Each year, the Toy Industry Association gathers to present its TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards. In honor of the industry that has led the way in commercializing childhood, CCFC will present its TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award for the worst toy of the year. From thousands of toys that promote precocious sexuality to children and push branded and screen-based entertainment at the expense of children’s play, CCFC has selected five exceptional finalists. Our first nominee is:
Monopoly Empire by Hasbro
For more than 60 years, Monopoly was almost the perfect board game. But one thing was missing: ads! Fortunately, the good people at Hasbro rectified that with Monopoly Empire, where “Every space on the board is an iconic brand.” Goodbye to the boring old hat and shoe. Hello to “cool brand tokens” like McDonald’s fries or an xBox controller. Instead of buying properties, players race around the board collecting brands—Boardwalk and Park Place are now Coca-Cola and Samsung—and build towers out of billboards. Is there a better way to teach kids that whoever owns the most brands, wins?
TOADY 2013 voters make their case for Hasbro's Monopoly Empire:
“I...am not a fan of huge corporations that take advantage of parents and children for profit while giving little in return for our money. I would prefer to find other ways of amusing, interacting and teaching a child than to continuously expose them to advertising and all that this capitalistic country is doing to manipulate people and extract their money.” – Cheryl via CCFC Website
“I want my kids to know these companies are not their friends and to keep the marketing out of every nook and cranny of kids' lives.” – Casey Legler Hinds via Facebook
“Guess how much you get paid for letting your living become a hands-on ad for several hours? Oh, wait… it costs you $20, and not in Monopoly money.” – Chris Morran. The Consumerist
“Because the classic version isn't capitalistic enough” – David Gianatasio, Adweek
“I chose Monopoly because of the sheer and shameless commercialism that appears to be the essence of this variation of the game.” – Chris Edwards, Farmville, NC, via email
"Not only did the game replace all of the iconic property with “brands” young entrepreneurs can collect – like Xbox, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Samsung – you can now complete the game in 30 minutes." - Maria Guido, Mommyish
"It appalls me that people will actually pay to put commercials in front of their kids and even think it’s cool. Do we as a society have so little concept that commercials exist to benefit the companies, not consumers? If these companies want to advertise to families who play Monopoly, they should give the game for free." - Pauline Alama via email
"The Monopoly franchise officially sold out this year with the release of Monopoly Empire, which is basically a clever way to advertise to kids." - Emily Laurence, The Metro
If you have yet to make your pick for the 2013 TOADY award, you have until Sunday, December 8th to do so! Click Here to cast your vote!