Pop Goes the Toy
Balls, sticks, Tupperware lids these are all classic toys – just like the Fisher-Price Corn Popper. The Corn Popper was one of the few toys that I knew our daughter would have, before I even knew we would have our daughter.
It’s simple – popping balls on wheels with a handle.
When I first bought the toy I wasn’t sure what it was. A strange-looking vacuum cleaner? Ineffective lawn mower? Snow globe on wheels? Apparently it’s its own thing.
It’s the exception to the rule that all baby toys must be approximations or interpretations of adult objects. The also classic Fisher-Price Chatter Box Phone is a kids’ version of a phone. Naturally. The Corn Popper is a kids’ version of a Jiffy Pop on wheels. Which I’m pretty sure isn’t how popcorn was made in the 1950s. I’ve never seen a photograph of people walking large metallic poppers down the streets on their way to the movies.
But it’s called the Corn Popper. Maybe it originally contained actual corn.
My daughter must think that popcorn is available in different colours and sizes. She’ll be disappointed to discover that it comes packaged in a flat bag saturated with saturated fats and featuring the likeness of an elderly southern gentleman.
The Corn Popper is a walking toy but I bought it before my daughter could walk. She still played with it while she was immobile. Sitting next to it, she dragged the popper back and forth as the balls barely popped.
Now she runs with it. The balls loudly explode as she makes laps around our house. And I mean loudly. For a toy that doesn’t involve batteries or speakers it’s one of the loudest toys we own.
This is part where I complain about how loud and annoying this toy is, especially due to my daughter’s disposition to play with it before 8 in the morning. But I can’t.
Like a teenage girl inviting a vampire through the threshold and then complaining about getting a nasty hickey, I let this toy in.
I bought it at a secondhand store. It cost 50 cents – a lot cheaper than actual popcorn.
So I’m not going to complain about how loud or annoying it is, just use your imagination. I will say that I’m not the one the Corn Popper annoys the most.
That title goes to our dog. This toy terrorizes our poor pug. When its familiar rat-a-tat is crossing the floor he runs the other way. Our daughter quickly discovered this and now engages in a cat and mouse game with him.
She runs towards him with the toy, he flees. She laughs. He has nightmares, where her barks and his legs twitch, as he dreams about this toy descending upon him.
It’s sort of cute. And sort of loud.