Saturday, July 31, 2010

Some Assembly Required

Despite the fact that toys seem to be getting more and more complex, the manufacturers continue to send their products out with "some assembly required". Some assembly, by the way, means you have to do everything except poor the molds for the metal rods and plastic panels. Everything else is you. Because of these complexities no longer are you dealing with a radio flyer wagon (a basin, 4 wheels and a handle) but 4 wheels on swivel mounts with angled chassis, steering consoles, fitted roofs and more decals then a NASCAR. Add to that there are 187 parts needed and only 186 given. Plus they know that the odds are a dad is going to put it together so rather invest in written instructions the dad isn't going to read all you get are a series of poorly illustrated panels of what it might look like if you are doing it wrong. That means that all 5 types of screws are drawn to look the same size, the washers look more like top hats joints and the top hat joints are reminiscent of the flying saucers in Plan 9 From Outer Space. They do, however, offer the boilerplate warranty in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Slovak, Russian, and what I can only assume is Swahili, so there's no way that after an entire Saturday morning spent forming blood blisters and squashed toes, you can't sue them, even if you can't get the blasted thing together. All this so your kids can bang on the door and chew the hood. But I'll tell you what. ... it's worth it. Definitely worth it.

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