Birth of the Office Drone

1 Jun

June 1, 2011

Remember when kids played cowboys and Indians? Cops and robbers? Thundercats and Voltron? What kid ever wanted to play accountant? Are you raising your child to be a CPA by third grade? Give a kid this toy and you guarantee a fun afternoon of sitting alone at the kitchen table shuffling pretend TPS reports and refilling a crayon pen. Listen up people! Give your kid a ball and let him go outside. And if the weather is bad or your neighborhood is under siege by crack dealers and your child can’t go out, give him or her something better than this. If you want your kid to be Michael Scott when he grows up then give this office thing to him. I can’t prove it but I bet that the Son of Sam and Ted Bundy had this sort of toy when they were a kid.

But I do get that there may be a parent who works in an office and who carries a briefcase and their child may want one just like mommy’s or daddy’s. You know what would be fun for that kid? Making his own office toys! Why does every toy need to be bought in a store? This is especially true for little kids. Ask any parent what their kid’s favorite toy was and they will nearly all say “the box the toy came in.” Back before flat screen TV’s, an average living room set was a cube roughly the size of a Honda and weighed nearly as much. I had an old giant TV box that I turned into a fort. Did my Mom buy me a fort? No, I made it myself.

And that is what any kid can do. Let’s make an office set ourselves, shall we? First we need a briefcase. Maybe mom or dad has an old one. No? How about an old school bag? Or a shoebox- ask any kindergarten teacher, you can make anything out of a shoebox. The retail toy has a refillable crayon pen, so let’s put some real crayons and pens into the shoebox. It comes with a desk calendar, and luckily I have a few in a bottom drawer. They were giveaways from the local supermarket and Chinese restaurant. They are out of date but that doesn’t matter. This is pretend! Imagination! And speaking of pretend, the set comes with a pretend stapler but my child is responsible enough to use a real stapler without getting hurt so let’s put a small grade school stapler in the box too. And
don’t forget lots of paper to staple and color. The set has a pre-printed ID badge but my child made herself the President of Lisa’s Zoo and it sure was fun decorating a piece of cardboard from an old box to make a personalized badge with animal stickers. And a piece of tape or a safety pin puts it right on her shirt. Oh, did I mention that she made her own uniform too? I didn’t see that in the toy’s description.

Looking at the picture I see that the set comes with a pencil holder that is shaped like a can, so why don’t I wash out a can for her? I’ll be sure to check for sharp places around the rim. Now she can decorate it too. You know, looking around the house, I have lots of things that can go into the briefcase. I have pads and post-its, I have markers and construction paper, I have some old keys for her office and even a nice picture of the family to put on her desk. I see a pretend laptop in the picture but my child already has learning toys that look like a laptop, or I can even give her my laptop (you know, the one with the parental controls.)

The only thing the toy has that I don’t need to give my child is a cell phone. She’s too young; this would only encourage her to get the real thing. And the glasses? Why reinforce negative nerdy stereotypes?

And you know what else? Maybe I’ll take the $28 dollars I saved and take my daughter to the park this weekend.

I hope I made my point.

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9 Responses to “Birth of the Office Drone”

  1. Thomas Stazyk June 1, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    I couldn’t agree more! What a stupid toy. I can’t believe they call the contents “learning resources.” At least it doesn’t include a Donald Trump wig!

    Like

  2. Mac of BIOnighT June 1, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    You made your point – actually, the toy itself makes a lot of points all by itself, if one just stops to think for a couple of seconds… scary.

    Like

    • bmj2k June 1, 2011 at 12:42 am #

      Thanks to both of you. I really get scared for the imagination of today’s youth and it isn’t their fault- kids are born to play but parents wipe it out of them as soon as they plop a kid in front of a TV set.

      Like

  3. Jeff June 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Great points. The only pre-produced stuff of any sort I had as a kid was a chemistry set – that and a couple of Heath Kits, remember those? But, that was as an older child. When I was small it was all about imagination. And, well, with the chemistry set I used my imagination a bit too much as well …

    Jeff

    Like

    • bmj2k June 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

      My chemistry set and microscope were some of my favorite toys growing up. I used to get the Edmund Scientific catalogue in the mail- what kid does that?

      Obviously there is still a lot of imagination out there- someone has to create the video games and electronics that people get addicted to. But overall I believe the average person is far less imaginative than ever.

      Like

  4. JRD Skinner June 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    Ugh – to be fair, even our one-year-old has figured out that he can hold up any semi-flat object to the side of his face and pretend it’s a phone.

    I definitely think the park is the better option.

    Like

    • bmj2k June 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      Yes, which is why the toy cell phone in the set is just another silly toy.

      Like

  5. The Hook June 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    Very cool post, my friend. As usual! How do you do it?

    Like

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  1. The Treasure Chest of Terrible Toys: Snowman Family Kit | Mr. Blog's Tepid Ride - January 22, 2017

    […] that are nothing more than a sad parody of what toys should be. For example, in my blog “Birth of The Office Drone” I described in excruciating detail how some people think so little of children that they […]

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