Every generation there is a set of toys for boys and another set for girls that defines their childhood. There will always be long time favorites such as Barbie dolls and Star Wars that are around for decades but there are a few that hit a feverish pace and dominate our childhood memories and our parent’s wallets.
For my generation it was Transformers and G.I. Joe for the boys and My Little Ponies and Jem And The Holograms for the girls. This generation it is a little different as Super Hero/Comic Book toys are dominating the boy toy landscape and for the girls My Little Ponies have had a re-birth and Monster High has made their presence known.
One of the reasons I truly support my 8 year old daughter Lavinia playing with the toys is that they are steeped in mythology. Remember that I am a huge mythology and history buff, so these dolls (and later TV characters) are something I am intrigued by just by my nature. They are created using the imagination to bring the characters to life and will allow a child’s imagination to flow forward using those original ideas that were put in place to create them.
The characters are the off-spring of famous monsters/creatures that are going to high school at “Monster High.” So they have to not just deal with the strengths and weaknesses they have due to who their parents are but also have to deal with the every day drama and trauma of growing up and going to high school.
Lavinia’s favorite is Frankie Stein, who is the daughter of Frankenstein and his bride but as I sit and watch the internet short cartoons and TV specials with her, I find I am more intrigued by the character Abbey Bominable. She is the daughter of The Yeti, has a thick Russian accent and is a very blunt character who thinks things through at a very simple but effective level.
I have tried to expand Lavinia’s collection of Monster High dolls and other various collectibles as I feel that they present her the opporunity to not just have dolls to play with but also gives her a chance to let her imagination flourish. When she is playing with her dolls and I listen really hard, I can her the most complex scenerios being acted out amongst the dolls.
There was the time that one of the dolls was picking at one of the other ones and Frankie decided to send that doll to Milwaukee to be punished. I apologize to anyone who lives in Milwaukee, as I do not know why my 8 year old feels the need to use your state as a place to send misbehaving dolls.
The dolls do have a good lesson that they share with the little girls who buy them “Be yourself, be unique and be a monster” which lets them know to be proud of who you are and always be you. A great lesson indeed.
If you are curious, check out Monster High here: http://www.monsterhigh.com/
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