Sunday, April 27, 2008


Happy Birthday Holly, Six today and the proud new owner of several new dollies.

I used to hate Barbie™ - that seven foot tall, Arian ideal, micro-headed, super retrousse-nosed plastic bimbo I was so determined to keep out of my daughter's life - but, after the last two days, she has been replaced in my number one loathing spot by Bratz™. A whole set of hydrocephalitic, micro-nosed, multi-ethnic bimbos who make Barbie™ look like Andrea Dworkin by comparison.

My house is now full of small plastic mutants. I have no idea why kids' toys are so weirdly distorted like this. If any of us saw a Barbie™ or any of the many Bratz™ girlz made flesh and walking down our local high street we would, no matter how liberal, caring and inclusive we though we were, pick up a stick, point at them, and yell: "Freak! Freak! Freak!"

Donald Sutherland spotting Malibu Barbie™
coming out of Woolworths.

Aside from the fact I think they are ugly, and I hate the shallow "Passion for Fashion!" message of the things, what I have really come to loathe about them is the fucking packaging. "Easy to open" my arse - the boxes have a "Now Easier To Open Packaging!" tag on them. God knows what it was like before.

After opening a couple of these things I wrote down the procedure to get one of these overpriced cheap plastic dolls out of its wrapper. (Bear in mind I had opened a couple already and had streamlined my operation from the random slash and rip I started out with.)
  • Cut 3 pieces of tape to get into box.
  • Struggle to open the box while wondering what the tape was there for as it is so well constructed as to be nearly un-openable even when they have been removed.
  • Peel 3 more pieces of tape from the outside of the box which hold the piece of plastic which, in turn, holds the cardboard inner sleeve which (finally) has the doll attached to it.
  • Bend cardboard inner sleeve almost in half to get it free of the box.
  • Cut two pieces of tape that hold together the two halves of the folded cardboard inner sleeve.
  • Open cardboard inner sleeve (while wondering what the tape you have just cut was actually for as the two halves of the sleeve turn out to have been glued together.)
  • Cut or remove six pieces of tape stuck to one half of the sleeve. This lets you get at the plastic coated wire twists that hold the doll into place against all the plastic supporting struts - also held in place on the sleeve by yet more bits of tape. (On my first couple of dolls I wasted time and effort needlessly freeing these as well.)
  • Pull the doll forward and away from the sleeve, then, with a long sharp pair of scissors, cut all the strings (at least eight) sewn through the dolls hair into the cardboard. Be warned: The string is EXACTLY the same colour as the doll's hair.
  • Slide doll upwards free of double-sided vacuum formed transparent packaging designed to stop the the doll's psychologically damaging, weirdly detachable feet falling off in transit. (The removal or cutting of near invisible elastic bands may be called for here.)
  • Find secret compartment box hidden in base of cardboard inner sleeve which contains: a limited warranty (90 days RTB), an advert for more ugly, big-eyed mutant dolls, and the obligatory nasty plastic comb which is held in place (INSIDE a tiny box!) by another near invisible elastic band threaded through two holes in the side.
  • Give doll to daughter who vaguely remembers asking you to open the damn thing and is now too old to play with it.

All I can think is the Third World sweatshop piece worker who assembled this masterpiece of packaging was thinking: "Fuck you, rich western daddy!" as she stuck every vengeful piece of needless tape into a new and improbible place. "How dare you spend all that money on this plastic garbage for your kids; when I have to do this shit to stop mine from starving?"

Good question. I wish I knew the answer.

Irony Gap

Woohoo! 27 days to The 2008 Eurovision Song Contest!


sfoofie said...

Hey - Found you through "The Best of Blogs" contest and voted for you! I do not have any children, but my little sister is 7...this past Christmas (and, come to think of it, her birthday) getting her freaking Barbies/Bratz out of their packages became a year-long journey. Time I can never get back. *sigh* Your post was so funny!!!!!

Happy blogging!

Phoebe said...

I think Donald is standing in the San Francisco City Hall park...

Missing CD? Contact vendor

Free CD
Please take care
in removing from cover.

Copyright (c) 2004-2007 by me, Liam Baldwin. That's real copyright, not any 'creative commons' internet hippy type thing.

(this copyright notice stolen from

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