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Oh what tangled hair we weave: Bunchems, “the colorful little balls that stick to each other and build like no other,” according to the company, are giving parents and kids fits because the little hooks that make the balls cling to one another can also cause the balls to become tangled in children’s hair.
The Bunchems, expected to be one of the hottest toys of the holiday season, now come with a warning on retailer Amazon.com Inc.’s website about the hair tangling danger. Out of the 219 customer reviews on Amazon’s website, 34% of reviewers gave the toy only one star, with one reviewer saying he spent two and a half hours trying to remove 14 balls from his daughter’s hair and urging fellow Amazon shoppers to “buy this toy for someone if you hate them or their child.”
Other Amazon reviewers were more forgiving, with 25% giving the toy five stars and some blaming inattentive parents for the hair tangles.
In response to the backlash, Toronto-based Spin Master Ltd., which manufactures the toy, put an instructional video on its website telling parents how to remove the stuck Bunchems from their child’s hair, starting with applying conditioner or vegetable oil, combing below the affected hair areas and then sliding the Bunchems down and off the child’s hair.
The video advises parents to repeat the process if they don’t succeed at removing the Bunchems on the first try, but some Amazon reviewers say Spin Master’s conditioner/vegetable oil solution simply does not work and suggest other tools, including pliers and toothpicks, to pry the toys loose.