Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Kids Forget Street Games; Love Mr. Potato Head

Children today are being charged with a lack of creativity – and
Playstation and Nintendo are taking the brunt of the blame. The New York Times
researched the failing interest in street-games among children. Games
like stick ball, curb ball and booty’s up were extraordinarily popular
a few decades ago but have lost their charm to a faster-paced world.

Today, such loosely organized street play, outside of
skateboarding and basketball, is on its last gasp in the city, a
vestige of a simpler age for which a fast-paced world has little time.

On the flip side, certain toys from the past
have never lost their charm. Silly-Putty, Mr. Potato Head and the
Slinky sell just as well today as they did when our parents were tots.

Such toys have endured simply because they are simple,
says Tim Walsh, author of Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the
Playmakers Who Created Them. “When something is simple and still fun,
it has ‘repeat play value,’ ” Walsh says.

But it seems there is one company in particular that could capitalize on the declining popularity of street-games with a few simple products of their own.

Mega Brands, Inc., Lego’s largest competitor,

has declared its mission — its cultural movement — to be
“creativity to the rescue.” The company’s flagship product is Mega
Bloks, which are plastic, multicolored, building blocks.

Can they stop blisters from taking over video-game thumbs? It seems that only time will tell…

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