Friday, November 16, 2012

Toys True Purpose

Commercials on TV are never more deceiving as when they are trying to market kids toys.  Picture almost every single toy commercial that you have ever seen.  I mean this really shouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination since it’s only 7 weeks until Christmas and therefore every channel is blasting full volume the wondrous assortment of crap available out there to buy.  When you watch kids in these advertisements they are always happy, calm and playing so nicely with their brand new toys.  They make it appear that a child will be truly entertained by their product.  They make you want to go out and purchase it right away and have you believing that if you get said object then you will be able to watch your children blissfully leave you alone for at least an hour.

This is however a load of horse manure.  Kids NEVER play with their toys as they are designed to be used.  That’s if they ever play with it at all.  Almost every mother can attest that they’re children always preferred to play with the box the toy came in instead.  I have actually left certain toys in their original boxes and thrown them into the mix of the toy pile.  These toys actually are the most fascinating of all.  My daughter was given a toy train set that stayed in the box for almost 6 months and that was the first thing she went for every time, that is however until I took it out of the box.  Immediately upon removal from its packaging it lost its appeal and got forgotten amidst the ever growing mountain of toys.

My son is currently all about little toy cars.  Granted he does use these to drive all over the walls, the TV (much to my hubby’s worst nightmares) and is obsessed with sticking them into every empty hole he can find (hmmm maybe that’s just a boy thing).   This means that I find his little dinky cars stuck in the most interesting places.  I was however not overly impressed last week when I found myself spending 45 minutes trying to extract a mini yellow sports car of some sorts out of my vacuum hose. 

Anything with a long handle becomes a weapon of mass destruction.  I never allow the kids to have any rigid object longer than a couple inches.  These are not used as a magic fairy wand or a drumstick that is explicitly supposed to be played on a toy drum set; instead they are used to beat on each other, other toys, furniture and walls with.  Could you imagine what they would do to the TV with that kind of power?

Play-dough and crayons aren’t even looked at as a play thing but a gourmet meal.  Meanwhile you can’t get the children to eat their supper but you can barely stop them taking bites out of the rolled out, disgusting tasting neon orange goo.  Both my son and daughter have had some interesting colored poops due to different crayon mixtures mixed in their digestive juices.

There are now millions of toys designed to aid children in walking, crawling, participating in “tummy time,” learning how to develop their coordination.  Although in theory they sound amazing, like “what did we do before the invention of______?”, but most children hate them instantly you have to fight tooth and nail to try to get them to use the thing or need an engineering degree to get the kid in it properly.  The babies depicted in the commercials using these products must be digitally created as I’ve yet to meet one in real life that actually reacts with anything but ear piercing screaming when placed in said devices.   

Toy blocks, Mr. Potato Head, doll houses and their pieces are used as war on your feet.  I have never gone into the play room and seen these toys used for anything other than dangerous decorations spread from one end of the room to the other.  They literally take these items and dump them all over every square inch of floor space.  It not only takes 10,000 hours to clean them up but you usually end up needing medical intervention for  your feet from the damage they cause when you step on one unexpectedly.

Now with Christmas peeking over the horizon people are starting to ask me what the kids need.  I have a hard time answering this question.  Although as parents we always like receiving clothing from people for the kids no one really wants to buy clothes for a kid because then they will become known as the “boring aunt, uncle, grandparent, friend, etc.”  Most of these people want to get the kids toys because that’s what kids want even if they never really do play with them. 

The true purpose of toys are brilliant if you think about it.  It’s a company’s golden ticket during the holiday season.  Just think about the nonsense of “Tickle Me Elmo” dolls in 1996.  Parents were literally getting into fist fights in department store aisles in order to purchase what was probably the most annoying toy in history.  All this in attempt to look like the good guy to your three month old who is probably just going to drool on it or be freaked out and scream bloody murder every time it's taken out of the toybox.  I am pretty sure that none of these dolls actually got played with once they came out of their box anyway and the batteries were never replaced once they were drained.

There is also no way to stop the endless influx of toys.  Unless you turn off all television, keep your kids home from school and never take them shopping they’re always going to want the toy they see on the shelf, the cool doll their friend has, the amazing thing-a-ma-bob they saw in between The Wiggles and Dora the Explorer.  I mean you can always refuse to buy the kids any of these things and enforce a strict no toy policy when suggesting items to all the gift bearers but then you’d look like a total asshole.    I’m telling you they have you check-mated.  So you had better just invest in a really good pair of inside shoes that prevent you needing reconstructive surgery on your feet after stepping on Lego, mount your TV as high on the wall as possible and get over it.   

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