The Dinglehopper

You've Probably Never Heard of Us

Adventures in the Toy Store: Whisky Tango Foxtrot

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There used to be a store about ten minutes away that carried a vast array of HABA and PlanToys.  It was a block away from the safety gate store in the old part of town that used to be a train stop.  I loved it.  Our toddler has toys waiting for the third birthday from when they had their moving sale.

Full disclosre.  That’s where I’m coming from.  Our toddler might not have anything other than art supplies and blocks, which are really just art supplies, and flash cards if I were allowed to mitigate the love and generosity of family and friends.

Anyway, about once or twice a year we dare Toys R Us in order to see what our toddler seems to be into.  This Spring was satisfying.  Easels!  Yay!  Trains.  Um, okay.  And Balls.  Oh, thank goodness the trains have been forgotten.

There’s some 20140517_201154stuff in there that’s pretty weird.  This thing, for example.

A friend compared it to a cross between Little Big Planet and Pet Semetary.  I found it terrifying and luridly fascinating.

“Pillow Featherbed” here is part of a huge collectible line of Lalaloopsy dolls or, from what I gather, a spinoff from that toy line called Lalaloosy Babies.

Since there’s really no telling what a toddler will like, I have to admit that I’m glad ours currently has no interest in dolls beyond a well preserved ’83 Cabbage Patch Kid from the first time America went nuts for hideous monsters with individual backstories.  Apparently those were rumored to desensitize the survivors of nuclear holocaust to some of the potential consequences.

Designed to encourage a child’s imagination and creativity, Bitty Buttons™ teaches important life lessons such as diversity, individuality and the idea that everything deserves a second life.

“Bitty Buttons™ was designed to teach kids that everybody is unique in their
own special way.  The new brand promotes the idea that old things can become new again, everything can be repurposed and nothing should ever go to waste,” said Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment.

I grabbed the ad quality image online for comparison.  It’s certainly more flattering than my in store “reality” shot, but not so much so that I’d want one in my home… waiting for its moment.  The PR copy really blows my mind, though.  Is this a study in unintended irony?  A cynical parody of hand me downs and gently used bargains?  Was there a target market of hipster children envious of their less affluent friends’ cool looking toys?

Even if we grant them initial sincerity, I think they might have “sold out” after changing the name to Lalaloopsy.  If not then, certainly by the time they aired this:

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