In lieu of dispensing his usual horrible advice this week, Azra has opted to pen an open letter to toy manufacturers.
Dear Toy Manufacturers,
As a parental figure, I feel there’s something we all experience but we never talk about: Kids toys and the statement “some assembly required”.
Everyone who has children will understand immediately what I’m talking about. However, I am convinced that the entire toy manufacturing industry is made solely of childless sadists who are hell-bent on wasting parents time, energy, and what remains of parents’ sanity.
Kids toys have become the absolute worst in recent decades. Nowadays they are all plastic and either pink or blue (for females and males respectively, but that is another topic altogether). Depending on the toys size, they will either come in with level 5,000 packaging or they are in a million intricate pieces that need to be assembled with a single “L” shaped tool that’s provided with some spare bits to boot.
It’s not enough that toys are smothered in shrink wrap and air-tight plastic clamshell packaging. Oh no. They also have to be twist-tied, zip-stripped, and taped to cardboard. Your rule, dear Toy Manufacturers, seems to be that the smaller it is, themore you need to be sure it never gets out of its packaging. Us hapless parental figures must navigate our way through more security safe guards than a federal prison. Most of the time when the toy has finally been liberated, the child isn’t even interested in it any more! It’s usually a complete waste of time and money.
But the big toys, the ones that require assembly, that’s where the real problem is. That’s where you’ve lied to us. You see, while the “some assembly” items typically aren’t enshrined in styrofoam, they take a lot more time to complete. The complicated instructions, malformed yet intricate parts that never fit together as they should, and the extra screws create hours, days, sometimes even days of hard engineering work for unlucky parents. The fact that these toys typically are to scale models of real, everyday items (like kitchenettes, cars, slides, castles, etc) is even more insulting.
Parents spend roughly a quarter of their parenting career just opening and assembling toys. That’s valuable time that they could be catching up on sleeping, or cleaning, or cooking, or literally ANYTHING except building cheap, plastic replicas of real-life items that will entertain their rugrats for precisely five minutes.
Furthermore, having parents be unwitting and unpaid employees for your company is nefarious and I’m sort of in awe that you can get away with it in this day in age.
Are you hearing me, Toy Manufacturers? Your packaging practices suck the life out of parents. Please get it under control.
Where’s that Alan wrench?