Back in the day, I brought you Stupid Gift Idea #1, the toy ironing board. Don’t get me started on that one again, because today I have the illustrious, the enthralling, the enchanting…toy toaster!
With all the gadgets that could be imagined into toys, I am puzzled how a toaster ranked interesting enough to be considered play-worthy. Is it its mesmerizing function of applying heat to transform limp bread into crisp goodness? Is it the awe-inducing ability to pop up toasted bread with a satisfying “ching” noise? Is it…wait, that’s all a toaster does. And each toy toaster I investigated touted its lack of heat-producing elements as a safety bonus, thus removing the sole potential of drawing kids to play with it (the possibility of fire, burning, melting, injury, or other mishap).
Oh, I spoke too soon, as there is one entertaining feature of a toaster, introduced to me by my youngest brother. When he was little, his inner budding culinary genius urged him to make grilled cheese sandwiches by shoving the bread with the cheese into the toaster. Long story short, this in fact does not make delicious, golden, toasted cheese sandwiches; however, if burned, gooey cheese mashed in your toaster is what you are after, then my brother is your man.
I wrack my imagination, wondering what children are expected to do with a toy toaster. Perhaps the scenario would go a little something like this:
Child #1: Hi! Come over here and play with me!
Child #2: (curiously) Whatcha got there?
Child #1: (proudly) My new toy toaster! (waves hands Vanna-White style toward the said toy toaster)
Child #2: (eyes wide) Holy cow! What does it do?
Child #1: This! (pushes button down with a flourish, waits eagerly for it to slowly edge up, smiles wide as the toy toast pops up in the toy toaster)
Child #2: (jumping up and down, clapping, barely able to contain glee): Oh, what fun! Woo-hoo! Do it again! C’mon, do it again!
Ummm…not likely. Conjuring up all the children I know, plus relying on long-term memory from my own childhood, these kids would soon grow disenchanted at the toaster’s inability to actually create heat or fire, and they would start tossing it about, using it as a footstool, shoving random objects into the bread slot just because, trying to wear it somehow for humor value, or simply moving on to a real toy…like a hockey stick.