TOADY 2014: The Case for the Mini Mall

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 next nominee is:

Mini Mall by miWorld

Finally a toy that nurtures little girls’ inner mall rat! Immerse your daughter in the mind-numbing commercialism of America’s shopping meccas without having to drive her to one. With miWorld Mini Mall, girls exercise their creativity by building anything they want . . . as long as it’s a chain store. Build-a-brand options include sweets (Dairy Queen and Sprinkles Cupcakes), shoes and accessories (Skechers and Claire’s), and even a salon (OPI). What more could any girl want?

TOADY 2014 voters make their case for the Mini Mall:

"Shopping as entertainment must surely be one of the biggest causes of depression and frustration among teenagers (or perhaps any age group): cruising a mall, looking longingly at all the things that are unobtainable (because after all, we all have some limits to our budgets) but would surely make us happy if only we could get them." - Karen Ascot 

"I decided to go with the mini mall - because I think it's slightly worse with the message to young girls that money, clothing, and shopping are all that matters in life." - JoAnne Jenkins

"As if kids aren't fed commercialism 24/7 already, this brings it right into your home and sends the message that you approve of and even encourage embracing commercialism. What a way to set a child up for a lifetime of defining themselves shallowly by brands and price tags." - Amy Kelly

"Beyond just teaching kids to have brand loyalty, this toy further reinforces the idea that girls are supposed to love shopping and looking pretty more than anything else." - Rebecca Anshell Song

"Masquerading as a doll house of sorts, this toy turns imaginative play on its head, from a place of imagination and invention to one of consumerism and brand identification." - Robin E. Brooks

"The Mini Mall ultimately wins a TOADY vote because it reinforces to children everywhere that to be happy and fulfilled they should "go shopping"." - Annabel Youens

"From its unimaginative design, to its dated gender stereotyping, to its vapid commercialism, Mini Mall is an awful toy." - Pamela Impson 

"I've seen the TV commercial for this toy. It encourages "self-esteem through shopping" (a Peggy Orenstein phrase) and pretends to build spacial reasoning skills with the "building part" while putting girls into this other category where their toys have no story. Boys get to build things that allow for active imaginative play. Girls are encouraged to build salons and stores that are now pre-branded?!" - Anne-Marie Lindsey 

"This is great marketing for the companies, but leaves nothing for the imagination or creativity of the child. Let's send a powerful message back to the toy creator, miWorld that we won't buy Mini Malls for our children!" - Beth Steeves

If you haven't made your pick yet for the 2014 TOADY, you have until Sunday, December 7th to do so! Click Here to cast your vote!