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  • Children don’t always look for necessity in toys because many don’t even have any food and traditional sticks and hand made things are looked different in context then commercial toy industries. The consumption growth is a market tool bring back old customers as older generations view play differently then children.
  • “Our parents understood when we should have a gun-and-holster set or a dress-up


  • Guns are promoted to children to either join the military or become a cop, and dress up have connotations with it as well.
  • “Most adults doubt that children should be exposed to incessant change. It used to be that childhood was the dependable repository of our traditions such as Valentine's Day, Halloween, and the Fourth of July. Childhood symbolized the unchanging spirit of free play.”
  • These all are really strange and horrible days were a lot of conflict happens and tradition of holiday has occult modernized things that are being said and done.


  • "Toys came at birthdays, Christmas, and Hanukkah. And, on those rare occasions when we bought them for ourselves, we did so with money saved from jobs and allowances, and at neighborhood toy stores or five-and-dimes. We window shopped for weeks before we had saved enough to make the plunge and buy. We knew the storekeepers and they knew us. Our parents understood when we should have a gun-and-holster set or a dress-up doll."

I gotta say Gary's not setting himself up too great, did he also have to walk a mile uphill both ways to get to the store? I get that this article is about the commercialization of toys so maybe a different tone will reveal itself throughout the reading...Also, I've noticed that in the last five years or so toy only stores have been going out of business - does this have to deal with apps, etc.?

  • "Toy manufacturers have made fortunes promoting sexist and unattainable images of women to young girls. Barbie's hourglass figure...encourages little girls to have distorted expectations of their own bodies. Today's toys do not often convey the values that we wish our children to embrace and that we believe we learned with our toys in childhood"

This definitely dates the article as there have been more and more toys promoted for any gender (not just within the binary).

  • "Find playthings depicting real adult work activities and toys that are truly /J age-appropriate." But is such advice useful or realistic?"

Because why not remind your child that they will be a slave to a capitalist society sooner or later?

  • "We want to give the young the playthings that we remember, but they are hard to find on the overcrowded shelves of today's toy stores."

I can remember about two toys from my childhood besides Barbie and now that I think about one was a cash register and the other was a diary.

  • "In any case, toy guns were still relatively rare before World War I and no advertisers encouraged mock combat between children."


  • "But as soon as our children are old enough to watch television (and advertisements), they want the new playthings they see glittering on the screen. We want to give the young the playthings that we remember, but they are hard to find on the overcrowded shelves of today's toy stores."
  • It's not that our toys and childhood are evolving is the issue, it's who's evolving them. Childhood has always been an evolving concept, depending on the socio-economic environment that surrounds them. Toy making as an industry isn't inherently negative, but it's how we evolve said industry that has value. Toys used to depict re-world concepts, and now they depict more fantasy based ones. There are negative and positive social impacts on either sides of the spectrum, something that the author seems wholly unaware of. The toy industry alone is not the only industry that impacts childrens interests. For example, toys of war are discussed heavily in this piece, as though the interest in war toys is only because advertisers simply advertised more war toys. However you must also consider that a lot of the toy boom was post 9/11 and many young kids (including myself) where listening to the news, and adults talk about the event. That sort of event has the potential to greatly effect many children and what they are interested in. A spike in war toys could be more reflective of a symptom of our society rather than, the toy marketers "fault".


"A key to this change was the marketing of character toys directly to school-aged children. These playthings appealed to a youth's quest for autonomy and were almost always directed specifically to either boys or (much less often) girls."

  • How have outdated gender stereotypes in advertisements directed towards children changed--or not changed?