NEW YORK, NY – Today marks the final day of the 109th annual American International Toy Fair at the state-of-the-art (for 1986) Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here in New York. For those of you not lucky enough to score highly-coveted credentials to this orgy of plastics and plushies through the usual toy mafia crime connections such as the Gundbinos, the Build-A-Bonanno family, or the Capo di tutti capi, Santa Claus himself, I was lucky enough to get a sit-down with some toy industry wiseguys who gave me the inside dope on this year’s crop of sports-themed amusements. Here’s a look:
The Game of Wife. This lively board game features scorned wives attempting to take their sports-personality husbands for all they’re worth. Players can be heard yelling such things as: “Oh no!, that daft British bird I’ve been rogering just talked to the New York Post” and “Yipee! Kim Kardashian and I just sold our wedding photos.“
Lintendo Happy Time Basketball Party. Experience the ultimate Far East fantasy as Asian-American hoopster Jeremy Lin tears his way through top-flight NBA competition like an appetizer order of spare ribs. Slam dunk on Blake Griffin, Karate chop Kobe and Laugh at LeBron as you bring greater glory to China and maybe even a highly improbable happy ending to the New York Knicks.
The Manuel 8 Ball. All of life’s mysteries are answered with two signature responses courtesy of former Mets managerial sage, Jerry Manuel. Is the Manuel 8 Ball fortune-telling fun for the whole family? “No question.” How much does it cost? “Next question.”
Super Jock Super Toe (Concussion Edition). Kicking long-ass field goals is pretty cool, but so is learning about the long-term effects of football-related brain trauma. With each blow to his head, your Super Jock Super Toe kicker will be forced to spend more and more time on the sideline to cope with nausea, double vision, and debilitating headaches. When he no longer remembers his name, it’s time to cut his helmet off (power saw battery not included) and call it a career.
Duck ‘Em F**k ‘Em Robots. Finally a toy that pacifist parents can give their children. Duck ‘Em F**k ‘Em Robots simulates all of the white-knuckled excitement associated with the ongoing Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight negotiations. Your kids will never lay a glove on one another as they learn essential press conference platitudes, boxing promoter arithmetic, and the timeless art of avoiding someone who aims to beat you senseless.
The Ricky Williams EZ Bake Oven. Hey, he’s retired and putting the “Bro” back in Hasbro. Take that Roger Goodell!
MLB Shrinky Dinks*. Speaking of ovens, kids will have hours of fun putting these inflated major league baseball-inspired creations in mom’s oven only to watch them come back out in their appropriate pre-steroid-era shapes and sizes. Characters include: Smidge Rodriguez, Meek Piazza, Jason Peambi, Barry Bones, A-Reed, and Scrawny Sosa. (*Warning: Toxic, if swallowed.)
That’s enough toying around for this week. Ram Rules is back tomorrow.