Dear My Toy Garden friends!
I stood there faced with Thomas the Train, Spiderman and Spongebob. "Why? Why?" I wondered. Then a mom rolled up with a cherub faced little girl plunked in the front basket and asked, "Cinderella, Dora or Kitty?" "Please leave my underwear alone!" I wanted to shout.
A week ago, I took my soon to be 2-year-old to the dentist for the first time. They ushered him off saying, "We have some fun Spiderman glasses." Why would my 2-year-old know who Spiperman is?
Why does my child need to have licensed characters on his behind? Why would my dentist subconciously promote this Marvel character? Why are licensed characters everywhere you turn? From shirts, backpacks, plates, jewelry, water bottles, socks, balls, bike helmets and on and on and on, we are blasted with images of licensed characters over and over and over. Most families go with the flow buying up these items without a thought about it. What harm could it cause, right?
It is very intentional that My Toy Garden does not carry licensed character items. It is a Disney, Marvel, Nick free zone. Why?
Did you know....
- there are 40,000 Disney princess items on the market?
- companies spend $17 billion a year marketing to children? Up from $100 million in 1983.
- children see 25,000 advertisement a year on television not counting product placements?
- Brand licensed toys accounted for $22.3 billion in sales in 2006.
This commercialization to children is raising a generation of consumers. Children under 12 influence over $500 billion in purchases each year. Along with this we are seeing an increase in violence in children, a lack of problem solving ability, a lack of social skills and other issues. I invite you to ponder this and learn more by visiting the Commercial Free Childhood website. Their list of fact sheets will provide you with some great food for thought. Explore books like Cinderella Ate My Daughter (Click for a link about the book and the author's blog which I alway find eye opening.) This book and others can be found at My Toy Garden along with other parenting resources to help you learn more and make decisions that are the best ones for your family. My Toy Garden is here to be a resource, an inspiration and an oasis from the marketing assults. Come, relax and reconnect with the power of real play!