Horrible (& often painful) Toys

Reflecting back on the worst toys ever to grace my life.
May 01, 2008
Back in the day (which was a Wednesday by the way) I had an arch-nemesis. His name was Michael, and he was my Step-Brother. He was two months older than me, and he constantly stole the spotlight. So what if he hit home runs in Little League? Who cares if he made an impressive interception from the defensive line? What's the big deal about scoring the most points in a basketball game?
I certainly didn't, because I had one HUGE thing over him...

I could beat him at Street Fighter 2.

Any character, any handicap, any match of any Street Fighter game before or after Street Fighter 2 would always end with the same result; my complete and utter victory. It wasn't even just Street Fighter; it was all of the Mortal Kombats, Primal Rage, Virtua Fighters, all the Neo-Geo games, etc. Where people wanted Michael on their football, baseball, soccer, and football teams, people always asked ME for help on their favorite videogames.

When my Mom would force me to go outside and "play" with my friends, I always fretted. Whereas I'd use my birthday money/allowance on Sega Genesis games, Michael would spend it on footballs that were designed to go farther, nerf toys that were more powerful, and Super Soaker's that had laser-like precision. I had the footballs that seemed like candy to household pets, the crappy Nerfbow, and duel-wielding 99cent plastic squirt guns.

For his 7th Birthday, Michael asked for one toy;

although I don't re-call it being a nerf brand toy, or having that color scheme, the picture still gives you a good idea. It was a giant bazooka that shot missile shaped foam. I prayed to every god I knew that he wouldn't get that gun, but sure enough he got it. My Mom made him promise he wouldn't shoot me, but being the jerk that he was, he went ahead and did it...multiple times. I hated that stupid thing. You ever gotten shot at point blank with a foam bazooka? It's terrible. You ever brought a crappy Nerfbow to a bazooka fight?

I'd be sitting in the living room playing Sonic the Hedgehog on the living room TV when suddenly I'd hear a
PING! and a foam missile would crash into my skull. In a moment of rage and desperation, I chewed up all the missiles and blamed it on our puppy.

I'd spend hours watching TV just waiting for some cool toy commercial to pop up and entice my to buy a toy that would up my reputation above and beyond Michael's. One day I thought I had found the right toy.

Don't laugh, this was the only picture of this toy I could find. Oh boy, phew...Anyway, it was the voice activated squirt gun disguised as a walkman. The toy was awesome in theory, except mine never worked. I'd scream at the top of my lungs while Michael would blast me in the face with this-

The commercial had this kid screaming "FIRE!" and dousing his water enemies with the seemingly endless supply hanging off a belt clip. No matter what I'd scream, the stream went nowhere. I somehow figured out that if I put the microphone in my mouth and blew it would actually work. What I thought would boost my coolness level had fast become a neighborhood joke. I grew to hate the
"Ready, Aim, Fire!" water gun almost as much as I hated Michael's awesome Super Soaker that had more pressure than most showers I've been in. To make matters worse, he'd sometimes mix liquid soap into his water tank and aim for the eyes. He was a prick.

One day I saw an amazing commercial involving a new Nerf gun.

This one boasted laser sight! As a child, I had terrible aim, so the laser sight would definitely help me out. For my birthday, my friends and I had an epic nerf battle where my Nerf EagleEye gun's little red target light helped me destroy everyone else. After the Birthday sleepover, we woke up bright and early and had a Epic Nerf War 2. I loaded my new EagleEye and went after the other kids with a kamikaze attitude. This time, I didn't do too well because apparently this "laser sight" had one weakness...DAYLIGHT! When you're 9 years-old, and you have a strict curfew to obey, the two or three hours you're allowed to play outside in made the Eagle Eye a pointless gun for me.

My Step-brother had purchased the Nerf Secret Shot pistol. This stupid thing had a secret single dart shot hidden in the hilt. No matter how many times I saw the commercial, I'd still fall for it. I'd visibly see he was out of ammo and I'd move in for the attack, only to get pwned in the forehead. I really hated that gun.

In 1992 a sequel to the popular Chris Columbus directed opus of Home Alone, received a sequel. In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin McCallister, played by the once annoyingly adorable Macaulay Culkin, terrorizes grownups with a device called the TalkBoy

It was a toy that you could record stuff with, and then play it back. You could also slow down the sound, making voices sound deeper, or speed the recording up to make it sound all chipmunk-e. I was extremely happy when I found out that you could actually buy a TalkBoy. I conjured up a million tricks and uses my TalkBoy could execute, and one day the TalkBoy was mine; however, there was a catch...
Michael got one too. That completely killed the awesome factor for me. No one would think I was awesome for the sad fact that I wasn't the ONLY one with this brilliant toy.
I devised a plan. I'd get Michael to say some kind of curse word, or some other nasty word and I'd record it and then play it for my Mom. I'd use it as blackmail, and I'd force him to do anything I'd tell him to do. It was genius! It was also too late...

Michael had recorded himself saying the F-word a few times, and told my parents it was me. They couldn't tell the difference in our voices because the TalkBoy wasn't as clear and free of static as it's movie representation. My TalkBoy was taken away from me, and Michael would record his laughter and play it while I tried to drown my sorrow with The Lion King on Sega Genesis. He'd also record him saying stuff like "I suck." and "I'm a sissy" and tell the neighbor kids it was my "confession." Needless to say, the TalkBoy caused me a lot of pain and anguish.

Yeah, Michael had throughout the years abused me with his better toys and superior athletic abilities. Even though I'd dominate him at every single videogame our family ever owned, and I wasn't pudgy like he was, it still irked me; HOWEVER, fellow RetroJunkies, I'm happy to tell you that revenge is a dish best served cold with a little bit of chocolate syrup drizzled on the top and today I'm about to serve it up. You wanna know something about Michael?...

His favorite movie was at one time the abysmal Batman and Robin.

He tried looking up porn at the school computer lab. When caught, he said he did it because the teacher told him if he could get past the school's parental locks he'd get a donut.

Michael's feet are extremely smelly. Seriously, he had to use medication powder, but that STILL didn't help. He ruined shoes left and right because his feet-sweat was so caustic.

Oh yeah, and Michael also bought both of the first two Spice Girls CD's, and yes, he was indeed a male back when he grooved him some Zig-a-Zig-Ah.

Who's the wuss now, b**c*?
Who's the wuss now..
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