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licensed characters EVERYWHERE!!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am so sick of licensed characters being everywhere and on everything! I avoid it as much as possible because it costs more for an inferior product plus I think it looks cheap and tacky and I don't want to support it. Do you avoid it or ban it altogether or do you not see a problem with it? 

post #2 of 18

I don't know.  I personally don't have so much of an issue with it.  Mine are 8yo & 3yo.  For mine, they often don't know who the characters are or just know them from their friends--notsomuch because they've seen it (we're a nearly screen-free household).  We DID have to remove a magazine subscription to Nat'l Geographic Kids because it was ALL character.

 

And really, I don't mind the characters so much if they're things I can get behind.  I wouldn't mind WildKratts on my son's stuff and Diego is all about helping animals (although my kids don't watch Diego) so if they're characters that help my kids keep present in their mind ideals that we are trying to instill--well, then I'm not sure I mind it (although I'm open to hearing why I would/should).

 

It's when the characters don't have any significant value added or negative association that I have a problem.  I'm sure people could find a way to spin just about anything positive or negative, but what I mean is: what's the first thing that will come to my kid's mind when they see it?  Will they need to be TOLD about the value, or is it known to them as quickly as they can recognize the character.  Does that make sense?

post #3 of 18

yes and no. 

 

i think what irks me most are the gender differences. i am not into licensed characters - but they dont bug me as much as NOT having spiderman for girls bugs me. 

 

i have bought dd a few character stuff (i dont find them cheap and tacky, some of them are very well made and beautiful - esp. for girls, havent really paid much attention to boys) but mostly had to do them from the boys side of the clothes section, except for the Hanna Montana phase. 

 

it bugs me to see what are girls characters - life flowers and butterflies and pink and purple. rarely orange, never blue. ugh. a girl will have a sweet looking crocodile on her dress or shirt, but a boy will always have a mean evil looking one on their shirts. 

post #4 of 18

I'm not really a fan of it either.  I'd much rather just get things with more generic pictures on it (here's a flower, or cat, or dog that's just a simple art-drawing).  

 

I mainly try to be discriminating when we get stuff in the first place.  I like to chose no-character things for things that will last several years (hey, we might not even like the character in a year).  IF we're out to get something with a character on it BECAUSE we want something with a character, we get 1-2 items with the character somehow.  Then we have something with a character we like, and replace those if we don't like the character or we get some other better thing with that character.  And of course I don't get something with a character we don't even care about.  

 

I hate that there are often really slim options in the first place that are character-less.  And accessible.   

post #5 of 18

Honestly we have been shopping more at Old Navy to avoid characters as much as possible on clothing(plus DD likes rainbow stripped stuff).

 

I personally dont care for liscensed clothing, or school supplies.

I can tolerate games and toys to an extent.

 

DD thinks that liscensed items are automatically better because she sees them on TV.  Thats why I dont buy them. 

She is starting to understand that just because it has a famous cartoon or icon, it donest mean its "good stuff"

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannabeaFarmer View Post

Honestly we have been shopping more at Old Navy to avoid characters as much as possible on clothing(plus DD likes rainbow stripped stuff).

 

I personally dont care for liscensed clothing, or school supplies.

I can tolerate games and toys to an extent.

 

DD thinks that liscensed items are automatically better because she sees them on TV.  Thats why I dont buy them. 

She is starting to understand that just because it has a famous cartoon or icon, it donest mean its "good stuff"

 

Even Old Navy has a ton of licensed character clothing lately, and it's all more expensive than the same character articles of clothing at Target.

 

It doesn't really bother me much.  If I don't like a character, I don't buy the item.  I have the money and the buying power and my children do not.

 

Licensed characters are not on "everything".  There are plenty of options in just about every retailer and online that I don't bat an eye about the proliferation of Dora.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

 

Even Old Navy has a ton of licensed character clothing lately, and it's all more expensive than the same character articles of clothing at Target.

 

It doesn't really bother me much.  If I don't like a character, I don't buy the item.  I have the money and the buying power and my children do not.

 

Licensed characters are not on "everything".  There are plenty of options in just about every retailer and online that I don't bat an eye about the proliferation of Dora.

Good Point :) I havent seen too many characters in our ON make it this way yet.  My first choice is Farm & Fleet...for clothes anyways.

 

DD is in a phase that if the gal next door has it, than she has to have it too....So its really fighting that battle with her that Characters "arent everything" more than everything else....

post #8 of 18

I try to avoid.  My kid doesn't need to be providing 'free' marketing.  OTOH I'm not going to say NO if he loves a shirt and pics it out and we can get it.

I'm okay with the Superman LOGO (the S across the chest).  He's got 2 of those.  I, personally, like the Small Paul shirts and will buy those at Target if they are on sale.  DS doesn't really care.  I'm also okay with retro-y shirts, ON has those, like StarWars or something.

 

I don't mind if he wants to BE the character and pretend (speaking of I need to make some WildKratt's creature power suits) and so he needs the shirt for a costume, which he'll wear every day for a week.  I just wouldn't like it if ALL his clothes were advertising some character and showed no real character of the child.

post #9 of 18

I avoid it, but I dont ban it. I don't ever buy it on clothing, household items (sheets, curtains, ect.), toys, or food products. Occasionally I will buy a coloring book or stickers with characters on it.

 

MIL buys spongebob and dora stuff all the time. I let DD wear the clothes, but I dont dress her in them unless we are going to MIL's house or for her to play outside. Because we use them so much for playclothes, they are always the first to get stained, ripped (also because they are crappily made), or shrunk in the dryer. So, needless to say they dont stay around for too long. Character toys stay at grandparents' house, they don't come home with us (mainly, because that's my rule for non-educational plastic toys, and that is what almost all character toys fall under.)

 

I've had a conversation with not buying any of the new dora makeover stuff, because Im really mad that they have taken what used to be a normal looking kid and turned her into something that is totally not normal, just to be able to sell more products. http://specials.msn.com/Search.aspx?cp-documentid=18776489&imageindex=1&cp-searchtext

They have already started buying her colored chapstick, fake makeup, and dress up shoes with heels (which, IMO she is WAY too young for. She eats the chapstick, rubs the blush all over the house and falls down in the shoes). I dont want her to grow up think she needs all that stuff. "But it's dora" has become code for "but it's meant for toddlers" in my extended family world.

 

The thing that irritates me the most is the food products. I HATE it that MIL and SIL are always buying character snacks, because it means that DD wants them and begs for them when we go to the store. They buy the gummies, juice, ect. (Stuff she cant even have it my house, whether or not it has a character.) It really bothers me that they make all this unhealthy food and then stick cartoon characters all over it.

 

 

(ps. I do love mickey and minnie mouse. they are just so cute)

post #10 of 18

I have hardly purchased anything with a licensed character on it.  I honestly can't think of a single thing that belongs to DD with a character - she is 8.  Luckily she doesn't want stuff with characters.  I think we just made a decision early and stuck with it.  

post #11 of 18

None for us, ever. I loathe licensed products of any type for children and my feelings about people who market things to children are unprintable. Kids are tv-free, in large part because of the oppressive nature of marketing towards kids.

 

And if I didn't dislike them on almost ever other label, I've yet to see a licensed product that wasn't utter, demonstrable MIC junk. It started as a mild preference but because there is so much SO MUCH stuff everywhere my feelings of outrage have deepened. My kids do not advertise products.

 
 
post #12 of 18

The only way my older son will drink any sort of milk at home is if it's packaged from a restaurant, and so far McDonalds is the only place that has reusable jugs that I can refill at home (and he's none the wiser)  Unfortunately, Spongebob is the latest happymeal character, and while I don't do happy meals, it's still on the milk jugs and even the apple slices..  and he's one character that I seen NO value in.  I couldn't get away with calling him some yellowy guy when my son asked, because now he can read for himself, and now talks about and looks for spongebob all the time. UGH!  I understand McD's need to advertise on kids meals, but geez, even grownups drink milk and eat apples too.

post #13 of 18

If someone would have asked me about licensed character products when DS was still an infant, I would have said absolutely, positively no!  never would one cross my doorstep.

 

Fast forward a couple of years....

 

My mom bought DS a couple of things over the years like an Elmo blanket, a Cars t-shirt, etc. and DS was DELIGHTED by these things.  The biggest treat ever at Nana's house was milk out of his Woody mug.  Then came potty training and being able to wear Cars underwear probably help DS along the process more than anything.  So, like many other "I will never...." I have eaten those words.

 

I draw the line at food products, I will not buy anything with a licensed character on the packaging.  This isn't really an issue because DS rarely goes to the grocery store with me.  

post #14 of 18

We are mostly tv-free (we will watch a documentary and have been watching some olympics, but we don't have cable/channels/a television) and ds is scared of movies (the kid can watch an anaconda eat a deer, but put on Ponyo or the Muppet Movie and he is in tears).  He has never seen Toy Story or Cars or Beauty and the Beast or anything like that.  I think he saw Sesame Street once when he was really little.  He doesn't know any of those characters so he doesn't want them.  He calls Thomas the Train "the train with a face" or "the little engine that could" etc. He saw Yo Gabba Gabba once at a friend's house and referred to it as "Lady Gaga" which was hysterical! 

 

I am willing to have characters from books on things although we don't really have that many.... for instance he loves Fancy Nancy and so we bought Fancy Nancy stickers when we saw them.  

post #15 of 18

We watch a fair amount of television in our house (plus DVDs...go to the movies, etc.).  We don't have any licensed stuff.  One of the reasons (and the primary one) that we don't have licensed stuff is because DH and I say "No."  A secondary reason is that the unique stuff in our town pretty much trumps the licensed stuff.  DD is much more interested in the junk one can find on stoop sales and in Chinatown than the stuff on the racks at Target and K-Mart.  Sure, the licensed stuff is irritating, but there are choices in life.  The closest we get to licensed stuff, however, are concert t-shirts.  DH has a terrible habit of collecting those and now he has made it his mission to get a pint-size t-shirt from various shows for DD.  She's less than enthusiastic!  I guess it's an age thing too.  DD would be mortified right now about wearing anything with Dora on it (she's almost six) and the idea of wearing a concert t-shirt is just so...so Dad!  Yuck!  LOL.

post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

We watch a fair amount of television in our house (plus DVDs...go to the movies, etc.).  We don't have any licensed stuff.  One of the reasons (and the primary one) that we don't have licensed stuff is because DH and I say "No."  A secondary reason is that the unique stuff in our town pretty much trumps the licensed stuff.  DD is much more interested in the junk one can find on stoop sales and in Chinatown than the stuff on the racks at Target and K-Mart. .

oooh CC you bring up a good point. i hadnt thought about it that way but yeah - dd was just like your dd too. i recall at 1 instead of asking for  character mugs or glasses she LOVED fancy glasses so she drank out of champagne flutes, brandy snifters, etc - all from the thrift stores.

 

and yes she loves chinatown and japantown. in fact those asian gift shops - she has always liked them better than target or toysrus. 

 

in fact we were lucky where we lived to have a UNICEF gift shop. dd would go crazy in there. unfortunately by first grade they had to close down. dd still talks about that place.

 

we also have some local import places selling stuff mostly from africa and latin america. i think her first doll was from mexico. 

 

mind you she still watched the shows but never was into the characters. 

 

however having said that she never watched any spiderman shows but she LOVED spiderman since she could walk from seeing him on a beach towel in target. i think she only wanted spiderman underwear so i got her some of that. 

post #17 of 18
I used to allow character stuff more than I do now. I especially discourage characters for things like lunchboxes and backpacks-- which reminds me of another pet peeve- new ones every year, but that's another thread grumble grumble. Anyhow, I just remind my dd that she tires of characters easily. We are not screen free in our home, but we watch a very few pre-recorded shows and skip commercials.

My MIL bought my dd a ton of Disney Princess books and Disney movies. She knows we like going to Disney World, but I just can't get into the Disney movies. My dd has never liked them, and yet she keeps them coming. I have returned/sold many of them. That bugs me more than anything, but I don't ban them from my house. It's a choose your battles thing for me. I'd rather discuss them with my girls and this gives me an opportunity to point out the fact that the movies and such are just a big commercial. That you can still have fun with it, but just be aware. Then I save my absolute no budge battles, like no soda in the house.
post #18 of 18

I think of our son as having very little exposure to TV characters until we hang out with another couple/kids and my son trumpes their kids on his Dora knowledge.  (he gets 20 minutes of Ipad time after naps.  normally he plays games, but for a while he had found Dora on Netflix.  Don't ask how... it amazes me...and frightens me a little).  Mostly just keeping him away from the shows/movies eliminates any desire for the stuff.  If he sees it, he doesn't recognize it so it isn't a big deal.

Like a previous poster, I envisioned us as a No Characters Ever house... till we started fostering.  Then kids came with their own knowledge/stuff.  You can't make them forget Sponge Bob (ugh) or Disney Princesses (GAG!).  SO, we try to limit. We don't take things away (especially cruel for deprived kids) but we try to down play things.  My son does have Dinosaur Train toys because I think they are awesome.  (They are also the ONLY talking/flashy toys he has.   They talk to EACH OTHER!   Seriously! Amazing!)  We also bought a Barbie bike from craigslist for our foster daughter - she already came with a bazilion Bratz and Barbie dolls and it was in great condition and super cheep, but it will leave with her (good riddance to the Barbies, but not, of course, to her!).

I don't ever buy Disney or Sesame Street (Nor do we watch Sesame Street.  I feel like it is now a big advertisement for expensive Elmo toys. Elmo sold out a long time ago.  It breaks my heart - I love Grover).

HOWEVER, I did buy my son a Green Lantern water bottle.  He has no idea who the Green Lantern is.  He won't be watching any movie like that for a very, very, very long time, but he loves the color green.  It was a big hit.

Edited to include previously omitted words.  oops.  I should proofread.

 

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