3 Reasons Why We’re #SorryNotSorry to see Toys R’Us Go
While we have nothing against the big-box toy retailer personally, we do have big issues with a retail brand aimed at separating parents from their hard earned money and forcing consumer culture on children.
1. Toys are Wasteful
The stats don’t lie. (We’re obviously big fans of stats here at Goalsetter….) The toy industry is an $18 billion dollar one, propped up by the 25-40,000 commercials children watch each year. Recent research shows the average child owns over 200 toys, but only plays with 12. And yet at every gift-giving holiday, children are surrounded with more “stuff.” You’ve likely seen your own child playing favorites with their toys, or losing interest after the “new” has worn off. Why do we continue to engage them with more shiny things?
2. The Money is Better Spent
In addition to being wasteful, toys are expensive. At around ~$10 average cost for a toy, and 200 toys (on average) your child is literally sitting on a gold mine. $200 x $10 = $2,000. That’s summer camp, a “first car” down payment, and a very sweet start to a college fund.
What if…instead of toys, friends and grandparents chipped in money for something that will fuel not only your child’s imagination, but also their future? What if instead of toys, they took classes that supported their burgeoning interests? Trust us, we love fun, AND we believe toys have a time and place, but 3% of the world’s children live in America, and our kids consume over 40% of the toys – good thing they don’t consume 40% of the world’s food too. ???
3. Consumption Communicates the Wrong Values
Really, Toys R’ Us isn’t the problem – the elevation of consumerism is. Think about what we’re subconsciously saying when we buy our children a $20 toy instead of tucking $20 away for their future. We’re saying that new and now is always more gratifying than what lies ahead.
There are also other lessons that we teach when we say no to buying the latest and greatest whatever: the value of saving, the importance of delayed gratification, the pride that comes with working hard for goals, and the memories that are made when we prioritize experiences over things.
As a parent, I know firsthand that inner feeling of parental Super-Stardom when we buy our kids something that gives them a quick smile and gives us a quick win, but sometimes, we have to prioritize the long-term game (raising good human beings) over the short-term game (being the most popular parent on the block.)
We know that Toys R’ Us does not mean that all parents have stopped buying toys – in many ways, Toys R’ Us is just the latest victim of online disruption like many other brands. The truth is that we, as parents, can probably get our excess toys for our children even faster with the simple push of a button.
But, really if there is one less place, one less brand, and one less catalog targeting kid’s money, that’s okay by us. There are still about 367 more that you’ll have to fend off for the next 18 years. #sorrynotsorry.