Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fisher Price "Young Earth" Conspiracy or Just Stupid Product Design?

I just returned from a leisurely, childless trip to Target. Every now and then, I enjoy perusing the toy aisles in search of the perfect toy that will transform life as we know it. And then I come across the Fisher Price aisle.

Several months back, Andy and I noticed that they've been pairing Litte People dinosaurs with adorable little caveman figurines. Really?! Cavemen and dinosaurs! Together!! That is even stupider than the persistent pairing of lions and tigers that afflicts so many toys and books aimed at the ankle-biter set. (Lions and tigers reside on different continents, unless they are in zoos, in case you were confused for a second there.)

I thought this nonsense was limited to the Little People line, but they've got a line of dinosaurs aimed at older kids that come with caveman accessories. I absolutely understand that dinosaurs are waaaaaay cool and that it's fun to imagine interacting with them and that probably no little minds are actually poisoned by a bit of imaginitve fun. But really, do they have to pair dinosaurs with people to sell them? I mean, aren't dinosaurs cool enough on their own?

Anyway, the things of our everyday lives have a way of seeping into our consciousness, and this pairing of people and dinosaurs disturbs me in light of the amount of delusional religious nonsense pretending to be "science". Toys that don't reflect the "real world" aren't so awful in and of themselves, but when they coincide with the dearly held and obnoxiously defended views of a vocal but looney minority, they start to drift into shadowy territory.

So, whether or not they're trying to plant the seeds of young earth creationism in the minds of unsuspecting youth, Fisher Price is going to have to get their act together product wise before I spend any more money with them.


Anonymous said...

I recently read an article (Scientific American July 2007) about the genetic history of the cat family Felidae. Turns out lions and tigers have lived together, esp. in Asia. Even today there are a few lions in India. Certainly this doesn't change the silliness of dinos w/ 'cavemen,' though...

SWE said...

And this is precisely why I'm addicted to blogs. I didn't know a thing about Asiatic lions until reading this comment. Thanks, Jon!

Most of the toys I've seen portray them all living together in Africa (with ostriches and monkeys with prehensile tails, no less).

The lesson here is that the ~next~ time I call up Melissa and Doug (makers of gazillions of wooden toys) to complain I'll have a much better grasp of the facts. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh sigh! Purveyors of fantasy have been putting humans with dinosaurs for ever. Think "the Flintstones", "AleyOop", "B.C." and lots of sci-fi fantasy movies featuring leather clad vixens. I still don't get how we went from that to Conservative Christian orthodoxy -- but we have.