Worm Miller reviews some kids' titles that just didn't work out, from amusingly botched concepts to true tragedies.
Santa's rocket ship flew through outer space at hyperspeed, narrowly missing a bunch of evil alien spaceships, until it finally crossed paths with Earth, crash-landing into a manger in Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph, a childless couple, owned the manger, and they happily took in baby Santa as their own.
This revamped, average-looking model became known around the company as 'Butterface Barbie.' The office joke spread, and soon Butterface was given unique accessories, like a brown paper bag that could be placed on her head. The women who worked for Mattel did not find this as amusing as the men did, and eventually the entire concept was scrapped.
Perhaps it was just ahead of its time, given the current popularity of literary/historical mash-ups like ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,’ but in 1958 readers did not know what to make of ‘The Diary of Anne Frankenstein,’ a high-concept, macabre and slightly whimsical faux sequel in which Anne's father revives her with the help of a mad scientist.