Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Potpourri: Fun with Crazy Melissa and Doug Product Reviews

I spent the better part of last weekend cleaning out Parker's room - dumping out bins, sorting "like with like," and weeding out stuff that is no longer age-appropriate (as in, we still had wooden peg puzzles - the kid is SIX).  In the process, I took note of just how much money we have contributed to the retirement plans of a certain couple named Melissa and Doug.  All of the wooden puzzles were theirs, plus the wooden pizza play set (we kept that one for sentimental reasons), various puppets, and the "Stacking Sandwich Game" (consisting of two velour bread pieces that fit over your hands like gloves, with Velco strips on them, plus various Velcro'd sandwich fillers - lettuce, cheese, meat - that you have to pick up in a certain order, using the bread gloves, according to cards that come with the game.  Sounds weird, but actually kind of fun.).

The next day, I saw an ad on the Haute Look Web site for a new Melissa and Doug product - a ride-on wheeled suitcase for kids.  I was intrigued, so I went to M and D's Web site . . . and discovered a whole new fun game to play on the Interwebs.  It's called "Read the Consumer Comments on Melissa and Doug's Web Site, Laugh Hysterically and Feel Slightly Better About Your Own Parenting."

Here are some favorites (my comments are in parentheses and Italics):

Stacking Sandwich Game:  This product is very cute, but the two pieces of bread are extremely white.  (Okay, just to clarify:  did you just call out M and D for racism?)  I am so worried about them getting dirty that I hesitate to use them.  (Oh.  Somehow, this clarification doesn't seem like that much of an improvement.)  It also would be nice to make the bread not so white to encourage healthy eating. (Really? Also, really? Message to my kids: You have no idea how good you have it. You could have a helicopter mom for a parent.   I am many things, but germaphobic food Nazi I ain't.)

Wooden Blocks:  These do not really fit together, which makes them different from what I want them to be. Having said that, they are a great value and are incredible in every way for what they are. If they 'nested' better, they would be more entertaining or useful to my 2.5 year old, she wants to build a BIG structure and then knock it down...  (Um, they're BLOCKS. You stack them. They aren't supposed to "nest."  What, exactly, did you "want them to be"?  LEGOs?  Because you can totally buy those at most major retailers.)
Magnetic Letters:  We bought two sets of these letters because I realized after we bought the first set that we couldn't spell my son's name with just one set.  His name is Benjamin - so I needed 2 lower case "n"s. Not a big deal, but it would have been nice to be at least be able to spell a common name without improvising and without having to buy a second set. So now we play with them on the back of our entry door from the garage. It is metal for fire safety reasons and we spell all sorts of messages with these versatile letter sets.  (Okay . . . the description on the Web site indicates 52 total magnets, including upper and lowercase letters. 52 divided by 26 gets you one set of upper and one set of lower. So not sure why the fact that you got only one lower-case N came as such a shock. Also, it would have been enough to say that the entry door from the garage was metal; are you looking for back pats for caring about fire safety? And, really, we got the fact that the door was metal from the fact that MAGNETS STICK TO IT.)

This got me thinking about some fun product reviews that I could write - for example, one dissing refrigerator magnets because the packaging did not say 'refrigerator not included.' But then I saw this one:

Dinosaur Magnets:  My boys love the product. They pretend and carry them around the house. They try to match the dinosaurs with the back of the box so it would be great if the application on the back of the box was a magnet too, or if there was a dinosaur size magnetic sheet for practicing matching.  (Okay, you flip over the box, you overlay the magnets over their corresponding shapes . . . hey, a matching toy. Who cares if they don't cling to the box? Just leave the box lying FLAT. What is it with you people and your infernal need for things to NEST with each other? Or, you know, you could use the magnets for their actual purpose, which is to stick them on something metal. They aren't advertised as a matching toy. And what, exactly, would a dinosaur size magnetic sheet look like? Are we talking a small dinosaur, like one of those raptor guys, or a brachiosaur? If we're talking brachiosaur, you may have a magnetic sheet that would work, in the form of your garage door . . . assuming that it's metal. For fire safety reasons.)

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