Have you heard about this year’s TOADY toy winner? It’s certainly not a prize that toymakers hope to win. Among this year’s nominees for the TOADY—along with a handful of other problematic toys for tots—were a couple of America’s most venerated trademarks: Monopoly and Coca-Cola.
The TOADY is given annually by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) as an antidote to the Toy Industry Association’s “Toy of the Year” or TOTY Awards. TOADY stands for “Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children.” The CCFC is also the source of the Nagging Nine we discussed earlier this week—the toys most heavily advertised to kids.
The CCFC’s mission, according to its website, “is to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. A marketing-driven media culture sells children on behaviors and values driven by the need to promote profit rather than the public good. The commercialization of childhood is the link between many of the most serious problems facing children, and society, today. Childhood obesity, eating disorders, youth violence, sexualization, family stress, underage alcohol and tobacco use, rampant materialism, and the erosion of children’s creative play, are all exacerbated by advertising and marketing.”
The TOADY award is given to the “worst toy of the year,” selected from five finalists that “promote violence and/or precocious sexuality to children and push branded entertainment at the expense of children’s play.” Five are nominated. The winner is chosen in online voting.
Which one do you think was voted the worst?
Monopoly, the Coca Cola 125th Anniversary set: Basically, this is the classic board game that is also a giant advertisement for the carbonated beverage.
WWE Colossal Crashdown Arena: World Wrestling Entertainment for kids aged 6-plus.
Monster High Ghoul Spirit Fearleading Doll 3-Pack: Dolls that are vampires and ghouls dressed in highly sexualized stereotypes.
Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet: Sort of an iPad for ages 4-plus.
I Am T-Pain Mic: Rap music and vocabulary for ages 7 and up.
Which of these toys won the 2011 TOADY? The Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet took first place, getting 43% of the online vote. I Am T-Pain Mic earned second place. (Here’s the CCFC’s press release if you want to see how the other products were rated.)
Do you agree with the TOADY winner?
Do you support the CCFC’s mission?
Do lists like the Nagging Nine and awards like the TOADY guide your choices?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.