Should Classrooms Eliminate Toys?

If you were told you were going to a second grade class party, you’d probably expect to hear the kids before you ever entered the room. There would be laughter, kids talking loudly, and a lot of horsing around. If there weren’t organized party activities, you’d expect kids to be playing. Depending on what’s around, … Continued


Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Child a Hatchimal

“What the what?” That’s about the only response I could muster when someone sent me an article about parents writing their kids a note from “Santa” apologizing in advance for the fact that some kind of toy called a “Hatchimal” was temporarily out of stock. Apparently I am out of the toy loop, because despite … Continued


Meet the Creepy American Boy Dolls that Will Haunt Your Dreams

For years, toy manufacturers have been playing catch up when it comes to political correctness: companies have scrambled to create Barbies who emphasize STEM subjects, dolls that represent every possible iteration of multiculturalism, and many other questionable toys, hoping to soothe the anger of Social Justice Warriors. Most recently, many companies have tried to get consumers … Continued


The Government’s War on Fun

You’ve no doubt heard of the war on poverty and the war on women, but what about the war on fun? As unhappy as it sounds, there has been a decades-long march by government-empowered bureaucrats, school administrators, regulators, and health professionals against nearly every aspect of childhood fun, both indoors and out. Toys, games, playground … Continued


Chewbacca is My Co-Pilot

As you read this, teams of overpaid marketing employees are feverishly trying to figure out how to convince consumers to buy products. Sometimes they strike viral gold. Other times? Not so much. But just when marketers think they have us quirky humans figured out, there emerges something so bizarre, yet so popular, that it defies everything … Continued


Who’s Afraid of Big, Bad Barbie?

Holiday shopping season is usually the time we hear handwringing about “gendered” toy traditions—trucks, action figures, and building blocks for boys, and princesses, stuffed animals, and, worst of all, dreaded Barbies for little girls. The White House Council on Women and Girls appears to be coming late to this game and is hosting a daylong … Continued


The Rise of Politically Correct Toys

When I was I child, my favorite book was about a blonde, ponytailed doll with hoop earrings named Edith, who, among other things, gets spanked by an authoritarian male bear. Dangling Edith over his knee, her frilled panties exposed, Mr. Bear proceeds to inflict his punishment, as Edith’s terrified friend Little Bear watches in the … Continued


Why Not Just Give Barbie Cankles?

When is Barbie going to get cankles already? That’s my question after hearing that Mattel has expanded the Barbie line to include tall, curvy, and short dolls. And when is she going to get a large butt or small breasts or ugly toes? That last thing—along with the cankles—was the focus of our most recent … Continued


When Did Surveillance Toys Become a Holiday Tradition?

WikiLeaks provocateur Julian Assange says that the era of state monitoring of its citizens is a reality. “I think that we should understand that the game for privacy is gone. It’s gone. The mass surveillance is here to stay,” he told an audience in Russia by videoconference. Assange is on to something; but he probably … Continued

Culture, Parenting