Posts Tagged ‘Children’s Toys’

The first, available here, depicts how Barbie’s proportions would translate to a full-sized woman:

Life-Size Barbie

The second, available here, depicts how a real woman’s proportions would translate to a Barbie-sized doll:

Realistic Barbie

It will be interesting to see whether the increasing availability of 3D printers will change the sorts of toys that children interact with.

Read Full Post »

With Santa’s yearly visit just a week away, toys are on the mind of many children. Sociologists often talk about the gendered nature of toys, and I recently discussed one Swedish company’s efforts to advertise toys in a gender-neutral way, but a recent New York Times article* looks at a divide that we are less likely to focus on: social class.

In the article, Gina Bellafante argues that the types of toys sold at Walmart and Toys R Us differ greatly from those from more upscale stores focused on learning and creativity. In her most quotable paragraph, Bellafante writes:

In the way that we have considered food deserts — those parts of the city in which stores seem to stock primarily the food groups Doritos and Pepsi — we might begin to think, in essence, about toy deserts and the implications of a commercial system in which the least-privileged children are choked off from the recreations most explicitly geared toward creativity and achievement.

She concludes with the counterpoint that puzzles and other upscale toys have not been proven to bolster children’s cognitive abilities, but I think it would be interesting to study whether children in wealthier homes do, in fact, play with different types of toys. I also think it would be interesting to see whether they actively ask for these toys or whether their Christmas lists look like those of their less fortunate counterparts.

*I saw this a while ago via The Society Pages but forgot about it when the grading storm struck again. Thankfully, another post at The Society Pages reminded me about it.

Read Full Post »