55 - An Explanation


Once in a while, a toymaker creates a product that captivates the nation. LEGO, the Easy Bake Oven, the Rubik’s Cube, Pong: these are all toys that made the world a little more interesting for kids and a lot of the time, adults, too.

Another side exists to the coin of toy quality, however, and you end up with truly horrible or just plain confusing toys. Any number of things can go wrong. A foreign toymaker may not understand the US audience. A knock-off brand comes up with, well, a crappy knock-off. Sometimes a toymaker just says “good e-fucking-nough.”

Every so often, a perfect storm of the many causes of crappy toys comes together, and you end up with something like this.

Is it a mummy? Is it Leather Belt Man? Kevin Bacon from Hollow Man? Is it Chewbacca’s sarcophagus?

We’ll never know.

What we do know is that someone in an art department went through a number of concepts and said “this is the one we’re going to use.”

They took this concept to some sort of engineer or plastic molding specialist or maybe just a guy with brain damage who had foreign accent syndrome so they thought he was smart and hired him to make stuff and said “draw me up some specs.” This guy drew up specs and they told him “Yes. This is it. This is what I wanted. Good job.”

They packaged it, sent it out to stores, it was put on shelves, and someone bought it, then threw it away.

Now there’s a little piece of plastic built by men who didn’t really care sold by a store trying to make a buck bought by whomever and loved by no one sitting on the ground next to a dumpster. This happens thousands upon thousands of times a day. What does that say about our society?

I don’t know, I just write crappy short stories on the internet.

The fact is, there’s a story behind this little guy, waiting to be pulled out.

I’m fifty-five days into this thing I started, and I felt like that was a good time for an explanation.

Thanks for reading, guys.