Playtime Fail: Classic Toys and Their Failed Remakes

Toys that were manufactured during the 20th century, especially during the baby boomer generation had a special impact on our societies. Most of these toys were mass produced and had an element of being risqué, and also fun.

Some of the toys that were particular popular during those days were the ubiquitous Barbie, Etch-a-Sketch and others. As our societies evolved, the marketers too started getting a little adventurous and started to package favorite toys in controversial manners. Sometimes, these toys became hit and most of the other times, the remakes ended up becoming failures.

This just means that just because a toy can be remade, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would become a hit. Toys that were targeted at children remained popular as these kids grew older. Even when they became adults and had offspring of their own, the same toys were purchased in new versions. Old wine in a bottle has been the rule of the game. With that in mind, we tried to make a list of all the failed remakes of classical toys and the list is not quite what you may call exhaustive but still gives you an idea why remakes are not always successful.

Barbie’s BFF Happy Family Pregnant Midge

Midge was created as the best friend of popular doll Barbie, and she was supposed to be the less charming of the two. The overly sensual Barbie needed a BFF who would tone down her risqué behaviors. Thus, Midge was turned into this homely woman with a pregnant belly. Curious kids always pulled her clothes upwards, only to find a fetus in her belly. This did not really go well with the parents, though it was meant to appeal to them. Thus, Happy Family Pregnant Midge went off the shelves, for being too risqué.

World’s Largest Yo-Yo

Size matters, and when it comes to toys of classical kind, size still matters. Thus, modders, artists and toy makers are always in the process of developing larger and bigger toys that could make the size queens happy. The World’s Largest Yo-yo is one such toy that started with a noble ambition but ended up being rather non-functional. The World’s Largest yo-yo did manage to attract the attention of passersby on the street but it lacked the grace and agility of real Yo-yos. Its size pulled it down, literally.

Pokémon Etch-A-Sketch

Talking about baby boomers, Etch-A-Sketch  has remained one of the most popular toys since their times. Even today, people use this popular toy to draw and etch stuff that they draw. Pikajane who has a penchant for Pokemon decided to take up the task of creating Pokémon Etch-A-Sketch art, and make sure that all the 493 Pokémon that existed had an Etch-A-Sketch version. Unfortunately, before Pikajane could complete 10 Pokémon Etch-A-Sketch, there were 149 more Pokémon to create. The numbers only increased, and the artist kept procrastinating. The results are really cool, and Pikajane has created some of the coolest Pokémon remakes I have ever seen. I only hope the artist continues to remake Pokémon Etch-A-Sketch and I hope procrastination or laziness does not come in the artist’s way.

Self Solving Rubik’s Cube

Rubik’s cube is one of the most intriguing puzzles ever. Most people try hard to solve it but end up getting frustrated and leave it in teh middle. Of course, there are a few who can spend hours trying to solve the puzzle. The rest of them can only wish for a self-solving Rubik’s cube, and that is exactly what this is. The Self-Solving Rubik’s cube makes use of stop motion technology, which is an illusion technique used by animation experts. It appears as if an object is moving even though it is not. Thus, when you look at this video, it appears as if the Rubik’s cube is solving itself and moving on its own, but it is not. It is also a ‘fail’; because the solved Rubik’s cube has mistake, if you looked at it closely.

Nickelback Lite-Brite

RockerChic9178 is a huge fan of Nickelback, and has created what could be one of the most popular toys for a Nickelback fan. However, she admits herself that the Lite-Brite project she undertook was a fail, and that it doesn’t really depict what she wanted to depict. I wouldn’t call it a fail as it does look pretty cool, and Nickelback playing in the background is not such a bad idea anyway.

3D Ant Farm Simulation

Ant Farms are of course one of the most popular toys around. They have existed for decades now and parents have tried to instill caring habits and empathy in kids by making them take care of ants. However, we do know a number of children being bitten by their ‘pet’ ants. This Interactive 3D Ant Farm and Pheromone Trail Simulation teaches children how ants follow each other and how they recognize each other with the help of pheromones. The 3D is quite impressive and there is a lot to learn from the 3D simulation. Unfortunately, Ant farms are cool toys that let children try their more animal instincts like ‘experimenting’ on ants that they cared for. As it is a 3D simulation of a real ant farm, there is no way kids can act out their diabolic instincts on their pet ants.

Sea Monkey Necklace

Sea Monkeys are those weird pets that can be hatched on demand. They are basically brine shrimps that were marketed long time ago as ‘pets’ that can wear lipsticks and do other cool things. While kids certainly found this amazing, many parents did not appreciate the idea of bringing brine shrimps home. If that weren’t enough, the Sea Monkey Necklace comes with a locket that has enough space to hold 2 sea monkeys and also enough water for them. It can be worn around your neck. I didn’t know brine shrimps are fashion accessories and those weird Sea Monkeys could be turned into jewels. No matter who find this cool, this one is an absolute fail.

Wooly Willy Table

Wooly Willy was the rage back in those days when every kid and a few adults would hold one of those magnetic wands and fill out the whiskers, hair and eyebrows. A lot of tried various patterns by adding wool in inappropriate places. That being said, Wooly Willy was always marketed as a magnetic personality. The Wooly Willy Table is pretty self explanatory, and all that you would need to do is get hold of a coffee table and use an adhesive to stick a canvas on which you have drawn a Wooly Willy. Your visitors may find it funny, but your momma surely won’t. Well, she has to thank god that you did not draw regular willies on the table.

Mr. Potato Head Glamor Spud

We do know that Mr. Potato Head has a companion in Mrs. Potato Head, and that she keeps herself glamorous by applying copious amounts of lipstick and rouge. However, this particular ‘Glamor Spud’ is not meant for Mrs. potato Head, but it is meant for Mr. Potato Spud. This did not go well with a lot of Mr. Potato Head fans, who saw this as a ploy to question Mr. Potato Head’s virility. The video in the link is rather offensive and homophobic. Fail!

HULA HOOP Massage Magnetic Acupressure

Hula Hoop was used by those 60s hipsters as a way to slim down, get some exercise and also look good while doing so. A manufacture realized that the glamor quotient can be increased by adding the acupressure factor. With that in mind, the HULA HOOP Massage Magnetic Acupressure comes with 24 air cushion projections and 16 rotating acupressure balls to apple pressure to all the points given in acupressure manuals. The advertiser writes that the toy is made of 8 tubes which are placed like vacuum cleaner extension tubes. Now, that is a bit confusing and a little scary as well. I would not buy this product. Fail!

Frisbee Forever

Frisbee always brings to my mind open spaces and parks in which children threw them all around and had some good old fashioned fun. It allowed uptight suburban kids to socialize with other children, which otherwise would have not been possible and most of us would spend our time in our little libraries poring into Britannica Encyclopedia. This was almost 2 decades ago, and now children do not really play Frisbee the way we used to, I guess. Instead, there is this iPhone game called Frisbee Forever, which could be played in 10 different ‘environments’. Not much has changed in 2 decades except that people like me can play Frisbee in home libraries with the help of an iPhone, all alone instead of playing it with other kids in an open park.

If you can think of any other funny and failed remakes of popular and classic games, do share them with us in the comments section below!