Misfit Toys Power Rankings

It’s that time of year. Can you feel it? It’s coming on Christmas, PCHA-ers, and it’s time once again to dive into my favorite Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Today, I’m focused on the Misfit Toys and specifically which is the best one. We’re counting down those sad, abandoned bastards with some fucking power rankings. Let’s do this. Who is the true king or queen of the misfits? (And don’t say King Moonracer because fuck that lion.)

11. Charlie in the Box


Ughhhhh. Charlie in the Box is the worst. The absolute worst. He’s whiny, rude and has no faith in Rudolph. We’re supposed to be happy for him for finding a home but I’d rather he was broken up for parts. His voice is one of the 30 worst recorded sounds in human history. “Halt! Who goes there?” Fuck you, Charlie in the Box. You should be delighted that anybody goes there…you’re on an abandoned island of messed up toys — what’s the worst that can come from a stranger’s presence?

10. The Spotted Elephant

rudolph spotted elephant

Seems really dumb. How would I like to be a spotted elephant? Seems fine, really. There are worse fates, dude. Interesting that two of the featured Misfit Toys are the two lowest ranked.

9. A Scooter for Jimmy


What’s wrong with this scooter? Other than its weird face, I don’t see a thing. Is it undercover on the Island of Misfit Toys? Is it a narc? There are several Misfit Toys that don’t have any obvious flaws. Some of them work fine in the story, some don’t. The scooter just doesn’t belong.

6. (tie) Boat That Can’t Stay Afloat and Airplane that Can’t Fly and Choo-Choo with Square Wheels on its Caboose

square wheels caboose

Granted, these are all misfits. But they’re misfits born out of dysfunction rather than some imaginative defect. They just don’t work the way they’re supposed to. They don’t replace their inadequacies with other cool features or sympathetic burdens. I feel empathy for them but I don’t want them in my child’s playroom.

There’s a chance I’m being a little unfair to the caboose, which at least has a rational explanation for its inability. But it’s dog-eat-dog in the Misfit Toys Power Rankings.

5. Nesting Dolls


A series of clown-like nesting dolls is disturbing nightmare fuel. A series of clown-like nesting dolls with a tiny wind-up mouse inside is a whimsical surprise.

4. Bird That Swims


A bird that swims instead of flies isn’t a misfit. It’s a wonderful evolutionary advancement. It can hide from predators (hawks, eagles, Eon the vulture etc.) underwater and dine on fish while doing so. And even if it can’t fly, it can at least pull itself out of the water and onto a perch. This is the future.

3. Water Pistol That Shoots Jelly


My God, why isn’t this stocked in supermarkets by now?

2. A Dolly for Sue


While the aforementioned scooter generally annoys with its lack of misfit specificity, this doll is a wonderful, engaging, perplexing enigma. Why is she on that island? No one knows. What is wrong with her? Does she have psychological issues? Arthur Rankin Jr. himself attempted to retcon the doll’s issue in the ’90s, claiming, she had issues “caused from being abandoned by her mistress and suffering depression from feeling unloved.” Sorry, Rankin, but I call bullshit. If that had been the case, it would have been explained or alluded to during the show (or sometime in the ensuing 30 years). I think Rankin is trying to answer the unanswerable and know the unknowable.

We will never know about the existence of an afterlife until our eyes shut for the final time. We will never know what is wrong with a Dolly for Sue until well after that.

1. A Cowboy that Rides an Ostrich


Do I even have to explain why this is the #1 ranked Misfit Toy? IT IS A COWBOY. WHO RIDES AN OSTRICH. They may indeed all be misfits, but a cowboy riding an ostrich can get over in any damn home he wants to. This would instantly have become my favorite toy as a child. Sorry, 2XL, you’re banished to the junk drawer. I just got a cowboy who rides an ostrich. Ostriches are vicious and can kick your ass, and if some reason this one doesn’t, the cowboy will just shoot you. Game, set and match. This misfit didn’t need any rescuing from a reindeer and a dentist elf — he is inherently the ruler of any domain in which he resides. Did you know ostrich kicks can kill people and lions alike?



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Filed under Television Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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