COLUMN: Unplug Christmas? Do you know the Nagging Nine?
A Santa Postbox in the UK. Wikimedia Commons image.
Editor's note: This post is part of a series by Dr. Baker on Our Values about core American values. With Christmas quickly approaching, Dr. Baker is discussing topics surrounding the commercialism of Christmas this week.
There’s a force far more organized than Legos dive bombing your home!
Do you know the Nagging Nine?
First, a confession: Without knowing it, I bought one of the nine holiday toys most advertised directly to kids, this holiday season. I also confess that, after my son had this toy on his Christmas wish-list and kept asking for it, I realized that this one looked like a fun toy for Dad, too. So far, we haven’t purchased any of the remaining eight from the Nagging list — but, hey, there are 12 days left before Christmas.
So, this week’s first question is: Do you know the Nagging Nine? This is a good test of how media-bombed your household may already be this holiday season. The Nagging Nine are compiled by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC). No, the CCFC is not saying these toys are unsafe. And, no, the CCFC is not calling on parents to avoid these toys in a campaign to ban all Christmas gifts. No, the CCFC is not the Grinch.
Rather, the CCFC is making a very specific point: Based on the group’s research, these Nagging Nine are the toys most directly targeted in advertisements aimed at children. That's creating unfair and potentially unhealthy stress in the home by turning our children into little, aggressive sales advocates for the toymakers.
Therefore, CCFC is urging parents to avoid these nine this year to send a message about the way they are marketed.
Even if you don’t have children — and even if you’re not Christian or don’t celebrate Christmas — please tell us how much you know about these Nagging Nine. When an editor from ReadTheSpirit ran this list past a group of parents and grandparents on Sunday, some of the names on this list came up with completely blank stares. The adults couldn’t even identify some of these toys by their names. Apparently, their homes hadn’t yet been bombed by these kid-directed messages.
Which of these do you know?
Which of these already have “hooked” a child you know?
Lego Building Sets and Accessories by Lego
DeGeDar by Cepia
Air Hogs Remote Controlled Toys by Spin Master
Xia-Xia Hermit Crabs by Cepia
Nerf Blasters by Hasbro
Bratz Fashion Dolls by MGA
Crayola Glow Book by Crayola
Transformers by Hasbro
Hot Wheels Cars and Racing Sets by Mattel
Come on, ‘fess up! (I confessed.)
How many of the Nagging Nine do you know?
And, do you wish you could “unplug” Christmas?
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Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.
Dr. Wayne E. Baker is a sociologist on the faculty of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Baker blogs daily at Our Values and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.