Thursday, October 23, 2008

The women of Robotech (and how to play with them) OR:YOU COULD TELL WHICH KID AT SCHOOL DIDN'T HAVE TV BECAUSE HIS ROBOTS WERE ALWAYS GOING ON DATES

I have read the argument made that little boys will pretend to shoot things by making a gun with their hand and all toy gun makers do is provide a prop to flesh out the fantasy a bit. The idea is that the play pattern is already going to occur and there are other themes beyond gunplay like pretend wrestling, superhero imitating and of course, war. Being a little boy once myself I thought that playing war was just another natural play pattern and I would be doing it regardless of whether I was pretending with factions comprised of army men, rubber dinosaurs or plastic robots (or even plastic rubber dinosaur robot armies). But holy crap I just came across a buttload of Robotech commercials and now I wonder how much war playing I did was a result of watching toy commercials and trying to emulate them.



When the little girl says "Get ready for battle!" it weirds me out. It isn't something I expect little girls to say. Maybe certain gender roles are ingrained in my brain and that's why I find it jarring. It occurs to me that instead of targeting 80s war toys and their cartoon tie-ins children's advocates would have had more of a case if they targeted the 30 second commercials. The shows were just entertainment and once out of the box the toys could be played with however a child wanted. But the 30 second commercials were where kids were given explicit examples of how the toys should be played with. The commercials were where I saw other little boys banging their robots together and little girls making their dolls go on pretend dates. Thank you, 80s toy commercial producers because had I never seen any toy commercials I would never have been able to figure out what to do with all those rocket launchers, swords and rifles my plastic rubber dinosaur robots came with.

2 comments:

deadbeat Senna said...

Wow check out how the veritech flies out of the screen and into living room in this one. Holy crap I didn't think you coud do that!

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Holy crap I can't do anything because it won't load! What the hell language is that anyways? Am I directing people to some shady Chinese anti-USA filled virus site that uses Robotech doll commercials as bait?

 

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