Toys are becoming increasingly advanced, but this can be more of a hindrance than a perk.
At Christmas shopping, you may have noticed toys are becoming very complex. They fly, hop, jump and follow you around – some even need to be 'connected'. But why are we seeing such technical advances?
The Furby craze was a big deal in the 1990s, just like Cabbage Patch Kids were in the 1980s and Hatchimals were this decade.
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Why do certain toys create a frenzy? Turning raw materials into something that sparks kids’ imagination is no small endeavour.
Barbie’s designer, Ruth Handler, at a 40th-anniversary party for the famous doll in New York.
2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the world's most famous doll, Barbie. It's an opportunity to look back at the journey of its creator, Ruth Handler, a visionary leader and model for women.
Sometimes the reaction doesn’t go as planned.
Lily & Chloe Official/YouTube
With the surprise meticulously planned, all eyes – and lenses – turn to the kids. All they have to do is react as expected: overjoyed. So why don't they?
It can be hard to tell whether what’s in the box will encourage development or just be a waste of time.
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
There's a spectrum of quality when it comes to what kids can do with screen time. An expert in early childhood technology suggests picking tech activities that promote problem-solving and fun.
Two of the collectible cards covered by the research.
The female characters appear to reinforce traditional gender roles.
Most Australian children have such a glut of toys that parents are opting to give them gift cards so they can choose for themselves.
Many children receive gift cards or even ask for them so they can choose their own presents. But are youngsters ready to handle the wiles of advertisers and the complexities of 'credit' on a card?
With strong female leads such as Rey, Star Wars merchandise has tended to be sold in its own ‘destination’ section of stores rather than gendered toy aisles.
Ken dolls with a 'man bun'. Female superhero action figures. At long last, the gendered distinctions of the pink and blue toy aisles are starting to break down.
Are toys sharing too much information on the internet?
As Amazon introduces a new smart-home device aimed at children, it's important to know many internet-connected toys are not secure, putting kids' security and privacy at risk.
Not as green as you might think.
Truly green plastic requires more than sustainable raw materials.
The Luvabella robotic dolls are reportedly one of this season’s most wanted toys. It’s time to pause and ask about its impact on children.
The technological revolution has hit the doll aisle this holiday season in the form of artificial intelligence dolls. What does it mean for children's development, to confuse real bodies with machines?
A flick, a spin and a…fad?
Adults are dumbfounded – and according to an expert on fads, that's probably the point.
All dolled up.
Welcome to no-gender December, where parents (and Santa) are being encouraged to give children gender-neutral Christmas presents.
I come in peace…
A new study says that LEGO is becoming weaponised. But play is more sophisticated than many adults think.
Are gender differences innate or learned? Or both?
Whether gendered toys are creating stereotypes or just playing to boys' and girls' innate differences is a vexed question.
Barbies now come in all shapes, sizes and colours – but the history of the doll shows it’s business as usual for Mattel.
Barbie has a forgotten history of changing in response to market pressures. Are her multiple new bodies ushering in an era of ethical body inclusiveness, or is Mattel just shifting deckchairs on the Titanic?
A lucrative business.
Radu Bercan / Shutterstock.com
Despite her age Barbie hasn't matured – a successful formula that has worked for Mattel.
Kids with disabilities need toys that are useful and respectful.
The history of disability toys – that is, both toys designed for use by disabled children, and toys that depict disability – reflects the changing treatment of the disabled.
Who is she talking to?
The new conversational Barbie doll may be good at keeping children entertained, but do we really know who's listening in?
Are the Minion toys using the F-word?
Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ
Did your child just drop the F-bomb? What can you do?