Thursday, November 29, 2007

No Toys For Tots

Every year there is one newspaper headline that comes dangerously close to ruining my Christmas. Thank you, New York Times, for providing me with this one. For Toddlers, Toy of Choice Is Tech Device.
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 28: Cellphones, laptops, digital cameras and MP3 music players are among the hottest gift items this year. For preschoolers.

Toy makers and retailers are filling shelves with new tech devices for children ages 3 and up, and sometimes even down. They say they are catering to junior consumers who want to emulate their parents and are not satisfied with fake gadgets.
Fist of all, if they don't have a jobs then they should not be called "junior consumers." They're kids. They depend on big people with jobs-- aka senior consumers-- to make the purchases for them. Secondly, they're not even kids yet, they're toddlers. The only laptop a toddler really wants is the top of mommy's thighs.

Show me a toddler who isn't satisfied with a fake gadget and I'll show you a parent who doesn't know anything about toddlers.

But, just for fun, let's follow this line of thinking to its logical conclusion. If toddlers are no longer satisfied with fake gadgets, then let's get rid of all the fake kitchens and give them real ones with working gas and electric. Forget about that squaresville Bob the Builder dump truck. Let's give the little ones keys to a brand new 12-ton pile driver. And don't even get me started about fake babies. If little Amber wants to be just like mommy, then let's give her a real baby-- preferably one from a third world country... I think Angelina Jolie might have a spare-- so she can drag her around by her hair and shove a bottle in her eye.
"The bigger toy companies don’t even call it the toy business anymore," Mr. Silver said. "They’re in the family entertainment business and the leisure business. What they’re saying is, ‘We’re vying for kids’ leisure time.’"
My head...she spins! A toddler's life should be nothing but leisure time.
"If you give kids an old toy camera, they look at you like you’re crazy," said Reyne Rice, a toy trends specialist for the Toy Industry Association.
If you give a kid broccoli they look at you like you're crazy!

You have to go to the jump to read my favorite part of the story.
Grace, a 1-year-old in San Francisco, however, has been going through a decidedly nontechnology phase.

Recently, playtime has involved "putting little toys and dolls into bags and zipping them up," said her mother, Tanya, who declined to give her last name.
Yes, I can see why mother Tanya refused to give her last name. She must be so ashamed of little Grace. While the one-year-old down the street is creating the next killer app, baby Grace is amused by little toys and plastic bags. Let's hope her nontechnology phase doesn't last forever! I think this poor kid is doomed. The next thing you know, she'll be playing with blocks and boxes... she may even crawl in the box and nap when she's through. Somebody call Social Services! Get this kid an email account before it's too late!

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