“Am I opening a toy or breaking into a bank safe?”

January 15, 2014

Notable Stats

Minutes to Implosion (MTI) – The time it takes while you are futilely trying to get a toy out of its packaging before you look for both a blowtorch and an axe.

Unnecessary Patents per Year (UPY) – The amount of new ways the toy packaging companies can frustrate you based on another fancy new security lock placed on a Doc McStuffins doll.

OK, I get it. I was a child of the 80s when people were tampering with medicine by contaminating the packaging. It was scary news. Then as a result, every bottle was secured to insure safety, but what gives with the toy packaging?

The other day, I was simply trying to open a toy horse carriage for my daughter. For starters, I should have worried when the security for the toy is made out of a tougher material than the actual toy, but that is for another blog. I mean this thing was packed. It has lifty-twisty tabs, elastic and stretchable invisible-bands, the box was layered with another invisible box, I kept thinking, “maybe they should have added a lock where the key can only be found by entering a code on the internet."

I understand that people may rob the toy store by just slipping the items out the box. I am sure it has happened, but maybe the store should give you a headstart at opening these death traps once you are proven to be a legit purchaser. Can’t they just give you some sort of laser? I mean there are already two hundred warnings on toys from choking hazards to lead to brain freeze risks, I would think they would go the extra step and warn you that you may not be able to open the box.

What these toy makers forget is that you may have ordered this mini Fort Knox on the Internet, where you probably got it in a box that was already hard enough to open. Then you sift through some static-ridden plague of Styrofoam peanuts, which you cannot corral under any circumstance. When you get to the toy, you are thankful you don’t have to open it until the big day. A birthday, Christmas maybe.

It is like those Russian dolls, stacked inside each other and then you get to the toy and wonder, "that's it?"

Then you realize that you made more work for yourself. Your child cannot possibly open the last and final box with the tools you are willing to let them use, so the toy ends up back on your lap. If you have to assemble what is inside, you are really in trouble. You need a half of a day to get into the box, then the other half to put it together. You need the following day to discard all of the paper, peanuts, air bags, and cardboard in an environmentally friendly way. By the time you finish it all, the holiday has come back around again.

Toy packagers, you have to stop or at least find a better way. Cease and desist! I understand there may be theft -at-large going on; I understand that people are freaking out worldwide about their toy safety, which begins with the box it is in, but I don’t think we need to be military code breakers with a Navy Seal tool belt to get inside.

It is bad enough that once you do get inside, in all likelihood, the toy that was engineered through 18 years of research for an 18 month old will probably not be as interesting to her as the box itself.

- Doug Glanville

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