The Scoop on the Most Stupid Toy in the World?

You may have seen this article published in the Chicago Tribune last Thursday, November 24th, entitled "Here's the Scoop on the Most Stupid Toy in the World" by John Kass in which he blasts our Doggie Doo Game.

Doggie-doo-dogWe did, and we felt it deserved a response:

Dear John,

I was horrified and disappointed to read your review of my game Doggie Doo in your November 24th column titled, “Here's the scoop on the Most Stupid Toy in the World.”

I think where you most completely miss the mark is in your desire to deny children the opportunity to laugh, smile, and be happy. I would say with strong conviction that flatulence and poop have made kids cut up since prehistoric times. Simply put, people enjoy playing this game and have fun, and I'm not going to apologize for that.

You’re absolutely right when you state, ‘The only question when it comes to toys is: "Is it fun to play with?"’ And to that end, I ask you, have you played with the Doggie Doo Game? Have you watched a group of kids play with it? Have you seen the delight on their faces and heard the uncontrollable laughter as they pump the dog’s leash? We have. They love it. It’s an awesome toy and a FUN game.

I’m not the only one who thinks this game is hilarious and entertaining. It was one of the hottest games in Germany last holiday season and won the Game of the Year Award in France this year. And, as of Monday November 21, Doggie Doo ranked #5 among the hottest selling games on Amazon. It’s not just us. This game is fun.

While you’re right that Chicago is the birthplace of many iconic toys and games, you neglected to mention such gems as Fireball Island, Tumble Time Tigger, UNO Roboto, Vac Man, Baby Alive Sip n Slurp, Luminator Sports Balls, and TMX Elmo. All of those toys came from Lund and Company and they are just a fraction of the contributions we have made to the children of the world over the past 25 years.
Rather than being embarrassed that Chicago is the birthplace to Doggie Doo, you should be embarrassed that you use your column to make snide remarks about a Chicago company that is growing, contributing to the community, and putting Chicagoans to work.

My advice for you in future is not to write about things you don’t understand, or at least haven’t tried. How about this? I’ll send you a Doggie Doo Game, and you see if you can play it without cracking a smile. I’ve got $15 per pump that says you can’t.

Your Friend,

3 thoughts

  1. John Kass (and commenter James Eadon) seems to be suffering from a major problem for a reviewer of toys and games: adulthood. Sure, Mr. Kass has a right to his opinion, but the problem is that he is not reviewing this product through the eyes of a child. To an adult, such a game might seem dumb (though a great many parents aren’t having much trouble getting the joke), but kids see something entirely other. It is important to remember that parents may make the final purchasing decision, but kids are likely the ones benefiting from that purchase. Kids are the ones playing Doggie Doo. An adult’s viewpoint on game play is trivial here. Bruce makes a valid argument that Kass goes out of his way to avoid discovering the actual experience of game play with kids.
    Also, Kass mentions the game Operation in his article opening. Operation and Doggie Doo are remarkably similar. Both are “tension builder” games that result in a hilarious and shocking outcome. In that context, Doggie Doo is classic game play with a new twist.
    Further, the primary difference between Operation and Doggie Doo is that Operation has become a legacy product. Sales are primarily driven by parents and grandparents for unsolicited “I had this when I was a kid!” gifting. Doggie Doo has potential to become a similar generational legacy product, but with one distinction: Doggie Doo actually capitalizes upon a vital and nearly universal kid experience of pet guardianship. Even kids who do not have pets of their own will have friends or relatives that do. Pets poop. It isn’t crass or stupid. It’s a behavior universally understood by kids, thus making it the perfect topic for a game.
    Simply put, the reviewer does not understand the product’s intended audience. This is a major flaw in reasoning and negates the viability of his article. It’s the “Scoop on the Most Stupid Article in The World.”

  2. Yay, Bruce! First amendment protects free speech, but it doesn’t protect the reader from having to read John’s misinterpretation of one of my children’s favorite products this year. Kids love gross. I am 46 years old and can rattle off 10 gross hits over the years and some current ones as well. And what it proves in some cases is that gross ain’t goin’ away when you see the return of some gross favorites from the past.
    1) Gooey Louie – a pick your nose game (Pressman)
    2) Dr. Dreadful – make and eat bugs and other gross things (Tyco and now Spin Master)
    3) Garbage Pail Kids – (Topps)
    4) Trash Packs – Gross Gang (Moose)
    5) Splat (Milton Bradley/Hasbro) – I worked on this one – Splat Play-doh bugs all over the gameboard with your big plastic hand
    6) Creepy Crawlers Bug Makers and Incredible Edibles (Jakks)
    7) Would You Rather (Zobmondo) – maybe not potty humor, but the subject matter can give you the willies.
    8) Slime – Mattel (70s)
    9) Flarp – Jaru
    10) Gak – Mattel – Made Famous on Nick’s Double Dare (90s) which led to Glow-in-the-Dark, Smell my Gak, and every other extension
    Shall I go on…..
    11) Goooze – Nickelodeon again, made famous by Patrick from SpongeBob (Flying Colors)
    12)Mad Scientist Monster Lab (Mattel – 80s)
    13) Dr. Scabs Monster Lab Candy (RM Palmer Candy company) – crusty chocolate body parts that you eat. A Halloween kid favorite.
    Look, I could go on and on and on but I think this article from TODAY SHOW sums up the power of potty humor along with letting kids be kids and like what they are going to like. No commercial is convincing a kid to want Doggie Doo, it is a child’s inherent need to “toot” and laugh, say the word “poop” and laugh – these are acceptable taboo words that we as parents even giggle when they are said.
    Unlike the writer, John Kass, I did my research and as a 24 year veteran of the toy industry and a 46 year old legacy – I will continue to support Gross Toys and Games – they make me and my kids laugh!

  3. I suspect that this is a tongue in cheek debate. I am not convinced by Bruce’s argument, which I don’t think is entirely serious. To my mind this really is the stupidest toy I can think of. And that a toy of this nature appeals to the Germans is simultaneously unsurprising and oddly disturbing at the same time. The game might be funny, but it’s a cheap laugh and it doesn’t mean it’s not “stupid”. Or maybe I don’t “get it” either, can you send me a free one to try out Bruce? (No, on second thoughts, I’d rather stay ignorant of this beast 😉

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