Slim pickings this Christmas

Published 1:18 am Saturday, December 1, 2012

Toy Makers Miss the Mark

There is nothing out there this Christmas for kids. Well sure, Walmart and every other big box retailer has filled its shelves, but we consumers are missing a “hot item” this Christmas. In fact, when I contemplated shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, there seemed to be nothing out there to make me want to stand in line, lose sleep, or fight over. Indeed the sales seemed geared more to Mom and Dads unless 42″ flat screens are now a staple in every child’s room.

Sure there are new video games, but toys – real toys that children can play with to imagine new worlds, fight new battles, and live new fairytales – are nowhere to be found. I was surprised to see Imaginext commercials advertising LAST YEAR’S Batman Castle again this year. Indeed, Santa was good to my son last year because he got the castle and Batman’s car. So yes, my son will probably get another video game and lots of books. His daddy rolls his eyes when I wrap books and put them under the tree, but if he’s going to get lost somewhere, I hope it is in a book!

The prospects for my 2-year-old daughter are not much better. She is particularly fond of the plastic shopping cart she received last Christmas, and I smile because perhaps maybe my sassy tomboy will eventually embrace the finer graces of dresses, hair bows, and yes – shopping. Along these lines, we decided to tell Santa she was interested in a kitchen set. Imagine my surprise when I realized that each plastic kitchen set for sale comes with a cell phone as a kitchen accessory. REALLY? Is this to call the fire department when she catches the house on fire or to call Domino’s after she has burned the meatloaf? Wouldn’t it be smarter to throw in, say, a cookbook as an accessory or even a pretend IPAD so she could look up a recipe? Frustrated in the toy aisle, I will move back to the book section to make my annual purchase.

Kristy White