Hello, Killer

Look at her. You wouldn’t expect her to be a public menace.

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Public enemy number 1?

But recently McDonald’s recalled 2.3 million of the Hello Kitty Happy Meal toys because of one containing a whistle. Turns out it was a choking hazard. Because of reported incidents of choking, thankfully with no loss of life, the recall had to happen. So while the Hello Kitty figure above might seem like a fugitive from justice, she isn’t the one specifically described in the recall notice. You can see that notice here. But she has guilt by association.

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The real culprit

It’s sad, isn’t it, when something meant to bring joy to a child turns out to be harmful. Yet the toy as a harmful device can be found in the world of fiction also. The most effective villain is one you don’t see coming. Who would suspect a toy? Dolls/action figures seem to be the toys of choice when it comes to mayhem. Perhaps this is because some dolls look sort of creepy. Sorry to break this to you if you’re a fan, but I’m simply not a fan of the porcelain dolls so many people collect. They’ve always given me the creeps. Apparently, they scare others also.

I can’t help recalling “Invasion of the Secret Santas,” an episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold where an action figure every kid wanted for Christmas turned out to be a tiny robot programmed to steal from the families unfortunate enough to have one. Guess that’s what you would call a ho-ho-heist. (By the way, the Santas below are not the toys I just mentioned. I couldn’t find an image of those toys. But these robot Santas with their cheerful, porcelain faces and hidden bombs caused chaos also.)

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“Joy to the world! Your town is doomed!” Everybody sing! Or perhaps “You better watch out . . . Santa Claus is comin’ to town” is more appropriate.

Kim Possible, an old Disney show, had a similar premise in a movie release—So the Drama (2005)—where toys in the kiddie meals were evil robots.

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An episode of Twilight Zone from 1963 called “Living Doll” featured Talky Tina, a persistent doll who turned to murder when she took a dislike to someone.

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Creepy, isn’t she? You don’t want to make her angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry. (Hint to those who recognize that last statement. It’s from the old Incredible Hulk series from the late 70s/early 80s.)

You’re probably thinking of the Chucky horror movies right about now, aren’t you? They feature a doll possessed by the soul of a serial killer.

Stuffed animals also get their licks in. Let’s not forget the Toy Story movies, which had villainous toys as well as hero toys.

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Lotso the Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear had lots o’ attitude. You don’t want a hug from him.

Childhood fears have such power, don’t they? That’s why a toy as a villain has extra potency. It taps into the fears we remember. Better on screen though, than in real life. No child should have to fear being harmed by a toy.

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He looks safe. . . .

Batman: The Brave and the Bold image from ign.com. Talky Tina from examiner.com. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear from officialpsds.com. Kim Possible: So the Drama poster from disney.wikia.com.

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26 thoughts on “Hello, Killer

    • Ha, I was under mine too! My brother and I watched the Talky Tina episode one New Year’s Eve when the Twilight Zone marathon was on. That’s one of our favorite episodes. 🙂

  1. Possessed dolls are so classic. Though I tend to expect now. I want a story where the office Keurig is possessed by the ghost of a coffee-loving coworker who died at his desk. The coffee forces people to work until exhaustion, starvation, or whatever happens if they try to escape.

    • Okay, you made me laugh out loud!
      Is it me or has the coffee aisle at the supermarket been taken over by Keurig products? It’s like they assume that people are going to buy the Keurig coffee thingies. I can barely find regular coffee! The supermarket near me stopped stocking Swiss Miss cocoa (the regular 10 packet box) in favor of the Keurig Swiss Miss cocoa!

      • I’m not much of a coffee drinker, so I haven’t noticed. I wouldn’t be surprised though. It seems people assume everyone has jumped on the latest tech bandwagon. Kind of like how smartphones showed up and then people were surprised if you had a phone that didn’t access the Internet.

      • Before I succumbed to the iPhone, I was quickly weary of people telling me to get an iPhone or an iPad, especially since I couldn’t one at the time. I never like to push technology on anyone. Technology separates the haves from the have nots.

      • I finally got one a year ago and I’ll admit it’s handy, but a big reason for the push was to do ‘work’ when I was away from the computer. I hate typing on the thing, so I don’t see myself making large posts on the WordPress app or anything.

  2. Yes, people are freaked out by dolls and clowns and things that are supposed to entertain.
    I also thought of Gremlins. That little cute Mogwai, but get him wet, or feed after midnight….

    • A classic movie! The Furby toys look like gremlins (and also Ewoks). They’re creepy as well. I still have one in my closet. I took the batteries out, because it would sometimes talk in the middle of the night and freak me out.

  3. You could write a book on horror movie dolls. Trilogy of Terror with Karen Black comes to mind. I believe Stuart Gordon directed a movie called “Dolls.” Then there’s “Magic” with Anthony Hopkins.

    • I’m glad you brought up Trilogy of Terror. I was trying to remember the name of that show. Karen Black was the go-to woman back in the day for horror shows/films. I remember that doll running around, wreaking havoc.

  4. There’s an old doll of my Aunty’s that my cousin (now in her 305) still refuses to be in the name room as because it reminds her of Chucky. I’m not too bad with dolls, but clowns do freak me out a bit -Give me a Pierot over a circus clown any day

  5. I always feel this way about bad mothers in literature. They aren’t supposed to be bad, It isn’t natural. I’ve taken some grief from moms about the mother in my novel, but hey, there are some freaking bad moms out there. Why should they get a pass as villains?

    • Don’t forget “Mommy Dearest” herself–Joan Crawford whose awful antics were exposed in her daughter’s memoir. While moms are not expected to be bad, some are unfortunately. We see that in the news, with stories about moms who took the lives of their children. Horrible!

  6. Snowbabies, those little porcelain Dept 56 babies in snowsuits in the snow. I’ve always found those creepy instead of cute. They could be horror story villains too. A whole collection gone berserk.

  7. I find old fashioned dolls super creepy, all dolls for that matter. It’s their eyes. Worse even are the dolls where the kid has cut the hair off or that are half broken – those are nightmarish!

    • Yeah, they’re very creepy. A friend of mine found an old doll left behind in her new house. It was one of those old-fashioned dolls with huge eyes. It made us all shiver! So creepy!

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