BOSTON–(ENEWSPF)–November 21 – Back by popular demand, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has launched its 5th annual contest for Worst Toy of the Year: the dreaded TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children) Award. From the multitude of 2013 toys promoting precocious sexuality, violence, branded entertainment and/or electronic wizardry at the expense of children’s creative play, CCFC has selected five “exceptional” finalists—most culled from this year’s “hot toy” lists.
“2013 has been a banner year for terrible toys,” said CCFC’s Director Dr. Susan Linn. “The toy industry has outdone itself in assaulting childhood by selling younger and younger children on electronic gadgets, sexualization, and violence. It was hard to choose what to nominate.”
Voting is open at http://commercialfreechildhood.org/TOADY2013 through Wednesday, December 4th. The next day, CCFC will announce the “winner.”
The nominees are:
Monopoly Empire by Hasbro
Recommended Age: 8+
For more than 60 years, Monopoly was almost the perfect board game. But one thing was missing: ads! Fortunately, the good people at Hasbro rectified that with Monopoly Empire, where “Every space on the board is an iconic brand.” Goodbye to the boring old hat and shoe. Hello to “cool brand tokens” like McDonald’s fries or an xBox controller. Instead of buying properties, players race around the board collecting brands—Boardwalk and Park Place are now Coca-Cola and Samsung—and build towers out of billboards. Is there a better way to teach kids that whoever owns the most brands, wins?
PLAY-DOH Create ABCs App by PlayDate Digital Inc.
Recommended Age: 4+
Remove the unseemly mess from of Play Doh . . . and all the icky creativity that comes along with it. No longer will kids waste precious moments imagining what to make. The PLAY-DOH Create ABC’s app chooses it for them! And every “creation” is exactly the same—perfect! If your children even try to slide a foot or a tail in the wrong place, the app automatically sets it right. No more awkward guesses about what those Play Doh creations are supposed to be—if your little one even bothers to look up from the screen to show you.
VIP Upgrade Membership by The Real Tooth Fairies
Recommended Age: 5-10+
If your jaded little princess is bored with traditional visits from the Tooth Fairy, The Real Tooth Fairies VIP Upgrade Membership makes the perfect gift. For only $59.90/year, you can transform a unique childhood icon into a generic fashion doll website and brand, complete with stifling gender stereotypes. In Real Fairyland, girls can use their “sparkle dollars” to give their Tooth Fairy a makeover, party in their “party room” and mock the buck-toothed, glasses-wearing fairy-wannabe Stepella. And with the VIP Upgrade, girls get a closet “hold 200 fairy fashions instead of just 25!” After all, no self-respecting Tooth Fairy wears the same outfit twice.
Imaginext Mega Apatosaurus by Fisher Price
Recommended Age: 3-8
Finally, a way to get kids excited about dinosaurs—by loading them up with heavy artillery! The Fisher-Price Imaginext Mega Apatosaurus is the only toy dinosaur complete with armor and two firing cannons on its back. Battery powered, it moves and roars and shoots without kids having to move a muscle—or use their imaginations. If only the real dinos had been packing heat, maybe they wouldn’t have gone extinct!
iPotty by CTA Digital
Recommended Age: 18 months+
Would your little one rather lie around in a poopy diaper than miss a second of his favorite show? Than you need the CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad. No more struggles to get little Bobby or Susie to use the potty—with all the mesmerizing apps and videos, they’ll want to stay on there all day! Start them learning early that there’s a screen for every occasion.
The TOADY Award was created in response to the Toy Industry Association of America’s annual TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. Past winners were Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie, Nickelodeon’s AddictingGames.com, the Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet, and the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Appivity Monkey.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC is a project of Third Sector New England (www.tsne.org).