Toy Design Project

Monday, February 28, 2005

"Correct toys"


Posted by Hello
I visited a shop here in Oslo called Riktige Leker on Saturday. This is a shop that specializes in toys that are politically or ethically correct. The kind of toys parents wants their children to play with, as opposed to toys the children themselves want to play with. This includes educational toys and toys of a more home-made style.

Although many toys were of the kind one would expect in a shop like this (Teddybears, puppets, doll's houses, marbles, Meccano and Brio toys), there were some examples of more commercial toys there:

  • They have the greatest selection of Playmobile toys I have seen in Oslo. These are plastic toys similar to Lego only in a bigger scale and without the building aspect.
  • They have a lot of Legos here, but not the licensed collections such as Star Wars, Harry Potter or Spider-Man.
  • They have My Little Pony here. These pony-dolls are still popular even though the cartoons haven't been shown on Norwegian TV since the early 90's.
  • They sell Kaptein Sabeltann action figures here. This is about the only commercial multimedia children's' concept Norway has ever produced.

This indicates to me that this store is not entirely consistent when it comes to their core concept of correct toys. They refuse to sell toys that are commonly viewed as commercial, and yet toys that were originally commercial but have lost their place in the limelight are welcome. Also Norwegian and Scandinavian brands are more than welcome even though they have strong commercial aspects. It seems American and Asian toys are frowned upon.

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