The Island of Misfit Toys and Lies

by Michael Channing

The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special is one of the darkest Christmas programs ever, and I'm not talking about the wild animal who has all of his teeth forcefully extracted. Let me turn your attention to the Island of Misfit Toys. This is where toys are sent when children don't want to play with them. The thing is, kids will happily play with dirt and sticks; they're not going to refuse a toy. So why have those toys been exiled to an unknown island? Are they defective, or have they stepped out of line?

King Moonracer

King Moonracer, the leader of this ragtag band of "misfits," is a winged lion. You're telling me children don't want to play with that? I want one now.

The King's mission is to fly around the world attempting to place the abandoned toys with loving families. Accepting one of these toys into your home requires you to be open-minded and unprejudiced. One might even say liberal. You know who has a problem with that? The Man.

I'm talking about the military industrial complex known as G.I. Joe. The Real American Hero can't have some peacenik flying around preaching love and acceptance, because that would mean no more war. And no war would mean no more sweet, sweet government contracts. Somebody's got to pay for the dozens of specialized weapons and vehicles Joe employs, one of which, I want to point out, is a space shuttle. A. Space. Shuttle. If this continues, one night you'll go out walking, look up into the sky, and say, "The moon sure does look big tonight. Wait, that's no moon..." And the only thing standing in the way of that dark future is a hippie griffin.

Nobody wants to play with a Charlie-in-the-Box

Another of the unwanted toys is a fully functioning Jack-in-the-box who happens to be named Charlie instead of Jack. Where's the problem? As long as the thing plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" when a kid turns the crank and it explodes out of its box to the horror of the child and the delight of that child's grandparents, the name doesn't matter. Until you look closer. The toy's name isn't Charlie. It's Charli. A girl's name. That's right, Charli-in-the-Box is the world's first transgender toy. And Barbie is having none of that. She and her Princess SS rule the pink aisle with an iron oven mitt. And if you don't conform to their standards of decency, into the Easy-Bake you go. There's a toy war going on, and the sad thing is the corporations are winning. They've fooled us into believing the lie of pink for girls and blue for boys. They even tricked us into thinking that without pink LEGO bricks, girls couldn't grasp the complicated mechanics of putting one thing on top of another.

But there's a new hope in the form of a splinter faction of Bronies who are fighting the good fight. It's just everyone else is too weirded out to join them.

Squirt gun that shotts grape jelly.

Then we come to the squirt gun that shoots grape jelly. That's not a defect in the toy. Someone loaded it with jelly. That's a user error. GIGO: Grape In Grape Out. Why should the toy suffer for that?

Unless...

It actually generates grape jelly. Without the requirement of refill packs, it just manifests jelly out of nothing. Like a miracle. It could be ending famines and feeding the homeless right now, but no, it's locked away on an island. Thanks a lot, Kenner.

Dolly for Sue

There's also a Dolly on the island that seems to have no discernable reason for being there. There's a rumour she was banished because she has emotional problems, but that's just a smear tactic. The real reason is she doesn't need batteries, has no accessories, and isn't the first in a long line of addictive collectables. She's simply a doll you buy once and love forever, something that does not jibe with Mattel's fiscal plan. Toys without movie tie-ins, without electronic parts, without the option to expand upon or collect, are being diagnosed as unwanted and hidden from view.

I foresee a future when all toys are built to self destruct after a few hours of operation. Then children everywhere, alone, bored, surrounded by the accumulated filth of corporate greed, will look to the Island of Misfit Toys and shout, "Play with us!" And the toys will whisper, "No."

The Dharma-Mattel Initiative

More Angry and Harmless Satire


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