Monday, October 08, 2007

They're not trying to be subtle anymore

Please don't accuse Mattel of subtlety in encouraging girls to take the roles of prime consumer in the American family. I laughed out loud when I first saw a commercial for this new product, the Polly Pocket "Pollywheels Race to the Mall" set. At first glance, it just looks like a girl-themed car-and-track toy. But this race has a purpose.

Wanna go to the mall? I’ll race ya! If anyone understands a girl’s passion for needing to shop immediately, it’s Polly Pocket and her friend Lila. And this racetrack set is just the thing to get them to the mall in record time. -- from the product description
If it weren't for this ugly consumerist theme, I think I'd like this toy. Any kid should enjoy the race track, which is set up somewhat like a roller-coaster and has a loop. The addition of tiny doll drivers to the cars, which you don't usually see in this scale, seems like fun. And I can imagine that this would be a toy dads and daughters could see eye-to-eye on. But what a name! What a theme! I'd love to know if there was any consciousness of irony in the team that designed it. And if I ran a mall, I'd have stands selling these at every entry. It's pure genius, and aimed at pre-irony-age kids.

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