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.
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):
- 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 this 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" or "Evil God Saber" 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 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. 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.
- 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.
- 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 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 them 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 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 mesothelioma, 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. Ashens takes a closer look/smell here.
- 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.
- In the summer of 2018, Ryan ToysReview got its own Ryan's World toyline. Ironically for a toy review channel, the toyline carried several serious quality flaws. Most of the toys would break or have their details rubbed off in a short while. The squishies gave off a revolting chemical smell reminiscent of a paint thinner. The "slime" was more of liquid and would stain everywhere. The putty also would stain. The beads in the molecule kit wouldn't stick together. The toys were overpriced, with each squishie costing $4 and a 10-inch plush $40. Many parents who bought the toys for their Ryan-loving kids were very disappointed and took off posting one-star reviews on Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
- Fallout 76 had a troubled launch, and definitely sparked some Internet Backdraft with the bag debacle, so it's anyone's guess whose idea it was to double down on shoddy merch with Nuka-Cola Dark. The ads depicted it as a pretty standard novelty nerd item: a reusable rum bottle in the shape of the Nuka-Cola glass bottles found ingame. What the promotional material left out was that it was actually just a plastic shell surrounding an ordinary glass bottle. The shell was easily broken and not properly seated, meaning using it to pour a glass usually led to spilling. The label came off if it got wet, which, being a drink bottle, happened often. The rum inside, by all accounts, tasted bad. On top of that, it only shipped after major delays, and it cost eighty dollars! Compared to some fanmade efforts that one can find on Etsy for under twenty dollars, it's nothing short of astounding that this saw release.