So you would think I’d be all over the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Awards. Except, I think the folks a CCFC need to get out more.
To counter the Toy Industry Association’s TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards on February 15, CCFC is asking parents to put in their votes for the TOADY of 2009. Their picks are perfectly annoying, I’ll grant you.
You can pick the pooping Baby Alive, the over-the-top Power Wheels Cadillac Escalade, the Smart Cycle, Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll or the Lego Batman video game. None of these would I personally pick up for my daughter (and for further proof, read up on my thoughts on bimbo Barbie here!), but I can’t summon quite the vituperativeness of the folks at CCFC over a toy.
Take the concern over the Smart Cycle, which they say gives kids “monotonous exercise to replace those boring trips to the park.” Hello, CCFC, winter called. It wants you to know you need to keep the kids inside today – and they’re still going to have the SAME energy to burn today that they’d get out on a sunny summer day at the park. They’ll also want to eat the same filling foods they’ll eat in the summer – maybe more to fight the cold – and sitting around playing puzzles with Mom all day is guaranteed to pack on the pounds. So, how bad is that exercise looking now?
Lego gets the stinkeye for “partnering with media companies to sell that toy in branded kits designed for recreating movies like Star Wars, rather than creative construction.” Because, of course, no kid would ever link those blocks in any way, shape or form that would differ from the original picture on the box, thus allowing them to be creative and enjoy one of their favorite characters at the same time? And no little kid would possibly test their imagination with a Star Wars or Batman toy, crafting their own stories of how to defeat the Dark Knight, in the privacy of their bedroom. So silly. Of course, this is a video game, which draws their real ire because, they insist, “instead of deciding what to build next, children choose which cyber weapons to use to beat up their opponent.” Because they won’t use a toy good guy to kick the toy villain’s ass?
Think the CCFC is on the right track, and I’m just one of those parents who spends too much time playing with real kids? Check them out and vote. Then get off the computer and go play with your kids – because as far as they’re concerned, letting a kid play on a SmartCycle is tantamount to parents not “interacting with their preschoolers at all.”
And who would want five seconds away from their child?