Worst Toys Not Always The Worst

A LEGO set that reinforces gender stereotypes, a ball where you insert your expensive smartphone and throw around, a storybook app starring your kid, a monkey that’s basically an iPhone holder, a 7-11 Slurpee maker—these are the worst toys of the year according to the CCFC, whose goal is to end “the exploitive practice of child-targeted marketing.” The Times’s parenting blog finds the nominations amusing, but points out that a beauty shop version of a LEGO set that helps children learn spatial relationships and problem solving really can’t be any worse than LEGO sets with battleships and cars geared towards boys.

I don’t have children (yet! Who will provide me with a child?), but it’s my understanding that most toys are quickly discarded or destroyed by children under the age of 5. Just give them a big cardboard box to play in.


14 Comments / Post A Comment

Fig. 1 (#632)

Mike Dang, I cordially invite you to last year’s Christmas festivities with my extended family, in which my young boy cousin (4 yo) received a light-up airplane, a remote-controlled car, a rodeo set and other action toys. His sister (2 yo) received plastic play food, a play broom, a play vacuum, and a play kitchen/sink (a terrible one where nothing turns or opens). Everything except the food was pink or purple. Sure, she’s learning spatial relationships. But she’s also learning a whole lot more about societal expectations.

(In case you were wondering, she quickly took over the rodeo set. It’s hard to beat horses when you’re 2.)

questingbeast (#2,409)

@Fig. 1 I can’t think of a more depressing concept than ‘a play broom’.

@Fig. 1 *sigh* If I were that girl, I’d steal all my brother’s toys too. Well done going for the rodeo set. Horses!

When I was a kid, I remember getting a bunch of Lego for Christmas. But it wasn’t geared towards any particular gender back then, it was just a big ol’ box of Lego (with a few green boards to build on of course), and it was awesome! I made so many houses and animals and undefinable things. And ‘how big can I make this tower of 2ers before it falls over’ type things.

Mike Dang (#2)

@Fig. 1 This is why we should just give children cardboard boxes! They can be a house, or car, or spaceship, or whatever their imaginations come up with.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@Mike Dang I agree! Boxes were worth their weight in gold when we were children. Also, cardboard tubes. Sadly not all the adults in my extended family agree that the worth of a present is not directly tied to the price you paid for it.

Fig. 1 (#632)

@questingbeast Especially when you’ve already received a play vacuum. I mean, come on.

bgprincipessa (#699)

@Fig. 1 But how much do cardboard boxes weigh?

missing tags:

who will provide mike dang with a child
we all will provide mike dang with a child

Fig. 1 (#632)

@redheaded&crazy for a reasonable fee

ThatJenn (#916)

@redheaded&crazy Yes, this

@Fig. 1 I’ll do it for the low low price of $5 (can I put that on fiverr.com?)

Lily Rowan (#70)

I’m pretty sure Bag O Glass is actually the worst toy.

mannequinhands (#1,278)

@Lily Rowan Gasoline-powered sharp thing?

lizard (#2,615)

that list says kids hate books! i loved books. kids love books. dumb list!

I am 28 and still have all my LEGO at my parents’ house. But LEGO sets that include big, custom plastic pieces make me tremble with rage, whether they are branded movie tie-ins or just reinforce gender stereotypes. I mean, if you can’t give your little stylist a space helmet and a pirate sword and stick parapets on top of the building, what is the fucking point?

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