Saturday, August 27, 2022

Here's the Poop

How does one introduce a review about poop-themed toys?  I mean, I refuse to just dump such a steaming topic on you with no preamble.  That would eliminate all of the suspense and waste this valuable writing space.  And I don't want to soil my reputation by pinching off my prose or plopping down any old thing.  Expelling words is the whole point of a blog, after all.  But on the other hand, why muck about with a long, constipated introduction when I could just let 'er rip?

Today is gonna be all about poop.

I probably lost a few readers with that intro, wouldn't you say?  Sorry--I couldn't help myself.  But for anyone who stuck around, let me take a second to explain how this, uh, special review came about.

The first thing that happened is that my friend Katrina (bad influence) sent me a link to a Poopsie toy called Sparkly Critters.  These little rascals exude colorful slime from various orifices and look like this:

Blurf! Splat.

We giggled over those for a bit and I threw one in my cart, but didn't actually buy it right away.  Then, two months later when I was doing the Mischa's Toy Jewels post, I discovered the Cutie Tooties, which come inside poop-shaped containers.  While researching the Cutie Tooties, I found a surprising number of other poop-themed toys...and I remembered the Sparkly Critter that was sitting in my Amazon cart.

You know me, once I've latched onto a theme of any kind, it's hard to stop.  So, I scooped up what I thought were four of the best poop-themed toys I could find, and here we are.

The first toy I'm going to show you lured me in with its brightly-colored toilet.  This is a Pooparoo Surpriseroo by Mattel, and I think they first came out back in 2018:

Pooparoo Surpriseroo by Mattel (2018).
I found this on Amazon, and it was in the warehouse where you can sometimes get a good deal because of damaged packaging.  The packaging was certainly rough, but the toy still cost $35--probably because it's been discontinued for a while.  The original price was closer to $15.

"Feed, Squeeze, Poop" seems to be the slogan.
I like this toy mostly because of the big toilet.  I was always fascinated by dollhouse toilets when I was a kid.  Especially if the lids opened; that seemed pretty special.

And when I go to old historical houses or castles that have original furniture and fixtures, I'm always more interested in the kitchen and bathroom than anything else. I mean those two rooms show you the important details of life.

Now we get to see some important details about a Pooparoo's life.

Already I can tell that they're Poopy!  And Bouncy!
What exactly is a Pooparoo, though?  Well, one side of the box shows many of the different varieties:

They're basically bouncy balls with huge mouths and tiny legs. Oh, and they poop.
The little items on the bottom of that photo are the different varieties of poop--or snack.  I guess they're both poops and snacks.  Yum. 

Based on the box advertising, three random, mystery poop snacks come with each set.  Needless to say, Pooparoo poop is way more interesting (and adorable) than what I'm familiar with.

Even the toilet is cute:

I'm uncomfortable that it's licking its lips, though.
The toilet in my set is yellow, but there was another wave of Surpriseroos that came in blue toilets.

The backdrop of the packaging is designed to look like a bathroom.  The decorations are fun; there's even a little Pooparoo hiding on one side of the toilet!


Here's the scene again with the toilet removed:


Tucked in next to the hiding Pooparoo, there was a purple plastic scooper that looks like a spatula...or like something stolen from a cat's litter box:

A poop flipper.
Here's everything that was in the box:

I assume the Pooparoo is hiding inside the toilet.
You know by now that I'm generally tired of blind box packaging, but this toilet is pretty great.  I like the bright color and the happy face, although I could do without the molded poop on the lid of the tank:

Somebody's aim was really bad.
There are several moving parts on this toilet, too.  For example, the tank opens up with a folded plastic hinge:


And there are little white packets inside!

Those must be the poop snacks!
The lid also opens, using a more robust-looking hinge with a metal pin:


And the seat lifts, too:


I was so engrossed with the movable toilet seat, I didn't even realize that the Pooparoo surprise had been revealed!  

Here's everything that was inside the toilet:


The writing on the box explains that the little white toilet paper packets dissolve in water to reveal the poop snacks.

Here's a peek inside the now-empty toilet:


For reference (and as you saw in the cover shot), the toilet is almost the right size for a Barbie doll like my intrepid assistant, Lena.  It's a little short and wide for her, though:


It works fairly well for mini dolls like Freya, too:


I like the toilet.  It's definitely reusable and not just a disposable packaging gimmick.

The Pooparoo itself came enclosed within a plastic shell:

I will name them Smorp.
Smorp is made out of a rubbery, squishy, glitter-infused material--kind of like the super-flexible vinyl of older Polly Pocket clothing, but stickier.  I'm not exactly sure what this stuff is, but it collects lint and dust like nobody's business.  

The substance can also leave wet or greasy marks on surfaces, so I used a small square of paper to protect my table:


Smorp has large painted eyes, a wide slit mouth, and a blue opaque mohawk of hair:


Their back is quite plain, with only a stubby, rounded tail:

Is Smorp supposed to be a teddy bear, perhaps?
On the bottom, there's a fairly large, um, exit hole:

Anatomically speaking, that's a very strange location for such a hole.
There's no collector's sheet with this toy, so I used the box to identify my bear-like ball:


I kinda wish I'd gotten the Boston terrier or the unicorn (because I can tell for certain what those two are supposed to be), but all of the designs are similar.

There wasn't much else to do with this set in my studio, so I gathered up Smorp and all of their accessories and headed into my kitchen to have some fun with poop!  

As luck would have it, my son was in town at the time, and so he was able to help me with with some of the photos...and give me the perspective of a younger generation.


The first thing we did was fill the toilet basin with water and drop in one of the mystery toilet paper packs:


This dissolved quite slowly...

I'm hungry!
And as it did, it began to look more and more like actual wet toilet paper:

Eew.
Finally, the mystery poop dropped out of the bag, so we fetched it with the spatula:


It's a green boot...covered in dissolved toilet paper slime:

A poop-kicker.
My son force-fed the boot to Smorp:

Gag.
And we sat Smorp on the toilet:

Don't fall in, buddy!
Nothing happened on its own, so we squeezed Smorp's body, like it said to do on the box:

Whoosh!
But nothing whooshed out.  The boot had gotten lodged in Smorp's throat (intestine?) and wouldn't budge:

Boot-bound.
With some more pushing and maneuvering, we were finally able to get the boot to pass:

Hi there!
We really wanted Smorp to poop while sitting on the toilet, but it was hard to push the right way to get this to happen.  We finally cheated by getting the boot most of the way out and then setting Smorp on the toilet to finish the job...a decision we instantly regretted:

That's vile.
Something about that wet goopy toilet paper sitting inside a toilet bowl was making me gag.

So, we made a joint decision to use a small glass bowl to dissolve the toilet paper packs instead.  This was slightly less disgusting than using the toilet.

Here's the new set-up:


What shape will this next poop be?


It's round and pink...


It's a little mint!


This looks more appetizing than a boot.

It's a poopermint!
Here's the last mystery packet:


Which is also pink...


And looks like a little poop emoji:


This one was completely covered in slime!

So gross.
Once all of the poops were revealed, we cleaned everything up and played around with Smorp for a little while longer.


I found the pooping activity a little underwhelming with this Pooparoo set, but my son loved it.  He thought the Pooparoo itself was adorable, and didn't mind the extra effort it took to get the little poop snacks to come out.

I like the fact that everything is reusable, and kids could make their Pooparoos eat and poop again and again, even without using any water.  The small poop snacks are certainly a choking hazard for younger kids, though, especially since it might be tempting to try and imitate the Pooparoos' eating and pooping action.

What makes this set such a hit for me is exactly what drew me to it in the first place: the yellow toilet.  Kids could use this accessory for stuffed animals, dolls, action figures, you name it.  It's a fun thing to have around.


The next toy I bought was the Poopsie Sparkly Critter that Katrina recommended to me back in April.  Before we look at that Critter, let me talk more generally about MGA's Poopsie brand.  

First of all, here's a reminder of what the Poopsie Cutie Tootie toy that I de-boxed in my Mischa's Toy Jewels review looks like:

Poopsie Cutie Tootie toy, Spike.
The Cutie Tooties are basically small versions of the the Sparkly Critters, but with no pooping feature.

The most popular Poopsie products are undoubtedly the Poopsie Surprise Unicorns.  These are 12 inches tall and can poop slime.  I wanted to include one of these charmers in my review today, but they're discontinued, and are currently selling for over $100 (often closer to $200) on most sites:

MGA Entertainment's Poopsie Surprise Unicorn (2018).
The unicorns are really cute, and I'm intrigued by the pooping mechanism, but there's no way they're worth $100.  I was happy to settle for a smaller Sparkly Critters toy, which are currently selling for about $11.

The Sparkly Critters were released in 2019.  They come packaged in plastic can-shaped containers that are quite a bit larger than a regular soda can:

Poopsie Sparkly Critter by MGA Entertainment (2019).
Here's a comparison with a regular 12oz can:


You can tell that this product is made by MGA because of the elaborate packaging, and because MGA really likes the slogan "Collect the Rainbow:"

Maybe in this case it should be "Poop the Rainbow?"
Of course the Collect the Rainbow hashtag has been completely taken over by Rainbow High at this point.

Like their unicorn cousins, the Sparkly Critters poop slime...and also barf it up.  There's no way to know which action you'll get until you open the package:


Given the theme of this review, I was definitely hoping to get a pooper!

There are some basic directions included on the can-shaped box, and these spell out the three steps: drink, spit or poop, and then add "magic" to the poop so you can play with it:

What could be more fun?
A sticker at the top of the can marks a perforated edge that can be broken to open the package:


When I first opened this can, I was overwhelmed by a terrible chemical smell.  It's the kind of thing that makes my throat sore after a few minutes.  It almost turned me into a spitter.  The smell was really off-putting, but dissipated after a while.

Underneath the flap, I found two packets of "unicorn magic" and "unicorn shimmer:"


This is the "magic" that's meant to be added to the slimy poop at some point.

Behind the packets, you can see that the interior of the can has compartments that spin around on a plastic carousel.  Each compartment reveals a new surprise: 


The second compartment was hiding a large purple foil package:


I took it out...


And cut open one side to reveal...


A syringe designed to look like a Monster energy drink!

I love the bendy straw!
That's pretty clever.


The label says "Poopster" instead of Monster, though:


This is what a real Monster drink can looks like:


The syringe label also clearly states that this is a parody, and is "not affiliated with brand owner."


The opposite side of the syringe is transparent, with some measurement lines:


I think the syringe is pretty funny, but I wonder how brands like Monster feel about being associated with a poop toy for kids?

The carousel spun to reveal another shiny purple packet:


And also two folded sheets of paper:


The papers are instructions for how to use the Sparkly Critter, and a collector's sheet.  I'll look at those in a minute.

This foil packet contained something that looks vaguely like a Cheez-It wrapper, bound tightly with rubber bands:


It says Cheezy-Poop instead of Cheez-It, though

That ruins Easy Cheese for me, forever.
It's a plastic zip bag (to hold the slime) and a gold plastic scoop with a unicorn head on the handle:


The take-off on Cheez-Its is pretty great.  My son got a huge kick out of this (millennials like Cheez-Its).

Here's an actual Cheez-It box for comparison:


The back of the bag is clear, and has the parody disclaimer:


The last compartment held a foil bag with the actual Sparkly Critter:


I cut open the bag and peeked in, and I could see a lot of bright green!


Oh, how strange!  It's a little creature with a crescent moon head, a big pacifier, and a glittery unicorn horn:

A moonicorn!
The face of this critter came protected with a molded plastic shield--much like the ones that come on imitation Blythe doll heads.

Here he is without the face protector:


Let's look at the collector sheet and learn something about this guy.

As we saw with the Cutie Tooties, this sheet is arranged into categories with funny names:


Antfartica, Bougie Poops, and Turdz of Paradise are definitely my favorite category names.


The Critter I got is named Beam and is one of the Cosmic Doo Doos:


The categories look the same as what was offered with the Cutie Tooties, and some of the characters are very similar.  It would have been fun if I'd gotten Sprint, who looks like a larger version of my Cutie Tootie Spike:

Sprint has a "Dr. Pooper" drink.
I like both of the Junk Foodie Doodies a lot, especially the zebra, Stripes, who comes with a "Farta" drink:

The lion King's drink says "Cacada Dry."  Facepalm.
And of course I like the two slothacorn characters, Dulce and Dawdle, too:

I can't read their drink labels very well.
Honestly, the drink syringe designs are more interesting to me than some of the Critters!  I wish I could see more of these accessories up close.

But let's take a better look at Beam, my strange little moonicorn friend.

Beam stand about 4.5 tall and has large inset plastic eyes with actual lashes:


His eyes don't have a lot of detail, but they look good:


Beam's back is plain, with only a few molded crater designs:


His arms and legs have simple rotational movement, but the head is stationary.  

Beam can only stand when his legs are aligned straight up and down, and he can't sit at all without support:


The bottoms of his feet have little molded shapes on them, but I can't tell what they are:

Brain cross sections with little poops in the middle?
Beam's pacifier can be removed to reveal a smiling mouth:

Whoa.  That's a special kind of pacifier right there.
And the pacifier is, well, it's long:


The pacifier has a design molded on the end, but again, I'm not sure what it's meant to be.  It looks a bit like an angry cloud:


Here's a closer look at Beam's smiling mouth:


What I failed to realize is that the directions explicitly say not to remove the pacifier before you're ready to do the pooping trick.

And that warning is for good reason, because when I tipped Beam forwards, a ton of white powder spilled out all over the place!

This must be the slime-making powder.
So, I quickly put the pacifier right back where it came from.  My bad.

The directions also say that some of the Sparkly Critters glow in the dark, so I set Beam under my lights for a few minutes to see what would happen...

And sure enough!  Beam is a glower:


Glow-in-the-dark gimmicks never get old for me (Gen-X loves glowing things).

Here's Beam next to Spike, my Cutie Tootie:

Sparkly Critter Beam (left) and Cutie Tootie Spike (right).
And here are the two Poopsie toys next to Smorp:

Pooparoo (left), Sparkly Critter, and Cutie Tootie.
Once I explained to Lena that these little creatures weren't going to poop right away, she hesitantly agreed to pose for a comparison picture with them:


Okay!  Now let's have some more fun with poop.

I got out the directions and carefully read through all of the steps:


And then my son and I set everything up in the kitchen:


The first step involved removing the pacifier from Beam's mouth and filling the syringe with water:


The next step was to put the straw of the syringe into Beam's mouth:

Yikes!  More like "jam syringe down throat and force feed poor unsuspecting Critter."
This step looked better in real life than it does in the illustration:


The next step was to shake Beam vigorously up and down for a full minute:

As if the force feeding wasn't bad enough.
After the shaking was over, we put the pacifier back into Beam's mouth and waited.


In order to figure out if Beam is a spitter or a pooper, we were supposed to look at his bottom and check for a heart-shaped hole.  Maybe it's just me, but the last thing I wanted to do after stuffing this Critter full of water and then shaking him vigorously up and down was to stick my face anywhere near his bottom.


We finally got up the nerve to peek, and found a heart!  That means that Beam is a pooper, not a spitter:

Danger zone.
If Beam had been a spitter, we would have removed the pacifier during the next step:


Because Beam is a pooper, we were supposed to leave the pacifier in place.

But think about it for a minute: any of these Critters can be spitters if the pacifier is gone, so Beam is basically a spitter and a pooper...and could probably even do both at the same time.  So he's like an overachiever.

And I know some of you are wondering, so I'll just say it: no, the pacifier can not be used to block the heart-shaped hole.  Thank goodness.

The next step was to hold Beam over a "tray or other protected surface:"


Or, better yet, a toilet!

Locked and loaded.
I'm sad to say that in all of the hilarity and chaos that followed, I didn't get a video of the initial expulsion of slime.  It was pretty great.  I spazzed out and hit "stop" instead of "start" on my camera and vice versa.  But I did get a clip of the second squeeze:


After that less-than-impressive (but very squeaky) display, we thought that perhaps adding more water and shaking again would produce more poop?  There was clearly more waiting to come out.

But the extra water was *not* a good idea:


Here's an action shot for anyone who doesn't feel like watching the videos:

Poopin' in the wind.
After all of that, we were supposed to be able to add some glitter to the slime and play with it...


But because of the extra water involved...

Did I do that?
It didn't look like we had much slime to play with:

Way too realistic.
The instructions offered some guidance about how to clean all of the extra slime out of Beam's head:


So I filled the head with water many times, shook it around, and squeezed the resulting mess out of Beam's mouth...

Also a spitter.
But no matter how many times I did this, I felt like there was always some slime residue left behind.

I was curious about how clean these Critters could actually get once they'd been used, so I cut open the back of Beam's head to see how much slime was still inside.

Whoa!  Turns out there was a lot:

Brain cross-section with poop.
This wad of slime was a fairly good consistency for play, unlike the stuff that landed in the toilet, but I didn't feel like mixing it with the messy glitter at this point.


Underneath where the slime was, you can see the little valve that allowed the poo to pass through to Beam's body.  


It's hard to tell there's an opening, but there are slits in the white vinyl plug that allow a toothpick to pass through:


The opening is small, though, so I'm not surprised that as the slime got more and more viscous, it was harder to squeeze out.

I wanted to try and get a better video of this toy, and I was also curious to see if all of the Critters are as hard to clean out as Beam was, so I bought a second set.

This time I got another Cosmic Doo Doo, Starlight:

She's even weirder than Beam.
Unfortunately, things went wrong with the poop again.  I followed the directions to the letter, but I think maybe because Starlight's head is so big, I was able to put too much water in there, and the slime never solidified.

It was not a pretty scene:


She's definitely both a pooper and a spitter.  That pacifier was not doing its job at all.  And the yellow color makes me think of food poisoning.

Afterwards, this is what poor Starlight looked like:

Sad Salmonella Starlight.
Because everything was so watery, Starlight was quite easy to clean up.  You can see that there's only a small bit of yellow slime stuck near the opening into the body:


There must be some happy medium between poop that's too solid to come out and poop that's too watery to be fun?

Anyway, Starlight was a bust, but it was fun to get a peek at another set of accessories:


They really crammed in a lot of poop references with that Pop Tart parody, didn't they?  It's the whole poop, fart, caca triumvirate.  

And the syringe is parodying Pop Star energy drink, which is pretty obscure.  I've never heard of this stuff before:


Or maybe it's the Rockstar energy drink?  That's more mainstream:


I see the appeal of these Sparkly Critters toys, because my son and I were doubled-over laughing at Beam's first poop, but unfortunately I didn't capture that part on camera.  The squeaky follow-up poops were pretty funny, too, and I can imagine that kids would have an absolute blast with the grossness factor of this toy.  We'll never look at Cheez-Its or Pop Tarts the same way again, that's for sure!  However, Beam was difficult to clean, and it's unnerving to think about a kid's toy with slime stuck inside of it like that for a long period of time.  

My second Sparkly Critter, Starlight, didn't offer much entertainment.  The head on this Critter is large, so it was able to accommodate too much water.  This meant that the slime never formed, no matter how long I waited or how hard I shook.  The up-side to the watery poo is that Starlight was easy to clean.

Both Critters are cute, and they have great eyes, but they're weird.  I'd have been happier with one of the animal characters.  Because the pooping feature only works once, the value of this set lies in that one initial experience, and then how fun it is to play with the figures afterwards.  And I think the animals would be more versatile for long-term play than Beam and Starlight.

As with so many MGA products, the packaging on this set was wasteful.  The cans could be used for storage, I guess, but they're really large and stuff falls out easily.  Also, the plastic smell coming from the set was really off-putting, and makes me wonder what chemical is causing it.  Why not have these Critters come with a plastic toilet package instead?  Then Beam wouldn't have had to borrow one from Smorp.


The next pooper on my list is Shelbert, the Gotta Go Turdle from Moose Toys!

Little Live Pet Gotta Go Turdle, by Moose Toys ($29.99)
Shelbert came onto the market last fall, and costs just under $30.  He's displayed in an open-faced cardboard carton, with his own toilet!

There's also a flamingo, Sherbet, in the Gotta Go series:


The flamingo tends to be more expensive than the turtle for some reason, which is why I chose the turtle.

This Gotta Go duo is part of Moose's Little Live collection of animals.  I find many of the Little Live products tempting, especially this dancing unicorn:

Too bad she doesn't poop.
I'm also intrigued by the Little Live mamma guinea pig who has surprise babies:


But this set is really large and costs $60.

As far as I can tell, all of the Little Live animals have some kind of electronic feature, and, lucky for us, Shelbert's electronic feature just happens to be pooping.

Shelbert's box advertises his features with great enthusiasm.  For example, apparently he's going to repeat everything I say:

That would never get annoying.
The photo on the front of the box also suggests that when he has to go, he sings a song and then you have to frantically rush him to the potty:


The redheaded model's panicked expression in that shot is pretty great.  Let's zoom in for a closer look:

Nailed it.
The back of the box has more detail about Shelbert's pooping function:


There's a blurb in the middle which confirms that, indeed, Shelbert will sing a tune when he needs to go.  It also says that when he's done, you can "scoop up the poop and do it all again!"  Meaning, of course, that you can re-feed him his own poop as many times as you want.

So he's coprophagic.
And they don't make any attempt to hide the fact that you just pour the toilet bowl waste right back into the feeding scoop:

Waste not, want not.
Apparently Shelbert also has "magic" poop that will make us giggle.  I hope so!


It was easy to get Shelbert out of the box.  I only had to snip a few plastic restraints.

He sits pretty securely on the toilet most of the time, but he's top heavy, so it's not hard to knock him forwards so that he falls down.


He has an endearing face with huge eyes and a smiling beaked mouth that opens and closes:


This Shelbert has some scuffs on the black parts of his eyes, which is one of the disadvantages to open-faced packaging:


Shelbert's jaw hinges wide open so that the food can be poured inside:

Feed me!
You can see that there's a small hole at the back of his throat for feeding:

That mouth looks like a toilet to me.
Shelbert's neck is covered with purple imitation fur, and his head and shell are decorated with rainbow patterns:


Here's a better look at the pattern on his head:


His feet are made out of bendable vinyl and are hollow at the back:


I lifted Shelbert off his toilet so that I could get a better look at his body:


He has speaker on the front, and what looks like a button at his neck:


The button on his neck does not do anything, though.  I'm not sure why it's there.

He has bright zig-zag decorations on his shell:


And the two screws in the shell can be loosened to expose the battery compartment: 

He came with working batteries.
On Shelbert's bottom, there's a power switch and a blue button that, when depressed, allows the magic pooping action to happen!


Here's a closer look:


The toilet in this set is simpler than the Pooparoo toilet.  A big difference is that it does not have a lid or a hinged seat (bummer).  There's a grey flushing button on the back of the tank, but it doesn't move.


The uncomfortable-looking white peg that's sticking up on the right side of the seat is what depresses the button on Shelbert's bottom so that he can poop.

Inside of the toilet, there was some pink food and a decorative cardboard insert:


The food has a sand-like consistency, and I couldn't fathom how it was going to turn into poop!


Hidden away underneath the hollow toilet, there was a feeding scoop and some instructions:


The feeding scoop came with a dark smudge of grease on it:


The scoop has some mesh sections on the bottom, presumably to filter out unwanted water:


For some size comparisons, here's Shelbert's toilet next to the Pooparoo toilet.  You can see that the two are similar, but Shelbert's toilet bowl is wider:

Gotta Go Turdle Shelbert's toilet (left) and a Pooparoo toilet (right).
At 10.5 inches tall, Shelbert towers over the other pooping toys:

We're gonna need a bigger toilet.
He's about the right size to be a ridable pet for Lena, but she doesn't look too comfortable!


I got out the instruction booklet so that I would know exactly what I should be doing to initiate Shelbert's pooping magic:


And that reminded me that I should probably try out the talking feature.  I flipped the switch on Shelbert's bottom...


And sure enough, he repeats everything I say...about ten octaves higher:


With Shelbert gleefully mimicking my every word, I gathered his things and brought him up to my kitchen to have yet more fun with poop!


My son was there to help me again, thank goodness.  We filled the scoop with the sand-like food, and put some water into the toilet bowl:


Then I asked Shelbert to help read some of the instructions (these videos are short and a little unnecessary, if you're looking for something to skip):




We waaaay overfilled the mouth.  But that's ok.  Once there was plenty of food on board, all we had to do was close Shelbert's mouth and wait for the song.  We kept him safely on the toilet the whole time, mostly because moving him at all would cause all of the excess sand food to spill everywhere.

Here's what happened:


After all of the moaning and plunking was over, there was definitely something in the toilet bowl!

It looks like a pink brain.
This is what it looked like from the top, though:

That's not what poop looks like.
I was pretty sure turtle poop isn't actually granular, but I looked it up just to be safe.

Sure enough, real turtle poop is not grainy at all.  It looks like a pretty generic poop...with some sand stuck to it:


(I couldn't find an attribution for that photo, sorry).

If I pushed the sand down with my fingers, it'd sink and look a bit more like poop:

Or like a sunken pink brain.
Notice how that whole sunken poop is surrounded by an air pocket?  Well, it turns out that the "magic" of this poop is that those granules are extremely hydrophobic, meaning that they do not mix with water at all.

So, when they say in the instructions that putting the food back into the scoop will make it "instantly dry," they're not kidding!  It's instantly dry because it never got wet.


We poured the toilet bowl contents back into the scoop, and most of the water simply drained away, but look how the remaining bits of water beaded up at the top to stay away from the sand:

Chemistry is awesome.
This substance is probably similar to Magic Sand, which is made out of regular sand that's coated with a hydrophobic chemical called trimethylhydroxysilane.  Now I want to go and buy some Magic Sand to play with!  I had no idea it behaved like this.  So cool.

Wanna know what else is cool?  When my clever son heard the catchy "Uh, Oh, Gotta Go" song, he said, "oh, that's the Uptown Funk beat."  And omg, he's right!  Take a listen again:


Using his magical music skills, we made this rendition, which I call Toilet Funk:


And what genre is it?  Scat, of course.

We clearly had a lot of fun with Shelbert, but I didn't want him to eat trimethylhydroxysilane sand anymore, so I gave him some cilantro instead:
 
Cronch.
I had more fun with Shelbert than I did with any of the other poop-themed toys, but that's mostly because of the hydrophobic sand and the video-making project with my musical kid.  If I set those things aside, I can still say that Shelbert is a fun toy, and certainly endearing.  I also like how his poop function is not a one-hit wonder; it can be repeated over and over again until the sand has scattered to the winds or has gotten too dirty to work anymore.  Or maybe that hydrophobic coating wears off eventually? I'm not sure.  I do know that if Shelbert's innards got wet, it wouldn't be great.  

The one pretty big down side with this toy is that those sand granules get everywhere. And it's hard to empty all of them out of Shelbert's long neck.  My Shelbert is currently sitting in the garage so that trimethylhydroxysilane doesn't spill all throughout my house.

Who would have thought anyone could talk so much about poop?  But I still have one more toy that I want to show you.

I figured it'd be good to end with a doll, since that's what this blog is all about.  This is a Barbie and Tanner set from 2006:

Mattel's Barbie and Tanner (2006).
This set is old, so it's not cheap on the secondary market.  I paid $56 for it, not including shipping.  That's a little crazy, but the alternative was the newest version of the concept, which I do not like at all:


I saw this set in person at my local Target (on sale, even) and could not bring myself to buy it.

The Barbie doll is probably better than the one in the 2006 set, but the dog is too goofy.  It has bizarre proportions, and a strange pack on its back with gaping holes to deposit the poops.  I mean, I guess it's good that the dog doesn't have to eat her own poop, but still.  It's not a good-looking dog toy.

In contrast, Tanner from the 2006 set looks adorable and soft.  And the box advertising is so polite; it doesn't mention the world "poop" at all:


Here's a closer look at the little sequence of events:


There's also a Teresa and Mika set in this series that seriously tempted me, but it's equally expensive so I had to control myself.  Also, Mika only pees into her litterbox, she doesn't poop, so it's not really on theme.


All of the items in this set come displayed against a backdrop that's designed to look like a pet shop.  A few things had fallen out of their restraints over the years and were kicking around at the bottom of the backdrop:


Here's everything that was included:


There are four molded plastic dog toys:

I like that they're not all the same color.
And here's all of the feeding and pooping paraphernalia:


First of all, there's a trash can with a flip lid controlled by a foot pedal:


This really works!


Inside the bin, there's a chute leading out the back, which is a little strange.

Why do the poops fall out the back of the can?
There's also a plastic dog food box:


This has a cute flap at the top for dispensing treats:


It also has a gaping hole in the back:

I see where this is going.
So when all of the treats are placed into the box...


About half of them fall right out:

Tic-Tacs rejected that packaging design in 1969.
That hole is there so that--you guessed it--the poops can go straight from the trash can back into the food box!

That's not gross at all.
Here's the set-up:

So convenient.
I mean, half of my dogs think their own poop is no different from their favorite treats, but still.  Some subtlety would have been nice here.

The last accessory is this poop scooper:


I like the claw scoopers in the newer Barbie dog sets better, but this is pretty clever.

Both the poop and the scooper are magnetized, so the poops cling to the end of the stick:


And then when a button on the handle is pushed, the stick retreats into the pole and the poop drops:


As an aside, I think this toy was recalled at one point because of those little magnet poops.  It's very dangerous for kids to swallow small magnets, because they can stick together in the intestines and cause real problems.  However, Tanner's poops don't stick to each other, so I'd think that would make them less dangerous.

Barbie wanted to try out the scoop, but unfortunately her right hand was covered in old, deteriorated rubber band goo:


This area was super sticky and hard to clean:


Another problem was that I could tell as soon as I picked Barbie up that she has elastic-strung hips that have loosened over the years.

Also, the pink from the backdrop had stained parts of her hair:


So many Barbies get left in their boxes for years and years because of their collectible value, but it doesn't always turn out very well.

Barbie could still balance on her own, though, with a little extra effort:


She has lovely green eyes and a fun twist at the side of her long blonde hair:


This is certainly not my favorite Barbie face mold, but I like her eyes.


She's wearing a purple shirt with a dog decal and lace accents.  Over this, she has a simple sleeveless turquoise hoodie:


The hoodie has decorative drawstrings and a fake zipper with a tiny little metal pull:


The cargo pants have some nice details, too, like a working side pocket, turquoise stitching, and an imitation leather belt:


Underneath the pants, sure enough, Barbie has really loose elastic hip joints:

That's too much hip flexibility!
Because of the loose hips and really sticky hand, Barbie wasn't very easy to work with.  

Fortunately, my faithful assistant Lena offered to step in and help out with Tanner!

Lena is the best!
Barbie's clothes fit Lena really well, and Tanner warmed up to her right away:


Tanner is very sweet.  She's made out of hard plastic but has a nicely flocked coat:


Tanner has wonky painted eyes with too much white showing:


Real dog eyes typically do not reveal a lot of sclera:

Public domain photo of dog eye

Her mouth, ears, neck, and tail are jointed, and all move in prescribed ways:


Her pink collar is molded to her body and marks a joint that allows her head to tilt to one side.  The collar attaches to a pink ribbon leash that's held in place with velcro:


When Tanner's tail is raised, her mouth opens and her ears lift up, making for a very cute expression!


Here she is from the front:


How am I lifting her tail up in these pictures, you might ask?  Not magic, just a strategically-placed Barbie boot:

That's a real kick in the butt.
The exit hole for the poops is not under the tail where you might expect to see it, but rather down between Tanner's back legs:


To feed her, you just lift up her tail, place a dog treat in her mouth, and then release the tail:


The treats are heavy and smooth, so they slide right down Tanner's throat as soon as her mouth is closed.

Then, when the tail is pushed downwards, Tanner cocks her head to the side...and poops.


I wanted to see how many treats I could get into Tanner's belly all at once, so I tried loading all twelve of them.  The last two didn't fit down her throat so they just sat in her mouth:

What dog hasn't dreamed of this?
After that full meal, let's see what happens when I push down on her tail!


Whoa!  I did not expect everything to come tumbling out all at once!  I guess I thought maybe there was something to limit the action to one poop per tail press?  Nope!

Let's see that again in slow motion.  The sound is pretty entertaining here, I think:


Oh, dear.  Now Lena is stuck with a big mess:

That's a whole week's worth of poop, Tanner.
Good thing Lena has her magnetic pooper scooper:

Imagine if real dog poop was magnetic...
She finally got every last bit of poop cleaned up:


And then, hey presto!  It's dinner time:


Lucky Tanner.


Bottom line?  I don't know how seriously anyone should take this review, but I'll still make an effort to summarize the pros and cons of these four poop-themed toys.  To change things up a bit, I'll use a ranking system with eight very important categories.  The prize for each category is a poop.

Poop mechanics
First place: Barbie's Tanner πŸ’©
Second place: Gotta Go Turdle
Third place: Sparkly Critters
Fourth place: Pooparoos

For this category I considered things like creativity, realism, and ease of use.  Tanner's pooping mechanism is easy to use, semi-realistic, and fun to play with.  The Gotta Go Turdle concept is very creative (hydrophobic sand!), and works reliably, but the food granules get stuck in the neck and limit future play.  The Sparkly Critter's gimmick is unique (filling the Critter's head with water to make slime), and felt realistic at times, but didn't work reliably for me, can't be re-used, and was hard to clean up.  The Pooparoos design is extremely simple, and we found it hard to get the poop shapes to come out (although the toilet accessory is great).

Poop realism
First place: Sparkly Critters πŸ’©
Second place: Barbie's Tanner
Third place: Gotta Go Turdle
Fourth place: Pooparoos

The colors of the Sparkly Critter slime are not realistic for most poop, but the shapes and consistencies were uncomfortably accurate at times.  Tanner's pellet poops are the right color and get the idea across well; there's no question about what they're supposed to be (unless they're treats).  Gotta Go Turdle's granular poo can look realistic when it's underwater, but it's often floating on top of the water as separate grains of pink sand, which is not poop-accurate for any species I can think of.  And as for the Pooparoos: candy-shaped poops with smiling faces?  Come on.

Poop noises
First place: Sparkly Critters πŸ’©
Second place: Gotta Go Turdle
Third place: Pooparoos
Fourth place: Barbie's Tanner

The Sparkly Critter's squeaking and splatting were gloriously disgusting and hilarious, so that's a clear winner.  And Tanner basically makes no pooping noise at all, so she's clearly in last place.  I gave Gotta Go Turdle second place because there are some good plunking noises at the end of the Gotta Go song, and then the Pooparoo took third because that sticky body occasionally made some sucking noises that were giggle-worthy. 

Song quality
First and only place: Gotta Go Turdle πŸ’©
I mean, I had to make a category just for that song.

Re-play value
First place: Barbie's Tanner πŸ’©
Second place: Pooparoos
Third place: Gotta Go Turdle
Fourth place: Sparkly Critters

The only toy with a poop feature that can't be re-used is the Sparkly Critters.  Their slime-making heads only work once, so after that first use, they become regular little figures with average articulation (and perhaps a bunch of slime stuck inside their heads).  All of the other toys can poop again and again.  I ranked Tanner first because her pooping mechanism is clean and easy to use, and could be incorporated into a number of different doll or animal games.  The Pooparoos are second because they are also quite clean, and can be played with indefinitely.  And the Pooparoo toilet adds significant value.  One downside is that the Pooparoo's rubbery material collects a lot of dust and dirt.  Gotta Go Turdle can also be used again and again, but I wouldn't want that toy dropping food granules all over my house. 

Cuteness
First place: Gotta Go Turdle πŸ’©
Second place: Barbie's Tanner
Third place: Pooparoos
Fourth place: Sparkly Critters

All of these toys are cute, so this was hard.  I think the Gotta Go Turdle's face and little mannerisms are adorable.  He has a ton of personality, and he's a good singer.  Tanner is hard to resist, too, with her smiling mouth and soft fur.  I ranked the Pooparoos third mostly because my son thought they were incredibly appealing (millennials, am I right?).  I might have ranked some of the Sparkly Critters characters higher, but the two I got are very strange.

Grossness
First place: Sparkly Critters πŸ’©
Second place: Pooparoos
Third place: Gotta Go Turdle
Fourth place: Barbie's Tanner

This is perhaps the most important category, right?  The whole purpose of a poop-themed toy is for it to be disgusting....or maybe to teach kids to clean up after their pets?  Way to be responsible, Barbie.  That's why you're ranked last.  Tanner isn't at all disgusting.  Her neat little pellet poops come out without any kind of smell or sound.  Gotta Go Turdle has a few disgusting noises in the sound clips, but is otherwise pretty far removed from actual pooping.  The gross thing about the Pooparoos is those dissolving toilet paper packets.  They actually make the toilet bowl look like it's full of used toilet paper...and that makes me gag.  But of course the Sparkly Critters are the grossest by far, with their crazy noises and the risk of a complete diarrheal blowout.

Best value
First place: Barbie's Tanner πŸ’©
Second place: Sparkly Critters
Third place: Pooparoos
Fourth place: Gotta Go Turdle

I have to take into consideration the prices that I paid for each of these toys, not just their original retail value.  And even though Tanner was the most expensive by quite a lot, she wins this category because she's the toy that I'm most likely to keep (Lena has bonded with her).  Also, the set comes with a doll, a nice outfit, and several really great accessories.  The Pooparoos would have been in second place, mostly because the toilet is excellent (and could be used for a lot of different games) and because the figures can be used again and again.  However, the toy is not worth the current nearly $40 price, so they fall to third.  I really wanted to give Gotta Go Turdle a higher place, too, because he's so cute and is a better-designed toy than the Sparkly Critters, but I'm not sure he has the staying power to be worth $30.  And those Sparkly Critters, even though they can't be reused, smell bad, and have a poop feature that isn't reliable, they're the cheapest of the bunch by far.  And I definitely got my money's worth of fun, at least from that first one.

If I assign points for first, second, and third place and add up the scores, the overall winner is...
Barbie's Tanner! πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©

I was pretty shocked to see how many poop-themed toys are on the market these days, and I only scratched the surface of what's available.  I probably found at least five different poop-related board games during my search, too, which is something I would have sworn couldn't possibly exist.  But pooping is a great unifier, I suppose.  It's a normal, necessary, awkward, silly reality that we all share and can all laugh about together.  I had a blast laughing with my son over some of these toys, and I hope you got in a few giggles with me, too.  

But this long review has me all pooped out, so it's time to turd in.  See you flater.

*Parody: not affiliated with brand owner.

21 comments:

  1. This might be my favorite review you’ve done- even with Uptown Funk- Poo Remix currently destroying my brain with that ear worm!

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  2. What a hilarious review! I was laughing so hard! The only poop toy I have encountered was a friend’s with play-dough, I never found it funny but I suppose I can see the appeal. My favorite was probably the dog, and I loved the rendition of Uptown Funk! It reminds me of the Disney shorts Nina needs to go which I used to find hilarious! Overall, wonderful review. Reminds me of the spiraling ones you used to do with My Twinn and other brands. Thank you again Emily, I always feel so thankful and happy when you post something new!

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  3. I remember the Tanner toy as a kid! I was too old for Barbies but it was a joke amongst my friends.

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  4. I laughed until I couldn't laugh anymore. This is a masterpiece of doodoo related toy reviews, which is a niche genre, sure, but I guess I'm into it?? I really love this post and the general idea to do themed reviews.

    I always wanted a barbie with hair you can cut, I think that might be another cool theme, since many dolls center around the idea of playing with hair.

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  5. y'know, I wouldn't have even thought about whether the pacifier would fit in the heart-shaped hole if you hadn't drawn my attention to its *ahem* suggestive shape. dirty minds think alike? >_<

    remember your "what were they thinking?" post many many long ages ago? I thought that phrase several times during this review. I also repeated aloud to myself, under my breath, various variations on "ewww" and "that's so gross..." Mission accomplished? LOL (there was also a lot of facepalming at the myriad and terrible puns. I hope you're pleased with yourself.) man, but the dog... I'll confess I laughed pretty hard at that. It helps that the dog is adorable. X`D

    I am so disturbed by Shelbert's poop yodelling. The hydrophobic sand is cool, though. I had forgotten about Magic Sand up til now; that was a pretty fun toy.

    Of all of these, the only one I don't find disturbing is the dog, because I can easily imagine a child getting this set and pretending to have a real dog, and maybe learning that once they do get a real pet, they'll have to clean up after it, as well as feed it, walk it, and play with it. Plus, the outfit and the dog accessories all look nice and well-made. It seems like... actually a pretty good toy. It's no surprise to me that she won the toy face-off. (Poop-off?) (Nice touch with the dog drinking out of the toilet bowl.)

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  6. Omg, I really needed these laughs today, Thank you Emily hahahaha

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  7. Well, it was your duty to review this segment of toys. For a topic like this, you don't want to be #2!
    I confess that I was familiar with the poopsie ones from YouTube, where I got my lame fix of toys during your hyatus. What frustrated me the most, with people who unboxed dozens of them especially, was the insistence to produce the slime according to instructions, even after complaining many times how messy it was and how the slime was backed up to rot inside the head. I understand the whole point of the toy is to make it evacuate gross underdone slime, but if it were me, I would dump the dry powder into a bowl and mix the slime outside the doll. Then I would flush the doll with detergent and just make it into a peeing/spitting toy.
    Anyway, I'm glad the dog won. The pooping theme is presented in the wholesomest way possible and the dolls and accessories are very nice. I love how that outfit looks on Lena and I think Tanner is a keeper.

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  8. I needed this review, so much fun. You had me giggling as I read. Thanks for taking one for the team.

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  9. Oh my goodness, this was hilarious from the first paragraph to the moonicorn.

    Are you familiar with Wacky Packages minis? Not my cup of tea but same gross parody vein.

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  10. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ˜…πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ€£

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  11. Most of it looked more like diarrhea than poop but good effort anyway! Especially poor Starlight who looked like she was throwing up at the same timeπŸ˜‚

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  12. As a side note, I really love Lena! Even tough she is a pretty recent addition to your blog, she has tons of personality! This might sound rude? But she seems to me like a pretty, popular superficial cheerleader from high school who is forced to be your assistant in your nerdy pursuits lol but I think you are getting to her! We are all nerds at heart lmao

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  13. I clicked instantly when I saw Lena's outfit! Barbie & Tanner was one toy I played with as a kid a lot, I must have been 5 or 6 when I got her. I loved the dolls green eyes, her articulation and her clothes. And the dog was my favorite Barbie pet, tanner is so much more realistic looking than a lot of other barbers pets, I loved his flocked fur and when I lost all of the little magnetic poops I still appreciated the tail mechanism, I would use it to make him emote. Pushing the tail down kind of looked like he was shaking his head, and when lifting it he would smile and lift his ears up. I think this set is often the butt of jokes, but I wish Barbie’s today had a similar level or detail. As you said the similar toy they are selling today is just not as desirable. The clothes don’t look as detailed, I don’t believe the Barbie has any articulation in her arms, and as you said the dog is no where near as nice. It is a shame I think.

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  14. This must be one of the most glorious reviews you've ever written, Emily. And it seems to have been an insane amount of work too! I really liked all the extra clips you added and can't believe you went through all the trouble to create 'Toilet Funk', lmao. I'll admit that I never fully got the hype around poop and slime toys. I remember having a small set of peeing kittens when I was younger (still have them!) but I mostly liked those for their cuteness and not necessarily for their... bodily functions hahaha. So the whole poop and slime craze is not for me, but I'll admit that the Barbie and Tanner set is absolutely darling and I get why you *scooped* it up as opposed to the newer Barbie set. Shelbert is probably my second favorite. He's really cute and I like that his neck is soft. The moaning sounds are a bit much for me, but the talking feature and the fascinating water-repellent poop-sand more than make up for those. In any case, it seems like you had loads of fun creating this review while us readers thoroughly enjoyed reading it (that strategically-placed Barbie boot was unexpected and one of the highlights for me, lol) so even though not all of the toys worked perfectly, I'd say it was all worth it.

    Also, if you ever come across a good deal on that guinea pig toy, I'd love a review on it. As a long-time guinea pig owner (and owner of many (electronic) guinea toys) I absolutely freaked out when I first saw it in a toy convention vlog on Youtube. Guinea pigs just don't get the appreciation they deserve! I'm also somewhat glad this new toy doesn't center around poop since I see more than enough guinea poop in my daily life, haha!

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  15. Oh my god, you really took one for the team with this one! The puns, the noises, the slime, the gross!

    I have never understood the poo poo toy appeal, not even as a child, but it really seems to be the generation after me started to get super into it, and the one after that, slime! So I guess this is a natural evolution. The poop chute line.

    And the corpophagia they all need to use to be a reusable gimmick! Absolute gag. Realistic? Yes, it's nasty, but part of some critters natural digestive process. But nasty!

    Very thorough poo review!

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  16. Ahhhh, I loved this one so so much ^^ I was curious where all the poop and slime fascination comes from during the last year, but now I really understand ;) It‘s so much fun and a whole different level from Baby Born pooping gross stuff into its diaper (and molding inside).

    I absolute love the funny Turdle, and I remember the dog cause we have Golden Retrievers for years and the dog reminded me of our girls :) And the brown tic tacs, haha πŸ˜‚

    But I have to say, I absolutely love the little moon guy. He looks so sweet and so different πŸ₯°

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  17. I had that Barbie Tanner set as a kid! I haven't thought about it in years, but even as a child I remember being a little grossed out by the mechanics- but I've always been easily grossed out by that sort of thing lol. I did love the dog toy itself, though- and that little trash can ended up being a great addition to my dollhouse.

    I'd also love to see a review of that guinea pig toy! I used to have two guinea pigs of my own so I'm biased towards anything guinea-piggy.

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  18. I laughed so hard. These videos are absolutely priceless. Especially after overfeeding the purple guy. Thank you SO much for posting all these! Made my Monday, helping me decompress after work. - ib

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  19. What a fun and light-hearted review, even if the toys themselves are totally making me cringe!
    The ending Barbie review gave me nostalgia for your pooping unicorn Moxie Girlz review, and just nostalgia in general, I'm sure I had an iteration of that barbie toy as a kid, I'd have been 6/7 in 2006 so maybe it was this exact version!
    -Cink

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  20. You ever wonder what kinds of conversations your boys have with others about your blog???—K

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  21. Oh, Emily, only you could make a review with this theme so much fun. Thanks for the laughs.:-)

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