Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How to Get Kids to Hate the Earth

I get a lot of catalogs and, because I am the biggest sucker in the world when it comes to my nieces and nephews, most of them have to do with kids' clothes, kids' furniture, and toys. Lots and lots of toys. In fact, due to the fact that we are nearing Christmas I get pretty much receive a toy catalog a day. Some are better than others, and the best is usually FAO Schwartz. It makes me wish I were seven and the daughter of a billionaire. The Barbies alone are enough to make me drool. Bob Mackie Barbie. Vera Wang Barbie. Holiday Barbie with her own ice carriage! I don't care if these dolls spread the wrong image about body image and feminism -- I would mortgage my house just to have them! And then there are the other toys: the dolls, the cooking sets, the science sets, and the remote control cars. All glisten like jewels invented just after I hit puberty. At least, they used to glisten. You see, an ugly, ugly thing has happened to FAO Schwartz this year -- they have gone green.

Don't get me wrong, I like the earth. I have reusable shopping bags, I turn off my halogen bulbs when I leave a room, and I feel really, really bad when I have to drive to the store (not bad enough to walk, but pretty bad). However, I feel a line needs to be drawn when it comes to environmentalism. No, I will not compost my own feces! No, I will not "dumpster dive" for produce! And no, I will not give kids crappy toys! Yet, that is exactly what FAO Schwartz is asking me to do. Meet Violet:

What the hell is Violet? Is that what you are asking? Why, it's a "chunky, quirky guide"for your child's imagination, of course. Yeah, I thought it looked like an unfinished weeble too. Can you imagine the look on your child's face when they open the box on Christmas morning and find this inside? And imagine how their joy will explode when you tell them that it's made out of "recycled sawdust and reclaimed plastic." Wow, dull and made out of garbage. What kid wouldn't want to snuggle in bed with Violet? I bet she's scratchy.

The only thing about Violet that resembles other toys from FAO Schwartz catalogs of yore is how much she costs. How much would you pay for this little piece of heaven that "smells like wood?" Keep in mind she's only four inches high. Yep, 12 dollars. I wonder if they recycle any of the money people spend on this thing to make good toys.

Do you think FAO Schwartz realizes that this toy will have the exact opposite effect they want it to have? What kid is going to value environmentalism if it means taking all the fun out of their lives? In twenty years when our children are trying to fuel their Hummer Deluxe Mega vehicles with baby seal oil they will have one word to explain themselves: Violet.

Of course, if FAO Schwartz had Bob Mackie dress Violet, well, that's a different story.


Amanda said...

Is Violet a spelunker or a cyclops?

Ellen said...

another way to go green... stop all those catalogs from coming in the first place.

violet is weird.

Cate said...

Don't touch my Barbies.