If Your Kids Have Hair, You Might Want To Avoid This Popular Toy For The Holidays
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The squishy and spiky interlocking balls known as Bunchems are driving kids so crazy that they’re pulling their hair out—literally. According to parent reviews, Bunchems, a toy made by Spin Master, stick to hair just as well as they stick to each other, according to POPSUGAR.
One Amazon reviewer named Ethan Benoit titled his review “A Toy Spawned From the Darkest Depths of Hell.” Yes, that sounds hilarious, but Benoit’s experience with the toy sounds anything but:
“Horrible, horrible, horrible toy for kids. I just spent the last TWO AND A HALF hours (absolutley, 100 percent not an exaggeration) attempting to remove 14 of these bastard balls out of my daughter’s hair. Buy this toy for someone if you hate them or their child. They are the most incredible choking hazards on the planet. They bring pain and misery, tears, fighting, broken and ripped hair, and questions of one’s sanity in handling life in general. I can’t feel my arms now after attempting to pull this spawn from hell “toy” that matted itself into her hair like nothing ever witnessed before.”
And Benoit isn’t alone in his experience. Dozens of other reviewers described having similar experiences. One poor reviewer said the balls even became matted in their pets’ hair.
The balls have become stuck in the hair of so many children (and pets, apparently) that Spin Master even released a YouTube video titled “How to Remove Bunchems From Your Hair.” The video has just over half a million views. In the video, Spin Master suggests using conditioner or vegetable oil to help coax the toy out of hair. Unfortunately, though, Benoit said he tried the conditioner method and it “proved to be an almost fruitless effort to exract the evil,” according to his review.
And then another parent referenced the company’s YouTube video, specifically, saying that it did not help her get Bunchems out of her daughter’s hair.
“The video put out by the company showing how to remove these toys is a joke,” the angry reviewer wrote, according to NBC News. “Try getting these out of curls. I had to cut off (my daughter’s) hair! Telling a child not to let a toy touch their hair when they play is like telling a child not to get marker on their hands when they color.”
Another Amazon reviewer, Kari Marie, said the best way to get the balls out is with WD-40, which is the stuff you can put on squeaky doors and rusty metal that won’t budge.
Arlene Biran, the vice president of marketing for Spin Master, released a statement in December clarifying that the toys are only meant to adhere to each other and that the shouldn’t be used in hair. (I have a feeling his statement did not appease frustrated Amazon reviewers.)
“They are intended only to be adhered to other Bunchems,” Biran said in his statement. “This is particularly important for parents and caregivers to understand. The Bunchems packaging and directions clearly state: ‘Caution: Keep away from hair. May become entangled.'”
According to Biran, the toy has won a number of awards for helping to build motor skills and help kids get more creative, according to NBC News.
And some parents have acknowledged the toy’s redeeming qualities, saying that the incident, known to some as “Hairgate,” can easily be prevented by telling your children of the Bunchems’ dangers and supervising them while they play.
If you plan on buying Bunchems this holiday season, make sure you take some precautions. Otherwise you could find yourself with two cans of WD-40 and quite the hairy situation.