Posted April 15, 2014, By Gary Pope, Client Director
What I don’t understand is how the world of commerce that surrounds children and families continues to put shareholder value before moral responsibility.
Mattel bought Megabrands for a bazzilion dollars. Good strategic move. They’re never going to build a construction business from scratch. I was reminded of this whilst in Toys R Us yesterday.
Megabloks tends to pick up the licenses that LEGO doesn’t want or need. Moshi and Call of Duty for example.
What troubles me about this specifically is that Call of Duty is a PEGI 18.
Yes, they do dutifully put 12+ on some of the packs. Other’s actually have 10+ and the fact is these are toys for boys 7+. Toys that are branded and will drive the children to the parent brand…which isn’t for 7 year olds and is the scourge of elementary schools everywhere.
This is arbitrary age profiling to maximize return and, let’s face it, in the connected world these kind of construction toys are only going to sell more copies of the game.
So, its OK to sell toys for media franchises that are 18plus as long as the toys can be made by 10 year olds? Nonsense. My lad asked for one and he’s 5. Because the toys are cool (to him). We’ve got an xBox One – he’s going to be asking for the game next…hmmm.
I care about the commercial imperative here because it is wrong. Not commercially of course. It makes perfect sense. In fact it’s great marketing.
But we’re talking about children. Children that live in a joined-up, cross-platform and trans-media world. Don’t make them want the big thing by enabling them to have the little things when the big thing is something that they should not have access to until they are old enough.
There’s a reason the game is rated 18.
Someone is being very, very naughty.