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Christmas: Eleven Toys You Wanted For Christmas… And The Shit You Got Instead

Posted December 10, 2012 by Lisa McInerney in Ramp Specials
I'm Dreaming Of A Shit Christmas

Christmas is a time for counting one’s blessings, for giving presents, and for contented nostalgia. None of those takes that long, though, so a sizeable proportion of the time you have left is given to fighting with your folks, plotting revenge for bad gifts, and remembering the crushing disappointment of Christmases past. We know. We were there too. Here are some of the toys you wanted but never got, and the appalling substitutes you were expected to love instead.


What You Wanted

A pogo stick. Indications from storybooks were that a child in the possession of such a wondrous object could see into first floor windows or leap over neighbours’ fences with ease. Truly, a pogo stick was the catalyst that would see an everyday rapscallion turn superhero.


What You Got

A pogo-ball. Looked like Saturn. Bounced like a sack of mashed potatoes.

What You Wanted

The Millennium Falcon. A scale model of the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs was just the status symbol for any budding astronaut/bounty hunter.

Pew pew! Pew pew pew!

What You Got

A Star Battles 5-inch model of the Centurion Eagle from the shouting beardy man who ran the shit knock-offs stall in the Friday market. Bought in a two-for-one dealie with your little sister’s Sandie and Ben doll set.

What You Wanted

A proper doll house. Victorian in style, probably, with four bedrooms, servants’ quarters off the kitchen, and a functioning light system to illuminate it for the pixies you knew would move in when you were asleep.

And parapets! Everyone loves them some parapet.

What You Got

Sindy’s Dream Room. Most of its fixtures were but stickers on its moulded plastic walls, and Sindy’s bed came only halfway down her shins.

What You Wanted

Mr. Frosty. Your very own slushie maker with sachets of pure flavour that you knew would burst in your mouth like a parade of balloon animals filled with Zest! and Tang! and everything else that would work in an Adam West fight graphic.

No yellow snow! Grab your spoons!

What You Got

A stern parent pointing at the window, telling you that it’s the middle of winter and to cop yourself on.

What You Wanted

A Gameboy. A Gameboy with Mario, and Tetris, and Metroid. The coolest, most amazing handheld console ever (and the standard template for all that followed), it wasn’t just a toy – it was the whole future in your grubby, unworthy paws.

Nintendo Crackbaby

What You Got

A plastic lump that played T-Blox or Mega Plumbing Heroes, with a bonus clip around the ear and a lecture about household finances if you raised so much as an eyebrow.

What You Wanted

An air rifle, such as the ones kids in jolly Blyton-era fiction sported and shot their dinners with. What kind of child would carry a BB gun? Why a courageous, resourceful young adult adventurer, that’s what kind.

Nor varmint, nor womp rat is safe from our cutesy wrath

What You Got

A box of bang snaps and an order to stay well away from your incontinent grandfather.

What You Wanted

A View-Master. In iconic bright red and featuring a mind-blowing library of discs with seven 3D images on each, it was planetful of wonder in a pre-Pixar world.

"I see dead people!"

What You Got

A yoke from Knock that looked like a doll’s camera and showed you a different drawing of the Virgin Mary appearing to unsuspecting peasants every time you clicked its eminently breakable black button.

What You Wanted

Disney’s latest masterpiece on VHS, so you could watch and re-watch a racial stereotype preaching to a little mermaid in song as many times as you liked.

"Seriously, do, I tink your hair be eating you."

What You Got

A knock-off your uncle in the Navy found in some godforsaken port whilst on drunken shore leave. There was either no sound or no picture. If the port was very godforsaken, there might even be neither.

What You Wanted

Invisible ink, so you could send important espionage communiqué to your fellow secret agents in Missus Delaney’s Fifth Class.

And maybe solve the mystery of GIRLS.

What You Got

Magic markers. Sure, you could write with the eraser pen and use a coloured pen over it to make out the message, but the tips were chunky and inelegant, and we’re sure James Bond didn’t go around wooing ladies, smelling of musty eraser fluid with a bunch of chubby highlighters in his breast pocket.

What You Wanted

A Furby. Half toy, half magnificent mechanical monster, they were the cuddly face of Skynet and easily smarter than your dad. They responded to touch and learned English and went to sleep when you threw towels over them.

Me love you long time!

What You Got

A plush animal that did nothing but squished satisfactorily when you cuddled it. No way were you getting something that squawked all day long, bucko. You can say a lot about the Dark Ages, but at least they were quiet.

What You Wanted

A Cabbage Patch Kid. The ultimate ‘80s craze, these moon-faced little cuties weren’t bought, but adopted, and no two Kids were alike. They were loveable. They were personable. The demand for them far, far outweighed the supply. Urban legends abound of parents who went to frightening lengths to secure one of the dolls for their own darling – scuffles in the toy shop, a Christmastime war on the high street.

Wearing bloomers, of all things.

What You Got

A box of Lego, a mother with a black eye and the beginnings of a terrible feud with your best friend’s family.

About the Author

Lisa McInerney

Lisa’s soul is so damn sensitive, she has to invent and occupy parallel universes just to spread herself evenly. This is also known as being a frustrated novelist.

  • Will Fitzgerald

    The cuddly face of Skynet, lol!

    And yes to the Mr. Frosty! That’s exactly what happened. :(

  • Donkey konga

    I wanted buckaroo for YEARS and operation…fucking never got them.. My parents suck, here we got you a ‘framed picture for your room’ OH THE FUN

  • Kaz

    Mr. Frosty! I’m still waiting…

  • http://twitter.com/Sarklor Ciaran O’Brien

    I know this is meant to be a humour article, but it cuts surprisingly close to the bone. Well, I don’t think anyone in my family ever wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid, and Star Wars completely passed me by until I was 20, but everything else on the list I wanted, and never got. I still occasionally buy a slushie at the cinema and gaze wistfully into a frozen, artificially-flavoured past that might have been…

  • http://twitter.com/CynicalFilm Philip Bagnall

    Furby. It had to be f**king Furby.

    My cousin got one of those for Christmas when they came out, and then came to stay with us for a few days. I don’t know what kept me from throwing the little f**ker in the fireplace, but it NEVER SHUT UP!

    Also, I never had a Game Boy. The emotional scars still sting.

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