Some interesting and relevant links from around the web regarding ethnic dolls, multicultural toys, multicultural superheroes, ethical toys, and more:
From The Toronto Star, The Trouble with Ethical Toys. An excerpt:
assistant professor Gavin Fridell, who specializes in fair-trade issues, doubts fair trade toys will ever have much of a market presence, since ensuring that all the parts and processes involved are completely ethical would be next to impossible.”Think of all the different sourcing you would have to do to make a toy,” says Fridell, whose book, Fair Trade Coffee: The Prospects and Pitfalls of Market-driven Social Justice, was released this year.
An action figure, for instance, needs rubber, plastic, paint, metal, hair and cloth. Ensuring all that is produced ethically would be prohibitively expensive, Fridell says, adding fair trade works best with simple products such as coffee.
Besides, he says, where fair-trade coffee has the romance of keeping small farmers on the land producing quality coffee on a beautiful mountaintop, fair-trade manufacturing is more about workers’ rights and anti-globalization.
“These are more uncomfortable ideas,” Fridell says. “The best way to buy ethical toys might be to buy locally.”
The Asian Pacific American Toy Chest, from the superheroes page:
For the early part of superhero comic history, Asians tended to be the bad guys in comics, taking roles of either Super WWII Japanese Spy or some kind of Fu Manchu emperor. But, thanks in part to Marvel Comics’ popular X-Men and the influence of anime on American comics, we are seeing more and more APA super heroes exploding onto the scene.
From Young Money, Comic Books Enrich Their Character Mix: “Comic book fantasy is believable, he says, to the extent that it’s grounded in the real world. And the real world is not exclusively white, Anglo-Saxon, male or heterosexual.”
The Sacramento Bee brings us From Barbie to the Bratz dolls: Do media images push girls to go too sexy, too soon?
The Diva asks for readers’ opinions on ethnic Barbies. Personally, I find all Barbies a bit creepy, but I confess to being wowed by some people’s customizations of Barbie’s wardrobe. Case in point, these customized Indian Barbies from Dolls of India.