Friday, November 11, 2005

My wife pointed out that in our community, pet dolls have replaced baby dolls as the toy for kids who want something to nurture, much as pets have replaced children for many. It is probably a significant moment of some sort, and appears to be more than just a local trend.

I'm curious if anyone lives in an area where that change was not complete this year -- there are baby dolls, but the prime promotional space goes to the pet dolls instead of the baby dolls as you walk in the store.

Comments and feedback welcome.


Anonymous said...

I think it's a combination of a couple of things.

One is the advancements in technology that make the various robotic pets so feasible and cheap, so it's a gimmicky sort of thing. "Oh, look at this, this dog will sit when you tell it to!"

Actually, it's becoming well-night impossible to find stuffed toys that don't talk or move or whatever and I hate it because they creep me right the heck out!

Then you've got the phenomenon of what's popular now: Barbie, as always, and Bratz. Barbie's not great and Bratz are terrible and I can't believe anyone buys them for their kids, but those are apparently what sell. What truly conscientious parent is going to buy a doll that looks like a street walker for their kid? I think a lot of those people are going to instead go for the My Little Pony that has a bottle and diaper and is set up to be played with exactly like a baby, just one with a horsey face.

Clearly I'm just going to be able to extrapolate from my own experience, but even if it is a trend, I don't think it's worrisome. I had few baby dolls as a kid and don't really remember playing with them at all, but I did do "nuturing" sorts of behaviors with things like my Care Bears. Even if that sort of thing doesn't usually follow, I can't help but think it's better for someone to be playing with a toy as if it's a pet and taking care of it that way rather than playing with a human-shaped doll that's wearing clothes that would make Jerry Springer guests blush in shame.

lochan said...

My girls have moved from baby dolls to stuffed animal dogs - My older daughter feels too old to play with baby dolls, but not a dog.

I'm not sure if there's more to it as far the wider trend.

Unknown said...

Very interesting observation. I know many people that don't plan on having children. They always talk about their pet as though they were a child.

The fact that animals are becoming more popular than dolls may be a result in that shift in society. The child does come from a home with children though, since they are the child :-). It's an interesting observation.

It too amazes me that people would buy their children these Bratz dolls.