The last 11 years of my life have been building up to June 2010. I wasn't waiting for my wedding day, or the birth of a child (all of which I've been told are supposedly the best days of a woman's life) but the release of Toy Story 3.
At the ripe old age of 21 i should probably be 'too old' for the kids film franchise, but i was 6 when the first Toy Story was released & 10 for the sequel. I have fond memories of the adventures of Buzz, Woody & the gang and collected all of the merchandise which is probably still in the attic somewhere. My favourite characters are the somewhat overlooked Mr Potato Head and Rex with his boundless enthusiasm and innocent passion for life.
I went for a day out in Toys'R'us with my friend who is known for being quieter than myself. The Toy Story merchandise was fully stocked and I made a beeline for a giant Rex toy. As well as aisle upon aisle of Toy Story stock, reminders of my childhood such as Sylvanian families, Playmobile & Polly pocket lined the shelves sending me into a nostalgic frenzy, leaping from one shelf to another looking for new models of old favourites. I realised there is a huge difference between the toys of my childhood and the toys of 2010's children. About a quarter of the shop floor was dedicated to games consoles, plasma TVs and laptops which I couldn't imagine having in my childhood.
Being around the toys made me appreciate what I had, even though my toys were simple and probably cost a fraction of today's hi-tech gadgets, but when my little sisters would destroy my dolls it was easily fixed by some glue and some new clothes (for the doll) but now, when your child's most prized possession is a 40inch plasma TV, what do you do when it all goes wrong? throw money at the situation? replace it with a new one? Children should learn that throwing money at a problem won't make it go away, and there is more to life than what you see on a giant screen.
Children should be encouraged to interact with others, learn life skills such as socialisation and building relationships, which they won't learn from watching Hannah Montana in her Push-up bra & face full of make up. REAL kids don't have stylists, voice coaches and a secret life broadcast on their own TV show. REAL kids like playing in mud & climbing trees with the neighbours and barbies or transformers.
I know how I'd prefer to raise my kids.