Toy markets around the world are flooded with so much weird stuff.
Sure, a lot of cultural differences may not translate, thus leading to some confusion – but, then again, many are just too peculiar for a children’s toy regardless of the which country.
Here’s a list of seven quirky, unusual, and just plain bizarre toys from around the world we found.
1. Mega Plumber Action Figure: US
Sure, superheroes like Batman fights crime, and Spider-Man has his sticky web nunchucks to kick-ass evil villains.
But in real life though, what most of us need is a man with a toilet plunger. Ergo, the Mega Plumber action figure!
Created by American Standard (a company that also makes toilets) to help kids “see plumbers as true superheroes.” The 6-inch figure comes equipped with his own monkey wrench, miniature toilet, and—so important for superheroes—rubber gloves.
2. Doggie Doo: Austria
It has sold more than 1 million figures (in 2011 alone) Doggie Doo caters to two childhood fixations: a desire to have a dog and a fascination with poop.
This toy though has a deeper purpose, it teaches about responsible pet care, and features a plastic dachshund with a leash that ends in a pneumatic pump handle. Kids feed molded-putty treats into the dog’s mouth, then pump the handle to watch them expelled beneath its wagging tail—to a barrage of farting sounds. The first player to scoop three poops wins.
3. Erwin the Little Patient: Germany
Children who want to be a doctor when they grow up will appreciate Erwin, a plush doll with Ziggy Stardust hair and a secret under his hospital gown.
Lift Erwin’s hem, unzip his apparently genderless torso, and voilà—out pops a series of organs and interconnected (kind of anatomically accurate) innards.
A set of bright blue lungs, spleen and a tangle of green intestines (both small and large), a pair of kidneys, and liver, and a red valentine-shaped heart are all attached to one another with color-coded Velcro strips.
4. Giant Microbes: UK
Germophobic parents might disapprove of these cute stuffed toys, which portray disease-bearing germs as cuddly and cute friends.
But while it may be unsettling to see your child snuggle up to a squiggly pink toy Syphilis; playhouse with fuzzy, tasseled E. coli; or have a tea party with Flesh Eating Bacteria (helpfully embroidered with a knife and fork), the microbes are undoubtedly helpful for educational purposes.
And they’ve been recognized by the New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
5. The Bristlebot: Canada
It’s a motorized head of a toothbrush. But this buzzing mini-bot has nothing to do with children’s teeth and anything dental.
Rather, it’s meant to be set on the floor, where it careens around like a caffeinated caterpillar, ricocheting off walls and furniture. The bot’s simple design elements (and high parental annoyance factor) are almost certainly why it’s so popular with kids; while there are premade bots available for purchase, there are also plenty of Internet videos showing how to make Bristlebots at home.
5. Titanic Inflatable Slide: China
Why show them a movie about the titanic when you can re-enact the epic tragedy in your own backyard?
Made in China but available for party rentals all over the world (with the exception of Switzerland, where it was called unethical by the national Titanic Club), the Titanic Inflatable Slide is a 33-foot-high, bouncy replica of the doomed steamship—tilted at a precarious angle to allow kids to plunge screaming from the decks. For extra realism, some models include an inflatable iceberg.
7. My First Bacon Talking Doll: Mexico
This huggable hunk of pork is a sure way to introduce kids to the joys of cholesterol-laden breakfast meat. Made of “velveteen flesh and super soft fleece fat,” My First Bacon—when loaded with batteries and squeezed—emits just a single, hypnotically spoken phrase from its moving robotic lips: “I’m Bacon.”