Play-Doh Valentines Bag!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and with it, tons of new candies and novelties in shades that fall somewhere between bubble gum pink and horse blood red. I normally don’t pay too close attention to these things, but the 2013 haul is pretty interesting. I’ll cover a few of my finds between now and whenever Valentine’s Day is. Let’s start with Play-Doh.

Play-Doh’s “Valentines Bag” puts a spin on the traditional goofy cards that kids trade in school. This Valentine’s Day, they can instead give each other tiny Play-Doh canisters with impossibly tight lids that I absolutely needed to use my teeth to pry off! I suffered more than a $5 CVS bill for this, believe me.

You get fifteen cans in a mix of four colors, including red, magenta, white and lilac. The set also includes a sticker sheet, so you can do the to-and-from thing on each lid.

My impulse was to make fun of the concept of kids trading small bits of Play-Doh, but is that really any worse than trading pieces of cardboard starring cartoon characters who offer romantically neutral tidings? If I tripped you up with the awkward wording, the answer is NO.

In fact, in the Plain Jane pit of despair that is the annual elementary school valentine swap, little tubs of Play-Doh might be the best things there.

But the lids really are hard to pop off. I suppose that helps keep things fresh, but you need to employ Hulk rage if you ever want to get at the Play-Doh. Were I to learn that a Play-Doh factory manager decided to pass a lid mishap off as something intentional for the sake of his agents’ jobs, I’d say something like, “You know, I had a feeling it was something like that.” Then I’d grow wings and fly to Jupiter, because only in imaginary scenarios can I do that.

Creative bankruptcy is no foreign concept to me, and so I made yet another strange monster. He looks like a Pac-Man ghost who woke up covered in Doritos and octopus. I see the spots as some form of disease, in a nod to the fact that any creature made from Play-Doh exists on borrowed time.

His name is Hearterra. He wants to kiss like lovers do.

UPDATE: Superstar reader Pete C. sent in what’s assuredly destined to be the only Hearterra fan art ever created:

Thank you, Pete!