Sunday, January 09, 2011

Dear Fischer Price...

Dear Fischer Price,

Baby goat recieved your Little People garage for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa this year.   Rest assurred he loves it!  Nevertheless I can't help but wonder what message you were intending to send with the figures that came with it.

When we first opened this I noticed the car's driver right away.  So fast that I had to take a picture before we even got it out of the box.  Do you see what I see?

I see a driver with a cell phone and some papers/book/garage door opener in their hand.  Both hands are full and while the tiny car that our driver pilots does not have an actual steering wheel I'm left wondering how he could drive with 1.  His hands full. and 2. Distracted by his cell phone and book. 

In an age where technology is rampant and kids are exposed earlier and earlier perhaps we shouldn't send the message that distracted driving is good.

On the other hand...shortly after noticing the cell phone-toting driver, I noticed the other vehicle and figure that came with it. 

Yup, the phone-toting driver is getting towed.  (Even though the tow truck driver also seems to have its hands full).  So perhaps the message is - Use your cell phone while driving and get into a crash?  That certainly seems to be a true warning but again perhaps it isn't the message for a toddler toy.

Either way, I would think that this product might be better recieved if its drivers had fewer accessories, especially the cell phone.


Mama Goat.

What do YOU think blogland?  Is the cell phone ok?  Does the presence of the tow truck change its possible message?


trishatfox said...

Good catch. While we're at it, I'd like to know why the guy with the tie is white and the the tow truck driver is a person of color. Just wondering.

Casey said...

We have the same set. I've wondered the same things about it as what you and the previous commenter point out. It's a less favored toy right now, but I'm sure it'll be more popular when Baby J gets a bit older. I find it irritating. All the possible messages are unnecessary.

Valerie said...

Hans says, "It's from the FUTURE." I guess that means that in the future, cars don't have steering wheels and they drive themselves.

Otherwise, while I don't necessary want my (future) children leaning to drive with cell phones, when the time arrives for them to drive, I think it's more important for me to set the right example and for me to teach my children what's right than for a toy they have when they're two to teach them. That said, maybe we should worry more about how many people drive with cell phones (my self included) and why Fischer Price might find it acceptable to put a phone in a driver's hand.

Amelia Sprout said...

Some of the choices in kids toys just don't make any sense to me. Sadly, not everyone would have noticed it. At least you did, and if he is still playing with it when he is older, you can always use it as a teaching opportunity, right?

Anti-Supermom said...

Now I have to run downstairs to rummage through our Little People's box to see what all the little 'peeps' are holding... lol.

I'm with Amelia, teachable moment.

Jen said...

Hmmm ... I guess it doesn't really bother me.

Almost all Little People have stuff in both hands. They all have stuff in at least one hand. I'm assuming the driver has a phone because he is calling the tow truck.

None of the vehicles have steering wheels or many other things real cars have.

As for Trish's point about the color, the doctor Little People is also black. The firefighter is a woman.

But I agree with Beth that if it bothers you, you can definitely use it as a teaching moment.

Jen said...

interesting observation...good catch!

Marketing Mama (TM) said...

I look at the little people more from a gender bias piece. They aren't meant to only be in the cars... but are packaged that way. The little people house we have shows the dad holding a cell phone, wearing a tie. I can't remember what the mom is wearing, and I'm too tired to go look. But I remember being pissed about the dad.

Interesting post Liz! :)

Midwest Elle said...

Yikes! I can totally see my daughter on her little push car and carrying her cell phone at the same time. She has already mastered using her LeapFrog laptop and cell phone at the same time, the car will be next.


Soupy said...

I don't really notice it - and I don't think my girls really do, either :) They all have so many things in their hands (we have the school set as well, and they all have a number in one hand and an item in the other). It's a good teachable moment if it comes up, though! :)

Monkeymama said...

It bugs me that the Little People have stuff in their hands at all. I don't like for the farmer to be visiting the zoo with feed in her hands! Don't feed the animals!! :)

Our garage was purchased 5 years ago and we have two mechanics, each with a wrench. One is also holding a frog.

Bonnie@TheFragileXFiles said...

Isn't it funny the little changes they make to Little People, to stay current with the times? I have tons of Little People stuff including the garage, all from the last 3-5 years, and have enver seen one holding a cell phone!

Tiffany said...

I've had Little People in my life for well about 8 years. My oldest is 9. I have a 7 year old and a 3 year old. Even 8 years ago, they had things in both hands. I can honestly say, it doesn't bother me. I don't think it has sent any messages to my children. I set the lessons for my kids. These are just toys. And I can say this from the other side, my kids grew up on them. I guess it's not as big of a deal for me. The kids played with the toys. They loved the toys and by the time they were old enough to get any type of message from the toys, they were on to other things.

Sharon said...

We have the little people bus (which I was pleasantly surprised to see comes with a wheelchair) and the little people nativity set. I think it's just weird that their hands are full, but whatever. Interestingly, in the nativity set, no one is holding anything.

JennyF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JennyF said...

I have to agree with Tiffany. The Little People always have strange items in their hands, probably so that if you buy multiple sets you remember which people are supposed to be doing which activities. And what's with the frog? I've got a couple holding frogs, both girls and boys.

The teaching moment comes when we as parents set the example. Are we talking on the cell phone while driving? Changing radio stations?

Rebecca said...

Hm...I find myself wondering if toddlers would be able to connect the dots.

"Hey, Mommy says she isn't supposed to use the cell phone in the car! Yikes, I better not engage in risky behaviors or I might get towed!" (less likely toddler inner monologue)

"Cool! A cell phone! Hello? Grandma? Does the truck honk?" (more likely toddler inner monologue)