The trouble with dolls or the trouble with us?
Be prepared, this column is going to start with a rant about the dolls of today. Don’t get me wrong, I played with Barbies and action figures just as much as the next little kid growing up. Now that I’m older and surrounded by cousins and other children through work at a daycare and babysitting, I’ve started noticing more flaws than I could possibly fit into the space on this page.
To name big few, Barbie doesn’t stand on her own, or bend anywhere but the waist and, this may just be me, but didn’t she used to have more material in her clothing? Anyone who had a Barbie Dream House growing up (or destroyed their sisters in the spirit of having J.I. Joe launch a successful military strike) knows that while designed for Barbie, it wasn’t really adapted to fit her immobile lifestyle.
Barbie isn’t the only culprit of being an odd toy. The newest doll trend is something my cousin introduced to me. Monster High Dolls are apparently all the rage. I can’t even begin to understand these toys. They must have come out of the latest wave of vampire, werewolf, insert mythological/ horror story character here, obsession that is hitting the tween population. While brightly colored and eye catching, these dolls are a bit gruesome, with scars, ghoulish looks and names out of science fiction.
Also, with a recent refuel to the G.I. Joe franchise and all of the Marvel movies that have been coming out, boys action figures (I have offended many a boy saying Iron Man doll or something to that effect) are adding just as much weirdness on their side. And I only say “their side,” because those toys are marketed mainly to boys, which is offensive to girls who like superheroes, but that is an entirely different rant. Has anyone noticed that the fashion and accessories for these action figures is getting to a point where Barbie is going to have to move out of her Dream House so the Avengers can keep their stuff there?
Anyway, it just seems a bit odd to me how much toys can change over the course of a decade or two.
There, I’m done ranting, still with me? My point with all of this is actually on the opposite side of my rant. While adults may criticize toys like crazy, most of us have fond memories of the dolls and action figures we played with as children. As we grow, we tend to lose the rose colored glasses and often see the flaws in things. However, kids still love them for what they are, fun.
When my cousin started explaining her Monster High dolls to me did I listen? Of course. Why? Because I know they were important to her, just like my toys used to be to me. Sometimes we all need to remember to just have fun and stop taking the little things for granted.
Sure the dolls of today are confusing and odd, but I’m sure the generations before me thought the same thing of my toys. Just as they didn’t ruin the fun for me, I didn’t ruin the fun for my cousin. And if she had asked me to play with her slightly creepy horror version of barbies I would have.