Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Cute, It Hurts, at Hallmark

Like me, you probably think of Hallmark stores as selling greeting cards, with some ornaments thrown in at Christmas time. Clearly, we are behind the times because these days Hallmark is trying to become the land of the painfully cute.

First there were the big-eyed creatures from Ty, the maker of Beanie Babies:

Shelves full of rounded, plush animals with huge round eyes
Then there was this latest incarnation of the Beanies themselves:

Three beanie babies with heads coming out of the wall of a pink and yellow tent-shaped bag
I'm not sure if those creatures are separable or are sewn into the tent/bag/whatever it is. They made me think of mounted trophy animals on a the wall.

Then there was Bigsby, the interactive story buddy:

Bigsby the interactive story buddy, looks sort of like Bigfoot or one of Sendak's wild things
This is probably the worst of all: An "interactive" doll that responds when you read specific books that can be bought only at Hallmark.

It combines things that drive parents crazy (things that make sound, repetition, branded stuff you can only get from one place) with the kind of external motivation children don't need when it comes to reading. All nicely packaged and placed alongside the birthday cards so well-meaning people can buy it for their little relatives.

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