The other day, I went to a client’s house and saw that she had Sesame Street bed sheets. I was a little confused and asked her if her real sheets were being washed.
“No way! I used to love love love Sesame Street so I thought these cookie monster sheets would be adorable.”
I didn’t know they even made these sheets for queen size beds! Then yesterday, I got in one of my friend’s cars to go to dinner and saw her work lunchbox next to the seat: My Little Pony. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved My Little Pony, strawberry edition, but really, a lunchbox?
Other examples I have seen recently:
-sesame street sheets
-My Little Pony Lunchbox
-Bedazzled (that machine that puts sequins on clothes)
-Lanyard making books
-Color by numbers (in dorm rooms)
-Easy Bake Ovens might be back for teens.
I realized that a current trend that is happening is the desperation for nostalgia and childhood goodies. Teens are playing with Slinkies, Play-Doh and GI Joe more than ever before. (I had a really cool friend who had GI Joe shirts and left figurines on his desk in College). Why are kids reaching into their pasts?
1. They are Non-Virtual
I would never deem to admit that the Internet is getting boring. But, more and more toy companies are leaving their teen, tween and even 9-11 year-old demographic because kids only want to be online. By the time we hit 16 we miss all of those real toys.
2. They get to use their creativity
Is it really weird that I am dying to get one of those huge art boxes and a bedazzled kits from when I was little? You know they were the size of a posterboard and inside they had every different kind of water color, oil pastel, colored pencil and marker? With many old toys you can actually use your hands and get creative. With a lot of these things you also get a physical result, something to play with, something cool on your clothes. In a cyber world, this happens less and less.
3. There is too much responsibility
Sometimes I think we grow up too fast. Playing with old toys makes us feel like kids again! We have so much pressure on us, earlier and earlier, playing with a sticker maker seems like so much less pressure.
4. We can’t get in trouble
No cyberbullies with slinkies, can’t break curfew with a Bedazzler. It’s safe, easy and our parents actually don’t mind…even though we sometimes like to rebel, we do need breaks.
Overall, this trend points to something bigger…we are growing up too fast and kids are reaching back to childhood.