I am curious. Do your kids become aware of characters only through tv? other kids?
DD absolutely fell in love with Spiderman even before she was one from the target beach towel area. she really wasnt into wanting character things, but at 2 she did want spiderman underwear. i got them for her and she found they (boy's underwear) fit so much better that she wore almost exclusively boys underwear for a couple of years.
to her i think it was a work of art. she really didnt want to watch a tv show or read a book. she just gravitated to spiderman anywhere.
how did your kids find their favourite characters?
My kids have gone through phases of falling in love with different characters, lately its subway trains.
None of them came from tv or friends. We buy our toys at rummage sales/thrift stores, and they may have been introduced to a toy superman or two, or perhaps a transformer here and there wen they see one there. Then they might see an image on the street, on a shirt....etc, i avoid buying these type of clothes, i would never buy it new.
My son isn't into any characters except Angry Birds, which he discovered through playing the game. It's the only video game he plays. He doesn't watch much TV outside of PBS, DVD's and Netflix. And we never did daycare so he wasn't exposed to much character stuff. That may change but he's in Kindergarten now and still isn't into "characters" at all. It might just come down to personalities...or I just might have an odd kid
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" ~~ MLK
OP - like your DC, mine became smitten with an image of Batman. He never saw the old (or new) cartoons or movies, it was just an image that appealed to him. There was a brief Superman phase. Pirates are still going strong at age 7.
His TV viewing is restricted to PBS, family movies and some Discovery and Animal Plant so he hasn't a clue about most branded toys. He is in first grade and sadly I suspect he will soon pick up on what his classmates are wearing/talking about as it relates to popular shows and toys.
not necessarily. unless its his kinda thing. dd's best friend was into princesses. they spent 10 hours together from 2 to starting K in daycare. and other kids too. but i am not a tv watcher. movies yes. i did not restrict dd either with tv or movie watching. her only addiction has been books, so i have to watch her on that.
dd never really got into princess stuff or character stuff - even though she watched them. in fact she loved the flamboyance of a princess. so she was super pricess spider girl, wearing a shiny pink cape that her gma made her. her favourite princess is princess fiona. i think she was about 8 when she DID get into characters. her favourite became alton brown. she loves, loves, loves his cooking show and all the information he has in his shows.
her bf is not a typical boy either. and even at 10 he doesnt really like boy stuff.
so just coz they have the exposure doesnt mean all hell breaks lose.
however yeah in the teen years i think its a whole different story. but if you have your foundation right, it shouldnt be too bad.
My kids are tv-free and we don't buy licensed things. If we get them as gifts they tend to quietly disappear and the GM know we don't prefer them. And when I say we don't buy licensed things I mean it, no sippy cups/toothbrushes/stickers/ nothing. I detest marketing towards children and prefer quality useable products and whatever it is, most licensed products don't fit either category and are often just generally gross..
I work full time and do a lot of shopping online or on my lunch hour so this kids aren't bombarded at the store that much. DS became aware of Elmo pasta and whatnot at Whole Foods but could always be fobbed off with "that's for older kids."
Or preschool doesn't allow licensed characters on clothing so they aren't bombarded there.
DS should entered public charter K so we have a new world to navigate now. I am not really sure how it will turn out. He does have a lot of interest in Superheros and DH is teaching him about them via the socratic method. Plus DS got his old figures out from his childhood. I have pretty mixed feelings but can deal as long as it does envolve a lot of junik.
I did buy a hand knit batman mask off etsy and I have a spiderman mask coming from the same person. Dress up clothes, okay, for what I view as only semi-imaginative play. Gross everyday wear wouldn't be okay unless DS made it himself.
We tried really hard to keep characters out of our house. We were completely TV free for a long time but in the last couple of years we allow DVD's. And we've been to Disney a bunch of times so they know the Disney characters rather well.
DS loves, loves, loves superheroes... I have no idea how/why. But he loves them and DH taught them which was which.
DD loves pretty much all things Disney (we stick to the classics only... Bambi and Dumbo and the like) and Hello Kitty.
We talk about "tricky advertising" and we evaluate the product and compare prices - so they get that the same item might cost more with a picture on it. They will point out how they're trying to trick you to give them your money.
I can't say I'm totally immune. I have a Disney purse (it's a nice one, for grown-ups!) and some Minnie Mouse earrings, and a stuffed Chesire Cat given me by the husband. DD has a Hello Kitty lunchbox and roll-on suitcase, and some HK memorabilia, and one of her favorite stuffies is a Minnie Mouse (who lives with her Waldorf dolls). DS has a few superhero pajamas that I found at the thrift store. He LIVES in them. He also has a Batman costume in the dress-up box, and was Spiderman for Halloween, and has a Spiderman pencil case. They both have a couple of Disney puzzles (that are really good quality.) That's about it. I will NOT allow it on furniture, bedding, going-out clothes (at-home lounge wear is OK), etc. Our books are classics, not merchandised character books, because those are usually cruddy quality storywise. They can have it on their tooth brushing cups but I did not buy the $15 Hello Kitty toothbrush for DD even though she was crying for it - she got the $1 star toothbrush because of the massive price difference. Food, we don't really buy processed food so that's kind of a non-issue.
I dunno, it's a case by case basis thing. A few touches here and there... meh, whatever. It's aesthetic preference for the most part, and if the price/quality is about the same, a few touches isn't going to kill the house. But I'm not going to go overboard with it all. And some characters I wouldn't have in our house no matter WHAT. Like Dora. Or the Bratz. Etc.