By David Buckingham, Vebjørg Tingstad (eds.)
In fresh years youngsters became an more and more very important customer marketplace, and there's growing to be situation in regards to the 'commercialisation' of youth. This e-book sheds mild on those debates, providing new empirical facts and difficult severe views on kid's engagement with shopper tradition from a variety of foreign settings.
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Extra resources for Childhood and Consumer Culture
Proper Toys distinguishes itself from other toy stores by not focusing on heavily marketed, popular toys, nor on the even more short-lived toy ‘crazes’, spin-offs from media texts, and toys that ‘every’ child ‘has to have’ for a relatively short period of time (although in fact some such toys also reappear with new generations of children: Schor 2004). However, there are further principles that guide the company’s selection of toys. Individual differences between children are given as an important reason.
When moralists tried to control the content of movies, as they did repeatedly, they claimed that they were guarding children’s interests. Despite the potential commercial advantage of selling directly to children, merchandisers were very careful not to offend the sentiments of parents by advertising directly to the young. Until the 1950s, toy makers appealed to parents, not children; and toy and candy companies did not advertise on children’s radio programmes in the 1930s or 1940s. Instead, children’s radio programmes sold commercials to makers of breakfast cereal (which was not presweetened until after 1945), coffee, and other adult products.
In describing and analysing the market for children’s toys, and focusing specifically on the Norwegian company Proper Toys (A/S Riktige Leker), I address the following questions: What characterizes ‘proper toys’ according to the definition of this company, and what is the basis for such a definition? By looking at how ‘proper’ toys are defined and differentiated from other (‘improper’) products, we also acquire an insight into how adults define childhood, how children’s play is valued, and how children are regarded as modern consumers.
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