Friday, February 10, 2006

Future consumers in-training

Ask any psychologist, and she'll tell you that the toys your child persuades you to buy will help shape his or her future. This is precisely why Gov. Blagojevich (D-Ill.) is trying to ban violent video games and television news coverage; too many of our children are growing up thinking it's OK to invade countries, overthrow leaders, and install puppet governments that will do the bidding of our joysticks.

When I was growing up, I had easy access to toys that inspired my imagination and helped make who I am today. Toy cars helped me imagine that I was the only driver on the road, so everybody else better get the fuck out of my way. Toy soldiers helped me get my aggressive side out, and to this day I enjoy watching sweaty men lug around their equipment. Board games of my youth helped me develop a poker face and the ability to accidentally knock over the Scrabble board when I'm losing to someone younger and dumber.

Nowadays, though, what are the toys that children are demanding? And what are these toys teaching our toddlers? Let's take a look ...

The Firefly Mobile, available at Toys 'R' Us comes with optional shells, skins, mesh pouches and hands-free headsets.
What It Teaches: Accessorize! Plus, it's OK to go over your minutes in the name of keeping in touch.
Back When I Was A Kid: We'd hang out at a park down the block. Our moms would yell our names out the window and we'd come running. We could never claim that we couldn't get a signal.

The YOUniverse ATM Machine Bank allows you to withdraw cash like an adult. Instead of taking your lunch money, the neighborhood bully steals your PIN and, possibly, your identity.
What It Teaches: Never go anywhere without access to cash.
Back When I Was A Kid: Money could only be found in Daddy's wallet and Mommy's purse. When I wanted something, I was told to shut up, be good, and wait for Christmas.

The Barbie Cash Register can handle cash, credit, and food stamps. Your daughter will most likely be stuck with a service industry job, so you can provide this valuable training now.
What It Teaches: The sweetest sound is America is a receipt printing.
Back When I Was A Kid: Barbie had hot outfits. She was going to the beach! Or to a wedding. Now, she's stuck at a 7-11. Wait, no, I swear I never played with my sister's Barbies.

The McDonald's Food Cart - Pretend-Play-and-Dress-Up, well, we all know what makes us the happiest and fattest country in the world.
What It Teaches: You gotta get them fries out of the grease as soon as that buzzer goes off. Otherwise they burn. And make sure you salt the hell out of them!
Back When I Was A Kid: Want to pretend you're eating at a famous restaurant? Eat some damn Play Doh!

3 Comments:

Blogger Jenska said...

Oh there's also a McDonald's Barbie that has been around for a really long time now. Comes with a restaurant set up and everything. I can only imagine how that pitch went: See we are encouraging our girls to aim high in their careers -- there's Dr. Barbie, Astronaut Barbie, Veterinarian Barbie, Business-Lady Barbie, and now cashier-at-McDonald's Barbie!

10:11 AM  
Anonymous adp said...

They really should make funeral director Barbie. Every single female I know who ever owned Barbies buried at least one (or parts of one.) My friend and I had a little Barbie cemetary in the woods by her house.

11:08 AM  
Blogger GrandOverseerPickle said...

Ha, training kids to be mindless burger flipping consumers!

Isnt America great?

5:17 PM  

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