Sex Toys “R” Us | HumorOutcasts

Sex Toys “R” Us

February 16, 2015



We are accustomed to many children’s movies making some extra bucks through commercial tie-ins or merchandising. So it’s not surprising that just as the current “SpongeBob” movie was released, little SpongeBob fans began begging for all kinds of SpongeBob toys. Some of these are just silly, but I admit others are clearly destined to become cultural icons such as the classic Pants-Droppin’ SpongeBob. When it comes to regular mainstream grown-up movies, it’s not all that common for them to have merchandising tie-ins. I don’t think we’re going to see a “Boyhood” doll that will amaze everyone when it ages over the next 12 years. Yet, there is no reason for us grown-ups to despair, thanks to “50 Shades of Grey” and the release of its tie-ins (puns intended). 

Since “50 Shades” involves a relationship of punishment, dominance, and pain, it is obviously fitting that the movie was released on Valentine’s Day. Forget about that bouquet of flowers this year. Now it’s time to “Say It With Leather.” 

Not content to merely allow the audience to enjoy this romp in their neighborhood theaters, those who are behind this film are being nice enough to offer all kinds of “50 Shades” merchandise, giving people the opportunity to relive the movie’s sweetest moments in the privacy of their own locked rooms with creepy lighting. That those responsible for the film are anxious to try to make as much money as possible is certainly not shocking or deplorable. What took me by surprise are the range of the products and the places where they are hawking these things.

We all remember how important Valentine’s Day was to us when we were little kids. Don’t worry. The “50 Shaders” have not forgotten the kiddies. There are even onesies that say, “Nine Months Ago Mommy Read 50 Shades of Grey.” These darling items don’t just announce to the world the mother’s literary preferences, but they also hint at the circumstances under which that cute little baby was conceived. 

No longer will you have to feel embarrassed sneaking into your sleazy neighborhood sex store in between the dry cleaners and the nail salon to buy some titillating toy. You don’t even have to leave your house to get “50 Shades” items. You can order them from Amazon. The handcuff bracelets are a natural, and so are keychains with that special key, neckties that can be tied as tightly as you’d like, and charm bracelets with “charms” such as a blindfold and a riding crop. There is even a “50 Shades of Grey” board game, obviously ideal for rainy day family play when grandma and grandpa come to visit. At Amazon, with just a single click, you can buy the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and your own personal good vibrations.

There are also unofficial tie-ins with “50 Shades.” Surf laundry detergent actually has come up with a Limited Edition “Flirty Shades of Surf.” Their customers are encouraged to try Surf’s “naughtiest fragrance yet.” It’s amazing that in the right hands and minds, even soap can be dirty. 

For people who like to take care of all their errands in one place, you can get your “50 Shades” needs met at your local Target while you do your regular shopping. In at least one Target store, some of “50 Shades'” most intimate toys were right next to the children’s toothbrushes. Leave it to Target to make the shopping experience as convenient as possible for the busy mom or dad. 

Target does seem to be the perfect place to do your “50 Shades” Valentine’s Day shopping, with just a slight change from previous years. The store’s logo is, of course, that red circular target. Traditionally, on Valentine’s Day, Cupid shoots his arrow into the target which is the human heart. For Valentine’s Day, that love target was just somewhat lower than the heart.

Lloyd Garver

I was fortunate to be involved in one of the Golden Ages of Television comedy. I wrote and produced television shows ranging from "Sesame Street" to "The Bob Newhart Show" to "Family Ties" to Home improvement" to "Frasier." (I've also read many books, some of them in hardcover). I grew up in Chicago, went to college at the University of California at Berkeley, and got my Masters at Northwestern. Then I followed my dream to become a serious writer… by driving to Hollywood and getting a job writing questions and "ad lib" jokes for the game show, "Hollywood Squares."I wrote spec scripts in my spare time while I was toiling away at "Hollywood Squares," and after a few years sold my first to a show called, "Love, American Style." After that, I was lucky enough to continue to write for many comedies for the next 30 years or so. However, I always had an interest in writing essays and columns. An early "My Turn" column for "Newsweek" about the evils of Nintendo resulted in my being a guest on "Oprah." I assume that she will support me if I ever run for President.I have been a weekly humor and opinion columnist since 2001. I have written columns for "The Kansas City Kansan," "The Denver Post," "The Santa Monica Daily Press," "The San Francisco Examiner," Crawford Texas' "The Lone Star Iconoclast," and the "The Jewish Journal." My column has also run on line on and I wrote a sports column for It has also been syndicated to hundreds of papers and sites. I was also recently honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists for a column I wrote about the NCAA final four tournament. In this age of suspicion, I feel compelled to give you a guarantee about me. I swear that I have never written a column or a script while on steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. All right, once I took a swig of some Human Growth Hormone, but it gave me gas.

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2 Responses to Sex Toys “R” Us

  1. Bill Spencer
    February 17, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Wow, Lloyd! You sound like a very “disciplined” writer.

  2. February 17, 2015 at 2:00 am

    Punishment, dominance, and pain? Maybe this movie should be sponsored by the IRS.

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