TOADY 2016: The case for Shopkins Tall Mall

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By Shana DeClercq, Community Engagement Manager, Story of Stuff

Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the Worst Toy of the Year. From thousands of toys that stifle creativity, lionize brands, and promote screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC and our partners have selected six exceptional finalists for 2016. Below, the Story of Stuff makes the case for Shopkins Tall Mall playset.

As more wreaths adorn front doors and more coats and rain boots adorn our neighbors, it's clear that the holidays are approaching, and with them, the peak shopping season of the year.

Despite the growing popularity of decluttering and minimalism, and despite the growing consciousness about the impact of our Stuff on our communities and the planet, overconsumption is still a huge issue in the developed world. The holidays offer a sobering view of our consumption habits, particularly how these habits affect our children. For many children, who have been viewing toy commercials all year, holidays mean presents.

But it doesn't have to be this way. We believe kids deserve a holiday season that's about gratitude, magic, and quality time with their friends and families. And we don't think it's right that so many toy companies and marketing campaigns seek to prime our kids for shopping and normalize overconsumption. It seems that kids are being targeted at a younger age every year!

That's why we've teamed up with our friends at the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood to highlight some of the worst toys of this year. Our nomination for 2016 is the Shopkins' Tall Mall Playset by Moose Toys. Shopkins represent everything that's wrong with children's toys today. They're collections of tiny, cheap plastic toys that vaguely resemble items you would find in stores. They come in series, with new sets released a few times a year, and kids encouraged to collect them all. What's more, when kids play with Shopkins toys, they're pretending to be shopping. In fact, the explicit motto of the Shopkins brand is, "Once you shop...you can't stop!"

We're all for high-quality, non-toxic toys that teach our children values like accountability and creativity, and that spark curiosity and excitement about the world around them. But what we certainly we don't need are toys like Shopkins, that send a dangerous message to our children that shopping is more fun than any other activity.

This holiday season, let's raise the standards - both for our kids and for their toys.

The Story of Stuff Project is working to change the way we make, use and throw away Stuff. Through digital media and campaigns, they share stories of the people working to build a better world, and inspire civic engagement around issues like plastic pollution and local water rights.

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Comments

Shopkins

You couldn't be any more wrong about Shopkins if you tried. My daughter uses these for the most imaginary play time. She combines with her littlest pet shops & Barbies all the time. I think you need to reassess your thinking on this toy.

Shopkins - Shop Till You Drop, Literally

More pink plastic sitting for a thousand years in a landfill. (From table of biodegradability: Styrofoam cups and plastic bags - 500 years to forever. http://sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Enviro-imprints/Looking-Closer/Measu... } Shopkins, is a toy that encourages consumerism in children, which in turn contributes to the environmental devastation our children will face. "The sum total of our daily purchases, aggregated across everything we buy, is having a massive destructive impact on the environment. The destruction of nonrenewable resources, global warming, industrial toxins that are polluting water, our bodies, soil—all of it is due to us, but we don't see the connection ordinarily between what we buy and the actual ecological damage done along the way during the life cycle of that product." ( pe.newsweek.com/how-our-purchases-affect-environment-81647?rm=eu )
The producers and sellers of Shopkins, or any item, will never stop selling them. despite the consequences. We must educate ourselves and think independently. We must become aware of the impact of our purchases, and become defensive consumers. It is wonderful to give our children presents. But the best gift is for them to grow up healthy and free on a vital planet. Let's think of our children before we buy.

Re: Shopkins

You couldn't be more wrong about lil ones liking Shopkins! My granddaughter does collect these and spends a lot of time playing with them. Not only does it build on her play skills but also on her social, communications, imagination, sharing & cooperative play skills. I also sit and play with her and she knows and learns new words, builds on her colors and counting and matching and she can describe and categorize them. Yes they are small but they are not plastic and they do serve a purpose way more than just being collected. I will continue to buy Shopkins for my granddaughter!

Shopkins -"Join the Herd."

Children have wonderful imaginations! My daughter turned a crocheted doily into her favourite doll. Anyone who spends time with children has the pleasure of seeing them develop and express their imagination. Toys can aid and enhance their development, but they are not necessary to do so. It is not necessary to buy Shopkins to teach them anything. There are many choices of superior toys and methods to augment their abilities. Apparently, they are made of plastic ,"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Shopkins Shopkinstrio.png
Materials Plastic
Slogan "Once you shop... you can't stop!"
Shopkins is a range of small, collectable toys, manufactured by Moose Toys. Based on grocery store items, each PLASTIC figurine has a face and unique name."
The company website boasts the motto, "Join the Herd," to entice patrons to sign up for their emails. A blatant message. This is precisely the problem. Consumers are ushered like a herd. We think we have no choice. We think we must be led through life by products. Yes, our sweet little ones will love Shopkins. Yes, they will learn from interaction with anything. They are always in learning mode. They love everything that is playful. But we do not have to force them into the commercial "herd." Lets break away and give them real choice and freedom! God bless all children!

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