Lousy Toys Mean Our Kids Will Never Have It as Good as We Did

Rant 9

yuck faceEver notice most parents today whine that their kids have too much stuff? But if anyone from our parents' generation makes a comment about it, boy we're quick to defend that playroom overflowing with crap toys! Be honest: you're just trying to give your kids "better than you got" and overcompensating in the process.

You know what I mean. You never had a dolly that talked, so your kid has five. Your husband never had a toy train, so you bought out the Thomas line. And yet their childhoods just never seem to reach that mark in your mind of how fabulous childhood is supposed to be ... right? Let me let you in on a little secret.

Today's toys pretty much suck!

Sorry, but they do. They're mostly plastic hunks of junk with too many buttons that suck the creativity right outta playtime.

Oh, I will admit there are the one-offs that have really improved on the stuff we had. I recently found out Crayola makes these Paintbrush Pens that don't drip all over the place and are washable. It was all I could do not to buy out the entire rack at the store for my little artist. They. Are. Fabulous. And I got a press release the other day assuring me that today's girls do not have to tape the ends of their friendship bracelets to their bare knees (or pin them to a sock like my friend Amber did back in the day) because there are now handy dandy "makers" that will hold that thing steady for you. Guess what my kid's getting for Easter!

But when I look around the playroom, these types of modern-day improvements are few and far between. I was feeling so depressed about the fate of fun in 2012, I turned to friends on Facebook hoping they'd cheer me up with some more fabulous finds (and maybe ideas for that basket?) that represent better than we got. They admitted the Nintendo Wii is a heckuva lot cooler than the Atari. But that's about it. Out of 10 friends, they couldn't come up with any other toy of today that lives up to the stuff of yesterday -- even with the lead paint and choking hazards we endured.

That's a big fat nothing! In 2012. How can this be? Isn't every generation supposed to be an improvement on the last? We can make cars that run on old cooking oil. But we can't seem to make toy trucks that don't lose their wheels after a few days of kids being kids with them or action figures that don't shed limbs faster than you can say "where did I put that receipt?"

Thank goodness the good old outdoors is still there for them with the fresh air and trees to climb ... well, for now anyway.

What modern toys do you think are an improvement on what we had as kids -- are there any?

9 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Michelle

Modern toys are 100% JUNK. There's nothing like living in constant fear that all of your kids toys come all good and contaminated with SOMETHING from China, or are recalled because of this or that. I tend to stick with the basics I had growing up: Legos, Lincoln Logs, play food/kitchen (which, ironically, are all made in China now too...SIGH). But whatever happened to the simple pleasures of painting, coloring, Play-Doh, READING, swimming, going for "nature walks" and the best teacher of all--TRAVELING THE WORLD to "play" with your kids?

Jmsosa Jmsosa

Now that I am about to have a baby, I really wish my mom would have held onto my old toys. I hade a huge collection of little glo-worms and their treehouse. Same thing for care bears. They were little figurines w/ a house and cloud car. There just aren't any toys like those around these days. They were really well made.

cocob... cocobeannns

Yeah. I don't have kids. But, I know my nieces have tons of toys that they seem to grow old with very fast and want to move on to the next. I don't remember playing with a lot of toys when I was a kid. We were outside most of the time. My sister and I did have our Barbies, play kitchens, and coloring books. And my brother had his TMNT's. Those toys lasted us forever. My mom still has all of our old Barbies, that my nieces now play with (for a little bit).

nonmember avatar HS

"But whatever happened to the simple pleasures of painting, coloring, Play-Doh, READING, swimming, going for "nature walks" and the best teacher of all--TRAVELING THE WORLD to "play" with your kids?"



You do realize they still make those things for kids right? And as the parent you can go purchase paint and playdoh for a buck each for your kid...right? So it's not that the toys of yonder have gone away, it's that parents have lost all sense of imagination and creativity. My 3 year old is using his paints right now as I type so the blame doesn't lie with the toymakers but the parents who insist on buying junk for an easter basket *eye roll* Could ask yourself whatever happened to the days of only getting presents on Christmas and birthdays, but I digress.

Jessie S. Hegwood

The remakes of the 80's toys now are just scary. Like the new My Little Ponies.... ugh. Its like Littlest Pet Shop meets Barbie's Horse Twinklefarts or whatever its name is.


My son is in love with these little cars that go forward after you pull them back to "wind" them, but at 6 dollars each I would expect them to not break on the 10th time you pull them back. He isn't rough with them at all either. The only toys I have found to be decent for my munchkin (who is almost 2) are Little People, they are sturdy, well made, the parts don't break at all for us and how we play with them.  For the most part we stick with wooden blocks, home made play dough and crayons and paper. I see these toys taking him very far in life. And when he is old enough, Legos. Legos are awesome. Until you step on one at 3am....

Rebecca Peterson

My daughter hardly plays with toys. She ignores toys we buy for her unless it's in a Happy Meal, which she doesn't get until after she's done eating and after we've left and she's forgotten about it anyway. She mainly reads books and shovels dirt. She hates toys that do the play for her, which frustrates her when she goes to her friend's house, who has zillions of toys but won't play with any, making the parents think they need to buy her more.

-Stra... -Strawberry-

That's what happens when everything you buy is made in China, where there are no standards, and it's quanity against quality and corporate greed.

Disney17 Disney17

My mom said we had the most fun with pots and pans, cardboard boxes as babies and I know I had the most fun playing with sports balls,trees, jungle gyms, basic barbie dolls, crayonsand blankets to make tents!

nonmember avatar yumyummymummy

I say, quality over quantity! I don't think you folks are shopping in the right place... there are lots of fabulous toys out there! Consider toys by companies like Sprig, Green Toys and Plan Toys.... great well-made, simple toys made with a environmental conscious!

1-9 of 9 comments
F