Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 4, 2012

Nightmare Fodder: Children’s Toys

Scare Bear

If you were able to look at that and not wet yourself, you are a much better, stronger, braver person than I am, my friend.

My niece got this thing for Christmas and at first (read: when it was still flat and harmless) it seemed like a pretty innocuous child’s toy.

Then we blew the sumbitch up.

First and foremost, I’ve got a bad lung. I tried to blow it up and I’m fairly sure I died two or three times in the process. That alone caused a bit of animosity between me and the bear.

Luckily, my Mama found an air pump (somewhere between my second and third deaths) and we blew this sucker up.

Once he was fully-inflated, it all become very clear that this wasn’t just some run-of-the-mill child’s toy. You see, that’s when it looked me right in the eyes and stole my f’n soul.

Seriously, is this not the scariest f’n thing you have ever seen?

This thing is the devil incarnate.

My Pappy was playing with my niece and peering it around corners and up over the side of chairs and couches and it was all I could do not to scream like a small child myself and run off crying.

This damn thing is the stuff nightmares are made of, folks. I can imagine this sucker just peering up over the edge of the bed in the middle of the night.

Nothing but his crazy eyes staring at me.



It’s twisted stuff, y’all.

Now I gotta know if I’m alone on this one…is this thing scary or not?


  1. its sleeping in your bed right now…..

    • f’n scary!

    • Hahahaha so at first I was like “Oh a panda ” then you said ‘crazy eyes ‘ and peering around corners ‘. So I scrolled up for a second look and just about peed. It’s creepy!

  2. its seems like a mutation of a panda, mickey mouse , cow and an ugly sx toy lol

    • That observation is enough to make me seriously worried about the folks who manufacture toys for a living.

  3. Please don’t view this as icky and gratuitous self-promotion, but instead a common interest in the bizarre: I’m confident you’ll completely relate to the creepy/scary/unbelievable contents of this recent post:

    Had I seen your toddler toy, it would have TOTALLY made my compilation!

    LOVE this post — now I’m off to explore your Blogroll…

    • Wow, yeah the Panda of Doom would have fit in pretty well with the gun-toting duck and the creepy clown man.

  4. Ooooh! Huggy Bear just wants to give you a great big ol’ bear hug! And eat your brain. Have you seen his best friend, Elf on a Shelf?

    • Wowza, I just Googled “Elf on a Shelf” and that is all-kinds of messed up. Definitely goes hand-in-hand with the creepy bear.

  5. LOL. It’s scary.

  6. Sure, I’d agree that it’s scary. Of course, kids are great at making scary things themselves:

    • You aren’t messing around, that may be the freakiest Rapunzel picture I’ve ever seen.

  7. My two youngest cousins also received ridiculously scary presents for christmas: two chuckie-like dolls that belong in some kind of haunted castle. I would not like to come across them in the dark!

    • Sometimes I wonder if maybe there should be some serious psych evaluations done on the cats who apply to work for toy companies. The number of absolutely frightening toys on the market is mind-boggling.

  8. That thing is pretty creepy – too happy almost sinister – ha! It is like that clown on the USPS commercials – hate, loathe, hate CLOWNS!!! Thanks for a laugh – Congrats on being FP!

    • Thanks! It feels good to finally crack the front page!

      I agree, the smile is really what gets me. He’s totally got “super villain” written all over that face.

  9. Dunno if I would have thought so on my own but when you point it out, hand in hand with your hilarious narrative, yes, creepy it is.

    • Yeah, on the surface he’s easy to disregard, but then you realize the eyes are following you and it clicks that he’s totally possessed. Luckily, he doesn’t have any appendages like “Chucky” did, so he’s largely harmless.

      Thanks for the comment, by the way!

  10. The toy does not make sense. Balls in the belly? What the?!

    • I think that’s one of the perks of being a toy designer for kids who are 3 or under, basically it just has to make noise, be colorful and (hopefully) be able to withstand getting manhandled on a daily basis.

      Logic on the other hand serves zero purpose. Perhaps I’m in the wrong line of work?!

  11. I agree…that bear is very scary! Like the Teletubbies my little sis fell in love with when she was little! Your description also reminded me of the inflatable pilot in “Airplane”….very funny, creepy stuff!
    Can’t wait to check out the rest of of your blog!

    • Teletubbies were super weird too. Something about not being able to identify what the heck they’re supposed to be always bugged me.

      Enjoy the rest of the blog, hope you dig it.

      • Teletubbies make all my small hairs stand up, even when they’re standing still. My kids once set all the Teletubby dolls in a display off at the same time, and people were actually fleeing the store.
        The store still won’t let us come back.


      • Teletubbies are so weird to me simply because I can’t mentally place what the hell they’re supposed to be. They’re sorta like bears, but not really. They’re sorta like big babies, but not really. They’re sorta like TVs with odd geometrically-shaped antennas, but not really.

        Freaks me out.

  12. He is pretty scary! Having worked in the UK toy trade for many years I thought I had seen it all but this is a new one on me – I am most scared of the lifelike dolls you can get – I swear most them are chucky like and will come alive in the night and strangle me in my bed!!!
    Thank the lord I have a son – so no dolls and he is nearly 6 so less freakyness in the toys – I am living in a world of lego that I keep standing on though!!!
    A x

    • I suppose the one upside is that if the panda does come to life, he doesn’t have any worthwhile appendages to try and go on a killing spree.

  13. I’m weirdly creeped out by the see through window and the balls inside.

    • I know, right?! It’s like they went ahead and made the creepy panda and then decided at the last minute that it needed just a little something extra to make it even more unsettling.

  14. It’s scary! Maybe not as bad as the baby my daughter sleeps with that has one blinking eye, but it’s scary.

    • Ewwww…baby toys always freak me out. Especially the ones that are supposed to be life like with the blinking eyes and the crying and stuff. Something so very, very weird about ‘em.

  15. Reminiscent of “IT” the clown…………Deflate and re-gift immediately

    • I feel like if you re-gift it, it just unleashes the evil upon another household.

      I think this is a Ouija board type of thing where you gotta burn it to cast away the evil spirits or something…or at least give it to someone you don’t like.

  16. I can’t believe the vote is almost 50/50. Obviously half the population will be taken in by its seemingly playful smile.

    • I gotta agree, it is mind-boggling the number of people who won’t be having nightmares about this thing tonight. Granted, it just means that the bear already got to ‘em…poor, poor lost souls.

  17. Honey Badger may not care, but Inflatable Panda will steal your frackin’ soul. Great stuff, my friend.

    • I question whether honey badger would even have a shot against this sucker or if he’d just back off to fight another day.

  18. Lol, weird yes, scary no, but I might change my mind if it was watching me across a darkened room.

    You’ve reminded me of scary toys I had growing up. The ones that were meant to be cute and cuddly but had hard black reflective eyes were the worst. I remember those eyes following me around the room. *shudder!

    • I’m like 90% sure that all toy designers are actually serial killers.

      It just makes way too much sense, right?!

  19. It’s kinda goofy looking not scary at all, but then again I am nt scared of too may things,

    funny post and congrats on being fp
    Be A DJ

    • You might change your tune if you were stuck in a dark room with that thing. Just sayin’…

      Thanks for the congrats!

  20. It would help to know how big that thing is, but even so, yep, scary.

    • I want to say it’s like 3 feet tall or something. Tall enough that if it decide to magically spring to life, I’d be heading for the hills.

  21. Hahaha, at least he’s got some balls!
    And no, not creepy or scary at all. Just stooopid! I mean, something that you could just poke with a needle and thus totally destroy, nah, that’s got a scare factor of -27.
    Fun read though, and congratulations on the FP honours.

    • …I wish the whole “stick it with a needle” thing had popped into my head at any point.

      I guess when you’re locked up in paralyzing fear, the most common sense ways of defeating your inflated enemy are easy to overlook.

      thanks for stopping by!

  22. Pandas are only scary if they aren’t fed a steady diet of candy and hugs.

  23. Panda Express new mascot? … lol


    • Not unless they want to scare off any potential customers!! ;-)

  24. The bear called me, he asked if you would be home alone tonight.

    • I’m not gonna lie, that figures to keep me up all night, with a bat in one hand and some pepper-spray in the other. Not that I’m entirely sure he’d be fazed by pepper-spray?! But it seems like it’s worth a shot.

  25. Devil panda!

  26. super creepy! my son has a few toys that have mysteriously vanished…because they creeped me out. eyes that watched me, or noises that freaked me out, or sharp edges or little pieces that gave me anxiety about his well-being. some toys were just better left unmade.

    • I guess that is one perk with little kids, you can usually make things disappear and it is a very “out of sight, out of mind” kinda thing.

  27. Too funny! My daughter would scare our parakeet with it. :)

    • I assume any animal that values its soul would be freaked out being near that thing.

  28. Those aren’t balls in its belly. They’re nice round souls.

  29. that’s why god invented BB guns.

  30. I could picture this guy as one of Lots-O-Huggins Bear’s henchmen in Toy Story 3. The worst part is definitely the eyes… The way they point in slightly different directions, as if they have the ability to watch you from the front AND the back at the same time.

    And the multi-colored balls through a clear plastic window? Is that a way to beckon prey (i.e. children) into its stomach??

    • I know, right?! The whole thing is some sort of gigantic, hella-creepy booby trap of doom.

  31. Definitely not what I would want to see on xmas morning. You do realize that the only thing that can overcome such evil is a puppy. The freaky bear has no defences against those needle sharp teeth.

    • That’s not a bad idea. I wonder how my brother would feel about me suddenly gifting a couple of puppies to his daughters to do my dirty work for me and kill this thing off?!

      I feel like he’d be less than excited.

  32. Hilarious! The thing I hate is a doll without a face. I remember several family friends having those weird rag dolls that were displayed hunched over a bed or cedar chest, chair, what have you….
    The dolls are face-down. FOR A REASON…..because they have no face. Just blank fabric. I seriously couldn’t sleep at a friend’s condo once because the guest room featured on of these terrible dolls.
    Keep writing!

    • Faceless dolls?!

      Undoubtedly that shall haunt me dreams this evening.

  33. I have 3 kids and that shit definitely scares me! My kids would love it though. I would ‘accidentally’ find a way to pop it. “Oh-oh, he’s broken, time to go in the garbage!”

    Congratulations on making freshly pressed!

    • I contemplated the merits of it having an “accident”…but my niece was ALL ABOUT IT. Hopefully she’ll have moved on to something else the next time I’m home and it can disappear…granted, I’d have to make the kill during the day…preferably with witnesses around, on the off-chance it decides to fight back.

      Thanks for the congrats!

  34. We have almost the same toy… except ours is a penguin. Slightly less scary but still freaks me the frick out.

    • I hear that, after getting the panda my niece decided she wanted the ENTIRE FREAKIN’ SET of these things. Penguin, monkey, serial killer, etc…all of ‘em. There’s no way I can go home again if those things are hanging around, just waiting to kill me like a gang of inflatable, wide-eyed savages.

  35. Okay… Pandas were really cute for me… until I saw that THING you took a picture of. Lol. It’s quite creepy if you do imagine it somewhere along the lines of “Child’s Play.” Oh! I don’t even want to imagine it coming alive at night or when you have your back turned… *shudder*

    • I know, right?! That thing is a TOTAL game-changer when it comes to pandas.

      The entire time I was home, that thing had to be downstairs, turned toward a corner with a bag over its head so I could sleep at night…on the other side of a locked door, of course.

  36. It has balls rattling around in its see-through crotch.
    ‘Nuff said.
    Scary. And creepy.

  37. Reminds me of those punching bag blow up toys (used to have a similar one when I was young). Give it a few punches and you’ll see it ain’t so scary. ;)

    • Except that it keeps coming back for more…and always with these wide eyes and creepy expression.

      Heck, that’d probably make it even more scary!

  38. ı got the similiar one :)

    • So then you have the same trouble sleeping at night without fear of being murdered?! :-/

  39. Funny post…. My daughter had some Monster High (kindof vampire Barbie) and asked us to hide it from her at night!

    • That’s awesome.

      I hope you’d occasionally sneak it back into her room at night…set it on a bedside table or something…you know, because one of the biggest joys of parenthood is having the ability to totally psyche-out your kids.


  40. I have a one year old boy and have loads of trouble trying to find toys that don’t scare the doo-doo out of me. Since I saw Bill and Ted’s Bogus Adventure as a kid, those toys with the nasty plastic faces have freaked me out (you know the Easter Bunny scene) and this “panda” is reminiscent of that. I have never looked at the easter bunny in the same light since that film. Lol

    • Pretty much all toys for kids three and under are absolutely terrifying…but little kids can’t really tell how scary that stuff is. They just see colors and giggle, all the while I’m too dang scared to get within ten feet of the dang things. It’s just not fair.

  41. There are v few freakier things than the faces on toys and the positions of their limbs. Your wonder example’s intestines truly finish it off. Can I assume that it made rolling and other such like noises when moved/shaken? What in all the world the designer thought was appealling about this little monster I cannot begin to imagine. On the more reasonable side, what appears cute to one part of the world can be totally off-putting to other societies: so where was this thing made, for G’s sake?

    • I can only assume this would say “Parts Unknown” if I tried to figure out where it’s from.

      There’s no way the folks behind this kind of monstrosity want to be located.

  42. I was never fond of stuffed dolls or these kind of toys .. They just creep me out .. I think it is because of watching a lot of chucky – inspired movies :) Also my sister ruined it for me when I was little.. She said “If you get yourself become closer to a doll it will possess you ” and I was like “Oh my god !!” .. Ever since I’m always quite tetchy around dolls :)

    Nice post ! Btw, that doll is actually quite scary !

    • The Chucky moves ruined dolls and all even remotely life-like toys for a whole generation of people.

      To this day I’m pretty much certain that every toy with arms is waiting to stab me, it makes a trip through the kids section of Target absolutely terrifying!

  43. I wonder if any stories scared us, and we jut don’t remember it?

    • That’s a good call, I’m sure if I looked back on a lot of my childhood toys, I’d find them equally freaky as an adult.

  44. Scary beyond belief!
    And similar to the bizarro kids swing toy I photographed on a playground last winter.
    The text in the blog linked below is in Swedish, but it more or less says that I have not done any editing to the image, and that some genious toy-designer must have thought it was a great idea putting red reflectors in the wooden swing-Pandas eyes…

    • Holy crapsticks! That thing is EVERY kind of terrifying.

      Toy designers may be the worst people of all-time.

  45. Are those hard balls in its transparent tummy? And why? What do they mean? This totally looks like some weird Japanese shiat. It’s not so much that it is scary…not like one of the Monkey Shines symbol clapping toy, it’s just puzzling.

    • I think a lot of the fear is derived from my lack of understanding. The balls could represent trapped souls or lives taken or they could just be balls so that he makes an ominous noise whenever he moves. Either way it is very unnerving.

      • OMG! The balls inside the scary ass f’n bear represents trapped souls!!! The friggin’ thing just became even MORE scary!

      • I know, right?!

  46. I wouldn’t mind having my cat tear that thing to bits. You can just imagine those eyes and that head turning around to face you. I suppose that now I’ve seen someone can get freaked out by a toy, my fear of clowns isn’t abnormal?

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!


    • Clowns are legit scary. I still don’t understand who in their right mind thought kids would be entertained by something so creepy.

      Thanks for the congrats!

  47. Kill it! Kill it with fire!

    My daughter got something similar a while back. It was all fun and games until she pushed it, and realized that sucker could push back. The amount of tears that flowed forth was most impressive.

    • My only hope is that the fire would be enough to kill the evil that undoubtedly lurks within this beast.

  48. Too funny!!!

  49. [...] I came across a fun item on a blog ( concerning the appearance of children’s toys, citing a particular example received this [...]

  50. That is freaky. I’m curious about the kid’s reaction. My daughter got a freaky Christmas toy that I thought would make her scream. Instead she’s in LOVE. Huh. Interesting.

    (will be showing photos on the blog later)

  51. From a toy stand point, I think creepy is the word you’re looking for – scary just doesn’t do it for me. When I think scary I think “OMG, what the hell were they thinking giving this to a toddler?” My daughters have plenty of creepy toys – like that Furreal Pet Cookie – it makes noises if you don’t play with it. Like hissing noises. Scary shit in the dark. But, hey it’s a dog and they like it.

    But yeah, creepy man, definitely creepy.

    • You seem to built an immunity to weird toys. I find this quite enviable!!

  52. Definitely scary. You can see the contents of his stomach – he eats balls for breakfast!! Eeeeeeeee!!

    • That puts a whole new spin on the scary factor.

  53. this is scary!

    • It boggles my mind that children can be scared of their own shadow, but stuff like this does nothing to ‘em. Weird.

  54. Someone did some lines, Red Bull and sniffed some gas before designing this godforesaken thing!

    • I’ve got to assume you described the entirety of the “creative process” for most toy manufacturing companies.

  55. My kids have received some pretty gnarly toys over their short little lives. One was a remote control dinosaur that was terrifying enough it was only turned on once.

    • Did the dinosaur suffer an “accident?”

      That seems like the right protocol in a situation like that…

  56. Bear? Yes I can understand where that idea came from.
    Panda? Yep, that makes sense too.
    Inflatable? Guess so.
    Balls in a see-through stomach? Eh? Anyone who comes up with ideas like that shouldn’t be allowed out without a supervision order, let alone making kids toys. Scary!

    • The balls (read: devoured, calcified souls) in the stomach seem to really be the game-changer for a lot of people on this one.

  57. [...] However, this inflatable bear is not something Jeremiah Graves’ sweet dreams are made of.  From Blank Stares and Blank Pages, If you were able to look at that and not wet yourself, you are a much better, stronger, braver [...]

  58. it’s gonna get you..


    nice post

  59. [...] Graves shared his thoughts about a toy his niece received for Christmas.  Honestly, I have to agree with him: that thing is creepy.  It got me thinking about the toys I [...]

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