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BOSTON -- November 16 -- Back by popular demand, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has launched its 3rd annual contest for Worst Toy of the Year – the dreaded TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children) Award. Created in response to the Toy Industry Association of America’s annual TOTY (Toy Of The Year) Awards, the TOADYs highlight the toy industry’s troubling trends. From the multitude of 2011 toys promoting violence and/or precocious sexuality and/or branded entertainment and/or electronic wizardry at the expense of children's creative play, CCFC has selected five "exceptional" finalists—many culled from this year’s industry “hot toy” lists.
Voting is open until Monday, November 28th. On November 30th, CCFC will announce which of the following toys has joined past winners Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie and Nickelodeon's AddictingGames.com as Worst Toy of the Year.
Vinci Touchscreen Mobile Learning Tablet
Recommended Age: 4 and under
Can’t wait for the day your child starts tuning you out for technology? Give your infant a head start with the Vinci, the first "iPad" designed especially for babies. The $479 may seem like a lot, but that’s a small price to pay for the tranquility that comes when your infant is virtually lobotomized. Make dinner in peace. Better yet, go out for dinner. The Vinci’s hypnotic apps are designed to guarantee that Junior won’t even know you’re gone. Plus, the Vinci makes lots of bogus educational claims, so you can join the company in pretending that screen time is great for your little one.
I Am T-Pain Mic
Retails for: $39.99
Recommended Age: 7+
Worried that your seven-year-old is the only kid on the block who doesn't know the words to "I'm in Love with a Stripper" or “Take Your Shirt Off”? Remedy that with the I am T-Pain Mic. For just $39.99, this amazing microphone will transform the voice of your child to sound just like rap star and auto-tune aficionado T-Pain – and introduce him to T-Pain’s lyrical world of misogyny, drinking and drugs. "A lot of kids don't have cellphones, (so) in order to reach everyone, I'm taking it to where it can be a toy," the rapper explains. Thank you, T-Pain, for your dedication and service to our children.
Monopoly - Coca Cola 125th Anniversary
Retails for: $39.99
Recommended Age: 8-10 years
Why give your kids the classic version of America’s favorite board game when you can immerse them in an ad for Coca Cola? No more fighting about who gets stuck with the iron or the hat; choose from “collectible” tokens like a Coke bottle, Coke can, or even a Coke polar bear. Sign an agreement for exclusive “pouring rights” on Boardwalk…and collect 39 grams of sugar every time you pass “Go!" Recommended for ages 8 and up, even though Coke execs swear they do not target kids under 12. Type 2 diabetes sold separately.
Monster High Ghoul Spirit Fearleading Doll 3-Pack: Draculaura, Cleo de Nile and Gholia Yelps
Retails for: $42.99
Recommended Age: 6+
Want to scare the pants off your six-year-old? Mattel’s Monster High Ghoul Spirit Fearleading Doll 3-Pack will do the trick. And they’re guaranteed to frighten the heck of you, too. Not because the dolls are ghouls and vampires, but because the company that gave the world Barbie packs so many damaging sexualized stereotypes into one creepy package. Behold the horrors of impossibly thin body types; recoil from the micro-mini-skirts, booty shorts, and fishnet stockings; shriek in frustration, because—in Mattel’s world—girls are always relegated to the sidelines. Better yet, run screaming as fast as you can from these monstrous “fashionistas.”
WWE Colossal Crashdown Arena
Retails for: $38.99
Recommended Age: 6+
Normally CCFC would be opposed to a World Wrestling Entertainment toy for six-year-olds. After all, toys are one of the primary ways that the WWE markets its unique blend of bullying, violence, homophobia, and misogyny to young children. But the Colossal Crashdown Arena is so ridiculously pathetic that it could be the toy which actually turns kids away from the WWE forever. Don’t believe us? Check out the promotional video where even the presenter can’t hide the fact that this is one seriously lousy toy.