Category Archives: children’s play

Toy-friendly films

Marketers can barely hold back their anticipation of the International Toy Fair held each year at this time in New York City.

The reason: an entertainment rich release schedule of kid friendly (ie. toy friendly) films.

This means parents will have another year of kid begging for licensed toys. Hint: prepare for a deluge of superheroes.

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Fail to come up a winner?

With the coming of the Winter Olympics, we’re sure to see more ad campaigns that celebrate failing, instead of winning.

It’s a theme that was picked up last year by numerous brands as they began to target Gen Z (Sorry, Millennials.) If you skip the ads, many of the stories could be helpful and encouraging to kids in sports.

Video game addiction

An old problem has a new label: the World Health organization (WHO) is recognizing video game addiction as an official mental health condition.

Video game addiction is basically playing games for an unhealthy length of time, resulting in the feeling that you can’t stop.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) describes internet gaming disorder as similar to a gambling addiction.

However video game addiction is described or defined, prevention is best, especially for our kids.

The expanding House of Mouse

If you’re joining two of our grandsons at Disney World during the holidays, you’re guaranteed to have lots of company.

At Hollywood Studios, look for Minnie and Mickey’s Runaway Railway, the first ever Mickey-themed ride-through attraction. Or, wait until next year when Toy Story Land will open in the same park.

Updates (Epcot), new experiences (Tron-themed attraction at Walt Disney World Resort), new ships (three more boats by 2023) and new lands (at Disneyland Park in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando) are included in expansion plans.

Empowered

The launch of fashion dolls and role play accessories inspired by WWE female stars has helped to skew the holiday season toward empowered female characters

The 12″ dolls and action figures join Nella the Princess Knight who has a sword and the heroine in Disney’s Elena of Avalor with her magical scepter.

Pink and Blue

Genderless marketing has characterized toy ads this holiday season.

However, seeing a commercial in which a boy cooks and a girl builds a tower might not change our personal biases. Stereotypes can be buried.

Research reminds us that a child’s interests, ambitions and skills develop early. A child is influenced by toys and media. Years from now, those early experiences might impact career choices or areas of study.

Toys purchased today can make a difference in a child’s tomorrow.

Age-graded toys

When shopping for holiday toys, the “recommended age” does not imply how smart a child is.

A toy suggested for two to four-year olds is based on their developmental abilities, not brilliance.

Often, well-meaning gift givers “up-age”, assuming that because a child is smart, he can safely play with toys for older children.
That’s not necessarily true, especially when it comes to the size of parts or the complexity of tasks.