Well, one specific icon I appear to have deleted.
In a desperate bid to have an activity to do with Moira this morning (for some reason the hours between Walker going to work and nap time are particularly cranky), we went to Toys R Us. For some reason, I feel bad about just playing at local independent toy stores, even though when I do spend my money on toys, it tends to be at those places. Mayne what I'm really doing is trying to take the big box stores down by causing wear and tear on their unsold merchandise? I don't think that will work. I should remember in the future that small toy stores are much more likely to actually have toys out to play with, where as at Toys R Us, everything is safely encased in it's original packaging. Moira had a good time pushing the accessible buttons anyway.
Just spending half an hour there reminded me why I stopped going to that store years ago, when I was buying lots of things for Norwescon's KidKon.
1) There was a whole section of randomly gender coded toys. The 'girls' dog had pink ears instead of brown. Because otherwise a girl won't play with it, I guess? Girls are well known for thinking that animals are boring and stupid? There was a pink Doctor kit, despite the fact that the primary colored version also had a picture of a girl on the front and no boy. So maybe what they are trying to say is that being a Doctor is now a girly profession? There were also a pink popcorn popper push toy, pink rotary telephone (I used to own the old version of this and I LOVED it, but why are they still making this? My college aged cousins have never used a rotary phone. Do kids still recognize this a phone type object at all?) and a pink school bus. You know, I have only ever seen a pink school bus once in real life, and it was at a gay pride parade. I'm sure the message intended with this toy is "Pink is a girls color, and therefore you should only use your imaginative powers on pink toys, here have some little girls to ride your pink bus so that you don't get imaginary cooties touching boy dolls", or something, but I think it's actually some Gay propaganda slipped sneakily through the Little Tykes marketing department encouraging girls to strive for a world where men are kept in ranches far from civilization and Lesbian love is the standard. I for one, relish my new Lesbian overlords. Or ladies, I guess.
2) 96% of the toys sold were made out of plastic. There was one small aisle labeled "Wooden Toys." When we went down it, there was a selection of the really cool, realistic animals (made of plastic) and some realistic stuffed animals, so only half of the actual aisle had wooden toys. Then there was a big hole in the Melissa & Doug section that had been randomly filled with a plastic play table. Sigh.
3) They make toddler exercise equipment now. I saw a rowing machine and an exercise bike. I guess this makes sense in the way that you can get baby cell phones and PDA's, because kids like to imitate their parents. So I guess if Mommy & Daddy work out a lot, this would be something your kid would really like, but it kind of horrifies me in principle. Please, just go run around outside with your kids.