Courtesy of Hogwild Toys

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Wow kids
of any age with toys like robotic pets, plush viruses, and an inflatable
Titanic slide.

A plush chunk of talking bacon may not be exactly what your kids hope to find under the Christmas tree. But consider this: instead of jousting to snag the latest video
game or Barbie—and furnishing your children with the same stuff as their
friends—you can give them a huggable doll shaped like breakfast meat.

Sure, it
may seem counterintuitive, but as anyone who grew up playing with a Slinky, a
Squirmle, or Silly Putty can attest, it’s often the strangest toys, the ones
that freak us out or make us squeal, that become our childhood favorites. They
also allow kids to explore a culture through its toys, bringing the sense of discovery
that comes with traveling right into your living room.

Indeed, there
are toy manufacturers and home-crafters across the globe that cater to kids’
taste for the bizarre. A few of the odder toys out there seem geared to kids
from certain cultures. An American child, for instance, might not feel
particularly inspired to play with a platter of crocheted sushi rolls, while a
Japanese or Muslim child might be baffled or even horrified by that talking slab
of bacon.

More
often than not, though, strange toys have universal appeal. What child, for
instance, wouldn’t enjoy turning an ordinary bathtub into a cauldron of
neon-bright, popcorn-scented goo? Or morphing a boring old toothbrush into a
whirring bristled robot beastie? (Parents, start planning your oral-hygiene
playdates now.)

The
truth is, it’s not just kids who get a kick out of weird playthings; some toys
have just as many fans among adults. The Hexbugs series of robotic insects, for
instance—which includes a freakily authentic spider that scuttles and swivels
its head—are collected by parents as well as children. Other toys are so
grossly humorous that almost anyone with a base sense of humor can appreciate
them.

“I’ve
played it with over a thousand kids and adults,” says David Norman, whose
U.K.-based company Goliath Games makes a hugely popular poop-and-scoop game
called Doggy Doo (more than a million have been sold this year alone). “The
inherent funniness of hearing a dog pass gas and poop is a riot for all ages.”

World's Strangest Toys

Wow kids
of any age with toys like robotic pets, plush viruses, and an inflatable
Titanic slide.

A plush chunk of talking bacon may not be exactly what your kids hope to find under the Christmas tree. But consider this: instead of jousting to snag the latest video
game or Barbie—and furnishing your children with the same stuff as their
friends—you can give them a huggable doll shaped like breakfast meat.

Sure, it
may seem counterintuitive, but as anyone who grew up playing with a Slinky, a
Squirmle, or Silly Putty can attest, it’s often the strangest toys, the ones
that freak us out or make us squeal, that become our childhood favorites. They
also allow kids to explore a culture through its toys, bringing the sense of discovery
that comes with traveling right into your living room.

Indeed, there
are toy manufacturers and home-crafters across the globe that cater to kids’
taste for the bizarre. A few of the odder toys out there seem geared to kids
from certain cultures. An American child, for instance, might not feel
particularly inspired to play with a platter of crocheted sushi rolls, while a
Japanese or Muslim child might be baffled or even horrified by that talking slab
of bacon.

More
often than not, though, strange toys have universal appeal. What child, for
instance, wouldn’t enjoy turning an ordinary bathtub into a cauldron of
neon-bright, popcorn-scented goo? Or morphing a boring old toothbrush into a
whirring bristled robot beastie? (Parents, start planning your oral-hygiene
playdates now.)

The
truth is, it’s not just kids who get a kick out of weird playthings; some toys
have just as many fans among adults. The Hexbugs series of robotic insects, for
instance—which includes a freakily authentic spider that scuttles and swivels
its head—are collected by parents as well as children. Other toys are so
grossly humorous that almost anyone with a base sense of humor can appreciate
them.

“I’ve
played it with over a thousand kids and adults,” says David Norman, whose
U.K.-based company Goliath Games makes a hugely popular poop-and-scoop game
called Doggy Doo (more than a million have been sold this year alone). “The
inherent funniness of hearing a dog pass gas and poop is a riot for all ages.”

Courtesy of Hogwild Toys

World's Strangest Toys

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