So, I have recently revisited two big toy supermarkets that happen to be close by, in order to buy a present for a friend’s kid. I couldn’t help it but let myself gawk at the many toys that those stores have richly in stock. Some of them got me impressed like the kid I used to be discovering something new and interesting. Some others though left me in disgust like the adult I am discovering a smelly turd under my shoe.
When I was a kid. Me and my peer group of kids were easily impressed by complex toys. We liked Transformers for they were able to transform from a vehicle to a robot. We liked buying Lego buckets sets for they had around 200 pieces instead of buying pre-set models. We liked toy cassette players and walkmans for they were technologically advanced. Also, videogames, because not only they were computers we could play, they were also quite complex for the adults to understand.
I found out that nowadays, toys weren’t selling for their complexity/cleverness or whatever else, but for the brand. I mean, Ben 10 was selling a simple LCD watch wrapped in plastic and resembling something (but not quite) like the watch Ben wears on the cartoon.
Remembering myself back in the days I was a kid, I wouldn’t even want a watch WHITHOUT BACKLIGHT! Yeah, really. Back then we didn’t care if the watch was from Lion King or whatever. We wanted to be backlit, or have a lot of pointers, or have a calculator built in or even speak!
The infamous speaking watch
So, I found out that kids nowadays don’t care about complexity. They care about brand. I saw Dora the explorer playing clay selling better than the classic six color box of playing clays. Take into consideration that Dora the Explorer playing clay was way more expensive and had a SINGLE color. Yeah, that’s right. The product didn’t sell the quantity nor the variety nor the quality. Its major selling point was the brand. What a disgrace.
The same tragic story also applied within products of the same company. Lego’s major selling series is Basic. The well known bricky series we all played (and some of us still play) The Lego Harry Potter and Star Wars models are expensive as hell. Even the smallest one can cost like 50 euros or so. But the buckets of 200 or 100 pieces are far cheaper, considering that you buy enough pieces to make 7 of the cheapest Harry Potter models except the colors with the price tag not going over 40 euros. Note that the pieces on both products were the ones from the Basic series.
Still the kids that got to the Lego department of the store, were mostly amazed about the fact that the Lego products were Harry Potter branded than the fact that with a bucket they could make a bazillion contraptions plus having a neat Lego themed basket to store all the pieces in.
So you can easily wrap a plank into some branded material and sell it as expensive as shit, just to have an instant mine of gold.
It’s not that our toys weren’t branded or we weren’t brand whores. But we looked more on the toy itself to see how we can make the most out of it. Our parents were quite restrictive and instead of buying us little cheap crap every other day, they were getting us nice stuff three times a year – namely, Christmas, Summer and Birthdays. So what happened?
I’ll tell you what happened. Toy manufacturers and cartoon networks are maximizing their profits by selling to kids silly, cheaply made branded crap.
If you are a parent listen to this: Tell your kids that Dora the explorer will grow up to be a whore. Ben 10 has killed his mother and Gormiti are creatures that live in a sick man’s colon (they look like shit anyway) and buy good, nicely made toys that are creative and complex enough to stimulate that freaking front cortex of their brains that it’s dying while watching dumb cartoons, keep your kids entertained for longer and endure the test of time.
Kids aren’t cheap beggars or something. I understand now why my parents bought me nice toys fewer times a year. I had something to play with and be happy for longer and I learned how precious is to wait for something good than to ask for random shit.
Most importantly. Fuck up your life all that you want. Really. But don’t take your kids with you, ok?
Bitched enough for today. K thnx bye.