The Joy of Today's Toys

I'll admit it: I am the ultimate consumer. As pro-environment, pro-small business, pro-Reduce/Reuse/Recycle as I like to try to be, I am every marketer's dream. Easily suckered in by smart target advertising. Purchasing decisions in our household are often made based on which product has the most attractive packaging. Being in public relations, I value the work that goes into market research, right-on-target-market design, and clever copywriting. I feel those folks should be rewarded with my hard earned dollars, since they have, in my mind, earned theirs.

The world of toys is a new and fascinating world to me and my husband. What a mega industry it is. We try to temper our toy buying to just "educational" toys for Buddy Boo. What we've learned with Boo's first Christmas, is that nearly all toys really are education-based these days. Most of you probably already know this, but to us newbies, WOW is the word. When we were young, toys just had to be pretty and fun - I don't recall any verbiage on the packaging that talked about whether the toy would help me with math or reading skills. Certainly my first toys weren't created and bought based on the ability to teach me motor skills or cause and effect skills (not that I could read at a year old, but I have my hunches).

We woke up after Boo's first Christmas to a mini toy store. Building blocks, a Baby Einstein learning piano, soft shape sorter, animal orchestra stacker. Amid the darling baby clothes, baby necessities, stuffed animals and precious gifts, Boo broke out the colorful toys and started playing...and learning.

I'm today convinced that consumerism in today's world isn't such a bad thing. It's consumerism that pushed toy companies to make more toys that combine simple fun with educational qualities. I wish I had some of these toys when I was younger! ALL of Boo's new toys will help him grow and learn in some way, plus they are super cute, and they are fun for him to play with. All of the packaging touted each toy's special educational purpose, and I appreciate it. Even if some of it seems a bit far reaching. For a newbie mom, it helps give me pointers on how to help him play to get the most out of his toys.

Of course, all of this is nonsense to little Boo. At the end of his play sessions, he just wants to eat the toys...and the boxes they came in. Go figure :)

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday!


betty said...

I enjoy shopping for toys for the children! There is so much variety out there that sometimes it makes my head spin. She's got some great arts and crafts supplies that she'll even share with me. :)

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