Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Friendly Neighborhood Merchandise

I’ve never been one for branding or logos. I always thought it was odd when people paid more to have a big advertisement on their sleeve or festooned across their back. That whole conspicuous consumption really gives me the heebie jeebies.

I’ve been trying to take this same aesthetic into the toys and clothing that I buy for E. It’s really kind of ridiculous to buy expensive clothing for children anyway because you are looking at one or maybe two seasons of wear anyway. It’s getting more and more difficult to keep this up though especially with toys. Wow, everything seems to be a tie-in to a movie or a tv show. Disney is the master. The stores are flooded with all things Disney. Right now in the toddler set, a fleet of Cars-related stuff is racing through. The shirts, pants, toys and all things Cars are there for your selection.

I’ve never seen Cars and I’m sure it’s a fine movie but the sheer volume of the Cars stuff is overwhelming. There’s really no educational or skills building in anything I’ve seen. Sure there is value in imaginative play but any household item can be great fun for a kid.

So, I’ve given up. I’ve decided to steer E towards the commercial products that assuage my guilt at least a little. The Sesame Street products are all wonderful and all kids seem to gravitate towards Elmo. I’ve always liked Spiderman and with that movie success there’s lots of Spiderman goods at younger and younger ages. I’m still looking for the blocks, the puzzles, and the games because I know soon enough E will be making the decisions anyway.


Yondalla said...

This is so not nice of me...

...enjoy it while you can. Soon he will get older and it will not be nearly so easy. Sure I still forbid my 12-year-old from owning certain video games, but that doesn't mean he doesn't play them everywhere else.

And then of course there will be the day when some obnoxious toy is what every child owns and you will be a monster for denying it.

In some ways little kids are easier.

Well...except for not being able get themselves a bowl of cereal, or wipe their own bottoms.

Minge said...

I'm always in the Early Learning Centre - and I don't have any children. I am slightly jealous of you having a wee boy. I am not jealous, though, of the choces you have to make. Even the small ones can be big. We plant acorns in children's lives and they turn into oak trees of joy or forests of grief.

I wish you were my Daddy, actually.

Want to adopt me?

Mike said...

My favorite types of toys were the stacking wood blocks, Legos, and Matchbox (or Hot Wheels) cars. Oh and I played with my sister's Barbies, but don't tell anyone.

The Brian said...

Y, oh I know. The whole pack mentality of the school years can be a frightening thing. I can pretty much control his demands right now but soon it will be out of hand.

minge, I'd happily adopt all 4 of you. It's past time you came to the states for a visit anyway.

Mike, E loves matchbox cars right now. I hadn't expected how quickly he would glom onto them. He takes them everywhere, it's adorable.

Terri said...

oh yes...

Lincoln Logs,
Tinker Toys,
Erector Sets,

the good ole days!

do you remember the little boxers where you'd knock their block off??

The Brian said...

Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots!!!

My cousins had those. I was so jealous.

BriteYellowGun said...

We are fanatical about NOT making ourselves or our kids walking advertisements for anyone. Yes, it's difficult at times but you can do it. Heck it should be easy with only one, we have to worry about it with four.