'Another Thing': A Terrible Toy For The 21st Century

Oct 1, 2012
Originally published on October 15, 2012 1:56 pm

Each week, All Things Considered and Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids, bring you "Another Thing," an on-air puzzle to test your cleverness skills. We take a trend in the news and challenge you to help us satirize it with a song title, a movie name or something else wacky.

This week's challenge: Visitors to the website of the Children's Museum of Indianapolis voted G.I. Joe as the top toy of the 20th century, followed by Transformers, Legos, Barbie and the View-Master. We want to know what will become the worst toy of the 21st century.

Come up with the name of this terrible toy, and — if you'd like — its slogan.

Submit your entry using the form below or by sending your answer with your name, address and phone number to anotherthing@npr.org.

Entries are due by 12 noon EDT on Oct. 3. All entries become the property of NPR, which reserves the right to edit them. Entries submitted as comments on this Web page cannot be considered. In the case of several similar entries, the first one received gets credit.

The winner will be announced on All Things Considered on Oct. 8. The first-prize winner will receive an NPR mug.

Last week's challenge: What do you suppose was the name of the first prehistoric toothpaste?

Winner: Dentifrice Rex, Kathy Palmer, Smartsville, Calif.


"The Missing Stink," Arlene Oyagi, San Diego

"Ready" (precursor to Aim!), Bill Evans, Amherst, Mass.

"Tooth-in-Common," Bill Phillips, Sacramento, Calif.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Each week we're bringing you a humor contest called Another Thing Considered. Another Thing, for short, it's based on some item in the news and its run by our contest queen, Lenore Skenazy, who joins us from New York. Hey there, Lenore.

LENORE SKENAZY, BYLINE: Hello there, my subject.

CORNISH: So, last week's contest was inspired by the fact that a 6,500-year-old jawbone had been found with what could be a trace of beeswax in a tooth. So Lenore, remind us what we asked our listeners to do.

SKENAZY: Well, I thought that the assumption is that that might be some very early dentistry - somebody filling a cavity. So I asked our listeners to come up with a corollary, the name of the very first prehistoric toothpaste, and I have to say, I got an education because so many people sent in the name Smilodon. Do you know what Smilodon actually is?

CORNISH: No, I've never heard of this.

SKENAZY: It's the official name for a sabre-tooth tiger.


SKENAZY: It actually sounded like a toothpaste. But it's the sabre tooth tiger. And then there were actual sabre-tooth tiger entries. Like save a tooth, Tiger.

CORNISH: And I can imagine a ton of dentists must have written in, right?

SKENAZY: We actually got a lot - periodontists, everybody with their fingers in your mouth. And a lot of them sent in ideas based on Crest, for some reason it was overwhelming. The overwhelming answer was Crust.

CORNISH: Which I'm sure the Crest people will love.

SKENAZY: The Crest people love. They would like these too. There was Astrolopithacrest, Crestacious, Crest For Fire, and then there was Plestogleem and Sensodyno, Chronamel, Troglibrite.

CORNISH: That's a good one.

SKENAZY: Yeah. And then one cartoon answer which was Yabba-Dabba-Toothpaste.

CORNISH: OK. And the winner this week, Lenore?

SKENAZY: Drumroll. Here's the runners up. (Makes drum roll sound). One of the runners up was Bill Evans of Amherst, Massachusetts, 'cause he sent in the toothpaste, Ready. Why is Ready so clever?

CORNISH: Hmm. I'm feeling a little slow now. I'm not getting it.

SKENAZY: I'll fill you in. It's because it's the precursor to Aim.


SKENAZY: Aww. Yeah, yeah, yeah. After a lot of Crest jokes, I mean really, really genius. Arlene Oyagi of San Diego sent in The Missing Stink.

CORNISH: Oh, that's good.

SKENAZY: Yeah, yeah. Bill Phillips of Sacramento sent Tooth-in-Common.


SKENAZY: Tooth-in-Common, OK. And here's the winner...


SKENAZY: It is Kathy Palmer of Smartsville, California, which I couldn't believe - Smartsville, really? Anyway, she sent in, Dentifrice Rex.

CORNISH: Aww. Yea. (Clapping)

SKENAZY: Yea, Cathy. (Clapping) I wonder if everyone in Smartsville is smart?

CORNISH: So, Lenore, what's next week's contest?

SKENAZY: Well, next week is based on, you know, here we are, in an election year. But there's one election whose results we already know. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis had a contest for people to vote for their favorite toy of the 20th century. And the winner was G.I. Joe.

CORNISH: Really?

SKENAZY: Yeah, I think more boys voted, actually. It's followed by Transformers, Legos, Barbie and the View-Master, which never actually struck me like a toy. It was like a really bad TV. So, for this week the Another Thing question is: to come up with the name of a terrible toy that will be considered the worst of this century. The century's worst toy like, disgraced candidate Barbie.

CORNISH: Yeah, that would be not a fun toy. To enter the contest send your terrible toy name to AnotherThing@npr.org by noon Eastern time on Wednesday. Well, thanks so much for the fun, Lenore.

SKENAZY: Thanks, Audie. Keep smiling.

CORNISH: Lenore Skenazy in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.