Forbidden Fruit : Finding Freaky Collectible Fun

by David Fox

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Maybe this blog should have been delivered in a brown wrapper… Let’s take a look at some of the unintentionally naughty toys that have hit the shelves, shall we?

There is a saying about the attractiveness of forbidden fruit.  To me, all fruit is forbidden.  It’s gross.  The only fruit I want near me is the lime in my Corona, but I understand the sentiment.  The thing that we should not have is the thing that we are drawn to the most.  Thanks a lot, Eve.  Everybody has their thing. 

When I was thirteen, while other kids were hiding porn under their mattress, I was hiding cassette tapes of music that my Dad would never let me have.  LL Cool J.  The Clash.  Iron Maiden.  Not only was it great music, but the fact that my Dad forbade me to have them made them all the more enticing.  So, it makes sense that this attitude would permeate other activities, especially collecting. 

Maybe it was dangerous, unintentionally sexual, or a case of cultural appropriation; getting your hands on one of these toys makes for good collecting and gives you that dirty little feeling that most people crave but don’t want to acknowledge.

Jarts

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Call them what you will from your region, Jarts (as we called them in the greater Philadelphia region) were a hell of a lot of fun.  Yes, they were tiny javelin-type missiles that could maim or kill your friends, but what’s life without whimsy? Jarts got a bad rap. 

It was outside/slightly athletic fun, and possibly a handy training device for a post-apocalyptic “Hunger Games” type of lifestyle that hasn’t yet played out.  How’d you get so good at hunting? My Mom let me play Jarts. 

The only problem with Jarts was that they often didn’t stick in the ground unless it had just rained or something because they were, in fact, not that sharp.  I remember still playing it after it was taken off the shelves and my friends trying to figure out how someone got hurt playing this.  Are you standing directly in the target circle trying to catch one in your teeth?  Then you deserve to get hurt.  Why make others sacrifice for your bad decisions?

Phillip Morris Play Smoking Set

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I was not old enough to have this, but I certainly remember candy cigarettes.  In defense of the past, this is from the era where people believed that cigarettes were not only harmless but, in some minds, good for you.  Not sure how that was ever a thing, but ok, past.  We will let you slide on this one.  If only a kiddie flask had been made to accompany it. 

With this set, young boys especially could get a jump on the life of addiction they were genetically predisposed to lead, chasing a make-believe nicotine dragon until they could replace it with the real deal.  

Bad, Barbie, Bad!

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Possibly the most famous toy of them all has had her missteps over the years.  “Teen Talk” Barbie caught the ire of The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (sounds like a fun group) when she uttered the phrase “Math class is tough!” because they believed it would dissuade young girls from studying math and science. Listen nerds, when has Barbie ever set standards that could be detrimental to the image that little girls try to live up to? Always?!? Ok, fair enough. 

Exhibit A, Midge, Barbie’s friend who got knocked up and had a plastic baby in her plastic belly. I get it.  G.I. Joe was home on leave, and things got a little sloppy.  Accidents happen. But don’t worry, it came with a scale because even when you’re an expecting teen, it’s still important to not pack on unsightly pounds.

In fact, in the ’60s, Barbies sometimes came with scales, all set to 110 lbs.  So stick that in the corridors of your mind, little girl.  I’m sure it won’t cause any damage. 

My favorite, though, is a Barbie that came with her dog, Tanner, with real pooping action!  At least Barbie cleaned up after her dog as it came with a bedazzled pooper scooper.  More than I can say for the neighbors on my block.  Yeah, I’m talking to you, Mike! 

Baby Love

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Another classic toy, the baby doll, has always afforded children the opportunity to see what it is like to take care of an infant.  What could be more fun than that?  Parenthood…the most fun a kid can have. 

But sometimes these little cherubs offered something you hadn’t bargained for.  For example, the “chewing” Cabbage Patch Doll that ate vegetables, french fries, and human hair! So many little girls’ follicles were eaten that this chubby cheeked menace was discontinued toot sweet.  Turns out that Rapunzel Syndrome can affect even the very young. Look it up homeboy, it’s a real thing. 

But for the kid who wants an even more realistic take on child-rearing, there’s great news.  Breast Milk Baby by Berjuan Toys not only provides an automated sucking baby but a strap-on breast that simulates the whole process.  Somebody get one of these for Homelander.  

Sexy Time!

All of that being said, the thing that usually gets a toy ripped from the shelves is something sexual, and it is generally unintentional, but something that somebody should have caught.  These companies have the caliber of quality control akin to Creed Bratton at Dunder Mifflin. 

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Submission one, the battery-operated Nimbus 2000.  Did it fly like Harry’s? No.  Did it vibrate between your legs when you “sat” on it? Ohhhhh yeah, it did.  Mom, have you seen my Nimbus 2000? Mama’s playing Quidditch again, sweetie.  Now discontinued, this frequent flier had Mothers catching the Golden Snitch three or four times a day. 

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Speaking of self-gratification, “Rad Repeatin’ Tarzan”, a part of the toy line for the 1999 Disney movie, repeated a motion suited more for the King of the Beats rather than Beasts. With many of these being destroyed, you may need to shell out between fifty and one-hundred-fifty dollars depending on condition. 

Congratulations, Disney.  With Tarzan, you’ve provided yet another happy ending.

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And finally, a throwback classic, the E.T. Finger Light toy looked a little more like a male appendage than anything else.  Bunch all of these together and the 1982 C-3PO tape dispenser (which fetches a hefty price) and you’ve got some oversight committee employees worthy of a Congressional appointment.

Wrapping it Up

These are just a few of the hard-to-resist mistakes or missteps in the toy world.  They make us laugh, make us cringe, and make us want to spend money.  Owning one of them can be, even if it is just for a fleeting moment, exhilarating.  After all, John Bender put it best when he said, “Being bad feels pretty good, huh?”

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AAA-David-Fox-Blogger-Footer Forbidden Fruit : Finding Freaky Collectible Fun*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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