Baseball Toy Reviews – Holiday Edition, Part 1


There’s so much pressure around the Holidays, so many extra responsibilities for which we’re not terribly well prepared, such as having to tolerate our families without getting too drunk on good bourbon and falling asleep on the sofa on Christmas Eve, thereby scarring our children. Or perhaps you need to stay extra vigilant so that the kids aren’t left alone with racist Uncle Walt, who has been known to explain that the reason he keeps an assault rifle in a locked, glass cabinet in his home office is he wants to “be ready when they come over the wall” if he isn’t being engaged in conversation about the local football 11. Or maybe you have to be ready to open, unbind, and put batteries in every damn toy your kid receives before he erupts and smashes the egg nog punch bowl on the floor in a fit of rage. Or you might need to sell your plasma to pay for said presents.

Whatever else you wind up having to do this holiday season, the last thing you need is to have to figure out extra presents to buy at the last moment for the little baseball fans in your life. You’re stressed out enough without having to worry about whether the bat you buy is likely to murder the opposing pitcher with a comebacker, or Big League Chew is vegan, or Upper Deck baseball cards give paper cuts, or if vintage Starting Lineup figures are choking hazards. That’s why I’m here, providing you with access to the weird world of YouTube online toy reviews to help make your decision-making process easier, just like I did before.

We’ll start with something simple. A plush baseball is always appreciated:

But some kids have more sophisticated tastes. Maybe your hip-hopping youth needs headphones to listen to the Jay Z. or the Woo Tang or the M&M. These come in a fine wood box:

Or perhaps your youth doesn’t care for popular culture and prefers a quiet, intimate evening of board gaming,appreciates fine woodwork, but is too stupid to play Strat-o-Matic baseball:

If the rules of games are too restrictive for your burgeoning anarchist, however, you could try a baseball game that is not actually a game and whose purpose is difficult to divine:

Finally, some people are just impossible to shop for. I’m speaking of course, about tikes who like robots, the Cubs, and Fox Sports. Congratulations to your little person on being a demographic of one, because a toy has been made specifically for him or her that we are assured is “very cool. Very, very cool” with “very tight joints:”


More to come on Friday, just in time to finish your shopping.

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Mike Bates co-founded The Platoon Advantage, and has written for many other baseball websites, including NotGraphs (rest in peace) and The Score. Currently, he writes for MLB Daily Dish on SB Nation. His favorite word is paradigm. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBatesSBN.

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Brandon Firstname
Brandon Firstname

The only emotion I feel anymore is a vague confusion.