The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has a new contest, the TOADY Awards For Worst Toy Of The Year. Liza Featherstone from Bitch writes, "All the nominees are so appalling I can't decide." The candidates:
- The games at Nickelodeon's AddictingGames.com
Examples: Perry The Sneak, in which you play a peeping Tom who ogles ladies' cleavage and Kitten Cannon, in which you launch a small cat into field where it leaves bloody tracks. (The games at Addicting Games are not actually produced by Nickelodeon. But they are linked to and promoted by the Nickelodeon site.)
- Barbie Doll'd Up Nails
For ages 8 and up, $279.99 gets you a gadget which prints "a custom manicure for any occasion."
- Little Tykes Young Exlporer
This appears to be a $2600 cubicle, where 3-year-olds sit in front of a computer screen. (Toddlers! They're just like us!)
- HALO United Nations Space Command Turret
A rotating stationary assault weapon with four cannons — so you can kill foreigners in any direction, in the name of the United Nations. Oh it's in space? Ok, instead of "foreigners", let's call 'em aliens. Illegal aliens.
- Eyelops Mini Projector
This gadget makes the whole world a screen, so, for instance, kids can watch nature films while camping.
Decisions, decisions! Is it worse to play a game in which you try to stare at a woman's breasts without getting caught? Or to play a game in which the objective is "make Fluffy bloody"? Should second-graders be worried about their nails? Or should they be learning to shoot in all directions — by a toy based on a very graphic video game?
Liza Featherstone is voting for the Little Tykes Young Explorer or the Eyelops Mini Projector, because, as she puts it:
As overwhelmingly bad as all the gender crap is, people whose minds have been hopelessly dulled by way too much screen time are not going to be able to grow up and think critically about anything — or relate to their fellow humans in a decent, helpful manner — and that's even scarier.
Me? I vote for the cubicle. The mini-projector I'm actually interested in buying.