40+ Toys That Should Never Have Made It Onto The ShelvesBy Sachin P
There are so many kids’ toys, both in design and function, that it’s hard to keep track. If you look at any child’s toy collection, you’ll see a wide variety. There are old, hand-me-downs, stuffed animals, action figures, and more. Designers and manufacturers know what they’re doing. Well, most of the time. For every hundred Elsa toys, there’s one creepy Olaf. Sure, not everyone can be perfect all the time, but when kids’ toys get messed up, it goes straight into creepy territory. You might remember some from your childhood, or perhaps from kids you babysat. Sadly, this hasn’t changed over the years. It seems like creepy toys will always be around. From demonic teddy bears to inappropriate packaging, here are 45 toys that will make you cry, give you nightmares…or both!
“Scream, scream for Elmo! Hahahahaha”
It’s pretty obvious that the designers of this toy wanted to show that Elmo just wants a hug. But somewhere along the line, something went wrong, which resulted in this. It doesn’t send the Sesame Street child-friendly values, now does it?
It actually looks as if Elmo is actively trying to strangle this kid. Maybe Elmo is jealous and doesn’t want to share the attention with anyone. Still, that’s a pretty drastic action to take. Elmo should take a breather and think through his actions!
We’ve all heard the tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf that ate/kidnapped (depending on the version) her grandmother. So, we’re not all that surprised to see a kid’s toy from the story, though it’s usually of Little Red herself.
Let’s start with those teeth. Why does he only have the top row, and why are they so sloppily attached to his mouth? And we can’t ignore the little granny tied to him. Not only is it a terrible combination, but the proportion is terrifying.
Okay, who let H. P. Lovecraft into Toys “R” Us? Because that would be the only sensible explanation for this monstrosity! How on earth can one lend this to a child to play with. Forget kids — this will give the adults nightmares.
So, it’s basically a chicken baby, with a beak instead of a mouth, and sickly yellow skin. What really sends shivers upon one’s spine is that egg. What’s with the baby bursting out of it? And they really went the whole way by adding a tiny fly.
Have you seen those human anatomy models? You know, where there are replicas of the organs, all fitted into place and you can see just how the human body works. Well, someone thought to try this with another animal…a gummy bear!
Why did they even need to make this? It’s too small to be used for any actual practice, and we bet Vet schools would use a real bear model, not a candy one. Still, this might actually be a good way to get kids interested in STEM.
Winnie the Damned
Winnie the Pooh is a beloved childhood character. His adventures with Christopher Robin in The Hundred Acre Woods are such a classic. We honestly don’t blame toymakers for making plushies of the characters. We’d love to have them and they’d be happy to make money.
This, however, is not the Pooh that we know and love. Is it just us, or does it look like someone took Pooh’s face and glued it onto the body of some other stuffed bear? He looks just as terrified as we are.
Birds and the bees and cows and sheep
This seems normal enough. A set of toy animals for kids to play with. The designs don’t look too bad, either. Just some normal horses, a bull, and a sheep. But we do need to talk about the packaging here…
Sure, every parent needs to have “the talk” with their kids at some point, but that doesn’t usually happen until later. Toys marketed for ages 3 and up are too young to learn about the birds and the bees. Or, should we say the horses and the sheep?
You can’t go wrong with superheroes. They’re perfect for all ages, and it brings a wave of nostalgia when we see our favorite characters on the shelf for a younger generation. But this toy might not even classify as a superhero.
It’s Spider-Man. We got that much by the colors. But the crystalline structure, lack of complete suit (additional blue on the torso, and the logo), and those eyes all create a rather disturbing picture. We can only hope that this was a bad DIY toy job that accidentally wound up in the store.
Can this be(e) any more creepy?
We’re glad to see bees and other animals that are vital to our ecosystems in kids’ toys. It’s a great way to teach them from a young age about the importance of these species. But we’re not sure this classifies as a friendly little bee.
This looks like it’s taken some illicit substances and is just chilling out. The misaligned eyes is too weird. Also, why orange? Sure, toys don’t need to be realistic, but they should at least have some resemblance to the actual animals.
Teletubbies Pro XL
Depending on how old you are, Teletubbies may or may not have been one of the regular programs your parents put on to keep you occupied. Honestly, in hindsight, it’s actually a pretty creepy concept. Giant alien-like creatures with built-in TVs? No, thank you.
So maybe the skull face is appropriate. It looks like it was fried by its own TV, and it’s just a terrifying skeleton left behind. We’re just glad that this isn’t a full-size replica, or we’d be running for the hills!
Where’s the Holy Hand Grenade?
This isn’t for kids, right? Monty Python and the Holy Grail is such a classic, but we wouldn’t consider it a kids’ movie. This looks like it was pulled straight from that film. Was this the puppet they used for the rabbit scene?
Or, maybe not. We don’t recall that rabbit puppet having such massive teeth. If we saw this, we’d know to run away. No knights running off to their doom. Just one easy toss of the holy hand grenade and we’d feel safe to continue shopping.
Who doesn’t love Baymax? He’s so sweet, caring, and just downright wholesome. But this balloon isn’t so pure. True to the movie, he would have been acting tipsy before they inflated this, but now he’s all charged up and ready to save the day.
Can you spot the problem here? Every balloon needs an entry point, of sorts, to inflate it. Yes, those holes are usually at the bottom, but if the design calls for it, they can put those holes elsewhere. Did no one tell them then when they designed the place you need to blow to inflate it?
There’s an unspoken idea that we all agree upon: don’t judge cartoons if they’re not realistic. There are exceptions, but we don’t fault the cartoons and anime that exaggerate proportions. Anime is famously known for the large eyes drawn on all the characters.
But those eyes should be left in 2D. The second you bring those odd proportions into 3D, it’s far from cute. If it was just the eyes, we might forgive the doll head, but the slightly agape mouth is too much for us.
Porcelain dolls straddle the border between cute and creepy. It’s not uncommon to see them looking more realistic, but you can always tell that they’re still toys. And, of course, they’re usually collector’s items rather than playthings, so they’re more expensive and pretty.
We can tell why this doll is only $5. For starters, nothing about this is Christmas-y. But the caroling, well, it reminds us more of those baby dolls that come with baby bottles that are meant to be put in their mouths.
Why does this particular Dobby the House Elf look like he is from the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone? Any more cell mutation by radiation exposure and Dobby would definitely get a house call from Professor X, urging him to join the X-Men.
Dobby looks like he has seen things that no human mind can comprehend. Maybe there’s a portal to a dimension where eldritch creatures roam the woods? Time to ring up Eleven from Hawkins to close another portal, by the look of things.
Dollhouse of Dr. Moreau
Remember what we said about cartoons being unrealistic? Well, here’s another example of why you should leave those styles in 2D. Let’s take this one at a time. The left doll is just all levels of wrong. Eyes reaching below the mouth? Heck no!
At least the one on the right looks like it was just an issue at the manufacturer and that’s why her face is all askew. The fault here lies in the product’s quality control. Did no one see that when she was being boxed up to send out to the store?
We’d normally expect a mermaid toy to be an Ariel-esque beauty. Long, flowing hair, a body every model is jealous of, and a fashion sense that’s out of this world. We can’t fault them for using a visage like mythological mermaids. But what’s that written at the bottom?
“Totally real”? In what sense? Sure, the toy is real, but that’s about it. What we absolutely love is the fine print. “In your wildest dreams.” Hey, at least they had the disclaimer. We applaud them for their responsible advertisement.
Do they have toys based on the Exorcist? Really? Out of all the things they could have made toys about they went with this? Whoever made this is a serious fan of horror because of the level of detail in this thing.
What’s next? The cenobites from the Hellraiser franchise? That monster from Jeepers Creepers? Actually, there is a potential, if you understand the market you are catering to. Though if you’re going to make niche toys, best not to put them with the rest of the toys.
Let it go!!
It looks like Elsa had a makeover. Seems like she really took her own advice quite seriously and really let it go. It is quite obvious that she had her brows done, but you go, girl! Do whatever makes you happy.
It is her life at the end of the day. Even Olaf seems supportive of the snow queen. Though, if we had to guess, she can actually feel the cold because those cheeks are too rosy. She’s definitely feeling the cold.
What could be wrong with a teddy bear? They’re such a classic, surely manufacturers couldn’t mess them up. We were so wrong. Maybe the designer wanted to make something unique and changed up the traditional smiling face. But they messed up somewhere along the way…
If this was the bear used in Toy Story 4, there wouldn’t have been any surprise who the villain was. One look at this smirking face and we’d know that Woody and his friends were in danger. We can’t imagine what parent would want this on their child’s bed.
Puss in Boot(s)leg
We can’t tell what’s more horrifying: the design or the price? Thirteen pounds for this monstrosity? Surely that can’t be the toy that’s in the box. The only similarity between the toy and the picture on the box is that they’re both cats.
The worst part is that it’s supposed to move and walk. Wind-up toys are already a hit or miss, but this one is, without a doubt, a flop. Watching this stumble across your floor is enough to give anyone nightmares.
Who had the bright idea to give actual dentures to plush toys like this? Why do teddy bears even need teeth? If they are not turning into were-bears at night and going on a rampage, we don’t see the need!
Just look how authentic those things are. And the ones to the side are less realistic but just as horrifying. Perhaps the toymaker should switch professions and work as a taxidermist instead. They seem to have a knack for placing dentures in stuffed creatures.
Funded by Grey Enterprises Ltd.
We can’t even tell what this is supposed to be. A squeeze popper? The description makes it seem more like practicing the Heimlich maneuver on a choking bear rather than playing with a stuffed toy. And we can’t ignore the packaging…
We’re not here to shame anyone, but shouldn’t this be left in the bedroom and adult books? No kid needs to see this kind of thing. Even if the packaging wasn’t a problem, the bear’s face is enough to disturb us.
Cry for help
Have you ever seen those figurines with exaggerated facial expressions? They’re usually older characters that look like Jeff Dunham’s puppet Walter. It seems like someone took that idea and used it for a younger style: a baby doll. Get ready to learn why this was a bad idea.
There is a market for realistic baby dolls. Like in nursing school, or any parenting class for expecting mothers. A lot of people find relief in practicing with a fake baby. But the toy shouldn’t be so disturbing. Babies are supposed to be cute!
Me Hoy Minoy Fox!
We love National Geographic! They always have the best animal pictures and their information is well-researched. It’s a great resource for any nature lover. Apparently they aren’t so good at plushies, though. It looks soft enough, but the face is all kinds of messed up.
We really don’t know what we’re seeing here. Unless there was an unspecified nuclear explosion in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, there is no explaining this. It kind of looks like DoodleBob from SpongeBob is behind the creation of this.
So this particular SpongeBob is weird, to say the least. They got his shape right, but that’s where it ends. Sure those are his swim trunks, not his regular square pants, but he’s still missing the sleeves. But that’s not the real error here…
Why is he wearing minion glasses? It just seems so out of place and given that they don’t even wrap around his head, it just seems to off on a fundamental level. Oh SpongeBob, what have they done to you?
Did you ever have those toys that grew in water? We loved the little dino ones that would expand into an adorable T-Rex. This person had an expanding pug but didn’t read the instructions all the way before trying to play with it.
Poor doggo. Apparently, this person only submerged half of the toy. We wish they had a picture of what it looked like when it was in a bowl. It probably looked like it was doggy paddling. They should probably finish the job and expand the head, don’t you think?
Done dirty, I am
Even without the logo, we’d know that this is Yoda. There’s no mistaking that Jedi master for any other being. Though if it didn’t have the tag, nor was sold in Target, we’d assume that this is some bootleg knockoff version of Yoda.
He looks sleepy; like he’s had a long day of training an exceptionally annoying Jedi-in-training. Sure, Yoda’s eyes are never really fully open, but there’s something about this cloth version that looks like he’s so done with everything and everyone.
We’re just guessing that this is a Dalmatian; it’s hard to tell, really. We know that they usually have black spots, but we wouldn’t be surprised to find a cute brown-spotted pup. Of course, that’s not the problem here. Once again, we have some “lovely” teeth…
The teeth are pure nightmare fuel. Still, we’re willing to give this one a pass because, judging by the posters in the background, this is a dental clinic. What better way to teach kids how to brush than with a giant mouth? We just wish that they didn’t use a dog for it.
There is a bit of a backstory behind this picture. So, this person saw a Garfield cat online and wanted to buy it. The order was placed and they eagerly waited for their new plushie to arrive. However, it was when they opened the package that they noticed something was wrong.
Vacuum sealing is a great way to save space when you’re packing things, but you should be careful how it’s done. If you’re moving apartments, it’s efficient, but if you’re packing up plushies, you might just accidentally freak out some kids.
We’ve seen a few Winnie the Poohs, and now we’ve got his friend Piglet. So cute…sort of. Once again, they didn’t get the mouth right and we got a mouth full of terrifying teeth. We know pigs aren’t vegetarians, but can we pretend with kids’ toys?
Peppa Pig might have a few words to say about this. Anthropomorphic animals seem to be popular, but that usually involves giving them some basic clothes. A “naked” pig with a full set of teeth just doesn’t match up at all.
Here’s another one that we just have too much to talk about. The babies themselves are relatively okay, though the one on the right looks like a wizened old man rather than an infant. The clothes are okay, too. The problem is the packaging…
We’re all for useful packaging. When something is boxed up and the box itself is useful is a great idea. But putting babies in jars is not the best way to execute that idea. We can see why they’re so inexpensive.
Is this Gru’s lab? No, this is Patrick! Or, is it? This mash-up of Minions and Patrick Star isn’t something we ever thought we’d see, but we’re sort of glad we have. Maybe it’s a testament to how cute Minions are that they can look cute no matter the crossover.
Though this seems like an idea to make once or even just draw to see how it would look. Mass-producing Minion Star is a bit too much. But, hey, it’s pretty tame compared to most of the toys on this list, so we’re willing to let this one go.
It’s a me, MariO(MG)
Coin-operated toy rides at the mall and grocery store seem to be everywhere. They’ve changed over the years, but it still brings a smile to our faces when we see a kid having the time of their life while riding on a fake horse or train.
We get trying to monopolize on a franchise, but they could have thought this through a bit more. Or, at all. The only explanation we could possibly have is that this was originally some animal and the company decided to paint Mario to attract kids’ attention.
Stone Cold Woody Austin
Woody must have really been hitting the gym to be this buff. With Andy gone all day at school, the toys had to find a way to entertain themselves, so we are all on board with exercising to pass the time.
So, Sheriff Woody, how many bench presses can you do? We hope there’s a beefy brain under there. We need to ask someone about the box. “Together to destroy the forces of evil?” Was that ever a tagline? And since when is Toy Story 5 a thing?
Thomas the tanked engine
Ah, another children’s toy ride. Look, we have no problem with the concept, it’s just the design that gets us. Why do they need to make these things look so ridiculous? So, Thomas — or should we say Tuomasi— care to explain yourself?
Jokes aside, looking at the visage and the name, we’d guess that this is Thomas the Tank Engine from a different country. We can’t fault the localization of names. But if that was the only thing wrong, he wouldn’t be on this list, would he?
Can’t bear this!
We Bare Bears has been a huge hit. It’s not a classic like The Powerpuff Girls, but it has a charm all of its own. This one is actually pretty cute; a little plushy for your car window sounds like fun.
But something went really wrong in the manufacturing plant. Did no one notice that there was an upside-down snout? Mistakes like these aren’t just one person’s fault. There are a lot of people that see toys between the factory and the shelves in stores.
If they didn’t write the brand on the boy, we never would have guessed that this was the beloved Bilbo Baggins. The bare feet are not enough of a hint to look past the overall design. The only thing they got right is the green vest and white undershirt.
It looks like they mashed up Bilbo and Gollum. Yes we know going on an epic quest can be scary, but it wouldn’t be enough to cause that kind of terrified reaction. We hope that Martin Freeman doesn’t see this.
If there was a competition as to how much you can mutate a character, this would take the cake. There is a small enough resemblance that we can identify that this is Homer Simpson. The shape is accurate, but after that, we’re a bit stumped.
Aside from the fact he’s not yellow, the face is downright terrifying! Bug-eyed with a gaping mouth is too much for us to handle. It looks like he went into the radioactive pool from The Simpsons Movie and this is the result.
Do we really need to say it? Why teeth? Sure some fish have teeth — and those that do are the stuff of nightmares — but most look innocent enough. We don’t know why they felt the need to give Nemo a big set of chompers.
What’s worse is that two separate people shared their toys. Was this somehow a mash-up between Nemo, everyone’s favorite clownfish, and Darla, everyone’s least favorite niece? Perhaps this is what happens when fish stay at a dentist’s office too long.
Baby doll? Yup, that seems normal. We even love the flamingo robe and matching toy flamingo. But this baby doll is on our list for a reason. Those eyes are freaking us out. It looks like this superpowered baby is charging up its heat vision.
To give this toy the benefit of the doubt, it could be an albino baby. Brands and manufacturers are getting better about representation in toys, so we’re glad to see everybody can find a toy that they can relate to.
Right, where do we start? The branding is pretty on point. Fuggler? Seems about right. And the way it’s bursting out of its box fits the theme. We even appreciate the joking text they included on the box about it being a little monster.
It might even be cute if they didn’t use human-like eyes and teeth. If you’re going to make a spoof on cute toys, don’t make it so creepy. They should probably leave monstrous creatures that people “adopt” to the Gremlins franchise.
Cuddle me, Mother!
We’ll save you the trouble of trying to translate the jumper. It says “I am your cuddle baby” in German. The sentiment is pretty cute, but the doll is nothing we’d want to cuddle with. This is clearly the result of an ambitious DIY project.
Some people are good with DIY and love any excuse to make something, whether it’s for their friends or as a personal project. Crocheting has really picked up in popularity lately, but some things shouldn’t be made. Like this baby.
While some designers know how to mix reality with cartoonish styles, but some still need to work on it. Like this person. Why can’t any of these people get the eyes right? We can’t exactly pick out what’s wrong here…but we know something’s not right.
The detailed irises. The furrowed brow. The creepy grin. This doll looks like Chucky’s cousin. We wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if this was in the room. And, honestly, we’re going to have a little trouble even knowing that this exists in the world.
Aw, it’s Smokey! He’s such a cute little mascot. The National Parks service really did a good job with the branding for their fire safety campaigns. And, as with any mascot, we’re not surprised that there’s a toy of it.
But this Smokey looks like he went through the fire — literally! Yes, the original Smokey was a real bear rescued after a forest fire, but no one wants to see an injured cub. We want something encouraging and hopeful.
Why does Lisa Simpson look like she had a serious allergic reaction? Did a bee sting her in the face or something? Whoever designed this got a little mixed up between Lisa and her father. Whatever happened, she doesn’t seem too happy.
The bulging eyes look tormented, and we sympathize. She’s such a loveable character. We hate it when our favorite characters are ruined by bad design and manufacturing errors. At least it seems like Bart is having a good laugh about it.