When I was a kid, the hottest toy for children under the age of five was Teddy Ruxpin. Without going into too much unnecessary detail, Ruxpin was an animatronic teddy bear. If you flipped him over onto his stomach, you’d find a cassette deck where you could insert one of his various audio tapes containing the recordings of his favorite stories. Press play and I’m telling you, this bear would start telling you tales of his many adventures. His mouth would move, his eyes would blink, and that bear and I would be riding in the HOV lane to a world of magic and wonder. At least until his left eye popped out after a brief tussle with the family dog. After that, it wasn’t as easy to speed off to the land of imagination with an empty eye socket packed with gears and fuses staring (or trying to stare) back at you. Needless to say, Ruxpin’s unfortunate facial maiming downgraded him from state-of-the art toy/best friend/potential lifetime adventure companion to unworldly, sci-fi freak show that I was no longer allowed to bring to preschool because Steven Glensfurd couldn’t sleep during nap time knowing that “thing” was in the same room as him. But I think everyone, Glensfurd included, would agree that there are some toys out there in the world that make a one-eyed Teddy Ruxpin look like a two-eyed Teddy Ruxpin any day of the week. Here are 15 photos of the creepiest toys every made.
15. Face Bank
The Face Bank or “Face Bank Coin Eating Savings Bank” as it is formerly called, is just one of the many terrifying little desktop gadgets to come out of Japan in the last few years. The concept is simple enough—feed it money. But the way the rubber moves while it chews up coins and paper bills while those dead eyes stare through you, kind of makes you think what the consequences might be if you DIDN’T feed it money. When your eyes are closed, what else is this little freak considering as cuisine? I really wouldn’t be too surprised if a once-proud owner of a Face Bank awoke in the middle of the night to find this thing had eaten his leg up to the knee. Sure, you could struggle to reach for your wallet or that jar of pennies on your night stand, but Face Bank knew where those were…and if it had been craving money…it would have gobbled them up first. DUN DUN DUN!
14. Jolly Chimp
The problem with Jolly Chimp is that in every horror movie, he’s the first thing to emerge from any child’s bedroom that may or may not be haunted. He also looks like he’s had his lips and eyelids singed off in some sort of tragic monkey marching band fire. Still, these secondhand circus percussionists were not only manufactured in the 1950’s but again in the 1970’s; not to mention the dozens of copycat toys that were birthed from the mold of this godless fur ball, including but not limited to Charlie Chimp, Magic Monkey, Pepi Tumbling Monkey with Cymbal, and of course, Clockwork Musical Monkey with Clashing Cymbals. If you don’t find this fella scary, look into his eyes for five seconds with the lights off. Then look up into the darkness. Whatever you think you’re hearing, and whatever you think you’re seeing, let me assure you it is Jolly Chimp, and he has a little song he wants you to hear.
13. Skinny Bones
This abomination came from Marx Toys, the same company that brought us the classic and always fun Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots in 1964. But apparently, six years later, they hired Sid from Toy Story to spearhead their creative department because the 1970’s saw kids across America building these life-sized, pencil-necked terrors. People interested in bringing one of these spindly devils into their homes actually had three options to choose from. Marx offered Skinny Bones, which contained blue sticks to build with and a little boy’s severed head. There was Ginny Bones, the exact same thing in pink, and Ham Bones, the duo’s anorexic dog. It’s funny to think about people actually trying to decide which gender and species of demon-possessed spider doll you wanted crawling up your walls and peeking at you through your air vents at home.
12. Wax Lips
I guess these are technically a candy and not a toy, but they’re really not. They’re really just a useless gag that I’ve never understood. Neither did anyone, I guess. You can’t eat wax lips, and yet they’re always in the candy aisle. Aside from my bitter confusion, wax lips are scary. Outright scary. They make kids look like they just had botched lip injections. They look infected and ready to burst into two puffy geysers of puss and silicone. Next time you pop a pair of these in your mouth, I want you to think about that image. And then I want you to get my information from this website and Tweet at me about what the hell you do with them after you’re done frightening the people near you because you’re certainly not eating them.
I’m very aware that Furbies are still a pretty hot ticket come holiday season, but if you were a kid in 1998 when these suckers were originally released, well damn, you know more than anybody how important it was to see a Furby under the tree that year! Much like the aforementioned Teddy Ruxpin, Furbies were/are animatronic creatures that could talk but were much more advanced than the rudimentary robot toys of the 1980’s. Furbies could learn. The more you interacted with them the more they spoke English, which is really cool except that to pull off such an amazing feet of artificial intelligence, Furbies had to have little recording devices inside of them, and they weren’t shy about recording more than you wanted them to. Confused Furby owners complained that the little balls of battery and fur were randomly reciting songs that had been played near them and even phone conversations they had been in the room for. People thought Furbies were being used as an espionage tactic from America’s foreign enemies. To be honest, I never heard otherwise.
10. Shave The Baby
It’s exactly what it looks like if you can manage to not turn away immediately. This little ginger angel has large tufts of hair protruding from her head, calves, armpits, and of course, pubic region. The idea is to provide the consumer with the pleasure of shaving a baby clean; except, nobody has that urge. Well, at least I truly hope they do not. This toy is actually extremely limited edition. They only made ten and by they, I mean Zbigniew Libera, the edgy Polish artist. Libera created the ugliest baby doll of all time in order to find a way to “piercingly and subversively (in an intellectual way) play with the stereotypes of contemporary culture.” At least that’s how he puts it. He followed this project up with “Ken’s Aunt” which was basically a series of heavy-set older women with bad makeup and women’s nightwear. Needless to say, Libera has some bone-chilling ideas for toys that can shake up the normalcy of what everyday people think of what a “play thing” is supposed to be. This hairy baby is definitely odd, but it’s nothing compared to…
9. This Lego Concentration Camp
I feel like this one doesn’t need too much explaining as to why it’s so awful. But then again, this one was more of an “experimental art piece” than an actual toy. Still, it very much deserves to be on the list because…well…it’s a concentration camp for children to not only construct but also own and operate. What’s really creepy are the skeletons being paraded out of the compound by a man all dressed in black. I guess Libera did, in fact, construct an actual Holocaust concentration camp as accurately and as humanly possible out of random pieces of Lego sets. The result is what you’re looking at in the picture above. A chilling depiction of what Lego might have released if the Nazis had taken home a “W” after World War II…and if they were completely demented. I mean, Nazi Germany winning or not, I doubt Lego would have ever made a Holocaust-themed toy.
8. Kaba Kick
Do you love the high stakes of Russian Roulette but hate the idea of potentially blowing your brains all over your opponent? If you answered yes to this question, then Kaba Kick is the game for you! You have to appreciate the level of thrill the Japanese are putting into these toys. Kaba Kick is a fun pink version of the classic “behind enemy lines in a war-torn country” party game. Players load the pistol up with foam hippos, cock the weapon, put it to their temple (perhaps), say a prayer, and then squeeze the trigger. If you’re lucky, that hippo stays planted safely in the chamber. But if the reaper has you on his list of daily visits, well, sorry pal, but you’re probably going to end up looking like the young fella on the cover of the box. I’ll admit that my friends and I used to play a makeshift version of this game with cap guns, and I can speak to the fun that comes along with being incredibly nervous that this pull may be your last, but I don’t think this is the best choice for Christmas morning.
7. Hugo, The Man of 1,000 Faces
Straight out of an episode of Forensic Files comes Hugo, the soulless master of disguise that very much just wants you to come look at the puppies in the back of his van. Oh, you can’t see them? They’re in the way back, you have to really get in there to take a look…WHACK! Dead eyes seem to be a popular feature on these freaky toys, but I think Hugo is going to get to put the blue ribbon on his refrigerator full of human body parts when this is all said and done and the dust settles and there’s nothing left but Hugo rolling up some freshly-hosed tarps. It’s also the fact that he comes with disguises to make his getaways that much more seamless. This guy is Mr. Potatohead off his meds. That weird chambray tunic isn’t helping anything either. He looks like a legless 1750’s stable boy with alopecia. Plus, what’s up with his disguises looking like something out of a silent horror film? He has yellow fangs and some sort of puppet drag show style mask. I guess the classic glasses and mustache just weren’t cutting the mustard in the serial killing toy business like they used to.
6. Erwin The Little Patient
For the little doctor in your house, toy manufacturer, Sigikid, invites you to tear open Erwin, the little patient. If you gently remove Erwin’s hospital gown, he would be glad to lay on his back while you unzip his torso and yank out each one of his vital organs individually. Don’t have an aspiring young surgeon in your midst? No problem. All the serial killers, and cannibals in your family will love Erwin, too. Seriously, who would actively seek out a toy that lets you dismantle a grown man like he was a Ford carburetor? I understand that Erwin is nothing more than a frizzy-haired, stuffed-felt for flesh children’s toy, but there’s just something about that tube of green intestine (at least I think it’s his intestine coiling up like a fat snake in his gut that just gives me the heebie-jeebies).
5. Little Miss No Name
In 1965, Hasbro, the company that brought us G.I. Joe, Monopoly, and My Little Pony, created Little Miss No Name, a derelict street dweller who wants a best friend first and a new dress second…AND judging by her outstretched hand, any spare change you might have shaking in your pocket. Hasbro basically tried to increase sales by not selling pretty, Barbie-like dolls, and instead tried to hit every potential buyer right in the feels. Little Miss No Name here even has a tear escaping from her enormous doe eyes. Match those brown beauties with her pale skin and she looks very ghost baby/alien almost instantly. These dead alien baby hobo dolls go for upwards of $500 on eBay these days. That is if she’s still wearing her original burlap dress. As if I still had to tell you that.
4. The Avenging Killer Narwhal
“With four magical tusks and three adorable animals to impale.” That’s the tagline on the box for The Avenging Killer Narwhal. This entire toy drives me into a fit of confused rage because: A) This toy doesn’t look very fun. It looks like more of a decorative shelf piece unless there are some hidden wheels underneath that vengeful narwhal’s belly; B) Disregarding the image of the penguin being impaled on the box, the packaging of this toy leads you to believe that this toy isn’t about death or violence whatsoever. It looks more like an impulse buy at the register of some shoreline souvenir shop; and C) Why in the hell do narwhals have such animosity towards penguins? I had no idea a penguin could do something so heinous to another creature that they’d be marked for death. This whole thing is just a twisted ball of “killing for sport” propaganda posing as a children’s toy.
3. E.T. Finger Light
I mean, I get it. When I watched Harry Potter as a kid, I wanted a wand. When I saw Star Wars, I wanted a lightsaber. And when I saw E.T. the Extraterrestrial, I wanted a long, grotesque, skinny yet fleshy finger that lit up at the end. You know, for pointing. Knickerbocker probably thought they really hooked a big one when they won the bid to manufacturer E.T. merchandise, but they should have thought this one through because we all know what this looks like and if you don’t, then I wish you good luck in the in 7th grade next year. In an intelligent maneuver, Knickerbocker put a halt on the E.T. light-up fingers and transitioned into making the entire hand, but not until dozens of bachelorette parties were ruined by mistaken gift-giving. Now that I think of it, it’s much more troubling to imagine the dozens of birthdays and Christmas mornings that were ruined due to the same misunderstanding.
2. Ondine Swimming Dolls
No. No. No. Nope. Personally, I find these to be the absolute most terrifying toys on the list. Their pale skin and, par for the course, their dead eyes. These things were made in the 1800’s in France. You dropped them in the tub and if they didn’t pull you under with their demonic super strength, they would swim around. But why, WHY, are their body parts all disproportionate like that? Seriously, look at the ratio of torso to leg, it’s like 4:1. And their arms are all contorted. This is what people look like after they plummet from twenty stories up. These girls are mechanical chalk outlines of women that had just had enough of life. I’m also not sure if they’re wearing those clothes because it was just indecent at that time to wear a bathing suit when not cranked up and in the water, or if those are actually their beach wear. But either way, those clothes aren’t meant for the tub and frankly, it just adds up to the terror.
1. Japanese Pregnancy Doll
This one just beat out some Nazi toys by just a hair. But after sleeping on it for a night, I figured, since these things gave me more nightmares, that they’d be the more appropriate choice. These things were popular in Japanese sideshows in the 18th and 19th centuries for the wealthier classes. Kids could come by and dismantle and reassemble these ghostly porcelain dolls much like our friend Erwin the Little Patient mentioned earlier. The difference is these dolls were extremely lifelike and very close to being anatomically correct. Their stomachs came off, they had a detachable pelvis, and, of course, what kind of pregnancy toy would be complete without an umbilical cord attached to a fetus. I will say that when I think about it, I guess this is very close to those plastic models they used to show us in health class, but throw in the terms “porcelain,” “sideshow,” and…well…the phrase, “Japanese pregnancy doll,” and you can’t do anything but begin to cringe.