Novelty and Impulse Toys: A World of
Fun on the Cheap
By Lynda Lin
Impulse toys usually evoke images of shaky hands and dry lips caused
from the “I-Just-Have-To-Have-It” syndrome. Unusual, colorful and sometimes
hilarious, Novelty and Impulse toys are those strategically stashed near
registers and exits as a last ditch effort to sway customers into whipping
out their wallets.
The Rings of Saturn
Although Spinmaster's Astrojax comes
in many colors and design, by far the coolest one to have swinging in
the air, off walls or off your body is the bright, fluorescent Saturn
model (aptly named for its encircled ring). When creating more complex
tricks than with your average yo-yo, fret not; each Astrojax comes with
a trick sheet and an Astrojax Docking Station if you need to walk away
from it for a while. The Astrojax is equipped with three colored LED lights
that can be switched from “Continuous” mode to “Disco.” Nothing is more
groovy for kids 8 years old and up than a disco ball on a string for $6.99.
Red Devil Rubber Duckies
From the mind of Zoomagoo, this red, horned rendition
of the traditional rubber ducky is the perfect way to spice up bath time.
For $5.99, you get three diabolical quacks. These fellows are perfect
for anyone who enjoys a devilish bath time.
Yo Yo Ma stand back! GVOX’s Ricky Recorder
will bring out your child’s inner maestro. A microphone links the recorder
to your personal PC, which can also be used to play the interactive software
starring Ricky the Recorder. Ricky not only teaches playing techniques,
but also provides a cursory lesson in musical theory. With a retail price
of $99.95, Ricky Recorder is a bargain considering users can play up to
20 songs on the recorder with Ricky. The software is compatible with Windows
and up, and requires 23 MB of memory.
Stars and Stripes
In these times of socio-political upheaval, it’s important to throw an
innocuous and nonviolent toy into the pile of killing electrical machines
that children play with. The extremely malleable doll from Bendos
is a declaration of patriotism, with the American flag proudly grasped
in one plastic hand. For $5.50, kids of all ages can bend with patriotic
WWF Attitude Bears
Endorsed by infamous World Wrestling Federation (WWF)
stars like bandana-clad Hulk Hogan ($8.99) and Undertaker
($7.99), these colorful bears are collector items with chutzpah. The bears
come in eight different colors and are always ready to rumble.
“Now You Can Find It!"™ Wireless RF Electronic
Remote Control Lost Again?
Somebody should nominate The Sharper Image for their
innovative idea of how to track down those perpetually missing household
items like the remote control, a baby’s bottle or even a spouse. Locaters
($19.95) come in four different colors and can attach to virtually anything
via a key ring or adhesive pad. If something goes missing, use your
“Now You Can Find It!"™Wireless RF Electronic Locater
and save yourself from tearing out the sofa cushions.
If Humpty Dumpty married Mr. Potato Head, would they have egg children?
Standing only 2.5 inches tall and cashing in on the tried and tested Mr.
Potato Head, these Egg Men are more portable versions
of the beloved toy. From U.S. Toys, the novelty eggs
run $6.95 per dozen. Egg crate not included.
Alien Folding Figures
Also from U.S. Toys (ToyDirectory),
these aliens’ sole purpose in life is to have their heads
folded into their bodies. What more can you ask for? They come in assorted
colors and designs for $4.95 per dozen.
Yo Yo Blobz
Blobz and Blobz of Fun
Play Visions adds its Blobz line to the squishy-fun
category. After throwing the water-filled Blobz against any hard surface,
they flatten and then spring back into shape. Yo Yo Blobz
(24 ct. pack for $36.00) feature a stretchy cord so you can bounce Blobz
wherever you like.