The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.
Bendaroos are a new infomercial aimed towards children invoking on their need to create. In utilizing their imagination the excited spokesperson informs me that all my wildest fantasies will come true thanks to this marvelous technology, an innovative scientific marvel known simply as a Bendaroo. Let’s have a look.
First off the beginning seems to be an homage to Jay Z’s magnificent opus “Jigga what, Jigga who”? The alliteration is almost exactly the same which leads me to believe it can’t be a coincidence. It could be that the Bendaroo marketing gimmick is aimed to connect two very similar audiences…Gangsta rappers and children. Right off the bat we’re shown what we’re gettin’ into as bendaroos are immediately shown to be malleable enough to “shape ’em, wrap ’em, stick ’em”, three things both children and rappers enjoy doing tremendously.
Then rather abruptly we’re told they’re unbreakable, like adamantium, as if my first thought upon seeing them is “I bet those snap like the wings off a grasshopper.” Apparently I have some sort of weird bug fetish in their fantasy, regardless we’re then shown a close up of a Bendaroo for the first time and the shocking truth is revealed. The wax they use is magical. They’ve found some secret ancient technique to create a lapsing bond between two substances, probably the same one the Egyptians used to build the pyramids, and have harnessed it to create a children’s toy.
To prove they’re very serious they go on to tell the audience that bendaroos can do almost anything. I’m not one to question the dark forces of magic anyway but apparently some people may be skeptical so they show a monkey and some weird folk art. As if this isn’t enough to convince the skeptics they continue to assault the senses showing a bendaroo drawing of balloons. They’re quite possibly the most realistic balloons ever put to canvas. Then as if to spit in the face of Crayola they show some child trying to draw balloons but only getting squiggles until the crayons snap in half under his tremendous force.
Thanks to bendaroos you’ll never have to rely on crayons again. The child in the commercial was probably driven mad under the working conditions. “Why must I work with such primitive utensils.” he demanded, and the Bendaroo spokesman stood motionless staring at the gaping void the child had drawn. “This isn’t art. Show me beauty child…show me love.” “Alas, I can not.” and the child struck the paper with such force the crayons shattered beneath his rust colored fist.
We’re left contemplating the fate of the child as it then shows bendaroos in an aquatic environment depicting the ocean floor. They tell the audience you can blend any color and they stick and stay. Or if you prefer you can lift them away. Bendaroos are there for you and your needs, unlike the heathen crayons and pens which would never do this for you. Bendaroos bend over backwards for you, no pun intended. Also notice the eyes of the sea life, unblinking like the eyes of the billboard in the Great Gatsby, the eyes of God.
If you thought the fish were impressive, and let’s admit it we all did, then Bendaroos are about to blow your fucking mind. The next example is a ship which seems crafted by the finest artisans in all the land, simply built by the small hands of a child. A feat of this magnitude would have been enough for most but to iron home the point we’re shown a snake and that friendly looking gorilla from earlier, only this time with monkey noises. Monkey noises and children’s toys go hand in hand so well that as a child I sometimes pretended my GI Joes were de-evolved ape men fighting dinosaurs for survival just so I could have an excuse to make the oo’s and ah’s. As if that wasn’t enough we’re then shown a small child bewildered by what she has made, a confused God looking down upon her creations with horror and pity. “Make an entire bug colony” the spokesperson says excitedly but all the child can do is gasp in horror.
Then we’re shown that bendaroos always hold their shape, as if we expected them at some point to return to their original straight line form. We’re working with dark magic here I don’t expect the laws of physics to interfere. The announcer apparently realizes his mistake as he shows children writing their names and then making them float on their own free will. He says they’re hanging from something but we all know the truth. Then we’re shown that if we want them to unbend, or lose their shape they will. These magical sticks have the ability to know what we need from them in every way and anticipate all of our desires. They must have been forged by the finest of dark materials.
The commercial goes on to transform “ordinary” everyday objects into “awesome” children’s fantasy paraphenelia. Change bottles into dolls and recycle your own way. At least this way when poppa buys some PBR the kids can get some enjoyment out of it too. Change a cereal box into a guitar? That takes a bit more imagination than i’m willing to concede here but that kid apparently has it down rocking some Ray Charles’ glasses. They could have at least worked a frosted flakes “I’m great!” pun into there. Then finally we can change paper plates into masks which is something thats not nearly as impressive as the other two, mainly because I can already do that without bendaroos. I guess they’re advertising that bendaroos aren’t just for fun but in fact enhance your life. I can agree to that.
The commercial then informs children that they can decorate their rooms, something I did religiously as a child. I had tons of tacky cut out magazine pictures on my wall over my racecar bed. If you want to persuade children to buy something remind them they can use it to write and draw on walls. It’s rather ingenious. Not only can you write on walls you can write on doors too, which is something every child also enjoys. You have to let the world know what’s yours and the only way to do that in the juvenile mind is write your name on it. Parents are then informed that there’s no glue mess or fuss to worry about and all the stuff is removable, another instance of bendaroos bending to serve the will of the consumer.
Now we get to one of my favorite parts, the gear for your action figures part. This would be my favorite use if I were a child with these as I used to build lego guns and houses for them but never something as elaborate as a bendaroo body armor/cybernetic bendaroo arm. Can you imagine the fantasies a child with this kind of technology can create. The possibilities are endless. Oh girls can build…furniture…for their dolls too which I guess is pretty exciting?
The announcer then informs us that bendaroos can go anywhere which to be honest is true for crayons as well. But can crayons connect the dots? I didn’t think so. Can you draw a picture with crayons and then rip it off the page pulling your 2d abstract art into reality? Can crayons create battle armor for your futuristic black light chess pieces? I didn’t think so either. Although it does warn that it would take more than one set to build an army like that, which is fine with me because I’m only building my half of the chess board. Can you imagine the faces of your friends when you whip your pieces out and inform them that because they have jet packs and assault rifles they can take the king out without even moving? That would be amazing.
So then we enter the crescendo of the commercial, where they show a bunch of different creations and finally the price and how to order. For 19.95 plus shipping and handling you too can own a set of black magic Bendaroo sticks. If this advertisement hasn’t convinced you of their merit, then nothing will. I leave you now with Loney Dear – Airport Surroundings.