Sarah Ditum Doesn’t Know Much About Children, Does She?

September 26, 2012 12 Comments
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Toy shops are an intrinsic part of the magic of childhood.

Who could argue with th…

Oh:

Hang on, I’ll put that more clearly: toy shops are where the magic of childhood goes to be smothered in a hairy fug of soft toys and stabbed with a million construction toy components. Toy shops are where you first experience the agonising paralysis of overwhelming consumer choice. They’re the place that teaches you the existential horror of the mismatch between you and the advertisers’ version of what you’re supposed to be. They’re where you learn the anguish of wanting what you can’t have, and the misery of having what doesn’t make you happy.

Wow! That’s some projection, there. Did she have an unfortunate childhood experience in a toy shop, I wonder..?

So there are no tiny tears of woe from me at the news that Hamleys has been sold to French megacorp Groupe Ludendo.

How strange! I’d have expected the sad lapse into foreign hands of a great British icon to be a cue for much weeping around the ‘Guardian’ watercooler, too…

/sarc

But what’s her beef with Hamleys?

Maybe there is an evil genius working behind the scenes at 188-196 Regent Street. That would explain why, until December 2011, the toy kingdom operated on strict gender segregation lines, with a girls’ floor and a boys’ floor. Boys were the gender of action and discovery – science sets, cars, trains and construction. Girls got dolls, beauty (with a Minipops salon to serve their junior vanity) and shrink-and-pink versions of household appliances – don’t you even think of having any ambition beyond the four walls of your house or the skin of your own face, little lady! And as for boys, whoever heard of one of them growing up to take a caring role? Absurd.

Ah. The usual leftist feminazi boilerplate.

Check out Hamleys’ predictions for this year’s top Christmas toys, and you’ll see a list dominated by pricey novelties: a breakdancing Mickey Mouse, a Barbie with an alarming fragile-looking articulated pony, a baby tablet that shoves “educational games” under your baby’s nose.

All stuff, in other words, that a child can only play with inside the narrow bounds determined by the design of the toy. That’s not really play at all – it’s just doing what you’re told.

I guess Sarah’s never experienced the child that spends more time playing with the box a toy came in than the toy itself, then?

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12 Responses to Sarah Ditum Doesn’t Know Much About Children, Does She?

  1. Single Acts of Tyranny
    September 26, 2012 at 8:28 am

    “All stuff, in other words, that a child can only play with inside the narrow bounds determined by the design of the toy. That’s not really play at all – it’s just doing what you’re told”

    I recall as a youngster swiping my sister’s doll’s house and putting my toy artillery in it. Not quite what it was designed for I expect?

  2. September 26, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I’m amused by that snide little inclusion of ’188-196 Regent Street’ – got to get that Class War ticket in there somewhere.

    I don’t know whether Hamleys actually labelled the floors, as opposed to simply grouping similar items together for convenience, but even if it did, it’s no different to Argos and its ilk clearly marking separate sections of their toy catalogues ‘Boys’ and ‘Girls’; it seems a bit harsh to make Hamleys the whipping-boy for the transgressions of a whole retail sector.

    I would argue that the problem of children’ developmental horizons being limited by a narrow range of stereotyped toys or expensive one-trick-novelties can be squarely blamed on the choices made by their parents – though I suppose, in Guardian circles, that is tantamount to heresy.

    • September 27, 2012 at 5:44 am

      Absolutely!

  3. Greg Tingey
    September 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

    She’s welcome to try shopping in the Men’s underwaer department of any store?

    • Furor Teutonicus
      September 27, 2012 at 10:45 am

      She probably DOES. Along with the 24 hole DMs department, the workers overalls, and the mobile welding set departments. What pisses HER off, is that she must leave her pit-bull outside.

  4. Tatty
    September 26, 2012 at 8:51 am

    the agonising paralysis of overwhelming consumer choice….the anguish of wanting what you can’t have

    Bullshit.

    My siblings and I fought endlessly over “the catalogue” stabbing our fat little fingers at pictures of toys we wanted for Christmas. The littlest used to cover something with his entire hand and declare “That’s MINE !!!”

    All the while knowing full well we couldn’t have them.

    The wanting was part of the fun and not one of us committed suicide on Boxing Day. Funny that, innit :|

  5. September 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

    “the agonising paralysis of overwhelming consumer choice….the anguish of wanting what you can’t have”

    Life sucks, what can one say, but its the first steps to …. ambition.

    You learn from a very early age that the more you put in, the more you work, the more you earn and the more you save… the more and better you can have.

    Unfortunately the leftie luvvies have decided that ambition is a dirty word. We must all be satisfied with sameness, sameness that we can all have, and turned our lives from one with ambition, the ability to better ourselves into lives where we are all the same, with the same goods, from the same shops.. in other words an existence, not a life.

  6. September 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    My favourite toy was the one which clung to the side of the bath and had a water wheel, a squirty whale and several other bits of plasic doh-dah. It eventually went to the toyshop in the sky when even bleach would no longer clear the soapslime out of the pipes. Also the sorter ball and the placcy car with the big keys which opened the bonnet, boot and doors.

    I’ve no idea what the children liked but these kept me happy for hours.

    • September 27, 2012 at 5:44 am

      :lol:

    • Tatty
      September 27, 2012 at 8:57 am

      I’ve no idea what the children liked but these kept me happy for hours.

      Hahahahahahahaha…you too eh ?

      I’ve always said the very best thing about having children is I can now have all the toys I ever wanted :lol:

      • Maaarrghk!
        September 28, 2012 at 7:15 am

        Oh yes! Saddams getting a Scalectrix whether he ever wants one or not – even if he’d been a girl.

  7. Furor Teutonicus
    September 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

    XX an alarming fragile-looking articulated pony, XX

    Bad news sweetums, Ponys ARE fragile. Find one, break its leg, and see what happens.

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