I make money by buying junk and selling it online. Because of this, I spend a lot of time in checkout lines answering the question, “What are you doing with all THAT?!” Usually when I answer that I sell on Amazon, the cashier gets intrigued and excited. “Oh wow! You need to show me how to do that!”
That is not the reaction I’ve been getting lately. Because Christmas is coming up, most of the junk I’ve been buying lately happens to be toys. And when cashiers ask “Who’s the lucky kid?” or worse “Are you donating all this to charity?” and I tell them that I sell on Amazon, I do not get an “Oh wow!” It’s just “Oh.” Then it’s silence and no eye contact for the rest of the transaction.
Am I the Grinch who stole Christmas? I don’t think so (I’ll stop buying toys a few weeks before Christmas, and stores have been restocking everything immediately after I buy it), but it’s hard not to feel grinchy when I step in front of a small child to clear out half a shelf of Paw Patrols.
To help clear my conscience and use my experience for good, I’ve put together this list of the top toys of 2015. If you’re not sure what to buy the child in your life this year, try one of these hot sellers. You won’t go wrong.
Tonka has this whole line of rescue vehicles – police cruiser, fire truck, SWAT helicopter – but its biggest seller by far is the garbage truck. There’s a small but very passionate group of children who LOVE garbage trucks. I believe these kids can only grow up to be one of two things: garbage men or serial killers.
If you are sitting near a boy age 4-10, ask him to make up a toy. There’s a 60 percent chance he’ll describe Poo Dough. Poo Dough allows enterprising children to make their own poo with two different shades of brown Play-Doh, a mold and fake corn kernels. This item is so popular that Amazon cannot keep it in stock.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I do not know much about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because I was not allowed to watch their adventures as a child. They were not only ninjas (violent), but they were also teenagers (disrespectful to authority).
I also do not know much about Paw Patrol, but according to the show’s Wikipedia page, “each pup models the importance of teamwork and good citizenship,” so it definitely seems like something I would have been allowed to watch as a child. I’m not so sure about the “good citizenship” part though, because all the children I’ve seen in the Paw Patrol aisle have been screaming monsters.
Why does Pixar keep making sequels to its worst movie ever? Because Wal-Mart has a half an aisle of Cars toys nine years after the movie came out vs. a single Inside Out Bing Bong in a shredded box.
Video Walkie Talkies
Every Christmas growing up, I would ask for spy gear. And every Christmas, I would not get spy gear. “You will use it to spy on people and get in trouble,” my parents would say. “If it’s good spy gear, then I won’t get in trouble because nobody will know I’m spying,” I would think.
Little did I know that the spy gear they were selling when I was a child was terrible. It was like a piece of red film you could use to decode messages. Today’s spy gear is AWESOME. Wal-Mart carries a whole line of spy toys, led by a set of video walkie talkies. I spent a full two minutes the other day marveling at the walkie-talkies before realizing that they cost nearly as much as an iPhone with Facetime.
I would have gotten into so much trouble with video walkie talkies as a child. My kids are not getting video walkie talkies. Also, they aren’t getting iPhones.
Tube Heroes TDM
I sold 40 Tube Heroes TDM action figures before figuring out what the heck they were. Apparently, kids don’t watch TV any more. They don’t even play video games any more. Instead, they spend all their time on YouTube WATCHING OTHER CHILDREN PLAY VIDEO GAMES.
Some of these YouTube children are so popular that they have their own action figures. TDM is one of these children. This is TDM.
Judging by the numbers on Amazon, I would estimate that this young man has sold close to a million dollars of merchandise in the last two months. Just thought I’d share that with you in case you were feeling good about where you are in life.
Are you still sitting next to that 4- to 10-year-old boy? Ask him to make up a game. If he said, “Put a card on the table and then push a whoopee cushion and then whoever has the most cards left puts a poo on his head,” he just quoted word-for-word the instructions to the game Poopy Head. Poopy Head is currently selling for three times its sticker price because no one can keep it in stock.
The toy of 2015 is Pie Face thanks in large part to popular YouTube videos showing people having the time of their lives playing Pie Face. It’s a marketing strategy that every lame game uses, but hasn’t worked this well since the days of Crossfire.
Over the last week, I’ve put a lot of Pie Faces into my cart. I have not bought a lot of Pie Faces. Once I put Pie Face into my cart, I can’t go 10 feet without someone saying, “IS THAT PIE FACE?!”
“HEY HON! THEY HAVE PIE FACE HERE!!!!”
“Actually, I took the last one.”
“But, here, take it!”
“No no no no no.”
“No seriously take it.”
“I couldn’t do that.”
“I’m just going to sell it on Amazon anyways.”
“Are you sure?”
Thank you! Thank you so much!”
I smile and walk away, pleased with myself that I am no Grinch.
Then I cover up the other Pie Face in my cart so I can make it to the register before someone else sees me.
LIFE LESSON #96
Want to make a hit toy? All you need is a little YouTube and a lot of poo.