If you are a parent of a little kid — toddler or preschool-aged — and you’ve never heard of a “Crybabies” doll or the insipid Crybabies: Magic Tears YouTube series, then I hope the following collection of words sends chills up your spine. If, by the whim of a mercurial deity, you have never accidentally stumbled upon the Crybabies in the aisles of your local Target, let this be a dire warning. Do. Not. Let. Your. Child. Have. These. Dolls. The world of Crybabies: Magic Tears will turn your child into a monster and only lead to real life tears that are not of the magic variety. These toys suck because they’re seemingly designed to frustrate and confuse children.
Now. Kids playing with baby dolls is fine. In fact, kids playing with baby dolls is sometimes a wonderful way for kids to get a bit of independence. Dolls that make noise are fine. Dolls that cry are fine. Dolls that pee their pants are fine. This isn’t an anti-doll rant. It’s this brand that’s the problem. This very specific brand of dolls (and its accompanying YouTube series) is doubtlessly torturing countless households around the world. If you know, then you know. If you don’t, here’s why you should avoid this garbage at all costs.
What are Crybabies?
Crybabies are both a line of toys and a YouTube cartoon produced by a studio called Kitoons. The toys are created by a company called IMCToys. You’re not dealing with Hasbro or Mattel here and their company’s website is a bizarre labyrinth of non-information. Almost nothing objective is written about either the toymaker or the people who make the YouTube cartoon. It’s as though this brand simply sprang up from the laziest and most bizarrely effective way to get kids to watch and buy complete and utter crap. My wife and I made a list the other day of our list of least-favorite kids’ shows and their accompanying toys. Crybabies is easily the worst, and then there’s a steep drop to whatever is number 2 on the list. (Maybe CocoMelon?)
So, the dolls are what they sound like: Dolls that cry and make loud noises. Most of them have pink or purple hair are dressed in some kind of brightly colored onesie with a hood that will not stay up. They have giant eyes that seem more suited to one of those animated crummy mobile games that always come on in pop-up ads. Some of the dolls cry water tears. Some of them cry “magic” tears which are just toxic slime infused with sparkles. We read the tiny fine print. Here’s what it says:
“Contains Linalool, Limonene, and Alpha-Isomethlylone. May produce an allergic reaction.”
So there’s that. Some of the dolls have light-up tears. All of them have pacifiers that make a bizarre clicking noise when inserted. This clicking noise is meant to sound like the baby sucking on the pacifier. I guess? In reality, it sounds like the annoying noise the original iPod click-wheel made when you had them plugged into big speakers.
There’s also a YouTube show, which seems to only exist in blocks of 40 minutes of 2-hour long segments. In this world, you learn the Crybabies exist in some kind of fantasy realm in which their “magic tears” create all sorts of bullshit. There are no lessons in these stories. One of the “magic adventures” involved one crybaby swapping bodies with another, and some kind of weird body-shaming occurred. It feels like the storylines are created by a sadistic, self-aware algorithm. You can’t believe a human actually made the decision to let these things exist. Consider how much you might hate Paw Patrol. Now, triple that hate. Then, hit yourself with a brick and you’re close to understanding how bad a single minute of Crybabies is.
Why Crybabies are so terrible
Okay, so the bad show YouTube show is bad. Whatever. Booze and CBD exists to help you recover from bad shows. But the toys are the real problem. They’re cute in that way a demon would make something cute. It’s only cute to a kid. The parent can smell the cheap paint a mile away, and can also see, well before you take it out of the box, that the dolls will only bewilder and frustrate your child.
To say these dolls are poorly made isn’t quite accurate. All contemporary toys have “the button,” the one single button that serves to make all the sounds or lights the toy is going to make. If you want the doll to make the same sound it just made, or sing the same song it just sang — well good luck! You’re going to have to cycle through all the other nonsense it can do first. Crybabies are not unique in this crime among contemporary toys, but they are the worst offender I’ve encountered.
The play value for the child is, in theory, a cute baby that cries. Again, in theory, this could be good. It should encourage the child to soothe it by popping in that pacifier or feeding the doll something or whatever. But these dolls aren’t really designed with any kind of cause-and-effect comfort cycle. Instead, because the settings are confusing, and the pacifiers poorly made, a child instantly find that the doll does something they don’t want or expect. This leads to your child crying, while the doll is crying. BUT, instead of getting frustrated with the doll and not wanting to play with it anymore, the child will insist on trying to get the doll to do what they think it should do. Basically, the doll demands that the child love it, but how to make the doll happy isn’t intuitive. This can only be because these dolls were designed by aliens who have never actually interacted with a human child, and just kind of guessed at what do to. Trying to get this doll to work is like when Amy Adams was holding up those placards in Arrival, just praying that the tentacle aliens might get what she was going for.
The result is a pain for the parents, endless confusion for the child, which oddly, might result in the purchase of a new Crybaby, with the hopes that this one will have different functions, and do something better than the previous model did not. This cycle may end eventually. But, when both parent and child are going down the same road with the Crybabies and hoping for a different result each time, the true definition of insanity has been achieved.
Parents should treat the Crybabies brand with the same suspicion as a rapid animal in your yard. Just because that thing has gone nuts, doesn’t mean you have to join it.