If go up any random parent of a toddler and ask what song is stuck in their head, chances are it’s Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark.” The video has gone beyond viral, racking up more than 146 million views on YouTube. (About a million of them have come from my 3-year-old, who insists we watch it every time I clip her nails.) The song is a perfect earworm, with a repeating, sing-songy chorus that’s designed to play on repeat in the brain forever until you start to think, hey, is this actually my favorite song? It’s been the subject of memes and parodies and tweets. An editor here recently called the phenomenon “Sharkholm Syndrome.”
If you know a tot in the throes of Sharkmania, what better gift to give than a doll that plays the “Baby Shark” song without having to take out a device and navigate over to YouTube? One that’ll make the tune available to play whenever your kid wants to hear it, which is always, with just a simple press of a button?
Well, you’re in luck, because WowWee has launched two kinds of official Baby Shark toys: a cuddly doll ($17) and a soft, stackable sound cube ($8). Squeeze either of them, and the song will play. Each come in three varieties: a Baby Shark, a Mommy Shark, and a Daddy Shark. (And if any of them find their way into my house, I will gleefully show them the way back to the ocean.)
In my experience, there are two types of people who give gifts to kids: the ones who give quiet gifts, and the ones who give Noisy Toys, possibly as a passive-aggressive way to annoy the parents. This is the ultimate Noisy Toy, in that the effect doesn’t stop when the dolls are put away for the day — you’ll find yourself thinking about the neon-colored Shark Family for the rest of the night. These sharks will be available for pre-order starting December 1, but they’ll ship in time for Christmas, in case there’s a parent still on your list that did something to piss you off this past year.