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Horrible / Toys

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"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. If a parent ever buys such a toy for their child, it's sure to ruin their every birthday or Christmas. 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 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 last wave of Beast Hunters Deluxe-class figures is infamously formed by upscaled versions of the Legion class figures from that line's first wave note . Not only are the figures less detailed and show-accurate than regular Deluxe Transformers, they actually have less articulation than the already-limited Legion figures. It doesn't help that upscaling figures is a 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. Great idea, but development was outsourced to a branch of Hasbro that normally made metal statues, and consequently many of the early figures basically are metal statues. The "collector-quality" paint washes are uneven and ugly, the articulation ranges from average to bizarre with unusually small ranges of motion, and they cost $15 despite being the same size as a $10 Deluxe-class. Transformations usually consist 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 does the metal weigh down joints, it also tends to wear down the softer plastic, creating figures that are at best floppy and at worst fall 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 have to be taken apart to transform, they do have an inner armature of sorts called the "Trans-Skeleton" that can 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 is one of the reasons why the line failed, as these Trans-Skeletons are horribly proportioned, with the figures having giant, junky midsections; minuscule, barely-movable arms; and oddly-placed, spindly legs. The toys look very little like their actual transforming counterparts, and have masses of cluttered excess pieces stuck onto them in random places, or worse, leave out pieces even if they could easily have been fitted into the toys - resulting in some truly ugly figures which are overdesigned 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, eight years later, to great success this time.
  • The beast mode of Beast Machines Silverbolt is 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 - which 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 the figure's arm joint having next to no friction. The wings can be put on the robot's back for storage, but only upside-down. They can also be folded up to look like a samurai robe, but this causes them 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 is 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.
    • Bear in mind, this is not only from a toyline that's universally reviled amongst the fandom due to its inaccuracy to the show, and the general quality (or lack thereof) of its Basic-class figures note , but also from the same line that introduced the short-lived "Supreme" sub-line - a series of figures that are supposed to be more show-accurate than its counterparts, yet fail hard. Case in point: Supreme Cheetor, a figure hyped up by Hasbro themselves to be as show-accurate as possible...only it's hindered by its obtrusive gimmicks (which affect arm articulation horribly), butt-ugly design, completely inaccurate color scheme (his normally-purple spots are black, and he's suddenly sporting 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 relegated to bargain bins almost immediately after its release.
  • 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 Deluxe Tobias is particularly notable, given the extensive amount of clothing on the human mode that is very poorly hidden on the hawk mode, to the point that he tries to conceal his bright gold shirt by covering it up with his legs. Needless to say, it still looks like a hawk wearing a shirt, only now it has human legs and feet on it, complete with jeans and laced-up shoes. The alien toys were a bit better, thanks to no human parts hanging off, but the clumsy designs and weird color choices still hit a lot of them. The line did so poorly that the later waves had to be reworked into the Mutant Transformers, which, while not great, weren't quite as disastrous. If there's any upshot, it's that this line technically set the stage for later, more well-received crossover toys.
  • Transformers Armada had some stinkers, as many of the figures sacrificed the excellent articulation of previous lines to shoehorn in the Mini-Con gimmick. However, there is one standout terribad figure: Side Swipe. Not to be confused with the G1 character, this is a character who as New Meat is already annoying, but his toy... wow. Just look at the robot mode: Incredibly limited articulation, his arms don't even look like arms, his car parts just sort of... hang off him, and he comes with the impressively bad Nightbeat, who turns from a motorcycle to a motorcycle on legs. What makes this one particularly baffling is that the toy was redecoed or remolded three times as Treadshot, Oil Slick, and Runamuck, meaning fans got to experience the wonder of this guy three years in a row (and Runamuck omitted his Mini-Con, adding a gutted gimmick on top of all the above nonsense).
  • Power Core Combiners Double Clutch. Power Core Combiners was a divisive line, with some fans not liking the fact that the limbs don't transform, but others appreciated it and thought that many of the figures were fine Scout-class figures in their own right. Double Clutch was not one of those. Aside from the boring (and impressively out-of-scale) drones, the figure is riddled with design flaws leaving its robot and torso modes both floppy messes, falling down immediately if not falling apart entirely. Newer batches of the set received several running changes to amend the instability, but finding one with these improvements can be a gamble. Even so, Double Clutch and the Rallybots are still a fairly unremarkable set.
  • Transformers: Prime gave the near-universally-reviled Deluxe Airachnid. While the tiny Legion figure is actually enjoyable, the Deluxe figure barely has any more usable articulation (with most joints being blocked by her kibble), an unfun transformation, ridiculous weapons, and weird-looking hands. All that, and she's tiny to boot.
  • The entirety of the Scout Class toys in Transformers: Cyberverse: While the Cyberverse toyline often sacrifices articulation for the sake of gimmicks, like Armada before it, most of the gimmicks are tolerable at worst and don't completely ruin the figures. Not so with the Scout Class toys. All of the lineup's toys consist of "transformational modes", which are half-robot, half-vehicle hybrids when transformed. While the Starscream, Slipstream, and Windblade toys are forgivable (as their modes are a nod to Gerwalk forms), the rest of them are completely laughable (Scraplet notwithstanding).

  • The Limited Edition Bravely Default Agnès figurine for the European and Japanese markets. Her eyes are lopsided and the overall paint job is terrible. In an inversion 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. America dodged the bullet with this one.
  • 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 nonexistent articulation, bad character design with Liefeldian muscles and facial expressions that made them look constipated, and poor gimmicks. Not helping matters, 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 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.
  • 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. Unlike those brands, however, 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 2000s were, to put it charitably, very lazily made. For background, each pack came with two 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, the company got their act together with the next line (based on Resident Evil 2), which was far and away superior. 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 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. Even the positive reviews point out that the toys have major flaws.
  • 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 a badly-sculpted face and an incredibly awkward pose that can't be altered. The only cool thing about it was the motorcycle it came with.
  • Another official product, the High-Grade Universal Century 1/144 RX-78AN-01 Gundam AN-01 "Tristan" Gunpla from Mobile Suit Gundam Twilight Axis. In-series, the "Tristan" was built from the remains of the RX-78NT-1 Gundam NT-1 "Alex" from Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket. Apparently, Bandai decided to do the same with its model. The end result is a 2017 model using 2004 parts, and had the articulation to match. While it isn't uncommon for Gunpla to reuse old runners, as many of the Gundam Build Fighters-based series have done, Bandai got lazy and reused the A-Runner from the old kit. The problem is that this is the runner that defines the kit's articulation. The Tristan actually lost functionality compared to the original Alex, as it couldn't hold its beam rifle well (which is also inexplicably incorrectly colored, something Bandai can do because the HGUC Nu Gundam is identical and color-accurate), no longer had the snap-on Chobham Armor, and couldn't use the Alex's signature wrist-mounted gatlings. All this and the figure's MSRP was higher than the Alex.
  • The OG of bad Gundam kits is the Gundam GP01 Zephyranthes from Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. It's molded in only two colors, lacks stickers to even try to fix that, has meh articulation, limited weapons, and it can't even hold said weapons that well. Compared to kits released years earlier (including the original RX-78NT1 Alex), the kit was garbage. The idea of a flagship model from a new series being such a downgrade is laughable.
  • The final wave of pre-revival BIONICLE toys, the Stars, is a line where even the most charitable appraisals of it tend to involve the words "they did their best with what they were given." However, those appraisals will give very little quarter to Gaardus, the wave's combiner model. On top of looking absurdly ugly, by way of being six different sets (already flawed in their own ways) with wildly different colors mashed together, with a tiny body and a haphazard collection of arms and legs, the set is also incredibly rickety and unbalanced, and fairly stiff due to an excess of pre-posed limbs. But what puts it here is the fact that the Stars wave was notorious for frail joints and low-quality plastic, such that assembling the involved figures normally can be somewhat risky. Trying to put all six together, and demand the joints bear a much larger weight than intended, means that building Gaardus will almost invariably break at least one of the pieces involved, and more likely several. Even if Gaardus had one of the best designs in the franchise, he'd be doomed by the fact that building him involves the potential for permanently damaging every toy involved. Watch Eljay of The TTV Channel rip into it here.

    Other Toys 
  • Due to international manufacturing issues, it is common for dangerous chemicals to be snuck onto products undetected, sometimes forming naturally, sometimes through defects, and sometimes through sheer malice. For one, asbestos, which managed to get into more than one completely unrelated toy.
    • The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, released around 2007, which included powders for children to analyze fingerprints with that were found to contain alarming levels of the stuff, including tremolite — reported to be one of the more dangerous forms of asbestos. Since inhalation of it can lead to respiratory problems, including mesothelioma, the kit was almost immediately recalled via a class action lawsuit, as the company that made this, Planet Toys, refused to recall it themselves as they hoped it would sell on Christmas.
    • In mid-2019, child star Jojo Siwa (of Dance Moms fame) released her own Claire's Jojo Siwa makeup set. The big issue was the fact that the kid-oriented cosmetics also contained it, which can cause incredibly harmful side effects as mentioned above. Especially considering, being a makeup set, kids were supposed to put it on their faces. The product was swiftly taken off store shelves, and the recall slightly hurt Siwa's reputation.
  • 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. Worst of all, some versions of the toy have, hidden behind the foil, stolen artwork from Butcher Ludwig of a demonic-looking little girl slashing her wrists with a butcher's knife. This is part of the toy's gimmick, with some Evilsticks coming with creepy images and creepy laughter, while others actually come with nice music and an anime character. Phelous covers this toy in a two-part Bootleg Zone episode here and here.
  • Breath Blasters, novelty toys 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 vapors could lead to poisoning. There were also many reports of people actually getting ill over long exposure to them, leading to the toys being banned. Ashens takes a closer look/smell here.
  • Flubber, a Silly Putty-like mixture of synthetic rubber and mineral oil released by Hasbronote  in September 1962 to promote the upcoming 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 kept claiming innocence, and even the FDA told people to stop worrying, but the case numbers kept increasing until Hasbro, still under public pressure, recalled the Flubber on May 1, 1963, and prepared to dispose of it, but that was an uphill battle. First, they tried the local landfill, but they told the company to shove off. Then they tried burying the stuff at sea, but it floated to the top. Then, 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 still see the Flubber oozing up through them.
  • 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 didn't last very long on the market. It wasn't actually recalled, though - 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. It remains a cautionary tale to just how ignorant people were about how dangerous radiation actually is during the atomic craze of The '50s. PhantomStrider unsurprisingly considers it the most dangerous toy to ever come out in history, with the Gilbert Glass Blowing set released back in 1909 as a close second.
  • In August 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 the restaurant 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 in reality it can take a frustrating half-hour. Plus, 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 took to Amazon to state their frustrations with the Wubble. Particularly 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.


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