The Scooter Wars, part deux

If you've been a reader of this blog for a while, you may remember that I was vascillating between buying my daughter a scooter or a bike for her birthday. Well, I broke down and bought little Blue Eyes a scooter for Easter, instead of waiting until her birthday in 6 weeks. I maintain that this was not an act of weakness on my part (Blue Eyes was expecting it for her birthday, and was so surprised she almost passed out), it was an act of financial genius, what with scooters being on sale and all. Of course, I could have bought it now, and given it to her later, but as anyone who knows me will tell you, that is virtually impossible for me to do. Once I have a gift for someone, I need to give it to them NOW, I must see their reaction. I almost gave it to her the day before Easter, and had to restrain myself. Christmas is very difficult for me. I guess I'm just part of the instant gratification generation. Sigh....But I digress. Anyway, it was virtually impossible to buy a Scooter for ages 5+ that did not have Barbie or the Disney Princesses on it. This is not a problem for my daughter, seeing as she's a big fan of both of these enterprises. However, it is a slight problem for me. I don't mind her liking these things, and I will pitch my Barbie-covered basement against anybody's out there. But when it comes to things like clothes, backpacks, and yes, scooters, I like them to be 'non-demoninational.' I don't think it's necessary for her to ride the neighborhood advertising Barbie, or to promote Cinderellas at school. We had the same issue with her bike that she's outgrown. It was a Princess one. Are Disney and Mattel the only ones manufacturing scooters and bikes for younger children? My son is a toddler now, will he be forced to ride a pink Barbie scooter when he gets older? (Probably, since we'll have one in the garage.) Seriously, there was NOTHING else in the store. No Spiderman, no Batman, no Incredibles. The thing is, I would have been willing to pay extra just for the opportunity to get just a plain old scooter, maybe with the manufacturer's name on it or something, with no character in sight. I know they are out there, our neighbor's daughter has a plain one. And she was so jealous when she saw Blue Eye's Barbie one, she cried, and then proceeded to decorate her own scooter with paper flowers and hearts so it could be pretty too. This is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to avoid. If my daughters are jealous of other people's stuff, I use it to talk to them about what really matters. I am constantly telling them that even though we don't have a trampoline in our back yard, they can still live full and productive lives. I live in fear that they will grow up to be materialistic snobs, and hopefully have avoided that so far. (They at least have stopped asking for everything they see in the store, because they know I will say no.) OK, I'm just rambling now. I know that if I had probably shopped around a little longer, I could have found a plain one, and I did buy the Barbie simply because it was on sale. But it used to be that you had to search for the character one, and pay extra for the privilege of advertising Disney. Now it's hard to find something that's not hawking one thing or another. And now I must give my little one that just came down in her Barbie nightgown (gift from Grandma) some breakfast.


Blogger TftCarrie said...

I completely agree with you. I hate having to pay a company to "advertise" for them. They should be paying me (or my two year old daughter I guess). All of a sudden there are Disney Princesses everywhere! Ugh. In my opinion, branding and soundchips have completely ruined the toy industry.

But, all that said, I do have to admit that the power of the Disney Princess Panties are what finally got the whole potty training thing to work out for my little girl.

4/01/2005 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

It's the same thing at the grocery store. My kid has never seen the Lion King, or A Shark's tale, or even any Disney Princess movies, and yet because of the marketing that bombards us everywhere we go, and his constant questions about the images he sees, he knows who Jasmine, Scar, Simba, Cinderella, Snow White, and even Pocahontas are. He doesn't really know any of the characters from A Shark's Tale, though, mainly because I haven't seen the movie and can't answer his questions about the marketing. The result is that he calls all the stuff he sees from A Shark's Tale "Bob the Fish." And you'd be surprised at how important "Bob the Fish" fruit snacks are at our house.

4/01/2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger annegb said...

ah, I used to be more rigid about that stuff, now, we aim to please. I took my granddaughter shopping for shoes last year and she found these really cute little heels (she was 9)--Mary Kate and Ashley shoes. She said, "Oh, Grandma, I would just die for some Mary Kate and Ashley shoes." I said, "well, we can't have that." And we bought those shoes and she felt like a princess in them and wore them out to church. I think it was a good and wise purchase.

I let my baby, now 18, get her ears pierced in first grade, boy, was she the envy of the class. But with my older kids, I just worried about indulging them. If I could go back, I would be more sensitive and say yes more often.

Your daughter will love that scooter. It's not so bad to make a little kid happy. We like our stuff, why shouldn't they?

PS, you guys, I am in heaven, I have my little baby granddaughter on my lap, she is watching Baby Mozart and totally getting into it. Being a grandma rocks.

4/02/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Amy Lynn said...

I have 2 boys and now a little girl and it is all so new (this girl stuff) that I had never stopped and thought about all the stuff that may or may not be good "hand-me-down" material...spiderman scooters, batman bikes, bug bike helmets...guess i need to be a little more sensative to the fact that my little girl may not want ALL her big brothers things. And then again, what if this is my one chance to buy a Barbie scooter and she just wants Spiderman like her brothers?

4/03/2005 12:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I refuse to buy Dora nightgowns, Little Mermaid t-shirts, etc. Not out of any noble sentiment about anti-commercialism, I just think they're tacky, and if you DO want to pass them down later (although they are rarely in any condition to be passed down, and get hauled to the trash bin instead), if the characters are out of fashion, it prematurely dates the item. Now THAT is superficial. That's me. Superficial to the core.

4/04/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous JKS said...

I can't believe you couldln't find Razor scooters (or whatever they are). I didn't even know they had Disney scooters for the 5+ crowd. I only saw pink ones for the younger ones.
I was mad at the gender bikes. I have a boy and girl 2 years apart. And I grew up with hand me down bikes. Silly to have gender bikes but I couldn't find any plain ones for young kids.
So, now I just have to decide whether to give away the outgrown girls bike or save it for the sister that is 6 years younger.

BTW, I've only bought my kids a Happy Meal or equivalent once or twice. I grew up sharing large fries like any normal large family. Grandma of course buys stuff for my kids. She even takes them to the store to buy them toys every time she sees them.
Is it their fault that now they ask her to buy her things every time they see her or talk to her on the phone?
SHE'S the one who turned herself into a present machine. But I have to try to deal with their manners and teach them not to ask for things because it is rude. How are little kids supposed to know?

4/04/2005 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My kids have a Kettler scooter and a Radio Flyer bike. No froof, no obnoxious colors or logos.

4/05/2005 08:54:00 PM  

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