Remember Tamagotchis? They were the pets that weren’t really pets at all, just digital black dots on a screen, but oh em gee everyone had to have one. They were sold out everywhere. Which is why I only got to have the Nano pet. Tamagotchi’s not as good cousin. Yeah… I tired of it pretty quickly. In fact, I believe I eventually took a screwdriver to the thing because it would not die.

Well this Christmas it seems Zhu Zhu Hamsters are the have to have toy that parents are getting ready to engage in physical battles over in toy stores everywhere:

And I have to ask, if this weren’t deemed the “must-have” toy of the season, would all the kids still be crazy about it? Just the commercial alone makes me want to hurl this toy out the window. Call me a grinch, but it just looks like a toy animal on wheels to me– which call me crazy, but hasn’t that already been done? To the point of generic toydom? Like, get one in your Happy Meal generic? C’mon, it rolls and squeaks. Baffled, I looked further into the phenomenon. Maybe I’ve lost touch with my childish side, but I didn’t find much to change my mind. You can buy a set of three for $30. They come with names like “Mr. Squiggles” and “Num Num.”  … Num Num. And the real kicker is, they pretty much just roll around unless you buy the gazillion piece hamster track. And you think your kid is going to set that up once and just stare at it in awe? HA. You will be tripping over and cursing at those bajillion scattered bits of tunnel pieces until you ultimately throw it in a toy chest to die. To DIE, I tell you!

Now, having watched four little boys as they grow (not even my own children, mind you), I understand the joy it is to give children a sought-after toy and watch their little faces light up. I totally understand if this is what the kid wants, it’s worth it. But the fact that this is the got-to-have toy this year just truly befuddles me. And they tout you’ll love your Zhu Zhu pet because “they’re fun without the mess.” At least buy your kid a toy with the novelty of peeing itself! Kids LOVE that! Please, world, just remember that little factoid before you willingly take a black eye for the last Zhu Zhu on the shelf.  Kids love them some toys that pee. Cracks them up. Makes them feel not alone in the world.

But if you must buy a Zhu Zhu, help them to rename it Henry or Jane. Or even Spot. Because the name “Num Num” makes my eye twitch a little bit.

I thank you.