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In conclusion, LEGO is a land of contrasts.

LEGO does something good! (Sets revolving around female scientists sold out in one day; previously.) LEGO does something bad! (Sets with major petro-company branding.) [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Aug 12, 2014 - 85 comments

"I look like her, and she looks like me."

Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins is an animated children's show about 6-year-old Dottie McStuffins, who wants to be a doctor like her mother, and pretends to be a doctor to her toys. Doc McStuffins has done well as a TV show, but it's as a doll that Doc's success has been stratospheric, with over $500 million in sales last year. “'When little white girls embrace Doc McStuffins, for them Doc McStuffins is a girl, and Doc McStuffins is powerful,' Dr. [Margaret Beale] Spencer said. 'For a little black girl, it may be all of those things, but also that she’s black.'”
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 31, 2014 - 37 comments

"It's black, like me.": Black dolls and politics

Every so often, ethnic dolls make the news, like this recent piece on Nigeria's Taofick Okoya who started his own line of Nigerian dolls after giving up his search in frustration. Okoya sells between 6,000 and 9,000 of his "Queens of Africa" and "Naija Princesses" a month, and reckons he has 10-15 percent of a small but fast-growing market. But the history of dolls outside of 'mainstream culture' exemplified by blonde blue eyed Barbie has been rife with prejudice and stereotypes. As the African middle classes emerge, is this an opportunity that gives rise to domestic toy industries?
posted by infini on Jan 29, 2014 - 19 comments

"Things my little sisters have made for their Barbies."

"They pay a lot of attention to detail." A DIY miniature world made out of household scraps.
posted by applemeat on Jul 21, 2013 - 68 comments

Hello, Lanie the organic gardener

The Atlantic reports on the 2008 removal/"archiving" of the original three American Girl dolls, dolls whose arrival on the market in 1986 represented a "sensibility about teaching girls to understand thorny historical controversies and build political consciousness." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 26, 2013 - 34 comments

Ages 3 and Up

"Queen Frostine turned into a Bratz doll" - The evolution of sexed-up Candyland.
posted by Artw on Apr 26, 2013 - 57 comments

Not that Toy Story

"Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.” Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions. (previously)
posted by Grandysaur on Mar 12, 2013 - 16 comments

You can’t hurt babies or old people!

A history of Nerf violence.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 8, 2012 - 40 comments

“Digitize Her!”

Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 1, 2012 - 28 comments

Possibly also the 17 most AWESOME Playmobil sets.

17 Least Appropriate Playmobil Sets For Children : Yep. A randomly numbered list on which several items are questionable. But really, whoever approved #1 for production was more than a little bit twisted.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jan 29, 2010 - 84 comments

Beware the pink aisle

Do girls toys and boys toys lead to a gender gap?
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2008 - 134 comments

New Security Blanket, Stat!

New Security Blanket, Stat! What do you do if you're a parent and your darling child's favorite toy has been worn down to nothing? Or perhaps you're thinking ahead and want a "backup binky?" You start a "Lost Lovies" thread, of course. Think of it as a hive mind for real desperate housewives looking for something better than a creative explanation as to why Sprinkles the Cow is suddenly MIA.
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Apr 14, 2008 - 20 comments

lil komsomol playkit

Ready, kids! Unsatisfied with your kids slow adoption of very important homeland security adjustments? Buy them the Playmobil Security Check Point! How does this stack up against increased TSA checks of toys?
posted by yonation on Feb 27, 2008 - 48 comments

"I fight for laughter to start."

It's perhaps in the nature of humanity — or at the very least, modern-day culture — to marvel at, and share news about, our more hateful aspects. It's nice to know that there are moments out there that you can accidentally stumble across that prove to you that mankind has perhaps some innate goodness in it, as well. (Sorry for the unicorn fluffiness; we now return you to your regularly scheduled Metafilter programming, already in progress.)
posted by WCityMike on Apr 13, 2007 - 4 comments

The Toymaker: "Make toys! Play more!"

The Toymaker offers over 40 free paper toys and pretties you can print out (PDFs) and make yourself, as well as "Stories to be Told by Firelight" - online versions of author/illustrator Marilyn Scott Waters' children's stories and lots of other fun goodies. For people who have kids, people who know kids, people who are kids, and people who love papercraft, illustration, toys, and tales. [more...]
posted by taz on Jul 24, 2006 - 18 comments

Boys like trucks girl like dolls, the SSSM takes another hit

Some 25 million years ago, humans and vervet monkeys diverged from a common ancestor. In very rough terms, perhaps one and a quarter million human generations, or five million vervet generations, have been brought forth upon the Earth since that common ancestor lived. Of course, many differences have evolved between humans and vervets in those 25 million years: among other things, human parents choose toys for their children; vervet parents do not.

But after all that time and genetic change, and despite studies attributing human children's toy preferences to adult stereotypes, a new study by Dr. Gerianne Alexander finds that vervet males, like human boys, prefer toy trucks and balls, while vervet females and human girls prefer dolls and toy cooking pots. What's more, the vervets play with the toys much as human children do: males roll trucks on the ground, females inspect dolls (apparently) for genitalia. Previously on MetaFilter: Pinker vs. Spelke, Gender and Brain morphology, Harvard president Larry Summers and his daughter's "baby truck".
posted by orthogonality on Dec 8, 2005 - 80 comments

Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams!

Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams! This "love gun" alarms me, but maybe I overreact as a parent about my kid's exposure to violence. Is this just a harmless novelty, or a disturbing example of how desensitized we are to guns? At least it's for kids over 3.
posted by margarita on Feb 4, 2005 - 23 comments

The greatest children's toy in the world

The greatest children's toy in the world? A railway run largely by children aged 10-14 with full sized trains. The Hungarian one is perhaps the best known, but there are others in the former soviet republics.
posted by biffa on Oct 25, 2004 - 16 comments

What, no Malibu Stacey Barbie?

Sure, Scarlett O'Hara Barbie is lovely, and yeah, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz Barbie is cute, but for my money, it's hard to beat Marge Simpson Barbie, Medusa Barbie, or Dominatrix Barbie. The full collection, located here, clearly owes a debt to Todd Haynes, and the Barbie Liberation Army, but is still worth a chuckle.
posted by jonson on Jun 21, 2003 - 7 comments

John Pound Art

John Pound. Illustrator for over 400 Garbage Pail Kids, Meanie Babies, Silly CDs, Trashcan Trolls, and Wacky Packages. Find your Garbage Pail Kid name, then find your card in this gallery (Hopefully, before the Geocities site is overloaded. And it also shares a peculiar injoke MeFi address).
posted by Stan Chin on Nov 18, 2002 - 21 comments

During my day's aimless surfing I was feeling a mite wistful, and it did my heart a load of good to stumble on the internet home of Funny Face mugs. I also found the Mr. Men and Little Miss Club. Both of these bits of pop culture were objects of devotion to me as a tyke. Looking at the sweet simplicity of the products today, it amazes me how easy it was to invest plastic mugs and simple line drawings with meaning and personality. I wish there was a place for them in today's Kiddie Kulture which seems to be about filling in all the blanks before the kids get to use there imaginations.
posted by jonmc on Feb 24, 2002 - 7 comments

Teddy Bears to watch you

Teddy Bears to watch you While other countries are banning teddy bears from Children's hospital rooms, Japan is putting digital high tech teddy bears that will watch you and inform doctors when you need help.
posted by AsiaInsider on Feb 21, 2002 - 5 comments

I know what I'm buying this year.

I know what I'm buying this year. Reverend Rose of the Grace Episcopal Church in Hartford, CT has released his annual Warped Toy List. "A variety of toy stores and discount chains are visited on a monthly basis by members of the Grace Church Warped Toy Committee, in order to track what sort of toys are being offered for children ... Only the very worst, most psychologically dangerous and most offensive toys are selected."
posted by MegoSteve on Nov 27, 2001 - 37 comments

Get your Enduring Freedom Trading cards!

Get your Enduring Freedom Trading cards! Topps releases a new series "documenting America's greatest challenge". But don't worry, they didn't include any "disturbing images from national newscasts". Will Wizards of the Coast be next?
posted by kaefer on Nov 6, 2001 - 32 comments

Sand Castle Central!

Sand Castle Central! "Your on-line source for all things sand sculpture, including free tips for beginners, information on the best sand carving tools, updated contest and master sculptor information, related links and lots of photos." - i'm off to the beach now...
posted by semper on Oct 10, 2001 - 3 comments

Buy your kid a new doll you cheap bastards!

Buy your kid a new doll you cheap bastards! - Apparently barbie dolls and other plastic toys made in the 1950's have recently been found to secrete a sticky chemical film that could cause developmental problems in children.
posted by Nyarlathotep on Aug 24, 2000 - 4 comments

Death Row Marv

Death Row Marv lets kids play at being executioners.
posted by crawdad on Aug 11, 2000 - 2 comments

I found these FUTURE JOES

I found these FUTURE JOES (GI Joe 2010 series) while following a link from Rebecca Blood's site for the Navajo Code Talker GI Joes. Perhaps it's showing my age, but I really want one. Of course, I also want some of the Nisei soldiers so that I can reenact those POW camp scenarios that I used to subject my GI Joe to as a kid. I know where the bodies are buried. Hey, how come The Grim Reaper Site didn't have questions about GI Joe? Was your GI Joe a) home on leave when you were concieved b) 12" c) 12" with lifelike hair and beard and realistic scar d) 12" with Kung Fu Grip e) really an Action Man f) a little pussy 3" action figure g) $50 and from the "Collectible Collection"? h) dolls are for girls.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe on Mar 3, 2000 - 9 comments

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