1. Cuckoo for Koo Koo Birds!

    I was in Walmart a few months ago – which should give you an idea about the amount of time each one of these posts is in production from the time we start until it finally airs – and there was this dump basket of Pillow Pet-like creatures but unlike Pillow Pets, they had embroidered cartoon eyes and an electronic chip inside that made a noise when squeezed.

    One of the pillows in the dump basket was a bird, and I thought to myself, “Gee, this looks an awful lot like one of those Angry Birds all the kids at school are talking about!”

    I looked at the copyright date on the tag and it was 2010. I know Angry Birds came out in late 2009, but I think even if these pillow creatures debuted in 2010, it was surely just by chance that the bird had the same general look.  After all, it was one bird pillow among a sea, a veritable dump basket, if you will, of mammal pillows.  If they were consciously ripping off Angry Birds, they’d have all been birds.

    So then today, I see this:

    Go ahead, click on the photo above to watch the commercial!

    Or just look at these other two images, I don’t care.

    It says “Available only at Toys R Us” but I know what I saw. (A big dump basket of pillows.)  Anyway, who knew they still made such great frenetic toy commercials?! Look what we’re missing out on now that we’ve all got DVRs and blow through the commercials when watching “Maury” (presuming they advertise on “Maury,” which I think is a safe bet).

    And yes, now they’re totally ripping off Angry Birds. And I for one say, “Good for them!” for no reason whatsoever. I have no stake in the matter.  I don’t have a pony in this race. But, hell, “Good for them,” right? Sure, why n0t.

    So here’s my theory: The folks at Jay at Play released these Pillow Pet-like creatures which were ripoffs of Pillow Pets but more interesting than Pillow Pets what with the embroidered cartoon eyes and the sound chip. Then Angry Birds got big, and someone at Jay at Play said, “Holy crap, the stupid bird pillow in our pillow line looks just like one of those Angry Birds all the kids at school are talking about. Let’s get a whole line of these stupid bird toys in production, fast! What can the Angry Birds people do to us? We designed the stupid bird pillow without even knowing about their video game! Besides, the game designers are Finnish – what are they going to do, take us out to a sauna and then beat us with a birch branch? And so what if we find that enjoyable, a nice schvitz!”

    This is all conjecture, of course. It’s all probably just an enormous coincidence like my attorney said.

    Hey, I bet if I put “Angry Birds movie CGI Pixar Lady Gaga voice” in here I’ll get more than my usual four or five hits today.

    Posted by on August 30, 2011, 9:00 AM.

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