My work Secret Santa is the best! There was a note in my mailbox saying “Follow the green dots” and a trail of green dots led down the mailboxes, down the cabinet, on the floor down the hallway, and to a cabinet where there was a 50 lb. bag of chicken feed waiting for me! Yay!
Now, how I’ll get this home on a bicycle/bus may be a challenge…2 days ago • 2 notes
So we’ve been pretty good about keeping the lad away from “branded” toys, mostly because he doesn’t watch much movies or any TV. This is for a couple reasons. One is that we’ve read that branded toys can limit imagination. Viz: if a child has a generic doll, and does imagination play with it, the child gives the doll a voice, a personality, etc. But if the child watches Sesame Street and gets an Elmo doll, then the doll’s voice, personality, habits, etc., are all provided for them already.
Now, maybe it’s not really as critical as all that. I’m sure lots of kids use plenty of imagination with their Elmos or Barbies or Buzz Lightyears or whatever. But still, it kinda makes sense.
The other reason, of course, is just that we don’t want him spending time watching a ton of TV or movies or anything. He’s actually pretty good about it, though we do watch two of the “Mater’s Tall Tales Car Toons” most nights when we get him to bed, just because it makes it really easy to brush his teeth while he watches. It’s about 10 minutes for two toons.
The lad’s actually seen a few movies, though, on “special occasions.” Labyrinth. The Princess Bride. Finding Nemo. Cars. Brave. Toy Story. I think that’s all, though. I don’t think he’s old enough to follow the plots or anything. But he really likes the Cars characters more than anything else.
So our one “branded” exception are the Cars characters. The point of this post is that I can really see how tempting the whole branding thing is, and how easily kids and parents and families can fall into it. All you have to do is be like, “The lad likes the Cars movie characters” and…boom, you’ve got a million gift possibilities, all laid out for you. Cars sheet sets. Cars underwear. Cars race tracks. Cars activity books. Really, the list goes on and on and on. (Note to any family/friends reading this: PLEASE DO NOT GET HIM RANDOM CARS STUFF!) We don’t want a lot of random crap, but even for us, it’s so easy (“Oh, look! A book of Cars stickers! The lad will love these!”) And he will love them, because it’s got his characters on the stickers, and we know that it’ll make him happy. Really freakin’ insidious.
What’s funny, though, is the lengths Disney will go to to market this. I’ve seen so many versions of Lighting McQueen—a version with cacti stuck on him, a version where he’s splattered with mud, an autonaut version from the Car Toon Moon Mater, the scorched re-entry autonaut version (exact same thing, but with scorch marks and sad eyes)… They have die-cast versions of like, every single car that appeared in the movie. Every little no-speaking-role background character…everything. Like, you can get a die-cast model of the car that waves the finish-line flag at one of the races in the movie.
Anyway. We’d like to get the lad a couple more of the Cars characters that he’s been wanting: Doc Hudson and The King, for Christmas. Maybe Chick Hicks, too. If they have them at Target, they’re like $3.50 each. But I think maybe the Doc Hudson ones aren’t made anymore, because they’re for sale online for like $40 each. Pfft.2 days ago • 1 note