatch" into seemingly sentient furry friends. In 2019 a new version of the toy came out called Hatchimals WOW and it garnered a lot of media attention, as expected, but a good portion of it was for reasons the toy's creators probably didn't anticipate. 

Jezebel put in writing what a number of people were already thinking. Hatchimals Wow, in various stages of the hatching process, bears a striking resemblance to a certain male appendage. Maybe that's the "wow" part?

The cute, fuzzy beast that springs forth from this new version of Hatchimals is a Llamacorn, which is half llama and half unicorn. It grows its full length of 32" inches by being touched, has a ridged neck, and ... you know what, this is just making the toy sound worse, so let's go ahead and end this now. 

The Stuffed Blobfish tries to make the ugliest animal cute

In 2013 the Ugly Animal Preservation Society ran a campaign for a new mascot. In an online competition, they listed 11 candidates for the world's ugliest animal and after 3,000 votes were cast the blobfish won. With 795 votes, the crabby-faced fish beat competitors like the kakapo, the axolotl, and the Titicaca water frog, most likely because compared to the blobfish, everything looks beautiful.

Being forever bannered with the title "world's ugliest animal" is just rude. The only thing that could even remotely make up for it would be to have someone make a large stuffed animal in your likeness that sad/weird people can hold when something sad/weird is happening. Brooklyn-based company Hashtag Collectibles did just that. It's pink, it's plush, it's large. It's got everything you'd need to experience napping with a blobfish firsthand, minus the goo and the smell. Bonus: if the sight of a frown is still not cute enough for you, they also make a smiling one

Double bonus: The company is always thinking about the pressing needs of consumers, so for $280, you can buy 58 stuffed blobfish or "enough blobfish to fill a bathtub," if that's something you had on your bucket list. Warning in advance that this will most likely land you on a register of people to keep an eye on. 

Fugglers need to see an orthodontist

An already ugly doll with the addition of realistic-looking human teeth? In some parts of the world that's not a toy, that's called voodoo. Thankfully Fugglers, which started popping up in 2010, can be played with without the fear of summoning the ghost of your dead ancestors into your home. Probably.

The Fuggler website prompts interested parties to "look deep into the vacant eyes of all the Fugglers up for adoption. Narrow it down to the one that repulses you the least." This process seems similar to online dating, and comes with far fewer strings attached. 

A 2016 Business Insider article tells of the early origins of Fugglers. Their maker, known as Mrs. McGettrick, stumbled upon a set of fake teeth for sale on eBay and wondered what they would look like in the mouths of stuffed bears. Not a standard A to B route there, but the idea took off. She made the first bears herself, and sold them on Etsy. In 2018 Canadian toy company Spin Master Ltd. (same makers of Hatchimals) purchased the rights to the dolls. Seems like they're definitely on to something when it comes to churning out products for goobers of all ages that are intentionally/unintentionally ugly, but in a pleasurable way. 

The Fart Launcher 3000 makes kids that much smellier

Called a "stink bomb for this century," the Fart Launcher 3000 can blast farts up to 10 feet away and boasts creating realistic smells, which is a package of gross that most people can make themselves for free, but seem thrilled to pay extra for.

Angie Wong, founder of a private Facebook group for Brooklyn-based mothers, told the New York Post that the hottest toy of 2019 was her "worst nightmare." While she'd finally caved and bought one for her kids, she feared they would use the launcher to blast a fart into her face one "unsuspecting morning." Doesn't that happen pretty much every morning when you have kids?

According to the launcher's full description, it comes with a scent canister containing over 100 rounds of "farts" that smell real but are made of 100 percent plant-based materials, which means that this could potentially be a great gift for all the vegans in your life. It's recommended that users operate the toy in a well-ventilated area but for $20, wouldn't you want to experience all that the blaster has to give? If you're gonna dabble with fart technology, might as well go all in: Use it in an elevator.

Poopeez take toilet humor to another level

Poopeez is both an animated web series, as well as a line of toys. First introduced in 2017, they're a super affordable $4 and each rubbery, squishy bodily function comes in its own tiny roll of toilet paper. You can also get a Poopeez Launcher Playset that allows you to load, flush, and then launch your little poops. Seems reasonable. 

"When I started showing the brand a few years ago, everyone was shocked by it," Poopeez creator Ashley Mady told The New York Post in 2017. The following year, she was put in charge of conceptualization of new sustainable brands for Basic Fun!, the company that licenses Poopeez, and Mady's other creation, Cake Pop Cuties. Seeing that she went from making plastic lollipops with animal friends concealed inside, to squishy poops and pees, it's no wonder people were a bit shocked. 

Toys that center around bodily functions have definitely seen an increase in popularity. An article that made the rounds via Associate Press in 2018 details how once-conservative toymakers such as Mattel are now scrambling to make their own poop-related toys. And it credits the invention of the poop emoji with being ground zero for poop fever. Really though, fart jokes and poop gags have been around forever. 

Poo-Dough, because there isn't enough crap in the world

Poo-Dough, which is exactly what it sounds like (although not made by Play-Doh), made the list of top 10 most dangerous toys for 2015. The dough, which comes in two different shades: standard brown, and yellow to add the appearance of corn chunks, was seen as dangerous because it contains wheat. Fear of this product resulting in allergic reactions could only mean one thing ... children are out there making fake turds, and then eating them. 

The questions about this product on Amazon just lead to even more questions themselves. For some reason, two burning inquiries that stand out are "would you be able to put mud in [the mold] and make it resemble poop?" and "what is the width of the poop?" There's a lot to ponder there.

You can purchase Poo-Dough via a wide variety of sites online, and most reviews for the product are favorable. It's a kit that makes a little poopy. What's not to like? However, one reviewer for the site The Worst Things For Sale isn't having any of it. "...after the fourth or fifth clay turd you leave somewhere, it's maybe no longer a prank, and more of a mental problem you're inflicting upon others," the reviewer says. Way to yuck someone's yum. 

Breast Milk Baby took something beautiful and made it weird

In 2011, a Spanish company called Berjuan Toys made a doll intended to teach children the merits of breast feeding. The doll is called The Breast Milk Baby because, what else would it be called? Included in the box with the doll is a halter top of sorts with flowers where a human person's nipples would be. When you hold the doll to one of these flowers it makes a suckling noise, as though breastfeeding. After it's done feeding, which is made known by the sudden cessation of the suckling racket, children are supposed to burp it until it makes a loud belching noise. 

While it was already on sale in Europe, when the doll launched in America some people too issue with it. A Facebook page called for a ban, and Bill O'Reilly voiced his opposition.

In 2012, a writer for VICE contacted an anonymous representative for Berjuan Toys to get a clearer understanding of their mindset when they decided to make this doll. The nameless mouthpiece said, "You need to understand that there are little girls who breastfeed their babies all the time — there's nothing new here. Little boys breastfeed their fire trucks, too." Dennis Lewis, the U.S. representative for Berjuan Toys, supplied a statement to CBS News saying they received a lot of support for the doll from breast-feeding organizations, but acknowledged backlash from people who have "problems with breastfeeding in general," or chose to see the doll as something sexual. What is wrong with everyone?

Pop It Pal is pus-filled fun

In 2018, a trio of entrepreneurs appeared on an episode of Shark Tank to pitch an idea. It was simple: a flesh colored block of rubber with holes in it filled with goo that you could use to simulate the popping of zits. It sounds like something that would get someone laughed off the screen, but no, two different Sharks wanted in, and the inventors walked away with $250,000 backing and an instant boost in sales for their creation, Pop It Pal

The Pop It Pal has since branched out from its original format to include a glitter edition and a brown edition. Refill tubes of pus are available for $5.99. Oddly, the pus has just the faintest hint of lemon smell, which is a big improvement on the standard smell of pus, you have to admit.

The pimple popping craze blew up after Dr. Pimple Popper's YouTube channel went viral in 2015. Since then fans of picking and popping have made a whole community out of discussing extraction videos, and exchanging links to their favorites. Billy and Summer Pierce, the couple who first brought Pop It Pal to life, could smell pus in the air and knew all they had to do was give their luck a good squeeze. 

Virtual Reality Math is surprisingly useful

When you hear the words "virtual reality math," the first thing to pop in your head might be, "Oh! Is the new season of Black Mirror out?" Math is not fun. Some might even go so far as to say that math is hell right here on Earth. Knowing that this is the case for most, companies such as Heromask are doing their best to create products intended to make math more entertaining. 

A 2019 Forbes article points out that people "retain more information and can better apply what [they] learned after participating in virtual reality exercises." An even more in-depth article on Scientix describes how virtual reality helps children better grasp math concepts by putting them in virtual situations where they need to be applied. That being said, when given the option of opening up a box under the Christmas tree filled with math, or opening a box filled with socks, most kids would probably happily take the socks. No matter how cutting-edge the math.

But parents might want to consider buying some VR math for themselves as well. A 2018 NPR feature breaks down the many ways in which kids actually pick up negative feelings towards math at home, well before they enter the classroom. 

Trumpy Bear is peak capitalism

"The wind whispered ... through the forest. A storm is coming ... you cannot defeat the storm."

That sounds like the beginning of a very moving poem, but it's actually the opening for a commercial about a teddy bear made in the likeness of President Trump. The blue-eyed stuffy is the invention of V.L. Lange from a company called Reel Vision, a person who Snopes couldn't even find background information on. In place of direct contact, they received Lange's "vision statement" for the bear via the Texas marketing company Exceptional Products, which holds the copyright for Trumpy Bear. In it, Lange clarifies that "no, this is not a joke," and that "this iconic bear should be viewed as the symbol that anyone can run for president of this great country of ours." Ain't that the truth.

Although confirmed that the bear is in fact a real product that you can buy with money you had to work for, it's still primarily viewed as a joke. Trumpy Bear reaction videos pop up on YouTube since the bear came out, and CNN even roasted it, calling it a "bizarro gift of the holiday season."

No one wants to get Stuffed Chlamydia

A good way to avoid a potentially awkward conversation about STDs is to bring a stuffed version of whatever you're referencing into the mix. GIANT Microbes makes stuffed versions of all the big ones: gonorrhea, herpes, HPV, and the cutest of them all ... chlamydia. 

Featured on NPR's Wait Wait.. Don't Tell Me!, stuffed Chlamydia is available in standard size, a larger 12” size, or as a cute keychain for those times when you need to drop a subtle hint that yes, you do have something you need to talk about, and it's that you have chlamydia. If you're having trouble deciding between green cutie and any number of other stuffed ailments, you can find it included in the STD-4-Pack along with Clap, Herpes, and Pox.

GIANT Microbes was founded by former lawyer Drew Oliver in 2002. In an interview with JDBliss Oliver says the toys were "originally intended as educational products to help children understand diseases." But adults probably find them more useful.