Trees vs. Toys

In case you haven’t heard, Toys ‘R’ Us is now competing with the Children and Nature movement. I mean, it really isn’t in their best interest that children find enjoyment in the woods, is it? Who needs a boring old tree or stream when you can have a flying princess doll or a nerf gun?

What am I talking about?

Well, Toys ‘R’ Us recently released a commercial. Here’s a link to the video:

Here’s a summary:

The store took a group of underprivileged children and put them on a bus labelled “Meet the Trees Foundation” to go on a field trip, supposedly to the woods. The guide introduces himself as “Ranger Brad” and plays “Name the Leaf” on the bus with a group of bored and yawning children.

Then, in a surprising turn of events, Ranger Brad pulls off his outer shirt to reveal his red Toys ‘R’ Us uniform and tells the kids “We’re not going to the forest today, we’re going to Toys ‘R’ Us”  where they can play with all the toys and pick any toy they want.  The ad progresses with the children tearing around the store in fits of ecstasy, grabbing dolls off shelves and zooming around on wheeled toys. It concludes with “Make all their wishes come true at Toys ‘R’ Us.”


Let that sink in.

People are seriously ticked off.

See this article:

Essentially, they take a group of underprivileged children and teach them that real happiness is found in “stuff.” Forget stupid nature. Forget stupid trees. I have Star Wars Lego and an aversion to environmental education. What a gift!

Not only does this commercial affect those children on the bus, but think of all the kids watching. Now every kid getting on a bus to go to a conservation area is going to secretly hope for something else. Imagine their disappointment when they pull up at the nature centre.

Couldn’t they have picked a “box factory” or something? I get it, it’s a toy store, they want to promote the buying of toys, but did they have to pit it against the forest?

My husband suggested that next time they tell the kids they’re going to a farm to talk about local food and nutrition… ”Just kidding, we’re going to a candy store!”

Good work, Toys ‘R’ Us. Good work.

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9 Responses to Trees vs. Toys

  1. Miriam says:

    Oh my, that is so sad. Way to promote the idea that kids don’t love (and need) nature 😦

  2. Hillary says:

    Watch Warning: Taking kids outside may result in smiles despite what ads say #beoutthere #playoutside

  3. Pingback: How NOT to teach Environmental Education | Unlocking the Gate

  4. Pingback: 100th Postiversary! | Unlocking the Gate

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