Can Fast-Food Toys Do Any Harm

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FastFoodToys_cHere's further proof that our kids are eating too much junk food: They have too many toys. I'm talking about cheap toys, useless things that come from Happy Meals, boxes of cereal or the dentist's office, and they're usually made by another child on an assembly line in China or Vietnam.


No, I'm not talking about clever electronics, video game systems, classic board games and certainly not old-fashioned toys carved from wood by skilled craftsmen in the mountains of Peru.

I'm talking about cheap toys, useless things that come from Happy Meals, boxes of cereal or the dentist's office, and they're usually made by another child on an assembly line in China or Vietnam.

Usually, however, they come from a fast-food restaurant. You literally can't escape this crap anymore. Last month, I sat down in the passenger seat of my Suburban and heard a muffled cry coming from under my seat, shouting quite rudely: "Any escape would be highly illogical."

Turned out it was a small toy version of Mr. Spock, courtesy of Burger King, to promote the new Star Trek, and I began cursing at my new Vulcan hemorrhoid.

After a quick check of my car, I found others like him - Transformers, Pokemon cards, Madagascar penguins, Batman villains, even an American Idol microphone.

Will someone please tell me, does our economy really revolve around this stuff?

Sadly, I'm starting to think it does.

Between the major motion picture studios, the TV networks, the recording studios and the professional sporting teams, it seems almost impossible to avoid the cross-promotional media hurricane that's sucking up our every moment and dollar.

What irks me most is how all this marketing is aimed at kids, who usually don't control the purse strings. Look, I know the powers that be at Universal Pictures want me to see "Land of the Lost." But I don't think a soft drink lid that looks like one of the Sleestaks is going to get me to the theater. In fact, it will probably have the opposite effect.

So here are my demands on the toy-peddling masses of corporate America who are foisting toys with fast-food meals on my children. We will no longer buy any of it, unless it meets these two criteria:

  • It must be small. When I say that, I mean it fits in the palm of a kid's hand, like a Cracker Jack toy. It worked for my parents, it worked for me, so keep it that size.
  • It can't cause physical harm. I'm not just talking about lead in the Chinese paint, or choking parts for the kids. It can't do any harm to me. I don't want to sit on Mr. Spock, and I don't want to step on an Optimus Prime Transformer in the middle of the night when I'm going to the bathroom.

Until then, I'm urging my wife and children to boycott Happy Meals and kids' prizes. But as Mr. Spock would say, that's highly illogical.


www.magicvalley.com

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