TOADY Awards: Vote for Worst Toy and Inspire Change

Dec. 4, 2014 Every year I twist into a cartoon grimace and let out an “AAUGH!” like Charlie Brown when I scan the CCFC contenders on the TOADY "worst toys" list. (TOADY=Toys Oppressive And Destructive … [Read more...]

The Tooth Fairy Is Not A Brand. Parents…Arise!

Aug. 6, 2013 Update!  Honored to be accurately quoted in this pithy parenting prose by Heidi Stevens in The Chicago Tribune's thrilled to see all the parenting pushback on Twitter that CCFC put … [Read more...]

Beyond Merida: Toy Industry Complicity in Marketing Vapid Values

Update May 11, 2015 Could the caped crusader cavalry be coming in the form of sheroes and indie offerings like IAmElemental and Roominate and Lottie Dolls? Sure hope so! If you need a bit of joy … [Read more...]

Bratzillaz, Novi Stars, Monster High: Same Sexualized SnoreFest

Update April 7, 2015 Toy Joy! New offerings upending the toy industry to send healthier cues to kids: Lottie Dolls, GoGoSportsGirls, and now this new Kickstarter, Ember World adventure dolls, … [Read more...]

Mattel’s Manipulative Monster High Marketing Machine: Unkind.

June 15, 2012 Last year when I wrote about Mattel’s vampy campy Monster High dolls I purposely didn’t even name their brand, hoping it would quietly fizzle and bury itself in the outcry of parents … [Read more...]

Vamp Tramp Toys: A Monster Problem

Mar. 16, 2011 Show and tell time on this  Wordless Wednesday. Not going to give them the pleasure of naming names here to add to their search engine buzz, since  research has shown that one of … [Read more...]

A Homeless American Girl Doll: Really, AG? REALLY?

Sept. 25, 2009 Never quite thought homelessness would end up a ‘branding opportunity’ but alas, when Virgin Mobile lobbied Congress to declare November Youth Homeless Awareness month to devote time, … [Read more...]

Dora The Explorer: Discover the World, Not the Mall

Feb. 26, 2009 Oh fer cripes sakes. Say it ain’t so. Is Dora the Explorer getting a makeover and turning tween TOO?! Leave her alone! This "age-compression" bit is putting a new dent in my TMJ-clenched … [Read more...]

[email protected]: Elf Island Unlocks the Secret to Parent Approval

I was AWOL at CES as my IBM went MIA. Translated? You're SOL (simply outta luck) if you're seeking a fresh thread on the big Consumer Electronics Show toys and tactics targeting kids at the Kids at … [Read more...]

Smart Girls At the Party.TV: Interview with SNL’s Amy Poehler

With eight seasons of Saturday Night Live under her belt, I automatically thought SNL actress Amy Poehler's new digital TV series would be a spoof or a sketch by the screenshot alone! I mean, … [Read more...]

Facelifts for Kiddie Characters: Rebranding ’80s Icons?

Last week’s New York Times article on 21st century ‘facelifts’ for kiddie characters gave me the willies on a variety of fronts, despite the fact that I’ve personally ‘freshened’ many a brand in my … [Read more...]