The Anti-Consumer Consumer Group – Ah, the Irony!

The Anti-Consumer Consumer Group – Ah, the Irony! 2.60/5 (52.00%) 5 votes

The “issue”, they say, is commercialising Children”. Their response? To use a Popular Marketing tool for Commercialising its message. The Perennial Top 5 List.

A consumer group called the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is hosting its fourth annual contest for the Worst Toy of the Year Award.

They don’t appear to be a very happy lot and have chosen to express their unhappiness about consumer durables by offering us their list of the five nomineees for the Worst Toy of the Year, or the TOADY Award (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children).

Now, I am all for a commercial free zone for kids. In almost every corner of their little lives, commercial enterprise seeks to create in them a desire to, Buy! buy! buy! But my question is, how does creating a top 5 list of Terrible Toys assuage the buying impulse of both parents and children?

I also agree that there are a lot of rubbish toys out there that do nothing helpful for children and in many cases can be destructive to well rounded childhood development. I agree that so much of what passes as children’s recreation is cheap, insidious, infantile rubbish. But how can you decry such things when your using teh same commercial tactics in order to do your, “decrying”?

Side Show Bob, “I’m aware of the irony of appearing on TV in order to decry it. So don’t bother pointing that out.”

How does having a Top 5 Worst Toys Award reduce blind consumerism? Isn’t their publication of a Top 5 List a direct appeal for the Top List Loving Consumer in all of us?

In an effort to discredit commercialisms’ appeal to our base instincts (buying rubbish toys) aren’t they appealing to those same base instincts by their use of Top 5 List Marketing?

Lego wants to draw on a girls desire for beauty by offering a Lego style beauty Salon, complete with eye lash curler! The good folk at the CCFC employ the same commercial marketing tactic – our desire for a Top 5 List – in order to sell its message.

Who doesn’t find a Top 5 list irritable? I love them.

So, without further ado, here are the Nominees for the Worst Toy for 2012

The Cynical Product Descriptions are theirs. Hopefully I have already matched them with equal Cynicism.

The Nominees and some Links to your nearest Accommodating Retailer (please don’t by these toys) Are:

LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop by LEGO

How do you turn one of the all-time great toys into a TOADY contender? Give it a makeover! Introducing LEGO Friends, just for girls and so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush.

Bye-bye square, androgynous figures; hello, curves ‘n  eyelashes! And at the LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop, your little princess won’t need to worry her pretty little head about icky boy things like building. Instead, she can “get primped and pretty and have some serious salon fun,” “shop for makeup and hair accessories,” or “gossip out on the bench by the scenic fountain.”
The O Ball by Physical Apps

Since the dawn of time, children have longed for something fun to do with 3-dimensional round objects. But thanks to the geniuses at Physical Apps, the wait is over.

Simply insert your $400 smartphone into the TheO ball, hand it off to your kids, and in no time, they’ll be playing games their technologically primitive ancestors couldn’t dream of—like “Hot Potato.” Kids will love a ball that tells them what to do. And parents will love that their little ones no longer have to choose between exercise and excessive screen time!
The Put Me In The Story App by Jabberwocky Kids

You know what kids hate more than anything? Books! Why? Because no child cares what happens to Olivia, Max, or Sam-I-Am. But now, thanks to the Put Me In The Story App, you can instantly transform best selling children’s stories into e-books starring your own child.

It’s the perfect way to insure that your little one never grows out of that cute, all-about-me stage. Right now choices are limited to Dream Big, Little Pig, The Night Night Book, and If I Could Keep You Little, but hopefully soon your little narcissist will be sailing off to Where the Wild Things Are, attending Hogwarts and tramping through Mordor.

A special feature makes the books a cinch to share on Facebook so your “friends” can feign interest. Isn’t technology great?

Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey by Fisher Price

A teddy bear just won’t cut it for today’s jaded, screen-addicted babies. That’s why the triple trademarked Fisher-Price™ Laugh & Learn™ Apptivity™ Monkey makes the perfect gift for your favorite droolers.

It’s the first stuffy with an iPhone in its belly, so your little one can get everything she needs—Hugs! Video games! Milk!* —from the same creepy package! Since it’s marketed with bogus educational claims, mom and dad won’t have to feel guilty about that glazed look in baby’s eyes.

And while the Apptivity Monkey won’t assure baby a slot at Harvard, it is guaranteed to give her a head start…on a lifetime of needing screens for comfort.  (* We made that one up.)

The 7-11 Slurpee Maker by Spin Master

Playtime will be sweeter this holiday season with the 7-11 Slurpee Maker! There’s nothing pretend about the sugar rush kids will get by combining soda and ice to make their very own Slurpee.

But it’s the branding, not the empty calories, that really makes this toy so TOADY-riffic. The Slurpee Maker is emblazoned with the 7-11 logo and comes with a free Slurpee coupon, guaranteeing your kids will be nagging you for a trip to the convenience chain for a taste of the real thing.

And with Slurpee’s 17 grams of sugar, your kid will down a full day’s worth in one shot – how convenient is that?!