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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Is this many twist ties really @#&*$ necessary?

And so, with the first Christmas presents now rolling in, I begin my semi annual complaint of the method in which many toy manufacturers package their product.

Is this many twist ties really frigging necessary to secure the toy in the box? Case in point, a Leap Frog train-shaped electric toy with numbers all over it that play sounds when pressed. To remove the toy from the box, you must first cut all the tape around the perimeter of the box. Then, you must physically detach the inside cardboard box from the outside cardboard box. This involves navigating your way through a series of folds that makes you feel like you're undoing an origami project. As if this isn't difficult enough, they decide to also tape numerous pieces together, meaning that what at first seemed like a delicate, but doable task has now devolved into an elaborate tearing exercise similar to the one my two year old son put on while removing the wrapping paper from the present.

And then come the twist ties. The fucking twist ties. Apparently, there needed to be a good method to secure the toy to this inside cardboard box that I just managed to extract. Their solution was to not only use a twist tie on three of the four sides of the toy (the fourth side being open to the public so that kids to see could press the buttons to see what they did), but to also use a twist tie on every conceivable anchor point of the train. There was a twist tie around the front and back tires. There were two more twist ties going around various points of the open frame of the train, and then there was another one threaded through the open front windshield.

So as if it's not bad enough that you have to undo 5+ heavy gauge twist ties on this toy and then unthread them from the cardboard box, the fuckers also decide to tape the open ends of the twist ties down! That means that you have to rip the tape off the twist ties first, before you can begin the unthreading process! All this while I'm trying to fend off my two year old son who wants to play with the toy!

Mental note: next time use scissors.


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