Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Babies R U$ Vol. 2

Mrs. Blackwell and I visited Babies R Us again this week and, once more, it proved to be a learning experience...for me. 

There are indeed essential baby supplies that I was not acquainted with but, after more than six months of my wife being pregnant, I'm now well aware of them. At first, determining what's useful and what's a marketing creation can be tricky and, with many products, reviews are mixed. 

Talk to one lady and she'll tell you that a spending good money on a baby wipe warmer is indefensible, while another will tell you they are indispensable. That said, some products clearly cross the line and, as such, are deserving of ridicule and derisive, judgmental laughter. 

So, as we sauntered through the aisles, I did my best to make my wife laugh as we stumbled upon product after product of questionable utility. As per usual, she didn't laugh much - unless cringing is a new form of laughter - and a few shoppers made abrupt moves to avoid me. But, as our ordeal took form, I snapped a few pics of some questionable products. 

Yes, this actually exists.
So. Away. We. Go.

I'll start off with my favorite new discovery: Babies R Us Dish Soap. If this product  got my child cleaning dishes from the comfort of his high chair, I'd gladly pay $5 for it (Ajax liquid soap is $1 by the way) but I don't think that's what it does. Nope, instead you pay $5 for "gentle effective" cleaning of all "feeding accessories."

As an advertising copywriter, I have some admiration for this level of BS. That said, as an advertising copywriter with at least half a conscience, I'd just tell the good folks at Ajax to repackage an offshoot brand, color it pink, call it "Ajax Babies!!!" and sell it for $1.50.

Next up was a product that, upon first glance, was devastating to learn of. 

Say it ain't so Cookie. Say it ain't so.
It seems that the Cookie Monster, like so many others before him, couldn't resist the lure of easy money and has lent his image to "Organic Letter of the Day Cookies." That's cool, everybody's entitled to make a buck (can you say "Blackwell's Mark Super Healthy Danishes"?). But we all know, there is no way, I repeat none, that ole Cookie eats oatmeal cinnamon in lieu of chocolate chip. No way. No how.

As our visit continued Mrs. Blackwell and I stumbled upon a generic alternative to "Nursery Water." Good to know they still haven't given this one up and that slapping a picture of a cute baby on a bottle of water justifies charging $1.50 a gallon for it. 

I also found a product which proves unequivocally that some products are solely for parents. 

"You may place the cucumber slices on my eyes now."
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Lil' Luxuries: Whirlpool Bubbling Spa & Shower. The picture pretty much says it all. If the bubbles your baby usually makes in the tub  won't due or, if they just need a spa-like experience to unwind from the stresses of doing nothing all day, this is the product.

Next up on my list were the pee blockers. Those of you who visit this site regularly will remember me having a laugh at the Peepee Teepee for the Sprinkling Weewee. It turns out there are other pee blockers.

"I'm cute, sassy and I've got no
earthly idea what I'm selling."
These products, which are basically little, padded cups are priced like the big padded cups grown ups use for sports. 

We found plenty of other products but, I'll leave you with a personal favorite of Mrs. Blackwell's.

The Baby Blues Diapers have, without question, one of the cutest baby pictures on the packaging and what amounts to a baffling collection of product features. 

Thankfully the makers didn't attempt to simulate the comforts of wet denim and I'm hoping that they don't actually  include pockets - parents have enough fear of what's in the pockets of their grown kids.

I would like to offer the disclaimer here that, once again, my wife and I received top-notch service at Babies R Us. And, as I've detailed, they certainly had everything you could possibly need. I don't want to be guilty of picking on them.

It's a great store and I'm going to need a place to sell my baby danishes one day. 

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