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Thread: Toy adverts on TV and the toys in general

  1. #1

    Default Toy adverts on TV and the toys in general

    Just after Spongebob on TV this morning was the inevitable deluge of toy adverts. I generally just switch the channels over when these come on because they kind of annoy me but this morning I didn't flick over. What's hit me is the amount of rubbish [or insert alternative word here if you like] that's available. Most of it seems to be cheaply made, tacky and actually looks like they'd get really boring rather quickly. Probably cost pittance to make as well so are relatively profitable to the manufacturers.

    I seem to remember this being the case when I was a kid but obviously at 27 I'm not target market any more! (Although that being said there was very few things outside of construction toys/sciency toys [Lego, electronic kits etc] that I really liked as a kid [and even now really!] so from what I remember most of the adverts just passed me by even then.)

    The terrible shame with it all that this stuff doesn't look like it will last more than a couple of months so will probably end up in landfill pretty quickly as it's all plastic (including the packaging which ends up straight away of course). Most of it's probably made in China by people paid very little, shipped half way around the world and then transported by road. Like most others in this country, I'm a hypocrite pointing this out given to things that I end up buying/using despite trying to be careful and giving consideration to these things (unfortunate side effect of the western mindset and supply chain), but it does make you think about how wasteful a fairly small industry can be.

    There are of course some toys that never stop being loved. A lot of the logo I had from being age 3+ is still in a box at my parents as my nephew plays with it when he visits. Soft toys tend to last a long time as well of course. Still got a few which are nearly or as old as I am.

    Does anyone else feel the same way? Anyone else still have surviving toys from when they were younger which seem in good condition still that are still used today, either by themselves or by other friends and/or family that they've been passed down to? Are there any new toys around now that people like which aren't associated with the usual classics?

    (n.b. This wasn't meant to be a rant, rather an observation. Sorry it seemed to be this way)

  2. #2

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    This seems to have always existed. Looking back on my childhood there are:

    Pogs
    Beyblades
    Mighty Beans
    Many, many, many action figures
    And these weird collectable things that were shaped sort of like blobs and you'd throw them and try to hit other blobs and they were like an inch high. Can't remember the name, and it's been bugging me for a couple of years. >:
    Any trading card game as a kid (as adults they become like an obsession if people are still into them)

  3. #3

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    My recollection of the 80's was that toy advertising was rather more insidious. Transformers and MASK are the best examples - cartoon series that exist for the sole purpose of selling toys. Visionaries and Starcom also spring to mind, and there were many others, I'm sure. The flip side was that the toys tended to be better made, and the characters and narrative that lay behind them tended to make them hold a child's attention longer - but they still all ended up in the bin eventually. TV series come and go, after all.

    The only toys I still have from from when I was young are my large collection of Lego and my Brio wooden railway set - the kind of stuff that is either so well-made, or so simple, that it is virtually impossible to break. Oh, and board games - Monopoly, the Game of Life, Cluedo, RISK etc. I think I still have Ker-plunk somewhere. The lifetime of games like that is usually dictated by how long the cardboard box that is keeping all the pieces together lasts!

    As for modern toys - I quite like Nerf guns, especially the larger ones. They certainly weren't around when I was young.

  4. #4
    crazykittensmile

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    I am always a bit disappointed by today's toys, they just don't seem to have moved on much since I was little, and are all so expensive. My favourite toys when I was little were definitely my baby dolls, and I always thought that once I became a grown up the dolls the manufacturers would have made the most of AI and that dolls would be far more interactive and lifelike. Instead they are pretty much the same things as when I was little - Baby Born, Baby Annabell, Chou Chou, Tiny Tears. Lots of the toys still around today are the same as the ones I loved as a child - Sylvanian Families, My Little Ponies, Playmobil, Kitty in My Pockets, Barbie etc - the only way they seem to have moved on is slightly newer designs and far higher prices. That said, I loved all those toys and if it's not broken, don't fix it. I wish I had kept more of my old toys though instead of giving them away as now when I have my own children I will have to buy brand new, expensive versions of things I used to have myself. My parents have only kept our playmobil and lego and I have kept a few soft toys, but everything else I got rid of when I was about 13 and thought I was far too cool for keeping toys or nostalgia

    As for new toys, I just don't get them. ZhuZhu hamsters are a perfect example of a toy I don't understand. They're kind of cute and make a great cat toy (my kitty went mad chasing after mine) but other than that I don't see why they are so popular. But I guess they are a bit like Furbies - Furbies actually didn't do much apart from make weird and annoying noises and sucking noises if you put your finger in their mouth, but they were super popular with my generation. I think children like things that only they get - Zephy gives some more good examples. Weird plasticy collectable things are always popular with kids, as is anything that makes weird or annoying noises or that has some sort of gimmick and/or lots of opportunities for buying more stuff behind it.

    I haven't seen any toy adverts for ages though, I don't watch enough TV and when I do I usually watch children's stuff it's usually Cbeebies with no adverts. I always loved toy adverts though as they are usually ridiculously cheesy or have fun songs, or both. Maybe I will look out for some

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephy View Post
    And these weird collectable things that were shaped sort of like blobs and you'd throw them and try to hit other blobs and they were like an inch high. Can't remember the name, and it's been bugging me for a couple of years. >:
    Are you thinking of Crazy Bones? I remember those being popular when I was a kid but I never saw the appeal.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihlus View Post
    Are you thinking of Crazy Bones? I remember those being popular when I was a kid but I never saw the appeal.
    Thank you so much. No one could remember what I was talking about. It was so frustrating. >:

  7. #7

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    It seems the toys don't really have as much appeal to offer as they did when I was a kid. I remember seeing on tv how cool the toys were and all the things they did and just being extatic towards them. Nowadays it's more about video games because that's what a majority of kids these days seem to do. I'm not a girly girl, and I had my fair share of baby dolls, but I remember loving legos and R/C cars and hotwheels. Even now, you don't see much to advertise with these kinds of toys. In a society that seems to be driven by media, you think there would be more drive towards kids toys but the market isn't the same. Like I said, it seems to go more towards the electronic/video game genre of entertainment for kiddos. I remember as a kid getting the department store toy books and thumbing through them marking all the toys that interested me during Christmas. Now it seems even those are thinner with less options to select from.

  8. #8

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    Akastus, I completely forgot about MASK and didn't actually realise it was a cartoon until you mentioned it just now! I distinctly remember having a MASK sandwich box in reception class (think it was red with a yellow handle) so wasn't too sure whether it was just bought for me or I actually blindly asked for it after watching the program. Really hope that wasn't the case! Great to see you still have some of your old toys though. Those Biro railway sets could take quite a bit of abuse. Don't make them like the used to

    Jess, the thing that actually triggered the post was actually an advert about some plastic shaking bug thingies, so what you've said about those hamsters was probably on the same line. Seem completely pointless nonetheless! Glad your cat likes them though. She/He (sorry, not too sure on that) would probably like the plastic shaking bug things as well, as long as they're not too small of course.

    As everyone's pointed out, useless collectable bits of plastic tat always seems to be popular. Some of those in Zephy's list look very familiar and I remember a lot of my friends being into pogs for a time. Most of them ended up on car boots or in the bin pretty quickly (very eco friendly, I think not). There were of course Trolls (those things with wacky hair), Terrapins out of the Kinder Eggs, Tamagotchi's, etc etc but of course now they're pretty much all but a distant memory.

    There don't seem to be really many toys that are likely to drop down from generation to generation any more which seems a bit of a shame really. As Pax87 said, perhaps the market just isn't the same any more. Be interesting to read a thread like this in fifteen years time from people who are our current age and see what they bring up.

    As for the TV ads, from what Akastus said and from thinking back more, they've always been bad (and in the case of the cartoons being used as adverts, rather devious as well). Certainly make random bits of plastic tat look far better than random bits plastic tat though!

  9. #9
    Supersam1223

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phobos View Post
    Tamagotchi's
    I used to have like 3 of those!

    Then for some inane reason I drilled a hole through one with my Dad's pillar drill a couple years ago when I found it in my "man drawer" whilst looking for something completely different (I don't think I ever did find what I was originally looking for).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersam1223 View Post
    I used to have like 3 of those!

    Then for some inane reason I drilled a hole through one with my Dad's pillar drill a couple years ago when I found it in my "man drawer" whilst looking for something completely different (I don't think I ever did find what I was originally looking for).
    What a random thing to do! Didn't they used to beep when they wanted attention? Maybe it was some suppressed rage caused by it which drove you to the drill!

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