Monday, November 10, 2008

Toys For The 21st Century

You can tell a lot about society by looking at modern toys. When I was a kid in the 1970s, finding a black fashion doll was, at best, a challenge. Most of my Barbies were white, but mom went to a lot of trouble to add some diversity to my toy box. Had I been Asian, I don't know what she would have done.

Thirty years later, my daughter has a rainbow coalition of Barbies that were easy to find. While browsing potential Christmas gifts online recently, I ran across interracial prom couple Zeke and Sharpay, characters from "High School Musical 3." The dolls are sold together, like their counterparts Troy and Gabriella. (Come to think of it, they're interracial, too. Gabriella is Hispanic and Troy is white.) It's still somewhat unusual to find this reflection of society in playthings, but I think it's neat that so many kids are growing up with a so-what attitude about it.

However, I do wonder when we'll see something like a Chad-and-Troy prom pack.


refinnej63 said...

I wish it were so easy for baby dolls. If you ask the sales clerks at We "B" Toys and Target why there are rarely any baby dolls of color on their shelves, they will tell you that those more darkly hued babies fly out of the store as fast as they put them out. This seems to be a perpetually poor assessment of actual supply and demand. What is disturbing is that I have found some of these dolls on Ebay at 3-5 times their regular retail price. It leads me to imagine that there are people out there who are hoarding these particular dolls and intentionally inflating their prices.

EDP said...

The toy hoarding is terrible, especially around the holidays. We were very lucky to find a doll house with an African-American family for C.'s birthday. It's great that they're in demand, but it would help if the stores would stock more than three at a time.