Sunday, February 24, 2013

The 10th Circle of Hell

I am fairly certain that had Dante come in contact with modern children's toy packaging, he would have included it as the 10th Circle of Hell in his Inferno.

I dread opening toys we receive as gifts or buy for the girls because the packaging is almost always nothing short of obnoxious. Twist ties, molded plastic, tape, string, and elastics stuck to or woven through cardboard or more plastic. Who on earth comes up with this? I speculate that none of them are parents.

4 Reasons I Hate Toy Packaging:

(Or, why I want to throat punch toy companies)

1. It's frustrating
In addition to purchasing toys to enrich and engage my daughters, I can't lie; I buy them so I can relax for a few minutes while they play. But when I attempt to rip Princess Jasmine away from her cardboard backing only to find 15 different twisty connections securing her in place and there is an impatient toddler screaming, "open it! Open it! Open it!" all the while I begin shaking with anger. And of course Carina only plays with her for a minute and then discards her, opting to throw the empty box around instead. I spent more time freeing Jasmine from her twist tie bondage than Carina did, playing with her.

My sister attempting to free one of my niece's birthday gifts yesterday - she cut her finger just after I took this
2. It can be injurious
Raise your hand if you've ever been hurt by jagged plastic or gotten a cardboard box paper cut. There have been a couple of occasions in which I have sliced my finger, cursed the invention of plastic, and then vowed to never buy another toy again.

3. It can be counter-productive
Carina lost one of her precious Princess figures last week (Rapunzel) and was quite sad. The Disney Store was having a big sale so I bought her a replacement - the Rapunzel set. As I was fumbling with the molded plastic to get the figures out, Rapunzel broke. She was wedged in there so tightly that the sheer force of setting her free snapped her plastic hair. WHY, Disney store, why? All that packaging is supposed to keep things from breaking, right?

I can feel my anxiety level rising from simply the thought of extricating the 7 dwarfs
4. It's wasteful
You don't need to put everything on display anchored by ties or tape or that ridiculous molded plastic (or God-forbid a combination of those...ugh). Our kids will beg us to buy it anyway with just a pretty picture on a box and everything thrown inside. And then we won't need to recuperate or go to anger management classes afterwards. Forget the frivolous 8 or 9th twist tie or double layered plastic; less is more. Do it up, toy companies. Parents everywhere will thank you, and likely buy more toys.

"This complicated packaging is so awesome!" said no one EVER.

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