December 8 – Naughty List

Christmas Crazes

It seems that every year there is a couple hot toys that parents just must have. That’s right, I said parents and not kids. In most cases, I believe it is the parents who want to grab that special something for their child more than it being the kid who absolutely needs that item. Call me crazy (I’m sure you have), but kids are pretty stupid and if you just occupy their little minds with something else, they’ll forget all about the craze going on. Here are some of the most notorious toys that caused so much chaos:

Tickle Me Elmo (1996)

Man, I hate Elmo. He takes attention away from the real treasures of Sesame Street: Bert and Ernie, Snuffleupagus, the Count, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, and Cookie Monster. Tyco, the makers of the Tickle Me Elmo did one great example of marketing and sent the toys to talk show host Rosie O’Donnell. When she threw them out to her audience, her obsessive fan following flipped their shit and went into hyper overdrive trying to track down one of the products for themselves. Had Tyco sent the dolls to Oprah, Elmo would now be master and ruler of the world by now. At the height of the craze, buyers were forced to shell out thousands of dollars to get their hand on the vibrating doll… at least it had adult appeal, as well!

taser_me_elmo

Teddy Ruxpin (1985)

Mrs. Sip owned one of these stuffed bears that would read you stories when you put a tape inside them… that means I have ol’ Mr. Ruxpin to blame for all the times she’s rather read than be amorous with the Sip Advisor… stupid bear. Then they gave Teddy his own TV series, which thankfully doesn’t cause Mrs. Sip to stay up late watching old reruns, while I work to warm the bed all by my lonesome. Well, Teddy Ruxpin may have won some battles, but I will have the last laugh in my ongoing war with the bear. While the toy was last produced in 2005, I’m still around and kicking. Now I just need to eliminate that book, TV, movie, music, and phone competition!

Cabbage Patch Kids (1983)

Ah, the year of my birth… when all was right in the world and a new savior had arrived to quell the fears of the masses. Only I was too little to stop the chaos of that Christmas shopping season when Cabbage Patch Kids hit the market and turned parents into psycho shoppers. The dolls sold like hotcakes and demand rose sharply with the lack of supplies. One notable case saw a woman in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, take over a Toys ‘R’ Us location with weaponry that included a BB gun and a freakin’ spork! I mean, how awesome were the 80’s? We didn’t need real weapons to get what we wanted. Parents today should be ashamed of themselves.

Furby (1998)

Mrs. Sip’s sister received one of these abominations last year and it was funny for about 30 seconds before we all wanted to destroy the demonic object. More than a decade earlier, the Furby was the hottest toy on the market (before cell phones and tablets, of course). Parents fell over themselves trying to get one to babysit their children and resale prices soared from a retail value of $35 to $300, in some cases. Internet scams were also prevalent as toys were advertised for sale, but never arrived for the buyer. Due to a lack of Furby’s produced, supplies ran out, driving up demand for the bizarre little robot.

Furby

Beanie Babies (1995)

It’s hard to believe, but there are many tales out there of folks snatching up these collectibles because they thought they could later retire to a life of luxury, living off of the proceeds from re-selling these toys. Sadly, the market they hoped for never materialized, despite the designers work to make Beanie Babies a collectors dream by retiring old designs and flooding the market with new characters regularly. There are stories of people buying McDonald’s Happy Meals to get the Beanie Baby sold with it, only to throw away the food (huge party foul) and a number of robberies took place at collectible stores for the stuffed animals.

Zhu Zhu Pets (2009)

If you believe the urban legends, these robotic hamster toys have to be a favourite of one Richard Gere! I can attest that Mrs. Sip and myself tracked a few of these down for her little cousin back then, but perhaps with the advancement of internet shopping and people preferring to be shut-ins and never leave their home, we didn’t have any issues finding them at stores. You’re asking, is it really a craze then? Well, prices for the $8 toy jumped $35-$40 on eBay when up for auction. The availability was more likely due to conflicting reports of the hamsters being poisonous (one group said they had high levels of antimony, while another said the level was acceptable) and adequate supplies being shipped by the company.

Drink #342: Naughty List

Naughty List Drink Recipe

  • 1 oz Amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Crème de Banane
  • Top with Lemon-Lime Soda
  • Splash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Honourable mentions go to Pogs, Razor Scooters, the Rubix Cube, and basically every video game system to be released. While I appreciate any efforts my parents made to get me any of these iconic toys, I have to say that I will not do the same for my unborn kin. I’ll leave that for Mrs. Sip!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I think there’s too much going on in this cocktail. The Crème de Banane taste comes through the strongest and then you get hit with the competing flavours of Amaretto, Gin, Lemons, Limes, Grenadine, etc. My goal with the garnish was to give the impression of having a naughty and a nice list. Which one is which, is totally up to you little sippers!

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October 7 – Superman Cocktail

Celebrity Collectables

Jay Leno is known for his car collection and George Cloonery for his avid motorcycle passion. These celebrities, however, take collecting to whole new levels!

TV-Show Board Games – Quentin Tarantino

A man after my own heart! How many of us wanted to have the various home-edition games given to losers of a TV game show? Growing up, I had Classic Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, and Jeopardy, among others. Of course, the oft-deranged Tarantino would choose this as his obsession. We differ in that he prefers the classic games based on shows like I Dream of Jeanie, The A-Team, and The Dukes of Hazzard and movies such as Dawn of the Dead and Platoon.

dukes of hazzard board game

Who wouldn’t want to have this in their man-cave!

Model Trains – Rod Stewart

Pa Sip is a train-o-phile, but I can forgive him for that! Apparently Stewart also have a desire to put on the conductor’s hat and guide his own mini locomotives around a track, complete with fake landscapes, homes, and people. When Model Railroader did a cover story on the singer for their December 2007 issue, Stewart exclaimed, “It means more to me to be on the cover of Model Railroader than to be on the cover of a music magazine.” Perhaps you choose the wrong field then, Roddy!

Typewriters – Tom Hanks

I’m a little surprised Hanks accepted the male lead role for You’ve Got Mail, given his professed love for the typewriter. He was basically helping to usher in the death of the device… or maybe that was his plan all along, driving up the market price for the collection he had amassed. How does one collect typewriters? Do you go all crazy over the feel of the keys or is it the roller that gets your motor running. Perhaps Mr. Gump could let us in on his trade secrets.

Superman Paraphernalia – Shaquille O’Neal

Big Diesel is apparently a huge fan of Clark Kent, letting the super hero’s symbol and colours adorn everything from vehicles to even his bedspread. That’s thinking highly of yourself if you’re warning every person that shares that mattress with you that you think you’re Superman between the sheets! Perhaps Shaq Daddy is, but that’s a question I like not having the answer to.

shaq-superman

Knives – Angelina Jolie

I’m going to pass on this one… I vehemently despise Jolie and I have a few idea of what she could do with her collection. I’ll leave it at that.

Star Trek Memorabilia – Ben Stiller

While collecting Star Trek items is a pretty common ailment (yes, I called it an ailment, likely causing my entire Star Trek fan demographic to never return to this site) and industries such as Comic-Con have been born thanks to fans’ passion for the show, I wouldn’t have pegged Stiller as a Trekkie. The highlight of Stiller’s collection is reportedly the set of Spock Vulcan ears he has had signed by Leonard Nimoy, himself.

Surrounded by more than 1,400 Marines and sailors, actor Ben Stiller greets fans, signs autographs and poses for photos before treating troops to an advance screening of DreamWorksÕ ÒTropic Thunder.Ó

Ben Stiller gets mobbed by geeks just like his Star Trek idols!

Beanie Babies – Lou Ferrigno

Who could have thought that big, tough Lou Ferrigno (he played the Hulk on the 1970’s action show The Incredible Hulk… and I mean the green monster, not Dr. Bruce Banner) is a fan and collector of Beanie Babies!? You know, the cute, cuddly, bean-bag-filling stuffed toys. That seems like such a wild contrast, but perhaps Ferrigno is simply a child at heart. Hulk can smash the Beanie Babies all he wants… they’re practically indestructible.

Pig Figurines – Janet Jackson

Apparently Janet Jackson has a thing for pig figurines, proving that every member of the Jackson family has their own oddities. Why pigs? Why not? I, myself, like pigs. They provide me with glorious bacon, pulled pork, ham, sausage, and many other gluttonous items. I suppose they can be cute, as well. At least when they’re not covered in mud and slop and other filth. Too bad they always seem to be covered in these substances until they hit my plate!

Drink #280: Superman Cocktail

Superman Cocktail Drink Recipe

  • 0.75 Vodka (I used Grey Goose Cherry Noir)
  • 0.75 Peach Schnapps
  • Splash of Blue Curacao
  • Top with Lemonade
  • Float Grenadine
  • Garnish with an Orange Peel Cape

It should also be mentioned that Lindsay Lohan collects arrest warrants and Miley Cyrus has a passion for tongues… I just wish she’d keep hers in her god damn mouth.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
There are other Superman Cocktail recipes out there, but I picked this one for simplicity and ingredients I enjoy (and boy did I enjoy them here!). It wasn’t easy putting together my Orange Peel Cape, but I hope I kind of got the message across. I love how the blue and red colours mixed together in the photo!