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Celia Rivenbark: Today’s toys, gadgets aren’t making spirits bright

Man, the toys aren’t what they used to be. In my day, it was all about Patty Burp, a red-haired doll baby that you flipped upside down, then right side up, and she would reward you with a huge throaty “BURRRRRRRPPP!”

In the Princess’ day, the hot toy was Baby Born, a stiff plastic doll baby that promised to perform “seven bodily functions.” Don’t ask.

But now? Perusing the toy catalogs for the perfect present for a preschooler friend made me pine for dolls that burped like a drunken frat boy (redundant, I know) or, at best, delivered on two of those bodily functions.

You know what you get for $30 these days? Sand. It’s not real sand but fake sand so there’s that. In fairness, it comes in colors and makes a castle that will “magically stay standing.” That’s impossible because there’s always an older sibling waiting to not so magically kick it over.

You need another toy to combat that sort of bullying and that’s where “Darkside,” a $130 robot, comes in. The ad warns kids: “Do you have the strength to command the dark powers bound within this robot?” (I’m guessing Trump’s handlers ask themselves that every day.) But seriously folks, that seems a bit intense for kids.

Now because I’ve waited until the last minute to do holiday shopping, I’m also looking for ideas for toys for my grown-up friends and family. While I’m not exactly a Luddite, I had to chuckle at a $50 gizmo that you connect to your tablet which “shows recipes with real time pouring, mixing and baking instructions, filling a virtual bowl” on your screen as you add the ingredients. Uh huh. How ’bout you just look at the bowl and see what’s in it? Pass.

And what is going on in the beverage world? There are so many Ninja bullet juicers and they cost so much I think a real-life ninja warrior should show up at my house and personally make my smoothie before somersaulting out the window. It’s fruit, it’s mashed up. Big deal.

Americans, if you believe the catalogs, are equally obsessed with juicing and brewing coffee. Which means that after breakfast, the rest of the day is pretty much a loss. You might as well sit in a corner and play with overpriced fake sand.

Everybody wants in on the coffee trend. But c’mon. Are we supposed to believe that actress Sofia Vergara knows anything about coffeemakers? What are the odds that the highest-paid sitcom actress on TV actually had enough spare time between filming her show and movies to INVENT a new coffee brewing technology as big as an ’80s microwave?

And when did bed pillows get to be a thing? The new pillows cost up to $200 apiece and include memory foam support, “biosense” cooling technology and a special blue gel cores that guarantee you won’t suffer hot head. Why not save money and just flip the pillow over?

You’re welcome.

celiarivenbark.com

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