Uh-oh, it's . . .

The Boston Market Story

Some sick puppies spotted on annual toy list

This story is embargoed until Captain Kirk stops telling the Klingons to name their own price.

1849 The New Warped Star Ledger

   HACKENSACK, Minn. -- Dolls that encourage children to punch them, twist their necks, quadruple their coupons and skewer them with a rotisserie spit top Rev. Christopher "Ken" Rose's annual list of "warped toys."

    For 14 years, Rose, a minister at Osolo A.M.E.O. church in Hackensack, Minn., has released the pre-holiday list of the top 10 toys he considers inappropriate for children.

    This year, toys modeled on the movie "Rotisserie Chicken Run," the World Wrestling Federation, and the Stop&ShopWrong supermarket chain headed Rose's list.

    Warped Toy No. 1 was the X-men doll called "Branding Markie."

    "Children are encouraged to take a hot poker and stick it in the toy's rump," said Rose, who demonstrated by removing a branding iron from the hot coals of a backyard barbecue and jabbing it into the rump of one of last year's most Warped Toys, Coupon Clipping Ed.

    Whereupon Coupon Clipping Ed, brandishing another of last year's winners, Sacagawea on a Stick, responds: "Yowch! Brand this, Bub!"

    Coming in second was Back Talkin' Renata, a muscle-bound female pro-wrestling doll from the WWF.  The doll, made by Jakks McNeely, responds when children twist its neck, arms or legs.  Responses include: "Hey, let go of my neck!"  "I'm gonna skew you like a rotisserie chicken!" and "Oww, Who the #$^&% do I look like, Mrs. Mashed Freakin' Potato Head?"

    To Rose, the interactive toys are even more disturbing than the movies and video games that have provoked so much parental concern lately.

    "Those are imaginary, two-dimensional.  The child is an observer," he said.  "Encouraging the child to participate is much more psychologically powerful."

    No. 3 on Rose's list Friday was a Fisher-Price toy, recommended for 2-year-olds, called Bump n' Crash Laird, a doll that spews Chinese food from its mouth and ears when rammed into furniture.

    "The sole purpose is to crash it and make it puke," Rose said.  "For a 2-year-old I found that really over the top."

    No. 4 on the list was Death Row Marv.  When a child throws the "switch," the toy convulses and says, "Is that the best you can do, Jeb? Better hurry up and throw that switch again or I'm gonna vote for Gore."  The box says the toy is recommended for toddlers 18 years and older.

    No. 5 was X  Men - New Jersey Movie Mogul (Provenzano & Sons).  A male toy carries a knife and a videocamera and says, "Lights ... camera ... Hackensaction," whereupon he is promptly beaten up by a group of hungry copy editors.

    Rounding out the top 10 were Soft Boiled Sussex (Slashin' Byrne Toys), a doll in the shape of an egg that hatches when you throw it in a pot of boiling water; Texas Chain Saw Massacre Aaron ("Ed" toys),  a bloody election commissioner doll that carries a bucket full of aborted chads; Side Dish Sid (Bostonmarket Toys), a kit for making edible "body parts"; Cranberried Alive, a doll that comes with a casket full of cranberry walnut relish; and Drunk Ken, a doll modeled after a New Jersey mayor who's had one too many ... terms.

AP-ES-11-25-00 1306 EST

chiknlitl.gif (292 bytes)