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Survivor: China – Who Needs to Be Recalled?by Ken Kellam III -- 10/01/2007
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As many of you know, several toy companies have recalled certain toys made in China, home of this year’s edition of Survivor. The company attributes the recalls not to the manufacturing, but to “design flaws.”
So that got me to thinking: If they made talking action figures of the 16 members of this season’s cast, who might be recalled and why? And what might an executive of the company say about the issue in a blog? It might go something like this:
We may as well start with the Chicken figure. Nobody really expected this one to take off, and it didn’t. It was the oldest, and oldest-looking of the 16, and at first, when it talked, it offered suggestions to the other dolls in a sarcastic tone. Then, when the other figures didn’t immediately implement its suggestions, it switched to using just one phrase: “I ain’t got no opinion, just do whatever you want.” Even when the other toys asked for its opinion, it said this over and over.
Of course, we also got complaints from the kids that they couldn’t understand what it was saying anyway, and that it looked like their grandfather. Allegedly, kids on the playground even started calling it “Grandpa Chicken,” and started singing this little ditty on the playgrounds:
there at Tribal Council Thursday night.
You might say that he had no alliance,
so Grandpa has gone right out of sight.”
And of course, right after being recalled for good, the model abruptly cussed out the other dolls. Obviously, that didn’t go over too well with the parents.
Then of course, there’s the Ashley model. A certain pro wrestling organization put up a huge fuss over this one, you might say of “titanic” proportions. In fact, they wrestled with us tooth and nail (not to mention lip ring) over it. Finally we mutually agreed to call the match, and they allowed us to make this one in a limited edition.
Well, they can have it. This was supposed to be one of the tougher and more physical of the female figures. But at first, its main activity was dancing with the other female figures on its tribe, then it inexplicably started doubling over for long periods of time. That defect got fixed in a hurry, but then it turned out not to interact well with the Dave toy, aka the “alpha dog” figure of the tribe.
We also got complaints about the rings in her lips. Some of the kids thought these looked more like fangs and started calling her, “Ashley, the Survivor-slayer.” Then it turned out that at there wasn’t enough room at the Tribal Council station for both her and the Dave figure, so kids just left her out. Before being recalled for good, she turned to the Dave doll and told him he’d soon be joining her. Between her admonition and Chicken’s outburst, is every toy going to utter a unique catch phrase as soon as it gets recalled? Hmm, now there’s an idea.
Anyway, to be fair, it should be noted that this model has one moment when it acted as the makers expected it to, and bodyslammed the Leslie doll into the water. But there is no truth to the rumor that while doing so it said, “Here’s something to pray about.”
What other models might be recalled this week? Off-hand, I’d say the Jean-Robert doll. We got e-mails from the kids saying we should’ve put this one in the other tribe, so they could call it Zhan-Robert or Jean-Hu. But whatever tribe it’s in, this one isn’t showing too much promise. Actually, it had been made before, but came with accompanying poker table and deck of cards. Without those extras however, it doesn’t seem to be nearly as much fun.
While the other toys in its tribe had no trouble staying upright and even moving, this one almost immediately laid down on its back for an extended period of time. Once it got propped up, it went straight back down. Maybe its time for this one to “fold.” And once it finally got up and stayed there, it started saying it wanted to go back down some more.
Some of this one’s defenders say it’s supposed to work that way, and will show more life later on. But if later doesn’t turn to sooner, this one may find itself joining the Chicken and Ashley models on the recall heap. We even hear rumors some of the kids have taken to calling this one a no-action figure.
Next week, we’ll discuss some of the others that may soon be facing recall.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Ken says he’s very grateful to the producers for not giving Courtney more air time this week, and hopes that one gets recalled soon. Meanwhile, he can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or recall notes at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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