So, unofficially, the holiday season has begun. Christmas music in stores, Christmas decorations, Christmas commercials, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. I ducked into a Wal-Mart yesterday to use their facilities. When I was there, I remembered I needed yarn, and decided to save myself a trip. I wandered through the store and found the most ridiculous things that, I fear, will be significant pieces of the holiday game this year.
Among them was the creepy mechanical horse:
The reason it caught my eye was that as I was coming around a corner, I saw its tail swish. I thought "Oh, a big stuffed horse. Some kid must have brushed past its tail in passing."
Then it turned its head and looked right the fuck at me. I actually took a step back, it was so creepy. I could only take a quick, 15-second video with my camera. Wal-Mart (like all national chains) frowns upon in-store photography, so I had to be covert.
I can see the "neat-o" factor in the toy, but really - what does it do? I saw no evidence of it walking or doing anything remotely interesting, besides going through its pre-programmed twitching and whinnying. Turns out it's called the Fur Real Butterscotch Pony, and apparently it's been around for years. They have a whole line: Cuddling Chimp, some kittens, and even a polar bear.
All of which is a parent's way of saying, "I can't be bothered to give you unconditional love or to even hug you when you need it, so here is some fake fur and a bunch of batteries. I am giving you this in exchange for your love."
Not a new sentiment by any means, but this mechanical doll crap certainly adds an element of creepy that wasn't there before.