An amusing newsflash from the UK relates that a German toymaker has “invented” a new line of plush toys with mental disorders. First a cannibal restaurant, now this. Oh Germany, is there no end to your merry madness!
According to the article,
‘Patients’ from the Paraplush toy company include Dub the turtle with severe depression, Sly the snake who suffers from terrifying hallucinations, Dolly the sheep with a multiple personality disorder and a crocodile with an irrational fear of water.
Though I don’t foresee this becoming the next Beanie Babies phenomenon (or even the next GIANTmicrobes® mini-craze), it’s worth pointing out that Paraplush hasn’t done anything new here. In fact, I would argue that it is potentially infringing on the intellectual copyright of Sesame Street and Winnie-the-Pooh. In the former, you’ve got a compulsive hoarder (how do you think Oscar accumulated all that trash?), a binge eater (I wonder how Cookie Monster would fare on Jenny Craig?), and an autist (I keep waiting for Count von Count to make a guest appearance on The Big Bang Theory); while the latter features addictive behavior (Pooh, you don’t need honey; you want it), a chronic depressive (remember, Eeyore: suicide voids your Hundred Acre Wood life insurance policy), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (the wonderful thing about tiggers is tiggers need to sit still and pay attention).
That said, if these plush playthings teach even one child to better empathize with the plight of hydrophobic reptiles or schizophrenic livestock, I suppose it will have been worth it. Let’s just hope your children don’t start attempting to diagnose such conditions in the toys’ living, breathing counterparts though, because I have a feeling that hallucinatory serpents — hell, any serpents — are unlikely to enjoy being manhandled onto a leather chaise lounge by psychiatrically inclined toddlers.