‘Buy this toy for someone if you hate them’
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Nov 23, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

‘Buy this toy for someone if you hate them’

Parents and the company that makes Bunchems are giving tips on how to get the popular toy unstuck from children’s hair


They’re a popular toy for kids this holiday season, but some parents are seeing red over Bunchems, a toy that many say is getting tangled in their children’s hair.

Bunchems are colourful balls that can be stuck together to build pets, bugs and other creations. “They stick and stay then pull apart for endless play,” the company website reads.

“A Toy Spawned From the Darkest Depths of Hell” is how one father described the toy in a scathing Amazon review, after he said he spent two hours trying to remove them from his daughter’s hair.

“Buy this toy for someone if you hate them or their child,” Ethan Benoit wrote on Sept. 6. “They bring pain and misery, tears, fighting, broken and ripped hair, and questions of one’s sanity in handling life in general.”

Arlene Biran, vice-president of marketing at Spin Master, the company behind Bunchems, told the Star in an e-mailed statement that the company has “received an overwhelmingly positive response from children, parents and industry partners” since it launched the toy in August.

But Bunchems are only intended to be linked to other Bunchems, Biran wrote.

“The Bunchems packaging and directions clearly state: ‘Caution: Keep away from hair. May become entangled.’ We recently changed the colour of the warning to make it even more identifiable when opening the packaging.”

Bunchems are recommended for children aged 4 to 9, and have been nominated for activity toy of the year.

But many parents say they have also caused hours of pain and frustration – and they are at their wits end trying everything to get the little toys out of their children’s hair.

“Three girls ended up with these stuck in their hair,” Brook C. wrote on Amazon after she said she bought the toy as a birthday gift for a friend. “Took hours and scissors to get them out. A complete nightmare. Parents, do not buy.”

“TAKE THIS OFF THE CHRISTMAS LIST!” another Amazon reviewer wrote. “Gift from grandma turned violent when caught in her hair! 2 hours of ripping and pulling, (then) in the trash. She screams when she sees the commercial now.”

After hearing about the hair tangles, Spin Master released a video telling customers how to remove them from their hair. The company’s instructional video, which has over 157,000 views on Youtube, says vegetable oil and conditioner are your best bets to get them out.

“We want everyone to have fun with Bunchems so we encourage them to enjoy Bunchems responsibly and to follow the directions carefully and properly,” Biran said.

But the company’s suggested fix hasn’t worked for everyone.

“This didn’t work and had to cut a client’s beautiful hair. Bad product!!” one Youtube user commented on the video. “Conditioner and oil only made it worse,” another said.

Not everyone is blaming the company for the problem, though.

“Are you that inattentive of a parent that 5+ of these balls are getting stuck in your kid’s hair? Is this really the manufacturer's fault? No, it’s a parenting fail,” L. wrote in an Amazon review.

“There’s plenty of warning about Bunchems and hair. We’ve had them for 2 months now and that’s never been an issue, even when we’ve had play dates it wasn't an issue. Overall, I hate to see them getting a bad rap because they really are fun, not messy, encourage creativity and keep my child engaged,” another parent wrote.

Toronto Star

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