I know what you're probably thinking - that this will be excrutiatingly boring - and you're quite
right. This isn't going to be humorous or anecdotal in intent like other sections of my
website. After all, how many sarcastic jokes can you really come up with about plastic ants?
I'm just doing this because there are so many websites out there that archive, showcase or
review even the simplest small toys (see toypedia or little rubber guys for just a fraction of
them) but few if any webpages devoted to one of the oldest, most ubiquitous categories of
children's plaything: the "rubber bug." From tiny plastic ants to giant, glow-in-the-dark
scorpions, artificial arthropods are such cheap, simple fun that they can be found literally
everywhere that toys are sold. Go ahead, just try to find a grocery store toy aisle, dollar
store or party supply outlet that doesn't stock at least one flavor of synthetic spider.
To most people, a "bug" is any terrestrial or fresh-water invertebrate with more than four
major appendages (except, oddly enough, most Crustacea) but in reality, the word refers
only to insects of the order Hemiptera, including such members as the stink bugs, assassin
bugs and bed bugs. My reckless use of the word may make some biologists squirm, but it
takes up a lot less space than "Arthropod," and having just explained the proper definition
up front, I don't think I'll be doing any harm.