CCFC Announces 2016 TOADY Award Nominees for Worst Toy of the Year

Boston – November 21, 2016 – Today, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) launched its 8th annual contest for Worst Toy of the Year: the dreaded TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children) Award. From the universe of 2016 toys promoting precocious sexuality, gender stereotypes, violence, and branded entertainment at the expense of children’s privacy and creativity, CCFC has selected six of the most “exceptional.” This year, each toy was nominated by one of CCFC’s partner organizations, who selected nominees to illustrate their concerns about the commercialization of childhood. 

Ballots and CCFC’s tongue-in-cheek descriptions of each toy are available here. CCFC will announce the TOADY winner on Monday, December 1st. 

“It’s been another banner year for terrible toys, said CCFC’s Executive Director, Josh Golin. “The toy industry seems determined to sell kids on brands, materialism, and more screen time, rather than producing toys that will foster children’s creativity.”

The 2016 TOADY nominees are:

View-Master Batman: The Animated Series Virtual Reality Pack by Mattel
$44.99 – Ages 7 – 15.

Nominated by Families Managing Media

“We are happy to partner with CCFC to identify the worst toy of the year. Parents today are overwhelmed with their kid’s screen use. Video game addiction and social media obsession are hindering our kid’s healthy development and family attachment. Virtual Reality technology is taking these problems even further and removing our children from REAL play. We nominated the View-Master Batman Virtual Reality Headset as the WORST toy of the year because its impact on the child’s developing brain.” — Melanie Hempe, Executive Director, Families Managing Media

Play-Doh Hulk and Iron Man by Hasbro

$12.99 – Ages 3+
Nominated by TRUCE 

“TRUCE partnered with CCFC to nominate a worst toy of the year because of our commitment to play as the keystone of child development, and the importance of quality toys in promoting quality play. The Hulk and Ironman Play Doh Kit is a distressing example of how a long-beloved childhood product like Play Doh uses its good name to extinguish creativity, undermine play, promote imitation of violence, and lure young children to movies rated for much older children.” — Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor, Wheelock College, Co-founder, TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Childhood Entertainment)

Shopkins Tall Mall Playset by Moose Toys
$34.99 – Ages 5+
Nominated by The Story of Stuff 

“Of all the possible activities kids could do or re-enact, like inventing, cooking, exploring, teaching, writing, becoming a scientist, we think ‘practicing shopping for Stuff’ is about the worst. While so many parents and teachers are trying to raise children to be the thoughtful citizens and leaders of tomorrow, this ever-growing ‘collectible’ plastic toy set instead creates for children the identify of ‘shopper,’ while contributing to our global plastic pollution problem.” — Shana DeClercq, Community Engagement Manager at The Story of Stuff Project

The Game of Life: Empire by Hasbro
$19.99 – Ages 8+
Nominated by Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert 

“The Game of Life: Empire is a disgrace to board games, which traditionally offer an escape from advertisement-centered screen time. A game like this reinforces the destructive idea that not only must we push commercialism on kids, but that commercialism and corporate power are what matter most in life.” — Kristen Strader, Campaign Coordinator, Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert Program 

Pokemon GO by Niantic Labs
$0 down and 24/7 access to your location – Ages 9+
Nominated by EPIC 

“Pokemon GO collects a detailed map of its players’ day-to-day lives: where you live, where you go to school, and the route you take to get there. And the company reserves the right to keep that data forever and sell it for advertising purposes. This puts the safety of our kids at risk, and turns them into dollar signs for big corporations who want to sell them junk food and more video games.” — Claire Gartland, Consumer Protection Counsel, Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

Lulu’s 11 Piece Makeup Set by Pink Fizz
$14.99 – Ages 3 – 20 
Nominated by New Moon Girls 

“Simply put, Pink Fizz endangers girls’ health and undermines their feelings of self-value. Their packaging sexualizes girls and tells them their natural looks need to be changed by makeup. It persuades them to “fit in” by looking as others expect, instead of pursuing their own dreams and goals. And the unsafe ingredients in Pink Fizz put girls’ health at risk.” – Nancy Gruver, Founder, New Moon Girls


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