Horrible / Toys

"Titanium Megatron isn't even a toy. A toy is something that someone - even one person - can derive joy from. From design to engineering, concept, marketing, painting, functionality - in every possible aspect, this... thing is the physical embodiment of a disaster."
TJ Omega reviewing what he deems the worst Transformers toy ever.

While everyone has their different ideas of what's fun, sometimes a toy is just a bad idea waiting to happen. The mere lack of articulation doesn't make a toy horrible, as that's just too common. It takes some real ingenuity to make you truly regret a purchase.

As a general note, Jeepers Media and Ashens specialize in showing the worst toys the world had to offer. In fact, most of the toys listed here have been featured by them.

Important Note: Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.

Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):

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  • The Limited Edition Bravely Default Agnes figurine for the European and Japanese markets. Her eyes are lopsided and the overall paint job is terrible. In a subversion of Bad Export for You, the figurine's absence from the American version received little complaints, since it allowed gamers to get the game and the remaining Feelies for significantly cheaper. The Americans dodged the bullet with this one.
  • From the realm of anime/visual novel figurines comes the bootleg of the Clayz figurine of Saber, from Fate/stay night. Its eyes are just black and blue dots on white circles (and the right eye doesn't even have an iris!), and its mouth is just a black line. This Alternative Character Interpretation has come to be known as "Sader" among fans, featuring in fanart, doujinshi, and even cosplay.
    • Bootleg or knockoff toys are generally this until proven otherwise. Generally, the best you can hope for is that it'll at least be a passable substitute (or, like Sader, at least somewhat funny or unique in how much of a mess it is). It's considered extremely lucky to get your hands on a knockoff where all the joints still work, and the plastic is often so cheap that you can bend or break the toy just by squeezing it... spreading lots of tiny sharp choking hazards all over the floor...
  • The G.I. Joe Extreme line. A decidedly Dark Age-inspired take on the G.I. Joe franchise, the figures were widely criticized for their non-existent articulation, bad character design with Liefeldian muscles and facial expressions that made them look constipated, and poor gimmicks. Not helping matter, the line went with a 5" scale, making it incompatible with figures from both G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and the preceding Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles line (which was also suffered from the scale issue, but is otherwise considered to be decent). Extreme was a complete flop, lasting only two waves before being quietly canned. Robot Chicken pokes fun at the line here.
  • Out of all the lines of figurines amongst collectors, Mighty Muggs is one of the most reviled. Hasbro developed the line as super deformed characters in the vein of Funko's Pop! figures and Good Smile's Nendoroid figurines, minus what made those figurines good. Mighty Muggs primarily suffer from having the same body or head, just with a different paintjob. Sometimes they may have little accoutrements, but for the most part they're just repaints. Even then, the style is very unappealing for collectors as they often suffer from bizarre, often laughable faces and due to reused bodies, the characters often just look hideous. Poor Captain America has a hilariously oversized chin, The Thing looks constantly confused, and the less said about Chewbacca, the better. The only good part of the line was that people started customizing the toys with far better designs than the creators. But regardless, the brand was thankfully cancelled after a few lines. The line was resurrected in 2017 with a face-switching gimmick for each figure (to the point of giving Darth Vader an Expressive Mask), and didn't offer much improvement from the original incarnation otherwise.
  • The first line of Resident Evil action figures from the early 2000's were, to put it charitably, very lazily made. For background, each pack came with 2 figures (except the Tyrant figure, but more on him in a bit), usually a larger character or monster, and a smaller mini-monster. The Chris figure's arms would fall off if you so much as looked at them funny, because the socket in the shoulders was larger than the ball joint in the torso. The molds for the dog zombie's skin (a feature of the dog was that if you pushed his head down, he'd "explode") were not cut properly, so the pieces fit awkwardly. The Tyrant figure boasted a "deadly claw swipe" action, which amounted to a rubber band in his torso that would frequently come undone while in the package, as well as a beating heart action which amounted to nothing more than a button which would pump red liquid into a transparent plastic heart. Thankfully, they company got their act together with the next line (based on Resident Evil 2), which was far and away the superior toy line. In fairness, however, it must be pointed out that the detail work on the monsters was top notch throughout the entire line, even the disastrous series 1.
    • It should be noted that, among the older Resident Evil toys, these are the most common ones to find and are often the cheapest (Only the NECA line is more common and cheaper...and it's newer as well). Make of that what you will.
    • Here's a few reviews of the figures on Amazon.com. Even the positive reviews point out that the toys have major flaws.
  • Many Asian and German bootlegs/knockoffs. Such as Woodblockformers, anyone?
    • There was a wave of Deluxe Transformers (the 6 inch toys sold for approximately $13) made from upsized Legion figures (their budget line of simplified figures that sell for $5). Not only are the figures less detailed and screen-accurate than regular Deluxe Transformers, they actually have less articulation than the already limited Legion figures. It doesn't help that upscaling figure is very common practice among knockoff makers. These toys hit non-US buyers even harder, as the standard price for Deluxes can reach up to $30 or more in certain countries, so they get even less for their buck.
    • The Titanium series was one of the franchise's first efforts at a collector-focused line, promising obscure characters, little intrusive gimmickry, and the return of the much-loved die-cast metal construction. However, its development was outsourced to a branch of Hasbro that normally made metal statues, and consequently, many of their early figures basically were metal statues. The "collector-quality" paint washes were uneven and ugly, the articulation ranged from average to bizarre, with unusually small ranges of motion, and they cost fifteen bucks despite being the same size as a ten-dollar Deluxe-class. Transformations usually consisted of lying the figure down, with exposed hands and arms being the norm. The most infamous feature of the line, however, resulted from the metal itself. Not only did the metal weigh down joints, it also tended to wear down the softer plastic, creating figures that were, at best, floppy, and at worst, fell to pieces in a stiff breeze. Keep in mind that this line ran during the same year as the Classics line, often considered to be one of the best Transformers lines ever. The line picked up as time went on, but by the arrival of fairly decent figures like Cheetor or The Fallen, the damage had been done.
    • The Built to Rule line was a failed early attempt at re-imagining the Transformers brand as LEGO-like construction toys. Although the toys had to be taken apart to transform, they did have an inner armature of sorts called the "Trans-Skeleton" that could be folded up to act as a base for the vehicle modes or folded out to become a robot. Sadly, the idea to have these Transformers retain some actual transforming was one of the reasons why the line failed, as these Trans-Skeletons were horribly proportioned, with the figures having giant, junky midsections and minuscule, barely movable arms and oddly placed, spindly legs. The toys hardly looked anything like their actual transforming counterparts, and had masses of cluttered excess pieces stuck onto them in random places, or worse, left out pieces even if they could easily have been fitted into the toys — resulting in some truly ugly figures which were over-designed in some places and bare to the Trans-Skeleton in others. The line ran for a single year, with its second series (which was a drastic improvement) only receiving a limited release. Hasbro released Kre-O, their new foray into the world of constructible Transformers 8 years later, to great success this time.
    • The beast mode of Beast Machines Silverbolt was so laughable-looking, Hasbro themselves packaged the figure in robot-mode, even though the other similar-sized toys came packaged in their alternate-mode. That's meant to be a condor, by the way, a humanoid condor with clawed legs dangling in front of its wings, and a tubular robot-head coming out of its rear — this is especially strange, since the tiny head could easily have been concealed within the spacious torso, with the samurai bun-styled hairpiece blending in with the tail feathers in bird mode. The wings detach and split to form the tiniest, most pathetic sword imaginable, which the figure can't hold up due to its weight and to the arm joint having next to no friction. The wings can be put onto the robot's back for storage, but only upside-down. They could be folded up to look like a samurai robe, but they always stress against the legs due to being pre-bent. One of the main reasons why the figure is often regarded as one of the worst-ever Transformers is that Silverbolt never received another toy in the line, so the only physical representation of the cartoon's towering, awesome-looking warrior is this measly, garish red-blue freak who's smaller than all the other Maximals despite being the tallest in the show. The Japanese version was at least somewhat accurate in its colors. Rumor has it the figure was originally meant to be a gryphon, which would explain why it has four legs as a condor. The fact that it has no knees as a robot and that the robot feet have an extra transformation step which isn't used in either configuration (this does allow him to have knees at the cost of the feet's stability) also reveal that the toy was only halfway through its design phase when released.
      • And bear in mind, this is not only from a toyline that's not just universally reviled amongst the fandom due to its inaccuracy to the show, and the general quality its Basic-class figures overallnote . But also from the same line that introduced the short-lived "Supreme" sub-line- A series of figures that were supposed to be more show accurate to its counterparts, yet failed hard. Case in point: Supreme Cheetor. A figure hyped up by Hasbro themselves to be as show accurate as possible. Only it was hindered by its obtrusive gimmicks (which affected arm articulation horribly); butt-ugly design; a completely inaccurate color scheme (his normally purple spots became black, and he suddenly sported green abs with no explanation) and a complete inability to stand under its own power. Needless to say, the experiment bombed, and the figure was clearanced almost immediately after its release.
    • Most of the figures reviewed and comically ridiculed by TJ Omega's Plastic Addict series are borderline examples that aren't bad enough to fit onto this page. But some, like the entries on his top 5 worst-ever list are (all the usual suspects are present: Titanium, Built To Rule as well as figures with intrusive gimmicks, faulty materials, and just plain shoddy designs). Likewise, most of the Animorphs tie-in toys released under the Transformers banner are generally despised, as they are badly designed in both of their modes: ugly animals with human-bits sticking out and vice-versa. Transforming robots that incorporate animal-parts into their designs can get away with this, but feathers, talons, claws and such look decidedly off on a human. The alien toys were a bit better, thanks to no human parts hanging off.
  • An official product, Mos-Kos, or what fans called "Evil God Kos-Mos", from the special edition version of Xenosaga: Episode II. Notable failures include badly sculpted face and an incredibly awkward pose that cannot be altered. The only cool thing about it was the motorcycle it came with.

    Other Toys 
  • The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, released circa 2007, which included powders for children to analyze fingerprints with that were found to contain alarming levels of asbestos. Since inhalation of it can lead to respiratory problems, including lung cancer, the kit was almost immediately recalled.
  • The Evilstick (sic). At first glance, it looks like an ordinary cheap-looking bootleg toy, complete with an infringing image of Cardcaptor Sakura on the package. The package claims to "send out wonderful music" when the toy actually plays a creepy laugh. And worst of all, some have a photograph of a demonic-looking girl slitting her wrist with a knife hidden behind the foil.
  • Breath Blasters, a novelty toy from the 1980s which were designed to spray horrible scents in people's faces. Obnoxious premise aside, the packaging claimed that the material used in making the scents were non-toxic, which was untrue, as large amounts of the vapours could lead to poisoning. There were also many reports of people actually getting ill over long exposure to them, leading to the toys to be banned.
  • Flubber, a Silly Putty-like mixture of synthetic rubber and mineral oil released by Hasbro in 1963 to promote the film Son of Flubber. A poor mixing of the combination was extremely toxic, though, as was the first batch released to the public, and many who played with it came down with serious fevers and rashes. Hasbro immediately recalled the Flubber and prepared to dispose of it. However, when the company tried burying the stuff at sea it floated to the top, and when they tried burning the goop it wouldn't ignite (plenty of noxious black smoke, though). Eventually, Hasbro buried what remained near their Rhode Island factory, and paved a parking lot over it. An Urban Legend claims that if you look closely at the cracks in that parking lot on hot days, you can see the Flubber oozing up.
  • The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Laboratory was a standard toy lab set sold in the early 50s, except for one catch: it contained actual samples of uranium (the metallic and radioactive element from our periodic table). It wasn't actually recalled - it was so expensive to make (considering the price of a fissile material that you could make a homemade bomb with if you bought enough of them) that the toy company considered it a liability and stopped making it, according to QI.
  • The 2003 Powerpuff Girls Girl's Makeup Kit, which contained pink lotion that was contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, not something you're going to want your little girl to be slathering on her face, as it can be deadly for children with damaged immune systems, and even in a healthy child can lead to eye abscesses, ear infections and, in rare cases, meningitis. Sounds more like a evil plot by the Amoeba Boys than a kid's toy.
  • In August of 2016, during its big marketing push for The Olympics in Rio, McDonald's sold the STEP iT! Activity Band in its Happy Meals across North America in an attempt to encourage kids to exercise more by measuring how many steps they take. Unfortunately, the product was so cheaply made that many kids (over 70, to be precise) reported suffering skin irritation from wearing the things with at least seven receiving burns and blisters, forcing McD's to recall the product within eight days of its launch.
  • The Wubble Bubble Ball is an exercise on why you shouldn't stretch claims you make on the box. This giant inflatable bubble-like ball has a very appealing advertisement that repeatedly makes note of the fact that it's very durable and easy to inflate. Unfortunately, many parents of dismayed children beg to differ—the ball supposedly takes 2-3 minutes to inflate, but to many people, is so frustrating it can take a half-hour, and once you do get the ball inflated, it's as brittle as an actual bubble—it can pop and get holes even when it's merely on grass. Plenty of parents have took to Amazon to state their frustrations with the Wubble. Partly infamous is the fact that there have been numerous Wubble-related toys and redone versions of it released...and according to customer reviews they never improve.
    • Commercials for the Wubble Bubble Ball can be seen on TV, showing children so happy they may have been drugged bopping the Wubble Bubble back and forth enthusiastically, and even sitting on them. However, if you pay attention, there's a half-second shot of the Wubble Bubble popping on some thorns with the narrator quickly blurting "keepitawayfromsharpthings," presumably so Wubble Bubble's creators have some contradictory claims in case of a suit.