Share this page

Popular Toys That Are Not Worth The Money by Eden Godsoe

by Eden Godsoe, posted to Parenting

There are so many "best of" or "Top 10" lists for toys so I thought I would create one that focused on popular toys that are not worth the money. Even if your child begs for these, just say no.

See all Top 10 lists from Parenting

Added to Your List

Lincoln Logs

Kids can build a frontier mining town with real dynamite action!...more

My son loves to build - Thomas the Train, Legos, etc, so we got Lincoln Logs. He has played with them twice in 3+ years. Building a wood cabin that easily falls apart just isn't fun when you can build just about anything with Legos and play with it afterwards.

Morgan Sheridan: Lincoln logs aren't meant to be two toys in one. As someone who played with them growing up, their attraction was how many things you could build from them...building an entire town was great fun with enough of them. They're a great toy but if you expect them to be two toys in one, then of course, you're going to be disappointed.

Added to Your List


I remember seeing a commercial for Mousetrap when I was a child and wanting it so badly. I never got it but decided to give it to my kids for Christmas. Big mistake. Children under about 8 need serious help getting it set up AND the plastic pieces break very easily. Once a piece is broken, the game is worthless.

Susan: Dang, this was on my list to get this year. It should be so perfect for a kid who loves to put things together/take them apart.

Added to Your List

baby alive

Suggested by Jennifer Wright

Baby alive isn't soft or cuddly and despite being a most wanted gift was quickly forgotten.

Eden Godsoe: Totally agree and in fact have Baby Alive on the list. I wanted one so badly as a child but my mom told me she'd heard maggots get into the dolls if left unwashed. That was enough to turn me off.

Added to Your List


Both my children are very into art and we have a big playroom, so I thought an easel would be perfect. In the end it just takes up space in the corner. My kids don't want to paint or draw in chalk at the easel; they much prefer sitting at a table or spreading out on the floor.

Eve: Easels are awesome toys! My nephew and niece love theirs!

Jennifer Wright: The easel was one of our most used art supplies while the kids were younger. Now (7 and 9) they prefer a big table.

Added to Your List


Original Toy wooden marionettes are carefully designed and crafted by...more

Don't buy these for children under about 10. All that happens is the strings get tangled and then they take up space.

Added to Your List


My builder son has received two different sets of Zoobs as gifts but has yet do really play with them. It's all about Legos for him. He did make a little Zoob gun that shoots another Zoob piece out of it but that's about all the value he saw in Zoobs.

Kristina: NOOOO! My Four year old cannot get enough of these. We keep a big box in a drawer in our family room so he and his daddy can build while they are watchign sports.

Eden Godsoe: Kris - I wish I were in Toronto - I would give you 2 big boxes of ZOOBs that have never been touched. Kellan only wants to build wih LEGOs.

Added to Your List

Sand and Water Tables

This ultimate construction sand and water table comes fully equipped...more

These aren't cheap (this one is more than $150) and my children got minimal use. The sand gets gross and water gets everywhere. The accessories don't hold up well. My children had way more fun playing "scrub-a-dub" in our kitchen sink (washing dishes!) After less than 1 year, we gave away our sand & water table for free.

Kirsten: My daughter is 7 and has had her sand/water table for 5 years. Sure they can be messy and a pain, but every year she gets new sand & new sandbox toys (it's all pretty cheap) & she still LOVES to play with it! The only thing I've replaced as far as the table goes, is the umbrella - and that was only about $12.

Susan: Our son played with his for 1 summer season. It was a pain to store and didn't hold up well.

Added to Your List


It's controversial to put dollhouses on my list but this is from experience. My daughter could care less about her dollhouse and many of my friends say their daughters are not engaged either. Save the money and get Calico Criters and sets instead.

Kirsten: On the fence with this one. My daughter has had her dollhouse for a couple of years now and it mostly just holds the barbies, but occasionally she plays with it and rearranges the furniture and it's a huge hit when she has friends over!

ZoeCY: My daughter absolutely LOVES her dollhouse. Not only does she play with it regularly but her cousins, both female and male ranging in age from 2-9, do as well.

Rio: I'll agree that MOST of them are not worthy. But, the wooden more plain doll houses that leaves much to the imagination works really well. The main thing I think is that it's really a "tool" for learning: we got our daughter a Kidcraft dollhouse (too many details that left little to the imagination) which got played with a ton for the first few mths, Then I gave her the idea of making miniature furniture out of random pieces of stuff that would have been trashed - that added a few months of play and lots of

See all 3 comments

Added to Your List

Baby Alive Dolls

I can't believe Baby Alive is still on the market. I wanted one so badly as a little girl but my parents refused after hearing nightmare stories about maggots getting into the doll's food. No idea if those stories are true but the whole idea behind this doll is pretty gross.

Added to Your List

Bubble Machines

There are so many bubble machines on the market and we have owned about 5 of them. It's fun for about 5 minutes and then gets old and messy. And each of the bubble machines breaks pretty quickly too. Bubbles the old fashion way are just fine.

Susan: We have tried 2 of them and they break very quickly - usually during the first use.

Dionne: Yes, my son likes it way more to blow his own bubbles the old fashion way.. although he's still figuring out how do it well ;)

Added to Your List

Workshop or Workbenches

Encourage creativity with realistic-looking Durafoam "wood" that...more

These take up a lot of space and don't get used that much. So much better to just have a regular playroom table and tool kits.

Added to Your List

Gumball Machines

I'm sure every kid thinks they want a gumball machine but really they don't. They end up being big paperweights. And then you lose the key so you can't even get out the money or the old gumballs.

Added to Your List


One kite per family is good enough. Even then you probably won't be using it much. Sorry to everyone who ever gave us a kite!

Added to Your List

Fur Real

Suggested by Jennifer Wright

A few reasons this is a waste of money: the fur is scratchy not soft, requires batteries. makes noise while wrapped and has a big hard frame that makes it less than ideal to cuddle. The advertisements are much better than the product.

What should I add to this list?

Add an item