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The Treasure Chest of Terrible Toys: Children’s Paper Chair

19 Jan

January 19, 2012

Like last week’s awful briefcase, I induct another lousy toy under the Toychest of Terrible Toys banner. As you’ll see, this is not a toy per se but it is designed for kids to have fun with. Or prehaps I should say that it is “claimed” to be designed for kids to have fun with since in reality this chair is awkward to use and uncomfortable to sit on. It is not really a chair under most definitions, and a toy? Well, you decide.

TT Chair

From July, 6, 2011

“Form follows function” is a principle associated with architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. The principle is that the shape of something should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose.

Kitchen chairs follow that principle. Bean bag chairs do not. Which would you rather sit on at the dinner table?

I picked the chair example for a reason. About a month ago I wrote about a pretty bad toy, a briefcase for your child. (See “Birth of The Office Drone.”) One of my problems with that toy was the lack of imagination involved in playing with it. At that time I also came across this product. The following chair for your child may have the opposite problem, too much imagination went into its creation.

Following the principle of form following function, you’d expect the “Children’s Paper Chair” to be some sort of chair.

It is not.

No child could comfortably sit on that thing, especially if the child uses it a lot. The roll will get smaller and smaller and harder and harder to sit on, let alone use. It is a very awkward way of drawing. (I also might have to think about letting strangers look at my daughter while sitting in that position.)

Sitting the other way is no better, the child is cramped. And one dirty diaper or accident will ruin the whole roll.

It is a lousy, uncomfortable chair. It is a lousy, uncomfortable way of drawing. So what went into the thinking behind that product?

I suspect it was something along the lines of “Hey. We have all these rolls of paper lying around, what the heck are we going to do with them?”

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