Yuletool: Because the Lilliputians are Winning

A photo of the Yuletool with red handle, a close-up of the Philip-head screwdriver and a green semi-circular box cutter with retractable blade.

Behold the Yuletool, an invention designed to free toys from their restrictive packaging. Yes, it’s for us moms and dads.

First, it’s a wire cutter for snipping the metal wires that secure many of today’s toys to their cardboard boxes.

Second, it’s a Philips head screwdriver for opening battery compartments. The screwdriver is built into the tool’s handle.

Third, it comes with a standalone box cutter "for pocket or purse." Sure, a box cutter helps open thick plastic packaging, but ladies, please explain why you need a purse blade for on-the-go use.

Now, I happen to own a wire cutter, Philips screwdriver and box cutter, and have used each of them to open packaging on rare occasions. I thought wire cutters were a basic component of a home toolbox. Maybe not?

I asked my mother who is visiting this week about her opinion of the tool and she said, "It looks like it could be useful." And shazaam, scroll to the bottom of the Yuletool webpage and you see who the tool is marketed to… white haired old ladies in red caps (or maybe just Mrs. Claus, but that seems like a narrow market segment).

It’s difficult to read the fine print on that image, but it looks like the suggested retail price is $4 to $6.

The tool is just now coming to market with a likely big splash to be made this December.

It seems the name "Yuletool" may limit consumer interest to around the holidays, so the inventor is seeking opinions on alternate names such as "Mom’s Toy Tool" or just "Toy Tool." I have to go with the non-gender stereotyping version, but my personal favorite would be…  Gulliver Gear.

Image of Gulliver tied to the ground by Lilliputians from the story Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, as illustrated in the 1919 edition of The Young Folks Treasury. Click to read chapter one of the story.

Comments

7 Responses to “Yuletool: Because the Lilliputians are Winning”

  1. lindsey says:

    a pair of shears works just as well.

    Ah, what will they think of next? I’m surprised they aren’t selling it for at least $20.

    March 19th, 2008 at 7:47 am

  2. JMo says:

    If opening/releasing the toy requires a trip to the tool bench, perhaps you should reconsider what you are buying.

    On the other hand, I think Yuletool should be sold at Costco so you can open that 16-pack of dental floss.

    March 19th, 2008 at 8:21 am

  3. Sandy says:

    That screwdriver handle looks like it would make the wire cutter uncomfortable to use, and the box cutter looks very flimsy. And how annoying would it be to try to turn that screwdriver without a round handle? I would much rather use a real wire cutter, a real screwdriver, and a reall utility knife.

    Oh, and speaking as a woman who keeps a swiss army knife in her purse, having a knife is very handy! I’ve used the knife to shorten straws for my kids at restaurants, I have a tweezer with me in case of playground splinters, and it was fun to watch my husband’s uncle try to get his head around the fact that I’m a *girl* and I carry a *knife*.

    March 19th, 2008 at 8:43 am

  4. Brian says:

    I’m going to submit this for Unclutterer’s Unitasker Wednesday. You’d get better mileage out of a cheap multitool. :/

    March 19th, 2008 at 9:13 am

  5. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I agree. I carry a Swiss ARmy knife too (or did until Christmas when I took it out to go on the plane and forget what safe place I put it in :( ) And I’ve MISSED it now that I haven’t put it back!

    March 19th, 2008 at 9:23 am

  6. Erica says:

    It sounds like a decent idea (I know things are supposed to be kid-safe, but today’s toy packaging is parent-safe, too!!! Argh…), but the tool itself doesn’t look good enough. I, too, have all of the tools necessary; a multi-tasking tool, however, is sometimes preferable. This one doesn’t look good enough to make it worth my while. Sorry, Mrs. Claus. And AJ, I love the Lilliputian idea; sometimes I refer to my kids as Lilliputians. This English major loves literary references.

    March 19th, 2008 at 9:26 am

  7. dennis says:

    This is MUCH better suited to opening blister packs…

    http://www.enjoyzibra.com/openit/index.html

    March 24th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

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