Capturing 43% of the vote, the Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet has won the 2011 TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for Worst Toy of the Year. The first “iPad” for babies beat out rivals the I Am T-Pain Mic (32%), Monster High Ghoul Spirit Fearleading Doll 3-Pack (16%), WWE Colossal Crashdown Arena (5%), and Monopoly - Coca Cola 125th Anniversary Collector's Edition (4%).
The push to convince parents that screen time is educational for babies is what propelled Vinci to outpace its formidable competition. “While all the choices were horrifying, the Vinci seems the most insidious to me,” said CCFC member Anne M. Deyser of Westborough, Massachusetts. “It’s likely to convince parents that they are doing something positive for their babies when that couldn't be farther from the truth.” Added Peggy Sissel-Phelan, Ed.D., of Little Rock, “People don’t know that without human attention, babies won't develop normally, much less optimally. They will, however, learn how to push the buttons to make the screen react. Rats can do that!”
The runners-up also had their passionate supporters. Ruben Martinez of Dallas, Texas voted for the Monster High Dolls because, “As a parent of 2 young girls (4 and 1) these types of toys really concern me. Girls of this generation are subconsciously promoting sex to men of all ages because ‘toys’ like this only serve to indoctrinate them at an early age.” Michele Crunkleton of Doylestown, Pennsylvania said, “I despise toy makers who produce dolls that look like hookers. Shame on you!” The I Am T-Pain Mic was the clear choice for William Payne of Overland Park, Kansas: “It sends deplorable messages to children. It is not okay to send messages promoting misogyny, alcohol, and drugs to 7-year-olds. No more of this trash.”
But in the end, the $479 tablet with the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” app won the day. So congratulations to Vinci – you join previous winners Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie and Nickelodeon's AddictingGames.com as CCFC’s Worst Toy of the Year!
Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the TOADY process by voting, campaigning for your “favorite” candidate, and encouraging others to exercise their right to vote. Many of you were kind enough to let us know the rationale for your choice. To see why CCFC members voted the way they did, please visit http://commercialfreechildhood.org/blog/2011-toady-award-how-you-voted.
And remember, it’s only 365 days until the 2012 TOADYs. So if you see a toy you think is TOADY-worthy, be sure to let us know!