Summary of “Toys Are Taking Vacations and Seeing the World”

Azuma grew up, but as she got older, she rediscovered a passion for soft toys.
Azuma isn’t alone-lots of adults make toys a centerpiece of their travel dispatches.
She then identified some common trends, such as the desire to “Accumulate travel culture capital” by sharing pics of toys posed in world tourism hotspots.
Something about pictures of toys by famous world landmarks makes a certain breed of traveler feel particularly worldly-the familiar and the foreign together, as if it is the most natural thing in the world.
Clients ship their toys to Azuma, and they stay with her for two or three weeks, during which time their adventures are promptly reported back to their owners via social media posts.
“From poses to accompanying captions, there was a clear trend of toys appearing to experience travel. The toys were photographed worried about missing public transport, deciding on their next meal and, of course, posing in front of famous tourist sites,” she explains.
Traveling toys are often pictured engaging in human activities, instead of just seeing the sites.
In addition to the agencies in Japan and France, there is now Toy Voyagers, a website that connects traveling toys with hosts, and Omanimali, a toy-passport-issuing organization based in Germany.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is ‘pink for girls and blue for boys’ biology or conditioning?”

From a fairly young age, possibly as young as 12 months, it appears that boys and girls show preferences for different kinds of toys.
If gendered toy preference is an expression of a biology, then the interpretation tends to be that it is inevitable and shouldn’t be interfered with, and that those who challenge it should be sent away with the mantra ‘Let boys be boys and girls be girls’ ringing in their ears.
Do children agree with these ratings? Do all boys choose boy toys, all girls choose girl toys? Brenda Todd, a psychologist from City, University of London, researches children’s play, and decided to study their behaviour with toys from dolls to cars.
The study revealed an element of self-fulfilling prophecy: boys played longer with the toys that had been labelled ‘boy toys’, and the girls with the ‘girl toys’.
Although the younger girls appeared to be more interested in girl toys than boys were in boy toys, this interest wasn’t sustained in the middle group, where there was actually a drop in the amount of time they spent with girl toys.
The overall conclusion was that boys played with male-typed toys more than girls, and girls with female-typed toys more than boys.
Girls were much more gender-label compliant at one level, quite strongly rejecting the blue boy toys and approving of the pink girl toys.
Why might the same not be true for boys – why would they not be equally enthused by a ‘girly’ melon baller if they could have it in blue? Could it be that, while girls are generally not discouraged from playing with boy toys, and might occasionally be given permission to pick up the odd hammer, the reverse is not the case, with evidence of active intervention, particularly from fathers, if boys appear to be choosing to play with girl toys?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why your Instagram is full of wooden Montessori-inspired baby toys”

Toy industry experts say these beautifully crafted baby toys are making a comeback, thanks to the unique demographics of today’s parents.
There, parents quickly learn the toys are made of sustainable and organic materials, “Backed by science,” “Designed by experts” and that “85% of brain development happens in the first three years.”
They’re moving away from the trends of their own 1990s childhoods when toys like Baby Einstein focused on school smarts.
To fill the revenue gap as toy sales also wane, toy companies need to sell items at a higher price point, and that leads to better materials and products, said Richard Gottlieb, founder and CEO of Global Toy Experts.
What’s more, parents are more likely to buy toys when they have been told of their developmental benefits.
Josh Golin, executive director of Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, said he’s happy to see a departure from screens and digital toys.
Research does show that simple, open-ended toys are better for young children.
Dr. Kori Flower, a pediatrician and associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine, agrees that parents who can’t or don’t want to buy high-end toys shouldn’t worry.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Pixar Lost Its Way”

If Cars 3 isn’t disheartening enough, two of the three Pixar films in line after it are also sequels: The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4.
Pixar’s distinctive insight into parent-child relations stood out from the start, in Toy Story, and lost none of its power in two innovative and unified sequels.
In 2004, a Disney subsidiary, Circle 7 Animation, was created to produce sequels to Pixar films.
After Toy Story 3, the Pixar magic began to fade.
The last film of the golden era, it was also the first film begun after Disney acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion in 2006, when Lasseter and Catmull were made, respectively, the chief creative officer and the president of both studios.
At the time of the merger, Disney was “Demoralized” and “Failing as a company,” Catmull observed a couple of years ago, before adding, “Disney is now successful.” About Pixar, he was less sanguine: “There are major issues we’re addressing at Pixar now.”
The overlap between the Pixar movies that beget sequels and the movies that inspire rides at Disney amusement parks is all but total.
I’m not sure I dare to expect much more of what used to make Pixar Pixar: the idiosyncratic stories, the deep emotional resonance, the subtle themes that don’t easily translate into amusement-park rides.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Unknown History of G.I. Joe”

Joe has been around since 1964.At the time of his debut, Joe mirrored the culture of the nation-just like Barbie did in 1959.
In order to keep Joe on shelves and at the forefront of the market, he was rebranded as an adventurer, and the toy series was fittingly renamed The Adventures of G.I. Joe.His bio was changed to reflect his new ambitions: After an honorable discharge, Joe committed himself to more peaceful action, shifting his attitude radically from warrior to peacenik to mirror the new political climate.
1970 to 1978: A Veteran Gets a New Look In 1970, G.I. Joe was restyled once again and the line was renamed G.I. Joe Adventure Team.
Hasbro invested $3 million to create a series of 30-second animated commercials for the new Marvel comic book G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.If Joe was going to have new cartoons, he needed a new enemy to match.
In a meeting with Hasbro, Marvel editor Archie Goodwin came up with the idea for Cobra, a terrorist organization determined to rule the world and obliterate its main enemy, G.I. Joe.Along with adding bad guys, Marvel also suggested that G.I. Joe become the name of the unit, and that the unit comprise specialists, each with their own names and characteristics, which Hama provided.
The Joe cartoon was first tested out in September 1983, when Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions produced an animated five-part miniseries entitled G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
Two years later, Hasbro acquired Kenner, producers of the Star Wars line of action figures, and Joe was overshadowed and outsold, In 1994, the line was discontinued for good.
The films’ poor performance at the box office were not enough to put Joe to rest-you can order figures through the G.I. Joe Club and statues from Sideshow Collectibles.

The orginal article.

Summary of “YouTube unboxing, Ryan ToysReview, and how toys are changing”

The toy capitalizes on the trend of YouTube unboxing videos.
A decade ago, the success of a toy was typically determined by how fast it was flying off shelves at Toys R Us, but the life cycle of a toy today is about its popularity in YouTube’s stratosphere.
Because of the platform’s influence, companies now create toys with YouTube in mind, and earmark large pockets of cash to pay toy influencers for reviews.
One online petition to ban toy channels on Youtube called toy unboxing “Capitalist brainwashing.” It asks the site to “Explain to the public that [YouTube] is an adult/teen video networking site that children should not be using anyways.” In Brazil, the public prosecutor’s office in São Paulo is suing Google over unboxing videos, accusing the tech giant, which owns YouTube, of “Engaging in abusive advertising practices toward children.”
One thing is for sure: YouTube has changed the toy world, and how kids play.
Toy unboxing became a phenomenon on YouTube because toys are a perfect fit for the format.
Tons of money is currently being made from toy unboxing videos, with YouTube influencers making bank for product reviews and being paid for sponsored content, too.
Ryan from Ryan ToysReview was there, promoting his toy line, Ryan’s World.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How This 7-Year-Old Made $22 Million Playing With Toys”

Ryan of Ryan Toysreview really isn’t that different from any other first grader.
These short, simple videos have made Ryan one of the most popular influencers online, with 17.3 million followers and a total of nearly 26 billion views since he launched his main channel, Ryan ToysReview, in March 2015.
For Ryan, this means not only an endless stream of toys to play with but also a seemingly endless stream of money: He was this year’s highest-paid YouTube star, earning $22 million in the 12 months leading up to June 1, 2018, Forbes estimates.
Ryan is part of the YouTube trend of unboxing, in which content creators film themselves opening up toys, tech products and other consumer goods, explaining different features and, in Ryan’s case, screaming and giggling with enthusiastic delight as he does so.
Nearly all of his money, or about $21 million, comes from pre-roll advertising on his channels Ryan ToysReview and Ryan’s Family Review.
What’s almost as baffling as the amount of money that Ryan has made before his eighth birthday is why today’s kids would rather tune in to watch another one play with toys than play with toys themselves.
It may seem bizarre to those who grew up watching Saturday-morning cartoons, but today’s children know their way around YouTube the way Millennials knew their way around a VCR. The YouTube Kids app has more than 11 million weekly active users-which translates into a lot of kids eager to see what toy Ryan is going to open next.
The line, which Ryan heavily promotes on his YouTube channel, features a variety of slimes and putties, Ryan action figures, T-shirts, toy cars and more.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Best Building Toys for Kids”

In her new book The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids, architecture critic Alexandra Lange explains that since the dawn of the mass-produced toy industry, there have been Good Toys and Bad Toys in the eyes of adults.
Of the Good Toys, Lange believes, nothing surpasses blocks.
“A block doesn’t always have to be made of wood, or even block-shaped, to be an excellent medium for building.” Here, Lange shares her recommendations for the best building toys for young kids.
“Unit blocks, the wooden building blocks that one can spot in the corner of most early childhood classrooms, were invented by Caroline Pratt in 1913,” Lange tells us.
Lange calls Magna-Tiles an “Instant gratification building toy” as kids can make what looks like a stained-glass castle in minutes.
“When the kids were young they gravitated toward the big, square tiles, but my husband would start playing with the triangles and could make some very Buckminster Fuller-inspired structures. Because they are smooth, and kids can make relatively large-scale buildings, Magna-Tiles coordinate well with action figures and small dolls that would tower over LEGO or Duplo. Magna-Tile creations look really good, too, so as a parent you don’t mind having them linger.”
“But then my son got his hands on it and better things happened. Swords, dinosaurs, canopies, bracelets and, yes, a gun or two.” She calls Tubation is “The stick of building toys.”
“Not all construction toys need to stack,” Lange says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Every Pixar Movie, Ranked”

What follows is the result of that process-The Ringer’s official ranking of every Pixar movie.
Finding Dory Ben Lindbergh: Thirteen years elapsed between the releases of Finding Nemo in 2003 and Finding Dory in 2016, which seems like a dangerous span of time between an animated movie and its sequel/spinoff: long enough that the kids who watched the former have aged out of the audience, but not long enough that they’ve created tiny Pixar consumers of their own.
Which reunited Nemo director Andrew Stanton and stars Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks, did billion-dollar business, becoming the highest-grossing animated movie ever in the domestic market and ranking second behind Nemo in inflation-adjusted dollars on the all-time Pixar earnings leaderboard.
Monsters, Inc. Alison Herman: If your favorite SNL cast is inevitably the one that was on the air while you were in high school, your favorite Pixar movie is undoubtedly one released when you were between the ages of 8 and 12.
You’re young enough to have the intensity of feeling that can imprint a movie in your brain for decades to come, but just old enough to understand the emotional sophistication that comes with all the best Pixar projects.
To my mind, Monsters, Inc. is the movie that best exemplifies that Pixar blend, even if you remove the nostalgia factor.
In a profile of Inside Out director Pete Docter around the time of its release, the writer Lisa Miller noted that, “In my house, the movie has given us a new way to talk about how we feel.” While riding bikes, she asks her young daughter, “Who’s driving now?” Her answer is inspired by the movie: “Joy, and a little bit of Fear.” Talk about a mind-altering children’s movie.
I judge a Pixar movie by its ability to destroy me emotionally, and thus Up is, by my estimation, the best Pixar movie ever, a tale of sad widower Carl learning to live after losing his love, with the help of a child and a flying house.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Toys “R” Us: The World’s Biggest Toy Store Didn’t Have to Die”

In 1985, Goldman Sachs called it “One of the outstanding companies in all of retailing,” and for much of the decade, Lazarus was among the highest-paid chief executive officers in the U.S. His final opportune move was to step down just as Toys “R” Us peaked.
Four years and two CEOs later, Toys “R” Us was overtaken by Walmart as the biggest toy seller in the U.S. Two years after that, Toys “R” Us struck a disastrous deal to give up its troubled website and exclusively sell its wares online with Amazon.com Inc. By 2004 the company, which now relied on its Babies “R” Us stores for much of its profit, was looking to sell itself.
As the last big toy store chain, Toys “R” Us had a captive audience.
Toys “R” Us had U.S. revenue of $7 billion and, even toward the end, a 14 percent share of the toy market, but there was no math that made $400 million look sustainable.
As the company’s advisers liquidate its 735 U.S. stores, make deals for the operations around the world, and determine the value of its intellectual property, it’s become clear that Toys “R” Us didn’t only have an improvident amount of debt-it also had a debt structure as complex and precarious as a Jenga tower, which obscured the company’s tenuous finances.
Almost 40 percent of the company’s vendors refused to ship their products without cash in advance, cash on delivery, or payment of all their outstanding obligations-if Toys “R” Us did fail, their claims would have low priority.
Toys “R” Us made their last wish come true, and on March 9, Bloomberg News reported that the company would close its U.S. operations.
Some rallied outside the offices of Bain, KKR, and Vornado to protest losing their jobs without severance and occupied a soon-to-be-closed Toys “R” Us store in Union, N.J. Twenty miles away, the company began to liquidate its headquarters.

The orginal article.