previous article | | next article
Britney Spears Versus The Techno-Spawn Monkey!
Matt - 08/13/00

KayBee Toys Online was having a super clearance mega sale this week, as a friend pointed out to me after I stumbled onto the internet half-drunk the other day. My inebriation worked to KayBee's advantage though, since they managed to rip another few bucks off my credit card's max, leaving me with some more ludicrous monstrosities to fill the house with. I did notice two dolls however, two very important dolls. I needed to have 'em. I needed to know which was better. I speak of the Techno Spawn Monkey and the Britney Spears doll.

Which is better? Surely they're both not without their own personal merits. Tonight we're going to match up these two pillars of pop-culture and see who wins out. Of course, it's important from the getgo to establish exactly what each toy is and represents, so let's get that out of the way.

Britney Spears is pop's virginal princess. She leaves a lasting impression with her cool costumes, sensational vocals, fresh videos, and fake cleavage. Owning this doll is a little girl's way of saying she's in with the times. Owning this doll is my way of not having to go through the trouble of asking people to punch me in the stomach.

Techno Spawn Monkey represents rage, simian artistry, and deadly weapons. He has no moral lessons to teach, but most mutant monkeys wearing spacesuits usually let their actions speak louder than words. Anyone owning one of these figures displays an obvious passion for the finer things in life, namely apes in bubble helmets.

Now that the pleasantries have been settled, let's compare the two!

Stage One: Packaging

Packaging plays a crucial role when it comes to potential purchasing. If a doll has a really ugly box, customers might toss it aside without even checking to see if there's a golden treasure waiting inside. There's someone else who has the exact same problem...

It's the same deal. Gruff exterior, heart of gold. But our hero above didn't have a choice with his packaging...the toymakers do. Let's see how our battling dolls matched up...

Spawn's package consists of a big blister card that can barely support the weight of the figure. It does a good job of letting you know that you are indeed going to be buying a weird monkey, but it doesn't do much else. I'm also a little peeved that they opted not to add a hyphen between 'Techno' and 'Spawn'. Had I known that before making the order, I might not have purchased it. Call it a matter of personal opinion, but I feel the toys I choose should encourage proper grammar. Either that, or I just really enjoy hyphens. Whatever the case, the package is relatively generic. It's not going to sell you on the figure alone, but considering how the figure happens to be a monkey wearing a spacesuit with 14' robot arms, I guess it really doesn't have that to worry about. The toy speaks for itself.

Like Spawn's package, Britney's does a good job of letting everyone know that they'll be purchasing the most lifelife representation of Britney's breasts available, including her own. And I swear that's the last implant joke of the article. Colorful and collectible, it's right on par with Spawn's package...but it's got a little something extra...

Yep. The back of the box has Britney's statistics! Without this, how would anyone know that Britney's favorite pastimes include shopping, hanging out with family and friends, and reading romance novels? It's the little things like this that really count. Techno Spawn Monkey's package gives no stats of any kind. While Britney's box clearly states that she was born in 1981, I can only make an educated guess at the monkey's age. And judging from the weathered look, I'd say mid 50s. Hell, I could even make Britney a personalized birthstone necklace, because the box was sure to tell me it's topaz! What if I started gluing amythests all over the monkey's chest when he was actually born in March? See where the problem lies there? Britney takes the prize in this round.

Victor: Britney Spears

Stage Two: Appearance

Appearance is obviously really important. Nobody wants an unattractive toy. These two dolls, while the may appear completely different, are both aiming towards one goal - they want to look cool.

The Britney doll is a pretty good representation of the real thing, right down to the problem-area brown roots. She comes to us in her infamous Hit Me Baby... outfit, complete with loosely-covered chest, knee-highs, and pink little hair bows. They even nailed the vacant smile down. Thumbs up all around.

Unfortunately, the Britney doll lacks the ability to stand on her feet. Now, if this was Christina Aguialallalalallaia, that wouldn't a problem. But remember, Britney's a virgin.

But Britney's up against some pretty extraordinary competition. Techno Spawn Monkey is not your everyday mutant spaceape. Remember when Jeff Goldblum went through the fly machine after it got all messed up? Well, if you took a monkey, an astronaut, a Volkswagon, Phoebe Cates, a sewing machine and ran it all through the machine, this is what you'd end up with. By the time you add in the fact that the monkey's wearing a fucking bubble helmet, you're left with probably the most involved, important piece of artistry ever fashioned after an alien ape.

Like Britney, the monkey also has a problem standing up. But I'm not going to be the one to tell him that.

Victor: Techno Spawn Monkey

Stage Three: Accessories

What fun is a toy if it doesn't come with cool hair brushes and missle launchers? I'll answer that -- no fun at all! And that's why accessories are so important. Just like you need toys to play with...your toys need something to play with. Just like you become a barren wasteland of nothingness without your toys...your toys become worthless piles of plastic without theirs. Let's see if the toymakers realized this...

The Britney doll comes with more accessories than you could hope for - everything from a removable sweater to a pair of shoes to a bookbag. Unfortunately, they left out the hair bleach and little pink journal with Britney's thoughts on french kissing. But you can't have everything.

Techno Spawn Monkey's not without his accessories either, but unfortunately they appear to be nothing more than big clumps of plastic. Also, accessories are a relative term when it comes to Spawn. These aren't accessories so much as they're pieces of the monkey's body that for some reason are removable. Pretty pathetic attempt here.

Obvious Victor: Britney Spears

Stage Four: Best Ass

This is the all-important stage. Which figure would turn your G.I. Joe's heads when they walked past 'em more, Spawn or Britney?

Let's face it. Unless you're too young to understand that there's really no reason for Britney's music to sell as well as it does, you'd know that she's unassumingly selling sex. So she must have a pretty decent backside in real life. I wouldn't know, because whenever one of her videos comes on I'm too busy kicking myself for not donning a Catholic schoolgirl outfit and getting into the music biz myself. And if I'm not too busy doing that, I'm too busy changing the channel or tearing my eardrums out with a fork. But the point of it all is - while Britney's ass might get her some fans in real life, this sorry plastic ass will get her none here.

But Techno Monkey Spawn's ass? Now that's quality. That's the kind of ass Sir Mix-A-Lot was talking about. It's pretty profound, and it's profoundly pretty.

Victor: The Monkey

Stage Five: Versatility

Hey, toys should be able to do more than just pose. If a toy's worth only goes as far as it's intended purpose, you're going to get bored pretty quick. That's why it has to have versatility. In this stage, to be fair, I simply tried switching each doll's accessories with each other's to see which one ended up best...

Britney turned out pretty interesting. Sort of like an Amazon Women From The Moon type of thing. Some people argue that Britney looks good in anything. It's hard to dispute that when she manages to pull off looking alright in Spawn's plastic clumps.

Meanwhile, the monkey ends up looking like a pile of shit. Or more specifically, a pile of shit adorned with Britney Spears' sweater.

Victor: Britney Spears

Stage Six: Posability

Posability and articulation are growing concerns in the toy market. We're not satisfied until our dolls are put into positions that are humanly impossible. The true test is how far back you can get a figure's legs to go before they snap off. Let's see how our contestants fared...

Britney, making sure her reputation as a 'tease' stays intact, is able to bend and twist into the most amazing positions possible. Techno-Monkey Spawn...can't. But then again - when you pose the monkey as shown, he becomes a lethal weapon. This thing weighs like 5 pounds. And for some reason, you can get away with throwing toys at other people. You can't throw rocks, books, or knives at 'em...but you really won't get in too much trouble for lunging a toy at someone's head. So Techno-Monkey Spawn wins this one on a techinicality.

Victor: Ape

After tallying up all the stages, and believe me, it was a lengthy process, it looks like Britney Spears has edged out the Techno-Spawn Monkey for best toy. I think they were tied in the stages, but Britney wins based solely on the fact that this monkey has a really scary face. It was a hardfought victory, and we commend both contestants for giving it their all. I'd also like to thank all of you for reading what is beyond a shadow of a doubt the only article I've ever wrote that convinced even myself that I really do need some counseling.

- Matt