We’re living in an uncertain world, where even something as wholesome as lettuce, or Tide Pods, can be deemed unhealthy and dangerous to the public good.
With this in mind, it shouldn’t surprise you that I once again have a list of toys that were supposed to bring joy on Christmas morning and are instead making their way back to the assembly line, beginning with…
(1) Nova Scotia Do-It-Yourself Hospital Play-Set
Selling points: Impressionable tykes from Canada’s Ocean Playground got a close-up view of the busy lives and schedules of local medical professionals trying to ensure the people in their communities get the health care and emergency treatment they need.
Reasons for recall: Hospital play-sets ordered by customers in Antigonish and Inverness mysteriously arrived with one fewer surgeon than advertised; improper labelling meant consumers were unaware that Outpatients Doctor Dolls were sold separately, resulting in several toy ER shutdowns.
(2) Inverness County Council Carousel
Selling points: The unpredictable world of municipal politics was boiled down to bite-sized portions for young gift-getters who found this whimsical representation of “Canada’s Musical Coast” – and the people who run it – under their trees in December.
Reasons for recall: Faulty wiring in individual county councillor figurines resulted in frequent calls for Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie figurine to be removed from her carousel horse; children were confused when votes on removing the warden and deputy warden figurines simply resulted in the same people winding up on the same horses as beforehand; carousel kept spinning around and around without actually accomplishing anything.
(3) My Very First Pipeline
Selling points: Canadian children learned all about the cutthroat world of petrochemical development as they attempted to build a pipeline system stretching from coast-to-cast.
Reasons for recall: Price of individual pipeline parts skyrocketed exponentially following unexpected purchase of entire project by federal government; British Columbia pipeline portions suddenly failed to fit together with Alberta pipeline portions, despite bearing the same orange colour; chaos ensued when Peaceful Pipeline Protest Dolls (sold separately) were scattered by poorly-wired RCMP Riot Squad Action Figures (also sold separately).
(4) Hot Wheels “Destination Reeves Street” Track
Selling points: A Strait area spin on the long-running toy car line gave tiny tots a chance to build their own replica of Port Hawkesbury’s proposed main-street overhaul, including a three-lane road configuration and accompanying bicycle lane, and a connector lane to the product’s model of NSCC Strait Area Campus.
Reasons for recall: Badly-wired cars inexplicably started bolting through the Reeves Street track at speeds exceeding 150 kilometres per hour, particularly between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on weeknights; the product’s toy fire engines suddenly began to arrive with the words “Stop Destination Reeves Street” emblazoned beneath their hooks and ladders; track’s “Road Diet” component proved incompatible with company’s newest products, Councillor Blaine MacQuarrie Doll and Alana Paon MLA Action Figure.
(5) Atlantic Schooners CFL Mini-Stadium
Selling points: With a major-league football team sure to be announced for our region any day now, this whimsical stadium model gave tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to combine all the fun of sports with the shrewd financial acumen needed to fund a healthy franchise.
Reasons for recall: Mini-Stadium pieces could only be put together in dreary, out-of-the-way location not even remotely connected to actual vehicular traffic; Mini-Stadium set arrived without government funding commitments; CFL Player Dolls (sold separately) have yet to be manufactured and may never actually hit the shelves, or the gridiron.
(6) Build-Your-Own New Brunswick Minority Government
Selling points: What bright-eyed youth wouldn’t want to take on the challenge of creating a workable government from New Brunswick’s first minority legislature in decades?
Reasons for recall: Legislature play-sets delivered shortly before Christmas arrived without Liberal Leader Brian Gallant Doll, which had been promised to consumers in the package’s original advertising; poorly-constructed PC Leader Blaine Higgs Doll started wildly swinging axe at Government-Spending Play Money; assembly instructions for People’s Alliance of New Brunswick Dolls were available in English only.
(7) Tiny-Hands Trump Mexican Border Wall
Selling points: Young children learned the valuable skill of distracting from the real issues of the day by following the lead of their lovable Tiny-Hands Trump talking dolls, who encouraged them to blame foreigners for their troubles and to jump up and down, pound their fists and scream until they got their way.
Reasons for recall: Escalating price of Mexican Border Wall, retailing at $5.6 billion USD as of mid-January, proved cost-prohibitive for most parents; Tiny-Hands Trump doll kept bursting into flames when placed near Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer figurines (sold separately); sudden replacement of original border-wall segments with hastily-scribbled drawings of steel panels proved incapable of keeping even baby siblings, kittens and puppies from knocking over the entire border security system.