Object of the Week

Fisher-Price Has Turned Our Remote Work Hell Into a Toy

”My Home Office” for kids lands somewhere between dark satire and a meme

Rob Walker
Published in
4 min readMar 4, 2021


The text “Object of the Week” above  the Fisher-Price My Home Office play set with a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps.’”
Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Fisher-Price

Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.

It looks like a parody, and a rather dark one at that: The Fisher-Price My Home Office play set includes a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps’ that attach to computer screen to ‘work’ on different projects.” It’s intended for preschoolers, ages three and up. The obvious takeaway: Once upon a time, children might pretend to be an astronaut or a superhero before the educational system disabused them of all their dreams. Now, apparently, a toy inspired by the Covid-19 remote-work boom, which has converted so many homes into offices and schools, will teach them to just skip ahead and start fantasizing about a soul-draining life of Slack banter and Zoom meetings.

This flew so close to satire that truth-on-the-internet arbiter Snopes.com weighed in on the matter, confirming that the eight-piece play set is perfectly real and carries a suggested price of $24.99. In fact, according to its Amazon listing, it’s been available since August. But it’s only in the past week that the kit seems to…