Friday, February 22nd, 2008
Toy X-Ray Machine for All Too Real Pretend Play
Grandma is flying up next month to visit when our baby boy is born. Naturally, I wanted to get my 3-year-old daughter jazzed for the visit. That’s why we bought her a Scan-It Toy X-Ray Machine.
Okay, not really. I mean about buying it. The toy itself is real. No, seriously. It’s for sale on Amazon, and as we all know, Amazon is the gold standard for distinguishing reality from a psychotic break.
What It Is
It’s a fake toy x-ray machine that simulates the real deal with a functioning conveyer belt that “wooshes” items past a viewing window, forward or reverse.
A metal detector under the conveyor makes the toy beep and light up an LED in the presence of metallic objects sized 1/32″x1″ or larger (“under ideal conditions”). The assembled toy is 11″x12″x15″ and requires 6 AA batteries.
Why it exists
According to a news release, eight years ago a mother going through divorce proceedings was “confronted” with her children’s possessions being searched daily at a courthouse, leaving them “understandably intimidated.”
So she invented a courtroom playset complete with lawyer and judge dress-up clothes and a light-up gavel. No, not really. She devised a toy that “makes the security screening process easy to understand and maybe even fun.” It’s an odd admission in the toy marketing world â€” this toy is “maybe even fun.” Woo hoo!
Why it won’t sell
Problem #2: When it comes to pretend play, kids mimic what they see in real life. Today it’s a metal detector. Tomorrow it’s strip searches and locking a playmate alone in a room.
Problem #3: Cowboys and Indians. Cops and Robbers. TSA/NSA/FBI/CIA and Terrorist Sleeper Cell?
Problem #4: Will Kitty’s metal ID tag set off the alarm? How about Kitty? I know, the hamster! Hey Jimmy, see if your head fits.
Oh, but seriously, I’m done talking. Here’s the part where you write me an angry comment about this being a reasonable toy and how I’m an insensitive narrow-minded cad. Don’t I know that TSA screeners and courthouse guards have kids too, dammit?
I will admit that the mom-inventor was right. Security screening is scary business.
- X-raying kids’ feet with a shoe-fitting fluoroscope
- Other unusual children’s products
- Playmobil Security Check-in
- Bill of Rights: Security Edition (sized for tiny hands?)
[X-ray link via YoKiddo!]