Three Unusual Baby and Toddler Products, Vol. 9

Photo of a teddy bear with a furry dark brown head and a much lighter furry body holding his dark brown pelt up to the camera as if it were a piece of clothing.

Birthday Suit Bear — Your guess is as good as mine as to what they were thinking. The Vermont Teddy Bear Company made this one. His honey-colored pelt rips off with the aid of Velcro strips, leaving a lighter tan fir underneath… and a belly button (that doesn’t show up well in the photo).

However, the title of Most Disturbing Teddy Bear is still held by reigning champion Benny the Anatomical Teddy for his removable organs, although one crafter’s Operation Bear would give Benny a run for his money.

[Birthday tip via Matt Haughey].

Photo of a chandelier featuring wooden trains and lamp shades adorned with colorful circles.

Wooden Train Chandelier — It’s easy to poke fun at most products found at You’ve probably seen the $47,000 Cinderella bed sold there, the girlish equivalent of Ricky Schroder’s Race Car Bed in TV’s Silver Spoons.

I wondered, on a practical level, what type of product best represents a spoiled child? I settled upon children’s chandeliers… five little fish, colorful airplanes and even pirates.

Chandeliers are usually reserved for the largest rooms in a home where people assemble, not a child’s room. Am I wrong? Have chandeliers become standard fare in middle class bedrooms? After all, more and more families are indulging in elaborate race car beds ala Silver Spoons.

Photo of a pink Lego bucket containing Lego bricks.

Pink Lego Bucket — It contains regular Lego blocks, and also has bricks in three shades of pink and other bright non-traditional colors… plus fences, windows, doors and flowers for your daughter to build a cottage.

I never thought of Lego blocks being gender-specific, except for some kit-based collections that encourage conflict play (Star Wars, pirate ships, knights and castles, etc.). The International Herald Tribune reports that girls in Denmark, the home of Lego Group, accept non-genderized plain Lego blocks just fine. This pink bucket and a series of other girl-targeted Lego toys (even a Princess Palace) are intended for other parts of the world, such as America, where boys and girls are taught to play differently and apart from each other.

See related:

See previous, Three Unusual Baby and Toddler Products:

  • Volume 1: High Leg chair extender, nursing bracelet, Clever Coverz.
  • Volume 2: PlatePal, Mama Snot Pluck, Tubsider parent seat.
  • Volume 3: The Zoo animal storage, Sneeze Sleeve, The Potty Song.
  • Volume 4: Yellow pages booster seat, My First Zamboni, Solar System Travel Bag.
  • Volume 5 Japanese edition: Shampoo hat, nursing bottle scissors, Pooh bedpan.
  • Volume 6: Doll playground, baby cologne, foam receiving blanket.
  • Volume 7: Horse chariot, leather-like baby gear, Babywunder Deluxe.
  • Volume 8: Fropper, safety tattoos, Snow Bear sled.


19 Responses to “Three Unusual Baby and Toddler Products, Vol. 9”

  1. Kelly says:

    For $400 + you’d think they could figure a way to knock some of the ugly out of those chandeliers… yech!

    April 9th, 2008 at 6:24 am

  2. lindsey says:

    I think a little chandelier from target or somewhere equally cheap would be cute in a girls room. Not something elaborate, just girly.

    My son has a race car bed…not because we chose to buy him one, but because our neighbor’s son was moving out of a toddler bed just in time for my son to be moving into one. Perfect! It was in great condition and I just used his crib mattress.

    Ugh. Gender specific toys. Some are ok, but people that don’t look ahead to their future children annoy me. A friend of mine bought everything pink for her daughter — stroller, carseat, toys, clothes…everything. And then she had a boy…and had to buy everything again! I think my kids will have to be ok with their red, blue, green, yellow and occasional purple legos. :)

    April 9th, 2008 at 7:12 am

  3. Jennifer says:

    I have a teddy bear that takes off his fur. I’ve had it since before the day I was born (my daddy bought it for me when my mom was still pregnant. I comment on this bear, and mine, here:

    April 9th, 2008 at 7:29 am

  4. Kathleen says:

    hmmm…..stripping bears….well, I suppose it can’t be any worse than all the naked Barbies laying around my niece’s house.

    April 9th, 2008 at 8:26 am

  5. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I do not put pink Legos in the same category as the rest.

    I know quite a few little girls who would be thrilled with pink Legos. Because they LOVE pink. Why shouldn’t little kids get to play with pink just because some people think pink is for girls? The regular Legos, note, do not have pink at all. Yet this is a color some children (mostly girls. But my youngest nephew really likes it too) really love. So I have no problems having pink Legos out there.

    And however we might bemoan “gender-specific” toys, if pink Legos make some girls interested in building where they were not before, is it really such a terrible thing? Our children are growing up in today’s culture, not the idealized one we wish they were after all.

    April 9th, 2008 at 9:25 am

  6. Jessica G. says:

    Bear = disturbing. I respect the former poster’s claim that she was not traumatized by her bear with removable fur but it just gives me an icky feeling deep in my stomach. I feel the same way about hairless cats.

    I love a girly room with a chandelier but you would never catch me spending that kind of money on one! I saw one with a bunny and one with a teapot and teacups – I thought both were adorable. I also thought “I could make that.”

    Pink legos = dumb. Just another way to market and sell more toys. So unnecessary. And I am not even all that opposed to gender specific toys. I figure kids will play with what they want to play with. I don’t go out of my way to enforce the gender issue but I don’t prohibit my girls from craving baby dolls or bows in their hair either.

    April 9th, 2008 at 9:25 am

  7. Cindi says:

    Ha! And to think that I was thrilled when I got
    “Chatty Cathy” one year for Christmas. I am not impressed by costly objects. What about using that money to help people who don’t have enough to eat, no home, etc.?! That is my view point. Thanks,Cindi

    April 9th, 2008 at 9:50 am

  8. JMo says:

    Oh my Oh my Oh my. Where to start …
    I could see operation/anatomical bear being perfect for a LO who is about to have surgery. Or maybe a LO who likes to play Dr? I don’t what’s up w/ naked bear though. Unless it’s targeted at kids growing up in a nudest colony.

    For the past couple of years, when I take evening walks, I’ve noticed more and more chandeliers in the bedrooms of middle-class homes. I think it’s becoming quite common and trendy. Geez, it must be hard to have a girl… Cinderella bed is case in point. GAG!!!

    I do like the train chandelier though and would jump all over it if I saw it on Craigslist for $20. :)

    I agree w/ lindsey on the pink legos. You wouldn’t find them at my house.

    April 9th, 2008 at 10:00 am

  9. Summer says:

    OK the bear is just weird. The chandelier – over the top and kinda ugly if you ask me. Creepy in an old horror movie type way.

    The pink and girl gender lego blocks I totally get. In fact I have purchased Little Mermaid legos and if I saw the princess ones I would purchase them in a heartbeat. My daughter would love them. That I get! Especially having a daughter who loves pink and purple. I see nothing wrong with that.

    April 9th, 2008 at 10:05 am

  10. K G S says:

    To me, the fur-stripping bear is bizarre and hilarious– I’d buy this (if it weren’t $80, that is). I’d have thought this would appeal to a family that decorates onsies with bloodstains…

    I guess the pink and flowery lego sets might appeal to some pink-obsessed kids. I also remember reading somewhere about a company that made pink laptop-looking devices for playing games marketed to young girls; their market research suggested the pink color discouraged girls’ school-age brothers from appropriating the toys. Apparently if you have issues with toy sharing (and your boys have been completely anti-pink-socialized by their peers at school), pink can be strategic.

    April 9th, 2008 at 10:40 am

  11. Becki says:

    I love the..erm… bare bear! Too cute! Do they sell new suits, for when the first one is off and soon lost?

    April 9th, 2008 at 1:16 pm

  12. K says:

    I’ve got no problems with the pink lego blocks. I could even see some ending up in our lego stash. My 3 year old son likes pink and purple and building houses, so he’d like them. In fact he’s in my lap and keeps pointing at the lego box saying he wants some like that.

    April 9th, 2008 at 2:32 pm

  13. Christina says:

    It’s like the pink doctors’ kits and pink pop push toys (I don’t know their names). What, the white and blue was too boyish? Ugh.

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:47 am

  14. Chief Family Officer says:

    I’m okay with the pink Lego bucket – some girls really like pink, after all. But that bear … weird.

    April 10th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

  15. Carrie says:

    “I wondered, on a practical level, what type of product best represents a spoiled child?”

    I don’t think children get spoiled by products. Certainly, the $47,000 bed is ridiculous (and the train chandelier hideous), but to suggest that the rich have a monopoly on spoiling children is silly.

    April 11th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

  16. AJ says:

    I didn’t say the rich have a monopoly on spoiling children. A chandelier is an excess, whether it’s a $20 version or a $2,000 one. I do stand by the idea that children are spoiled by products.

    In fact, I think that would almost be my definition of a spoiled child… one who receives “too many” possessions, trips, catered meals (or trips to Burger King), or other nice things. The meaning then is in relation to the speaker’s personal concept of what constitutes “too many” or “too much” of a good thing.

    April 11th, 2008 at 11:40 pm

  17. Carrie says:

    Interesting perspective. Do you think it’s impossible for an impoverished child to be spoiled?

    April 14th, 2008 at 12:29 am

  18. AJ says:

    You’d have to provide a more detailed example. Can a poor child still be lavished with products or have parents who wait on him hand and foot or eat at a restaurant every night for dinner (child’s choice of course)? Yes.

    The definition of “impoverished” is difficult to tack down because it’s a much broader issue than just your salary and number of dependents. There are certainly people who earn less per year than me who have a higher standard of living because of their purchasing choices… buying goods and services that make their immediate circumstances better while I’m saving money every month, contributing to a 529 college savings plan, putting funds into an IRA, etc.

    Also, note that I wrote, “parents who wait on him hand and foot…” So I suggest that being “spoiled” isn’t exclusively about possessions, but also how a child is treated. Do parents exist to serve their children, or do the children have a responsibility to contribute to the healthy functioning of a family?

    April 14th, 2008 at 2:44 am

  19. Denae says:

    When I see that bear all I can think of is a real bear dead and skinned. It freaks me out. Bears can’t take off their fur!!

    As fo the pink legos. I never would have played with them as a child. I was a very rough and tumble little girl. I probably would have melted them.

    May 22nd, 2008 at 9:17 pm