Pig Goes Pop: The Pros and Cons

There have long been food-themed toys -- such as the Easy-Bake Oven, which allowed kids to bake tiny cakes using only a lightbulb, and Victorian tea sets that encouraged them to stage afternoon parties with their dolls and Power Rangers. These toys permitted children to mimic adult food rituals in a context that assisted them in becoming socialized adults.

But the Age of Foodism has generated stranger playthings, such as the wooden sushi play set, disappointingly including non-sustainable seafood choices.

Now consider Pop the Pig, a toy merchandised by a company called Goliath. A plastic molded pig -- profoundly obese, even for a pig -- sits up in a human posture, wearing a flattened toque. A belt encircles his stomach, but otherwise the costume is pure chef, with checked blue trousers and white tunic. Oven mitts cover his human hands and he waves a Teflon spatula. His tongue lolls out grotesquely, and he seems to be pleading, "Please make me fatter."

Around him stand an array of 12 colored and numbered plastic burgers. The object of the game is to feed the burgers to the swine -- shoving one in his mouth and then pounding on the head the number of times specified on the burger until it disappears down the pig's gullet.

One parental blog, kidsaintcheap.com, reported that the tendency of young kids is to shove all the burgers into the pig's mouth immediately, without tapping on the head, leading to an esophageal logjam, causing the toy to fail. It goes on to say that pushing on the pig's toque is too hard for kids five and younger, forcing them to pound frantically on the head without results.

As the pig is force fed, foie-gras-goose style, his stomach begins to bulge. It bulges more and more. Eventually, it bursts, or rather the belt pops open, and hilarity ensues. Here are some pros and cons of Pig Goes Pop, right after the video:

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