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20 Annoying Toys That Prove Your Parents Loved You

In trite, cliched movies and sitcoms of the '70s, '80s and '90s, boisterous children are often gifted with drum sets by vengeful family members or ex-spouses. This, we learn, is really a punishment for the child's parents, who will now have to listen to a burgeoning Keith Moon awkwardly learn about rhythm, thus missing out on next several hundred sleep cycles.

But assholes who wanted to screw up their friends and colleagues' lives didn't really have to plunk down the cost of an entire musical instrument – there were an abundance of relatively inexpensive, widely available toys and amusements for children of all ages in that era that would prove equally irritating. If your parents kept some of these around the house for you when you were young, call them and thank them. (NOTE: You should be doing this anyway.) If your parents kept more than 10 of these around, definitely call and thank them, then promise to move them into a better home. One where the orderlies don't steal their antique rings and give them more than 1 hour of outside time a week. They dealt with the most annoying kids toys of all time. They deserve the best. It's okay... they'll probably forget you even had this conversation soon enough...
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    Furby, a furry robotic monster that resembled an owl cross-bred with Gizmo from the "Gremlins" films, was the BIG toy of Christmas 1998. Over 40 million Furbys were sold between 1998 and 2000. The whole selling point of Furbys was that they were "intelligent" – they'd start out speaking their own language, called "Furbish," but would gradually pick up English words. Plus they'd respond to other Furbys, or to physical human touching. It's like Spielberg's "A.I.," except the robot is a hideous freak of nature instead of the kid from "Sixth Sense."

    Your parents enjoyed having a Furby around as much as you, today, would enjoy having a noisy, needy robot that communicates exclusively in incoherent baby talk that crashes at your place indefinitely.

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    Photo: Bop-It! / Hasbro

    One running theme you'll see throughout this list are "toys or games that produce horrible, repetitive, digitized sounds or noises." For some reason, children's brains are immune to the pain of noise pollution, and toymakers exploited this because they were horrible, horrible people. Bop-It comes from a line of what Hasbro called "audio games," so already you know you're in trouble.

    Bop-It was basically a very loud version of "Simon Says" that lonely, anti-social kids could enjoy by themselves - the toy would bark commands at you like some kind of plastic, futuristic dominatrix ("Bop It! Twist It!"), and then kids would have to follow the orders in a timely manner, thus preparing them for the desk and cubicle jobs they'd be "enjoying" a decade later.

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    Sit 'n Spin

    Is it a toy or a rude phrase to tell someone to do in a classic '40s noir film? IT'S BOTH! The Sit 'n Spin was a hit for Kenner Toys back in the '70s and '80s, basically bringing the fun and nausea of Disneyland's iconic "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" attraction into living rooms across the nation.

    Basically, the child sits on a plastic base and turns a wheel, allowing them to spin around in place with their legs crossed. Then, Mom and Dad stop what they're doing to clean up all the vomit and dry everyone's tears. Then the cycle begins anew.

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    A variation on Jenga, KerPlunk involved a cylinder filled with marbles that rested on top of a netting made of a variety of colored sticks. Players removed the sticks one at a time, which would inevitably cause some of the marbles to drop. The player who ends up with the fewest dropped marbles in their section wins!

    This game probably sets the record for poorest "Work Involved" to "Fun Had" ratio in all of '80s toy-dom. Shockingly, though it was released originally in the late '60s, versions of KerPlunk are STILL AVAILABLE to this day, proving that loving your children even more than you living with peace of mind or silence will never go out of fashion.

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