I think my generation (kids born in the late '50s/early 60s) was the first to experience the widespread wonder of battery-operated toys, although certainly the majority of my playthings didn't have them. I had dolls that didn't "do" anything other than sit there or maybe pee out water or cry like a rubber chicken if you pressed in on their tummies. I had building blocks and Play-Doh and a Spirograph and board games like Monopoly and Life and Sorry and Trouble. I had a Viewmaster and a Sit n' Spin and a rocking horse on squeaky metal springs and a Marvel the Mustang and Twiggy Colorforms. To get anything out of these toys, you had to actually DO stuff with them.

When I had my own kids in the '90s and '00s, everything had a fricken battery in it. I mean everything, from baby crib toys that would play creepy electronic lullabies to books that played equally-creepy sounds as you pressed buttons along with the text, batteries that would light up a basketball, batteries to fly tiny helicopters indoors, batteries batteries batteries. We were forever buying batteries, because the function of all these things depended upon them completely. I don't know how many times I saw one of my kids poke poke poke at a toy whose battery had died, frustrated because it no longer DID stuff for them. Three kids, a mountain of battery-operated, cheap-ass plastic crap for each, and I doubt they will ever remember any of them with the fondness I feel when I hold one of my old Matchbox cars in my hand.

Since I now consider myself a seasoned expert on battery-operated toys, today I would like to share with you the Sounds Of Near-Silence: the hideous and hilarious noises that some of these toys make as their batteries are slowly headed to that great toxic landfill Somewhere Where I Can't See Them. Please to enjoy these YouTubes from other Dying Battery Noise Fans!

I posted this one years ago, and it's still one of my all-time favorites. I suggest playing this at high volume if you want to drive away a pack of wild dogs or Jehovah's Witnesses. That it plays "It's A Small World" is far, far too perfect.

Remember the "Billy Bass" fad from a few years ago? Here's one that's ready to be pan-fried. I'm laughing at the video guy laughing as much as the Satan Fish.

OK, so this doesn't have a battery. It's still a plastic piece of crap! It's six seconds long and I laugh every time I play it. ELMO WHAT HAPPENED?

Ladies and gentlemen, The Flatulent Four!

Ladies and gentlemen, Skrillex!

This baby's deadpan reaction to his dying lullaby toy is priceless.

HAHAHAHA! This toy is so mad about dying it can't stop swearing!!

Finally, when I came across this one, my mouth dropped to the FLOOR in HORROR of how WRONG WRONG WRONG this Louis Armstrong singing toy is to begin with, but watching it with a dying battery made me laugh so hard I cried. OMG. OMG!!