August 05, 2003

Note to Little Tikes

Dear Little Tikes -

Thank you so much for the lovely pictogram instructions that accompanied your 8-in-1 playset. The drawings depicting 1 man effortlessly snapping together your product were an especially entertaining bit of storytelling. I am particularly fond of the sequence wherein one average male citizen was able to simultaneously lift a corner of one preassembled structrue, line up the slots on the tunnel with the slots on the wall of another portion of the structure, slide the bits together and lock them into place with nothing more than a flick of the wrist.

The humor was not lost on me as I jumped up and down on unyielding plastic bits and anxiously eyed my 63-year old father for signs of heat exhaustion or heart attack.

I especially appreciated the ironic understatement inherent in your exhortations to "lightly tap" the pieces into place. Dad and I shared quite a laugh after whacking every available surface with a rubber mallet, to no visible effect. I am pleased to report that your sturdy plastic surfaces withstood all our attempts to make the tabs fit the slots.

Finally, I am beyond charmed by the fact that although the 8-in-1 playset is "easily modified," the instructions only demonstrate one configuration from start to finish. All the other "modifications" are only illustrated by small drawings on the outside of the box it was shipped in, necessitating our storage of a large, otherwise useless cardboard surface. Said surface is a lovely addition to our interior decor, by the way. And I'm sure that you will have succeeded in your goal of forcing us to examine our creative spirit and spatial relations abilities when we decide to modify the structure.

Truly, Little Tikes, you are a beacon amongst companies.

Big Arm Woman

Posted by Big Arm Woman at August 5, 2003 11:25 AM

``Remove roof and temporarily set aside'' is one for homeowners to watch out for.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at August 5, 2003 02:04 PM

Oh man, the Little Tykes cube with pink slide was an evening-long grunting sweating swearing nightmare to assemble.

Posted by: Bill White at August 5, 2003 04:58 PM

Anyone else in favor of scrapping pictograms and going back to the use of *language* for instruction manuals? (with the use of illustrations where helpful). There's a reason why language was invented; not everything can be shown pictorially.

This goes double for warning lights on electronic devices. I'd rather have them labelled in French, Spanish, or German than in silly icons--at least I'd have *some* chance of figuring out what they're trying to say.

Posted by: David Foster at August 5, 2003 07:00 PM

Hmmmmm, didn't have that problem with the one our church bought, after noticing that the side walls are *NOT* interchangeable. . .

Posted by: JS Allison at August 6, 2003 11:46 AM

Hey Guys,

I am looking to BUY one of these nightmare-ish 8 in 1 playgrounds. Are any of you willing to SELL?

Thank you!

Posted by: Melissa at July 24, 2004 12:26 PM