From satanic cymbal-playing chimps to eerily expressive money boxes, we count 15 of the creepiest toys ever made!
15 – Jolly Chimp,
- Jolly Chimp is a brand of cymbal-banging monkey, a toy that’s been around since the 1950s. When activated, they come alive, banging their cymbals together in an attempt to steal your soul.
- Presumably they were ripped straight from the underworld, but the official credit for creating them goes to Japanese toy manufacturer Daishin C.K. Daishin gave them the name ‘Musical Jolly Chimp’ – ’cause they look so freaking jolly, right? I mean, I’d hate to see what ‘Angry Chimp’ would look like.
- Jolly Chimp’s box proudly advertises that his teeth light up, and that his eyes bulge in and out of their sockets. Um, in what parallel dimension is that a selling point?
- This hell-spawn toy appeared in the 1977 film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. When a UFO nears the main character’s home, Jolly Chimp inexplicably activates, clashing its cymbals together as if to announce the alien presence. Spooky.
14 – Furby,
- Furbies are robotic plush toys from the Nineties. They’re a cross between hamsters, owls and … I don’t know … there might be a bit of Gizmo from Gremlins in there somewhere. They were the ‘must-have’ toy from 1998 to 2000, and were popular for their – at the time – revolutionary artificial intelligence.
- Initially, Furbies speak only in their unique gobbledegook language called Furbish. This is kind of like how demons are often depicted speaking Latin. Am I saying there’s a correlation there? I’m not not saying that.
- Furbies learn English phrases the more they’re played with. But, frankly, with their big, staring eyes, high-pitched voices and weird habit of turning on at random, this just makes them creepier.
- In the metafiction novel Lunar Park, a killer Furby terrorises American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis. No one ever suspects the Furby.
13 – E.T. Finger Light,
- It’s 1982. Spielberg’s T. has just captured the world’s imagination. Somewhere in Middle America, a brainstorming session is taking place at toy company, Knickerbocker. It’s 6 p.m. The staff has worked right through lunch. Everyone’s fried and a takeaway pizza is sounding soo good right now.
- Suddenly Brian, the work experience kid, walks in. He isn’t even s’posed to be there ’cause his shift ended at two, but he has to wait for a ride ’cause he failed his driving test, like, six times. The room is silent. He clears his throat and says ‘What about a dong-like appendage that glows at the tip, and kids can, like, wear it on their finger and go around pretending they’re that three-foot alien dude from the movie.’ Everyone cheers. Brian is named president of Knickerbocker.
- Some movie merchandise is so good it practically sells itself. But only during the cocaine-fuelled haze of the Eighties would this weird and incredibly suggestive toy have seemed like a good idea.
12 – Toddlerpedes,
- Heard of Toddlerpedes yet? They’re an exciting new toy craze. Surely your nieces, nephews and cousins have been asking for them? No? Okay, so they’re not exactly toys – but they are made from disassembled toy parts.
- Created by surreal artist Jon Beinart, Toddlerpedes are insectoid doll-part assemblages that are said to represent life, death and the beauty of human oddities.
- Jon likes the idea that the dolls used in his sculptures have played important roles in many childhoods. He attributes personalities to each doll; therefore, he’s says, when they come together to form a Toddlerpede they have a mega-personality. Mega cool, but also mega creepy.
11 – Sid’s Toys from Toy Story,
- Speaking of scary ways to repurpose dolls … Everyone remembers Sid, Andy’s sadistic neighbour from the original Toy Story. Sid was a headline waiting to happen and took perverse pleasure torturing, dismembering and generally mistreating his toys until Woody and the gang intervened.
- Although good guys at heart, these mutant toys sure scared the hell out of Andy’s toys – and audiences – when they made their first appearance. It’s not hard to see why: ringleader Babyface is a one-eyed baby doll head attached to a spider-like body, Legs is a pair of fashion doll legs attached to a fishing rod, and Hand-in-a-Box is a Frankenstein-like hand that’s been jammed onto the spring of a jack-in-the-box.
- Sid’s toys have also had starring roles in a lot of kids’ nightmares.