Judge Mom, presiding.
The Plaintiff in this case, Maddy, brings this action in the Superior Court of Target, Toy Division.
Plaintiff has filed a motion asking the Court to immediately grant her the LOL Surprise O.M.G. Spicy Babe Fashion Doll (“The Doll”) that she just saw, for the first time, on the ground that she has always wanted it. The Doll appears on a display shelf the Court hoped would not be visible from Home & Patio. Opposing the motion is her younger brother, Jonah.
As a point of procedure, motions for new toys normally require a one-week notice period. See Maddy v. Mom (Safeway, 2021). Plaintiff persuasively implies, however, that without an immediate hearing, the public interest will suffer from intemperate outbursts on the way to the parking lot. The Court will therefore consider this motion on the merits.
Plaintiff’s argument for why she is entitled to the Doll is: “I love it. I love it so much.” Maddy’s claim, which the Court interprets as an action for recreational deprivation, faces a high burden of proof, as we set forth in the seminal case of Maddy v. Mom (Disney Store, 2018).
Under the Disney Store precedent, a new toy will only be granted when (1) Plaintiff has not recently been granted toys; (2) Plaintiff has had good behavior today; and (3) the toy itself is appropriate. Regarding the first element, Plaintiff insists that the Court “never, ever” grants her toys. This contention is belied by a voluminous record of Christmas, Easter, and birthday giving that issues continuously from this Court’s inexhaustible bounty. Plaintiff retorts that toys given by holiday mascots do not qualify as “granted” by the Court. For so long as Plaintiff is a ward of the Court, her perception that these mascots and the Court are separate entities will remain undisturbed.
Regarding the good behavior requirement, it is undisputed that Plaintiff’s attitude today has been stinky. Plaintiff cites Maddy v. Mom (Burger King, 2021) for the proposition that stinkiness is justified if caused by the frustration of practicing difficult hobbies. That case is not on point. Plaintiff cannot now claim to be frustrated from practicing the flute six days ago. Nor is there any authority for the proposition that Plaintiff may earn the Doll by promising to eat her vegetables for the next one hundred years.
Coming finally to the third element, the “appropriateness” of a toy is a “determination based on all the relevant circumstances, including product safety, the social values reflected by the toy design, and matters such as price, size, battery-dependency, and noisiness.” Jonah v. Mom (Mobile Amazon App, 2022).
The toy in question is of LOL Surprise make. It belongs to the Outrageous Millennial Girls (“O.M.G.”) line of dolls, Fashion Doll subcategory. The specific model is termed “Spicy Babe.” While Plaintiff may be a touch young to identify with outrageous and spicy babes, there appear to be no problematic identity stereotypes associated with the Doll. Even so, the Court takes judicial notice that the Doll includes no fewer than “20 surprise” pieces, which certainly will mean small plastic parts under foot and fridge.
Plaintiff retorts that in Jonah v. Mom (Barnes & Noble, 2020) the Court granted a LEGO set that included 150 small pieces. The point is well taken. And yet there is something about the Doll that troubles this Court. The LOL Surprise O.M.G. branding is somehow cloying, and the Doll’s eyes are extremely big. The Court cannot disqualify the toy as inappropriate, but the Court does not like it.
The Court will now address Jonah’s request to intervene so he may oppose Maddy’s motion. Jonah contends that he is a real-party-in-interest in this dispute because last week at Menchie’s frozen yogurt, Maddy opposed his motion for extra chocolate chip toppings for “no reason.” This Court does not recognize a right of retaliatory intervention.
Plaintiff asserts one final ground for relief based on the alleged statement of Dad. According to Plaintiff, Dad “said [she] could have it.” Dad is not present to testify and so his statement is hearsay. To corroborate Dad’s statement, Plaintiff calls Jonah as witness and presents a series of leading questions, to which the witness nods uncertainly while meeting eyes with the Court for reassurance. This testimony is insufficient, and the Court denies Plaintiff’s request to treat Jonah as a hostile witness. Plaintiff is at liberty to plead the law of Dad, just not in Mom’s jurisdiction.
The Court concludes that Plaintiff has failed to establish all three elements of the Disney Store test. The motion is denied without prejudice. Plaintiff may re-file her motion tomorrow when the Court holds session at Walgreens.
SO ORDERED in the case of Maddy v. Mom (Target, 2023).