Thursday, 28 October 2010

Top christmas toys 2010

This year’s Dream Dozen, in alphabetical order:
City Airport, Lego UK (£84.99)
Fireman Sam Deluxe Fire Station Playset, Character Options (£29.99)
FurReal Go Go Walking Pup, Hasbro (£59.99)
Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear, Mattel UK (£39.99)
Kidizoom VideoCam, VTech (£59.99)
Monopoly Revolution, Hasbro (£29.99)
Moon Dough Barn, Spinmaster Toys UK (£19.99)
Nerf N Strike Stampede ECS, Hasbro (£54.99)
Paper Jamz Guitar, Wow Wee Europe (£24.99)
‘Pumpaloons’ – action game, Drumond Park (£19.99)
Sylvanian Families Motorcycle and Sidecar, Flair Leisure (£24.99)
ZhuZhu Grooming Salon, Character Options (£22.99)

The Toy Retailers Association's Dream Dozen made the headlines yesterday in all newspapers. The top toy costs nearly 100 pounds, which is a cheerless thought but, luckily, most of the others are wallet friendly. Strangely most toys are ‘boy toys’. Yes Michela could play happily with Fireman Sam toys but she is at that stage where she is starting to like pink plastic, fluffy things and dolls. Mind you, at playgroups I see plenty of little boys playing with toy kitchens and dolls.

Unsurprisingly, I recognise most of the toys - they have been massively advertised on Milkshake and other commercial children's channels. But the other day I was startled by Michela complaining that she didn’t want to watch Mama’s TV. I glanced away from my laptop and realised that there was an ‘adult’ ad advertising insurance. Obviously, marketeers have realised that parents are ‘watching’ children’s TV and have pounced on it, but let me tell you, it doesn’t go well with my daughter. She’d rather watch an advert showing children playing with dough so she made me change to CBeebies.

Today has been a day all about toys. I got my prize from the Supersavvyme’s Twitter Party hosted by British Mummy Bloggers, which will delight my little girl. I haven’t opened the box yet as we had a charity shop spree and found lots of little things that took her fancy, including a brand new cassette and book for her Leapfrog pad and Dora the Explorer Fuzzy Felt board.

Talking about charity, I got a press release from Oxfam, here is the gist:
In response to today’s announcement [Dream Dozen], Oxfam Unwrapped is launching the ethical alternative with its new kids’ range of charity gifts that can transform the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. Oxfam Unwrapped is aiming to encourage children in the UK to think about children around the world who are less fortunate than themselves, and to understand how they can benefit from a gift this Christmas.
The gifts available for kids vary from the very simple, such as a desk and chair at £21 (equivalent to ‘Pumpaloons’ action game at £19.99 on the TRA list) through to the most essential, such as care for a vulnerable child (which includes activities and support for children who are suffering as a result of HIV/AIDS). The Playtime gift, which provides health education to kids in emergency camps via play (£7), comes with an activity book for the child in the UK. The total cost of the Dream Dozen is £472.88 – if the equivalent was spent on Oxfam Unwrapped gifts it would fund the education of 15 children, or 22 desk and chair sets.
Dr. Linda Papadopoulos, a psychologist and mother, comments on the launch of the kids’ range: “The Oxfam Unwrapped kids’ range is a great idea – it will mean that in amongst the craziness that is Christmas today there will be a point at which the kids can stop and think about what their practical, original gifts will mean to the child who receives it, thousands of miles away.”
So parents, grandparents or friends can choose an Oxfam Unwrapped gift for a child, who receives a gift card on Christmas Day that tells them more about the present they have received.  And thousands of miles away a child either in an emergency camp or village will be given the playtime, the care or the desk and chair they need. 
Naomi Lewis, an Oxfam Unwrapped customer, comments on the impact an Oxfam Unwrapped gift had on her son: “I often buy presents from Unwrapped and last year "Santa" bought my five-year old son some school equipment for a child in Africa.  He was proud to tell his family that he had let Santa give one of his presents to someone who wasn't going to get anything.”

My first reaction was, WOW! Then I thought, "Will a child really like this kind of present?" Don’t get me wrong, I have been volunteering for parenting charities for years, we buy and donate stuff to charity shops and I limit Michela’s toy loot at Christmas by requesting practical gifts, but I’m not sure if she would be pleased by this kind of gift. Charity gifts require a selfless attitude and as she is busy trying to assert her identity ‘against’ us, it’s a bit early for that. I think we will be supporting Oxfam by visiting the charity shop as usual. They have lovely new gifts too.

1 comment:

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