Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Toying with us

Posted by Ron Coleman on November 14, 2007

The consumer-watch-out-or-else people have put out their list of death toys. I had to laugh (darkly) when I read this excerpt:

Joan Lawrence of the Toy Industry Association questioned the usefulness of WATCH’s list, saying such lists often lack context about who the toy is aimed at and how it should be used.

For instance, “Jack Sparrow’s Spinning Dagger,” a toy from the popular “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie trilogy, clearly isn’t right for small children, but is fine for older kids, Lawrence said.

“In general, the products are safe as intended to be used,” she said.

Like any American my age, I was instantly reminded of old Irwin Mainway, President of Mainway Toys:

Consumer Reporter: Good evening, and welcome to the holiday edition of “Consumer Probe”. Our topic tonight is unsafe toys for children. For instance, this little bow and arrow set. [ holds up ] Pull the rubber suctions off, and the arrows become deadly missiles.

irwin-mainway.jpgWe have with us tonight, Mr. Irwin Mainway, President of Mainway Toys. Uh, Mr. Mainway, your company manufactures the following so-called harmless playthings: Pretty Peggy Ear-Piercing Set, Mr. Skin-Grafter, General Tron’s Secret Police Confession Kit, and Doggie Dentist. And what about this innocent rubber doll, which you market under the name Johnny Switchblade? [ holds up doll ] Press his head, and two sharp knives spring from his arms. [ demonstrates ] Mr. Mainway, I’m afraid this is, by no means, a very safe toy.

Irwin Mainway: Okay, Miss, I wanna correct you, alright. The full name of this product, as it appears in stores all over the county, is Johnny Switchblade: Adventure Punk. I mean, nothing goes wrong.. little girls buy ’em, you know, they play games, they make up stories, nobody gets hurt. I mean, so Barbie takes a knife once in a while, or Ken gets cut. You know, there’s no harm in that. I mean, as far as I can see, you know?

Consumer Reporter: Alright. Fine. Fine. Well, we’d like to show you another one of Mr. Mainway’s products. It retails for $1.98, and it’s called Bag O’ Glass. . . .

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