Whoa, An Actually Useful Way to Use QR Codes (Or: A Lazy Parent's List of the 20 Most Popular Christmas Toys)

So Target has done the impossible. It's used QR codes in a way that is so useful that it actually outweighs how goofy, unwieldy, and ineffectual they are. It does this by, essentially, by simplifying something even worse: Holiday shopping at Target.

The idea is that the 20 most popular toys for kids will all have in-store QR codes, which parents (or kids with their parents' phones) can use to buy and ship the toys to any address—even if they're sold out. It also helps with the problem of buying presents for a kid when she's with you, although scanning a QR code without her seeing would probably also involve leaving her unattended in the middle of a retail supercenter? The codes are scanned on Target's mobile app.

This seems like a pretty great idea. But it's even better because it's a cheat sheet for totally oblivious parents who don't know what to buy. "HERE, IDIOT, buy this," the QR codes scream. And then you take out your phone and comply.

[Target's Top 20 Holiday Kids' Toys]

9 Months to 2 Years:

— Hasbro(R) PLAYSKOOL Rockitivity Walk 'n Roll Rider

3 to 4 Years:

— Just Play(TM) Bounce Bounce Tigger

— Hasbro(R) BABY ALIVE Baby Wanna Walk

5 to 7 Years:

— Hasbro(R) FURBY

— HEXBUG(R) Warriors Battle Zone Playset

— Mattel(R) Hot Wheels(R) Wall Tracks Power Tower(R) Track Set

— Fisher-Price(R) Imaginext(R) Eagle Talon Castle

— Leap-Frog LeapPad2 Explorer Exclusive Bundle (Target exclusive)

— LEGO(R) Friends Emma's Horse Trailer (Target exclusive)

— Mattel(R) Barbie Photo Fashion Doll

— Mattel(R) Monster High(R) Scary Tales Doll (Target exclusive)

— MGA Entertainment(R) Lalaloopsy Harmony B. Sharp

— Hasbro(R) NERF N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire Blaster

— Hasbro(R) Spider-Man Dual Action Web Shooter

8 and Up:

— Spin Master Air Hogs(R) Hover Assault

— MEGA Brands(R) HALO 4 Warthog Vehicle

— Hasbro(R) BEYBLADE: METAL FURY DESTROYER DOME

— Hasbro(R) BOP-IT Smash

— Hasbro(R) EASY BAKE Ultimate Oven

— LEGO(R) Super Heroes Batwing Battle Over Gotham City

[Target]