Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chatty Cathy, Please Call Your Office.

Wanna' talk about cultural degradation, particularly how it is creeping into the once protected years of childhood innocence?

I wrote about Monster High dolls a couple of years ago, encouraging you to send along your courteous complaints about this bizarre phenomenon to mega-toymaker Mattel. Well, they obviously didn't care about your opinions because there were way too many Moms who were buying the eerie dolls for their little girls. Indeed, the Monster Dolls have been a billion dollar hit for Mattel.

And where fast money is available, things like morality, innocence, and wholesome social ideals are mere irrelevancies.

Here's what I said in March 2011.

Oh, boy; Mattel Toys is at it again.

I've blogged about these guys before: Mattel Toys: Paranoid, Grubby and Heartless and About That $95 Homeless Doll. But there's a whole new reason I'm warning you this morning to buy your kid's toys from someplace else.

Theresa over at Stories for the Homeschool Heart has the whole sordid story on Mattel's Monster High Girls, little "fashionita dolls" who are the teenage daughters of monsters like Dracula and the Wolfman. The dolls come dressed for the evening in super-short, skin-tight, skin-showing goth outfits.

Chatty Cathy, where have you gone?

Monster High Girls fashion accessories include fishnet stockings, stiletto heels, fangs, and horns. There's also extra stuff that goes along with the little tarts -- items like the Dracula Jewelry Coffin in which they sleep, a Monster Fearbook Journal,  Skull Sensor Door Alarms and a Monster High Tatoo Roller in which the doll's owners can apply to themselves that special touch for a night out -- you know, things like stitches, bite marks and snake skin.

And did I mention the market for these little ghouls? It's little girls -- ages 6 to 12.

But I've barely got started here. Theresa has a lot more over at her blog post...information about the related games and songs and pop-off hands. Sigh. Go on over and check it out.

We've written letters to Mattel (without reply, I might add) asking them to explain their bizarre, anti-child behavior. We will continue to do so. But the company isn't going to change its weird ways until they get an awful lot of letters and an awful lot of parents choosing other, more healthy and life-affirming toys for their children. So after you scoot over and read that post, come back here and use the contact information offered below to call or write Mattel. Let them know you're going to pass the word to other parents and grandparents to avoid Mattel products at all costs.

Mailing address: 

Mattel, Inc., 333 Continental Boulevard, El Segundo, CA 90245-5012.
Phone: Customer Relations at 800-524-8697

As I said, Mattel were not dissuaded from stepping up their marketing of these surreal monster dolls. Indeed, this new article from NPR, "Fangs And Fishnets For The Win: 'Goth Barbie' Is Monstrously Successful" details how the company is ratcheting up its efforts to push these sexy villains to little girls and their mothers. The reporter writes,

In the hopping Toy Fair compound run by Mattel, Barbie's pink displays seemed almost dowdy and passe next to Monster High's glamorous dolls, which look like the underfed love children of Tim Burton and Lady Gaga. Mattel's Dana De Celis is showing off a pretty brunette doll with flowing hair and wolfish ears: "She's our werewolf so she's gonna howl for us," De Celis says as the doll issues an electronic wolf howl. "She tosses her head back, she arches her back, she closes her eyes and she is literally howling at the moon."

"The message about the brand is really to celebrate your own freaky flaws, especially as bullying has become such a hot topic," says Cathy Cline. She's in charge of marketing for Mattel's girls' brands — and sales have surged 56 percent this year, thanks to Monster High. "And it's also one of the fastest growing brands within the entire toy industry," Cline adds.

Mattel had no idea Monster High would — in just three years — become a billion dollar brand, says Kiyomi Haverly, vice president of design at Mattel. "Honestly, it was very surprising to us. We just noticed girls were into darker goth fashion." And Twilight and zombies — but Monster High dolls are designed for girls ages 6 to 12, so they're not too terribly dark...

Werewolves? Zombies? Monsters that are, we're assured, "not too terribly dark"? And Moms that feel absolutely fine about giving such gifts to their little girls?

Our culture's devolution is well underway.