Sociology Study on Kids Toys

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February 16, 2013
Sociology: Toys and Cards
Page 1
Toys and Cards

Today kids no longer play with only simple items for their entertainment such as homemade dolls or hand carved wooden swords. It is apparent that a cultural swing has developed in modern times to adapt with the ever changing mega industries of child entertainment. From Hasbro board games, to Matell’s diverse Barbie doll collections, and all the way into the virtual interactive video games of Nintendo, society has been latched to the ideas, assumptions, and norms of what boys and girls should engage interest for entertainment as they grow.

Walking through almost any toy store today, the first thing to be noticed would be that there are two main sections. One, displaying an immense amount of colors from pink, yellow, to purple. Glitter and frill were not absent among this section that held children’s toys ranging from dolls, stuffed animals, plastic play houses with kitchens as well as telephones, and common feminine characters scene on young television channels. Looking at the bikes or toy motor cars here, the same color variations appear only along with streamers and prominent words such as “princess” or “sparkle”. Looking more closely at the toy dolls, there is a very common attribute in almost every one having blonde hair, blue eyes, and large breasts. These can be found more often then dolls portraying ethnicity of African American or Hispanic denomination. Stuffed animals are often seen with name tags such as “Candy” or using the prefix of “Miss” before their February 16, 2013

Sociology: Toys and Cards
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Toys and Cards
names. In the society of today, a person most likely entering this toy section would presume that it focuses upon young girls.

In the second section, also seemingly larger in size and variety, a not so vibrant color scheme appears using black, red, and lots of blue. The assortment of toys usually is vas compared to its counter part area of the store. Items commonly seen include Tonka’s famous toy work trucks, Hot-Wheels collectable cars, Nerf guns, spy gear, sporting goods for the young, and even plastic fabricated construction work tools holding the logos of companies such as The Home Depot. Character action figures, from what most people would consider to be adult movies and video games, can also be found here, nor sparing their gory décor. Bikes and toy motor cars hold the same color scheme as the section itself but lack the streamers seen in the previous division of the store. There are not as many stuffed animals to be seen here, rather taken place by an immense amount of toy weaponry. Clearly, this section was specifically designed to promote boys childhood entertainment.

Yes, one would mostly see girls shopping with their parents in this first section while boys shop with theirs in the second, and for obvious reasons. The advertisements put upon each and every single toy is no longer simply a company name or logo,

February 16, 2013
Sociology: Toys and Cards
Page 3

Toys and Cards
however, it is seen also through colors, designs, types, placement, shape, and the overall gender fed notion of whether or not it is boy or girl appropriate. For example, looking at toy guns such as Nerf, a lot of times young males, seeming to be in their later teen years or early adulthood, are depicted upon the box using and playing with these guns and enjoying them. However, in the corner of the box most of these toys clearly say for the ages eight and up. Using young men to advertise to young boys about what to use and how to have fun with a product will right away send messages to both parents and their children of what is normal to buy for entertainment and proper development through it. It is seen though out this “boy” section while on the other side in the “girly” section, pictures are seen on products such toy houses of women, young and old, doing house hold duties such as cooking, cleaning, washing, and...
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