Furbies, plastic dogs that poop or lip gloss for 4-year-olds: weird and wonderful xmas presents

Raleigh_Molly_12_14_inch_girls_Pink_BikeAs my daughters are three and two I have escaped lightly this
Christmas when it comes to presents as the oldest is still mostly
oblivious to the whole shenanigans. She has asked for a bike and for
some reason a triangle, so it has all been pretty straightforward. But
after browsing the internet and shops for other things that I might
put on their Christmas lists for family and friends, I have been drawn
into a whole new and sometimes frightening world.
The top present is something called a Furby. It made me feel
especially ancient to learn this is a “retro” toy, having previously
been a must-have in the distant past of 1998 and is now making a
come-back.  These robotic hamster-like creatures who speak “furbish”
and cost around £60 apparently develop their own personality and even
give you backchat.  As I have two children whom I’ve already lost
control of, I definitely don’t want responsibility for giving one of
these a pile of issues too.
It also unsettled me that apparently I should soon be buying my
children their own tablet computers. These child versions are only
recommended for the age of up to seven, after that an iPad or similar
is deemed more suitable.
From the sublime there is also the ridiculous. One of the top games
involves players throwing the dice to squeeze a plastic dachshund’s
lead, with each squeeze pushing plasticine poop nearer to fruition.
When the deed is done the player holding the lead cleans up with a
little spade. First to three wins.
The one thing that lifted my spirits was spotting in the top 10 the
familiar face of a pop-up pirate, where you take it in turns to prod
him with a sword until he shoots out. That’s more about my level.
I have ranted before about the prevalence of pink toys for girls and
the prize for most sexist toy store has to go to Hamleys who have
launched  a new “Luvley Girls Boutique.” There you can find a lip
gloss and mirror set for the recommended age of four to eight or a
hair curler that claims will have six-year-olds wondering “how did I
ever live without it?” They are followed by the Early Learning Centre,
where under the fancy dress “I Want to Be” section boys can be a
doctor, police officer, fireman, racing driver, chef and construction
worker and girls can be erm… a princess.
Of all the stereotypical girly toys it is good old Barbie who is
actually the feminist role model with the “I Can Be Range” including
an architect, pilot and even president (albeit a pink one).
So after more anti-pink ranting what is my daughter getting for
Christmas? The pinkest girliest bike you have ever seen, complete with
sparkly tassels and a seat for her doll on the back. I will have to
blame Santa for the mix-up…

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