To many people or maybe just to myself, it has become painfully obvious that we are in a serious lack of creative anything anymore. Movies, toys, books and whatnot are being remade, redone, and having name changes faster than Paris Hilton goes though men! Have no idea what I am talking about?|
This past year we have seen those blasted little spawn of Satan, other wise known as Furbys come back from the past. I feared them growing up. I saw the gremlin movies.. I know what happened. I stuck them I the fridge every night to ensure that they wouldn’t come to life and eat me. But, anyways, to quote an earlier article without sounding redundant, Polly Pockets, Sky Dancers, Care Bears, My Little Ponies, and Strawberry Shortcakes all have received facelifts. They are the Joan Rivers of the 00’s. On a personal note, I still have all of the toys listed previously except for Strawberry Shortcake. The People were nominated for the 2005 induction into the Toy Hall of Fame. Remember the people? Everyone remembers the People. They were little people with the heads and bodies in different colors that you put into circular holes like pegs. Well, sadly, the box won. The thing that never started out as a toy to begin with. I am surprised they haven’t remade the box itself…”Look kids! It’s the new bOX! It has 50% more boxiness than before! It’s not box.. it’s bOX!” Even video games are being remarketed with a vintage joystick. I have seen guys stand for hours inline just to get these games. Lastly, there is Barbie. Yes, I know she is the standard in made over toys. Yes, I know if there were the last of anything on this earth after all mankind was wiped out.. the Barbie and the cockroach would survive. However, anyone notice how back in the 90’s they had some AWESOME toys for Barbie? I do. I remember a blow up swan floatie, the kind like the tunnel of love has, that you could put Barbie in, a floating yacht that you could make drinks in, a fold up house, a Jacuzzi that you could press a pump and make bubble or you could pour water into an overhead thing and water would sprinkle down into the Jacuzzi. Remember those toys? Now, its just the standard Barbie house, Barbie car and Barbie pool. Heck, she even dumped Ken. I hear he got custody of Skipper…
Little Mermaid 2, Beauty and the Beast the Christmas story (which, consequently, I never understood because to understand the story if you are a child you need to watch the original tape where the beast becomes human. The Christmas story just kinda messes you up.), The Swan Princess 2 and many, MANY more. If they don’t make sequels they digitally remaster it and put it into a snazzy new box. The early movies seem to be the fail safes but by remarketing them over and over and over and over again they ruin their original appeal.
Ahhh… my beloved Nickelodeon. How I miss your 90’s TV shows. Clarissa Explains It All, Salute Your Shorts, Are You Afraid Of The Dark, Doug, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Secret World Of Alex Mack (not exactly one of my faves but I have to give them credit or originality), Hey Dude, AHHHHhh Real Monsters, original Rugrats and another one that seemed to be a comedy skit show which the name escapes me. Now, the Rugrats are Pubes, Nick hosts a line of shows which include Spongebob (no disrespecting the spongeman here but he seems to be a little bit of the sell out. I remember back in the day where he was the icon of broke college kids who would skip class everywhere. Now, he’s just a young kids cliché), Zoe (which features Britney’s lil sis), Unfabulous (which again features a rich stars relative.. this time Julia Roberts’ niece), Romeo! (again, another young kid who really can’t act), The Amanda Show (While I loved her on All That I just feel she is past her prime to be on Nick. She is what? 18? 19?) and numerous other shows which feature defunct storylines and zero originality. Although one thing I am happy about… Hey, Arnold is still going strong with reruns.
While I don’t make it a habit to eat kids cereal or look for character changes, I just happened to notice since there was an ad on tv the other day that they changed the Cookie Crisp Dog to a Wolf. I remember the pudgy dog with the big back nose and spots always used to say the “Coooooooookie Crisp” in a doggy voice. Now a wolf howls it. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
It seems nothing new can come out now a days. Nothins is great or wow worthy... I am probably forgetting a lot of stuff but please forgive me. It's 6:45am and I havent slept a wink. Ahh.. the life of a college student.
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Nice post, PB. I share your frustration with how things have changed since we were younger. My post, however, is more about evolution rather than being original.|
I was born in 1977, so the 80's and 90's were a tempestuous time for me. Growing up, learning the value of a dollar, all that wonderful kid stuff that I'll never forget. Interests in the cartoons, toys and just the amazing cultural things that were happening at the time helped form who I am as an adult today. Those things can never be taken from me. ..just as the fondest memories you (or anyone else) have will be with you forever.
After keeping a somewhat keen eye on how toys, cartoons and other kid-related things have changed since I was that age, there is one thing that I've been bothered by that's, in some ways, blown up recently. Video education and the "systems" that support sitting in front of the television, rather than promoting parent/child communication. "LeapFrog" is a contributor to this, but other companies have taken it much further.
I'm sure you've seen them. They're advertised all the time now because it's blatanly obvious that parents today do NOT want to personally educate and teach their children how to become mature adolescents/young adults. Sometimes they blame it on having no time to spend with their kids or they simply have no patience with a defiant child. In either case, the trend today is to create little, tiny Nintendos and PlayStations that play educational games only.
They even look like standard video game systems, too. There's the console and a slot for your "Dora the Explorer" or "Bob the Builder" games.
After years and years of doctors, counselors and psychologists crying about how children should be avoiding extended stays in front of the TV, several companies have succeeded in making learning-by-TV a hot, new-ish trend! As I've stated, I feel today's parents of young kids have gotten very, very, very lazy or impatient with their kids and it's really no wonder that video education is popular now. It's also easier for parents to park their kids in front of the television so that they can go do their own things.
I grew up loving video games and during that time, a common belief was that it was bad for kids to play them. Remember? TV was bad for you! You have to spend more time with your parents! That was their argument. Now look at things. Parents are enjoying their free time because NOW their kids are sitting in front of the TV playing video games. ..but they're loving it more because they think that since they're playing educational games, it somehow makes things better.
Parents are lazy, kids are bored, video games are always going to be around and now that some have taken advantage of that by promoting them as learning tools, the rift between parent and child gets even more vast. The parents get to live more like how they did before they had kids, the children get to stay inside all day and get fat in front of the TV because mom and dad say it's okay and we'll forever hear reports of how childhood obesity is running rampant through the country.
It's all cause and effect and no-one really seems to mind much.
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Both well written and amazingly accurate posts. I never even thought about the whole LeapFrog and such until reading this post. Very true! It's ironic to see how something so well perceived such as education nowadays has become one of the worst things ever for your kids - probably worse than the thing parents feared; video games |
I agree with the whole originallity in cartoons today. It stinks, it falters, it lacks, well, orginallity! It seems like they just think up whatever, consider it 'imagination', and give it the green light to feed kids more useless junk. Don't get me wrong, I find some of these cartoons to be somewhat amusing ... unless of course it's Yu-Gi-Oh!. That is the worst cartoon right there. Mega Man NT Warrior would've been cool, had we not made it incredibly stupid. Then again, it's almost expected of us Americans to make half the anime that comes to America become ridiculous.
Television and video games were fun as a kid. It was something parents hated but you couldn't get enough of; a bittersweet 'danger', if you will. But now it's okay to sit your ass in front of the television 'learning' rather than getting the hell out of the house and experiencing first-hand a little bit of life that an electrical box of stupidity swears to feed you right before lunch. WAKE UP PARENTSSSS!!!
Michaelangelo: Wise man say, "forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for a late pizza".
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