Y'all have listened patiently and even commiserated with me during my rants about Barbie, occasioned by the need to buy for the school kids my women lawyers group adopts for Christmas giving. The "bag and tag" part is pretty fun (see last year's photos here), but the buying itself is a bit taxing. Barbie remains popular, but as you can read here, she gets on my nerves with her fluffy so-called careers and her consumerism.
No sign of Computer Programmer Barbie in my neighborhood yet, by the way. But it's really nice to know she exists.
This year I was determined to avoid the fruitless quest for a Barbie of substance, so I chose a little boy to buy for. Of course, being me, I still had trouble.
This 5-year-old wished for toy cars and trucks. After picking out the required shirts, pants, socks, underwear, and warm jacket, I ventured into the aisle where they keep the Matchboxes and the Hot Wheels and the Tonkas. It didn't take long for me to start questioning things.
I know little boys like power and internal combustion and making noise and creating a big mess. But I'll be doggoned if I'm going to buy this kid an earth mover, so he can practice being a developer and knocking down trees and filling in wetlands and all the stuff that goes with that. Why don't they sell any tractors in this place? Or why can't the earth mover be part of a hurricane relief task force? You know, something constructive?
Ditto for the other brands. No way am I going to get this child what appears to be a souped up garbage truck (given his socio-economic status!) or a transport truck that hauls both a race car and a helicopter. I mean, really? The carbon thoughts alone made me dizzy.
I finally settled on a selection of fun-looking fantasy cars and a loop-de-loop track where if you don't time it right, they will crash into each other. I can certainly see where that would be fun, in a little boy way. He's probably going to be an adventurous driver when he turns 16 anyway, even without my influence.
But I can't help thinking: Why can't Matchbox make a Prius?