As I said on the Toys That Don’t Suck page, I’ve spent what amounts to a small fortune on toys. I’ve learned, finally, to look for good toys at local consignment stores. Used toys being sold on consignment are generally in excellent working condition, and if your kid doesn’t take to them, you can resell and haven’t wasted a load of cash.
Note: If you see a large inventory of one particular toy at a consignment store, it’s probably a sign that many parents before you have wanted to throw said toy out the window.
I offer you here some toys that suck:
The Perplexus Maze Game by PlaSmart, Inc.
I bought the Perplexus Maze Game for the Middle Guy because every single time we saw it at Target he would flip out with excitement. (Maybe because of the cracked out happy family pictured on the side of the packaging?) He’s not the type of kid to get excited about any toy other than something related to the solar system. So I got it as his main birthday present last year.
As soon as the Middle Guy started playing with the Perplexus I knew we should all put our bike helmets on. The ball that you need to keep on and navigate around the track is hard to see and difficult to maneuver. It took about 2.3 minutes for my boy to throw the ball across the room in frustration.
The baby loved rolling the ball around, but at a list price of $24.99 I hardly think this ball should be purchased for the sole enjoyment of a drooling baby.
The Eldest, my daughter (who has Asperger Syndrome) was interested in giving the maze a try. She had the greatest success keeping the ball going on the maze, but she has good fine motor skills. If your kid does not have a ton of patience, excellent fine motor skills, and good balance the Perplexus will be a total FAIL. I would say that the Eldest played with the Perplexus for a max of ten minutes and had no further interest in it.
The recommended age range for this toy is 6 and up. I would say 10 and up, and for a neurotypical kid, unless your child with autism or Asperger Syndrome has high tolerance for frustration.