Dolls are no longer a young girl’s favorite toy.
A doll is a representation of the human body and is one of the most recognizable toys, if not the earliest, the human race created. The doll is traditionally intended for young females, although action figures like G.I. Joe still qualify. Modern dolls like Barbie rank among the world’s most popular toys for young girls, but a recent study published by the German energy company E.ON claims that videogames have supplanted the doll as the toy most sought after by British children in the 21st century. 20 percent of the kids polled placed videogames and consoles at the top of their list, while 16 percent claimed dolls as what they wanted to play with most.
“Dolls may no longer be the top toy for girls but I don’t see them dying out anytime soon,” Adrian Voce, former director of Play England. “Children like to play in ways that allows them to replicate an adult’s world and dolls allow them to do this. The dolls can play the roles of different people in children’s real or fantasy life and they can play a parent-figure.”
The rise of computer and console games shouldn’t frighten parents, though. “It is important not to label gadgets ‘bad guys’ because children need to learn how to use electronic devices in an increasingly computerized world,” Voce said. “However, there are dangers that children will become over-reliant on what is essentially a two-dimensional screen-based interaction.”
The funny thing about this supposed shift in children’s tastes from playing with dolls to games is that they are conceptual very similar. In both cases, the child is still manipulating a human-like object in space. What are avatars in videogames if not digital representations of dolls?
Still, Voce makes sense: “Children need to have objects that they can mould, rearrange, construct and deconstruct. These things develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination.”
So, parents, buy your kid a Figure Print of their troll warlock to have the best of both worlds.