Toy Box of Terror: 12 Homemade Toys Sure to Frighten Kids and Anger God
Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets. I do this for one reason: Knowledge is power.
Look, I totally understand the modern hankering for the handmade and the pre-industiral, for children's toys that look like they might have been crafted by elves in a workshop rather than shat out of one of those Mattel's Chinese lead-and-woe factories.
But good Lord in heaven, that's no excuse for the horrors of How to Make Soft Toys & Dolls. What is the appropriate age for furry prisoner-rendition cosplay?
And it's no excuse for this Thanksgiving nightmare from the same book:
Yes, an uncooked turkey claimed the heads of those who would have eaten it.
Also out of the oven: This Corpseybread Cookie comes stitched with a memento of each person you have wronged in your life.
Weirder still is this wolf-crotched Red Riding Hood doll. Perhaps it was designed to teach girls about that time when their bodies start to change.
That one deserves a second look. Hitch up Red's skirts to reveal the great truth of American woman: there's nothing wrong with being both wolf and grandma.
How to Make Soft Toys & Dolls also offers:
Hallucination Bunny . . .
A clown you must defeat in combat . . .
. . . and that one memory of your father you thought you had suppressed.
"Nude 70s Rob Reiner Reclining Upon a Sacrificial Altar" is made out of pantyhose, incidentally.
ALSO: I AM NOT MAKING THIS BOOK UP.
Here's the actual cover:
See that? Beside the puddley face of that decapitated bear, and just above The Eiffel Tower Jammed Up a Great Red Nose: the promise that macrame is appropriate for "special occasions."
That bear head is upsetting, though. Here's another shot from inside the book:
When adult life feels overwhelming, your Crap Archivist often thinks back to the youthful hours he spent dreaming of bees circling the bear heads mounted in a trophy room.
Creepy as all this has been, all these toys pale next to the one on the cover of 1980's The Big Book of Small Needlecraft Gifts. There, a young William Katt clutches his own botched female clone.
In this book, we see evidence that these toys were scary even to kids in 1980:
That comes just a couple pages from the most disturbing image in any of these books, one that isn't of a toy at all: this publicity still from MTV's Skins:
Hey, you could do worse than following @studiesincrap on Twitter!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.