April Fool's Day 2011: Toy Hoax Round-Up

This year's April Fools' day brought about many toy related hoax
es, published on the internet; vindicating my decision to go on scepticism high-alert for a day.

Now that my normal level of scepticism has been restored (which is still quite sceptical), I bring you a round-up of some my favourite April Fool's Day hoaxes involving toys and the toy industry.

The Apple of Playmobil's i

Not only a great hoax but also a product that, if real, could
get children and adults alike queueing overnight to be among the first to own a Playmobil Apple Store. ThinkGeek added the mock toy to its online catalogue, complete with detailed mini-figures, store layout, packaging and a tongue-in-cheek promotional video.

Steve Jobs could be seen introducing the iPhone 4 to an audience and Steve Wozniak appears on a Segway. Everything you'd expect to see in an Apple Store can be witnessed in this highly detailed hoax. The addition of "1984" as the Playmobil product number on the box, is a particularly delicious touch.

Jet Pack to the Future

If you lacked all notion of physics or the cost of manufacturing jet engines, then you may have been taken-in by PlayPennies report of Jet Packs for children.

Make Retirement a Hoot with Micro Zimmer

The Daily Telegraph published its own Top Ten April Fool's Hoaxes, which included the Micro Zimmer by the Micro Scooter company.

With speeds of up to 10MPH and the capability of preforming basic skating stunts such as the ‘bunny hop’ and ‘ollies’ this Zimmer Frame combined with a skateboard in a product built for thrill-seeking pensioners.

A Thin Leaf of Greenery

I often wrestle with my conscious when it comes to the environment and the toy & game industry. Just think how many boards games go unused and wasted after being played merely once because of stifling, unfathomable rules? Then, of course, there's the reams of wasted paper where these rules get printed. So, some may have rejoiced at an article on The Game Aisle website, hailing the introduction of "Unruly", a game gone green because it omitted the inclusion of an instruction sheet. It also promised to be infinitely more playable as it was up to the players to decide how it was played; influenced by the fact, no doubt, that many homes have their own house rules when it comes to playing the world's most famous board games.

The Building Blocks to Bribery

With the many meetings I have suppliers, retailers, inventors and the toy-buying public, it is of the utmost importance that my clientèle and I are sufficiently feed and watered; or in many cases just well oiled. I am, of course, talking about hospitality which by the strictest interpretation may fall foul of the UK Bribery Act 2010.

So, I found myself slightly choking on my liquid lunch when Toys 'n' Playthings reported that the toy industry was one the top targets of the Ministry of Justice, when it came to routing out bribery.

Suddenly remembering that the nation's toy industry grosses a very small percentage of what the UK arms industry rakes in, allowing me to relax in the knowledge that it was highly unlikely that I was unwittingly implicated is an international web of fraud and corruption.

Toy 'n' Playthings even went on to quote a Ministry investigator named Arif Poll (an anagram of April Fool).
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