Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wrap rage...

Does anyone else find the amount of packaging involved in children's toys absolutely ridiculous? This has been a pet peeve of mine for years now (my kids are 7 and 5). Two years ago I came across a display in Home Depot with an item that has proved to be INVALUABLE in dealing with Christmas packaging. I bought one and have showed it to anyone who has come to my house for a gift giving occasion. But they disappeared. I couldn't find them in stores or online anywhere. Then recently I picked up the most recent copy of Family Fun Magazine and there was a review for this heavenly item in their Holiday section and then I saw a review in another magazine and I thought "YAY now others can have them too". SO, without further ado HERE is the Parent Must Have Christmas Item:

It has a sharp snipper that can cut through that plastic mold they put over everything. It has a screwdriver for the screws they use to hold everything in place inside the package. It even has a blade for when you say "Oh FUCK it" and want to rip right through. Oh and there's a lock so the snippers don't stay open and get caught on little fingers. I LOVE THIS THING. I found them on Amazon. If you have a kid that gets toys as gifts, you need one of these.

Speaking of Amazon, they are THE BEST. Jeff Bezos is working to provide customers with Frustration Free Packaging. Read his letter about what they're doing:

Thank you thank you thank you Amazon.

And thinking of this reminds me of my very favorite Dave Barry column, "So, you think you've got troubles? Try being a Cinderella pinata" (applicable excerpt below):

In recent years the toy industry, after consulting its lawyers, decided it was too dangerous to allow children to come into contact with toys. So the industry went to the Institute of Defensive Packaging, which is the outfit that made it impossible to open an aspirin bottle without a hammer.

For toys, the Institute came up with a vicious system that involves attaching the toy to the package with dozens of nearly invisible twisted titanium wires, which are then covered with powerful adhesive tape, after which everything is encased in thick, weapons-grade plastic that, when you try to cut it with a knife -- and, trust me, you eventually will -- defends itself by turning into lethal shards that can slice through your arm like a machete through a Twinkie. And of course, while you're grappling with this packaging, cursing and bleeding, your child is in your ear asking "When can I play with it when when whenwhenwhenwhenWHENWHENWHEN?" Such is the power of child nagging that some parents are, incredibly, still getting through to the toys. So the Institute of Defensive Packaging is working on a new system: Soon, toys will be immobilized inside Lucite blocks, like giant paperweights, so the child can only look at them and cry while the parent checks the Yellow Pages under "Acetylene Torch Rental." Homes will burn down; people will die. But that is the price a society pays for safe packaging.

In conclusion, get the tool or shop at Heck, shop at FOR the tool.

p.s. - as much as I wish they WOULD, amazon is not paying me for any of my love.


  1. " will burn...people will die..."?!?! Sounds like I won't worry about lay-offs from the fire department just yet...

  2. I'll have to get one of these!! Our Christmas morning usually involves a lot of "Auntie Stacie will open it" or "Go ask Auntie" - I never knew something like this existed to help me be a cool aunt!

  3. LOL, that is hilarious.

    It's so true about the clamshell plastic packages, those things will cut you like razors.

    PS - Thanks for joining my game over at my blog!


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