Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When did I become a sucker for tacky movie merchandise?

I spoke before about Matthew's obsession with the movie Cars. This obsession has turned me into a fervent consumer of all Cars branded products. I never understood why parents got suckered into buying kid's movie crap merchandise. I'd see it - Spiderman pyjamas, Barbie bedspreads, Hannah Montana stationery - and wonder what the appeal was. Now I get it. And now here I am, the biggest sucker of all time. Brainwashed into buying any branded thing like a good consumer, no matter how pointless it is.

But now it's reached a level of silliness. So obsessed have I become, that a few days ago I succumbed to a thing of such ridiculousness it's not even funny: Cars Shapeable Foaming Soap. Made by Disney. Because yeah, that's who you want to buy your toiletries from. Classy. What, in the world, possessed me to put this thing in my basket and take it to the till? All I could think about was the look on Matthew's face when I start creating all kinds of cool foamy car shapes during his next bath.



Alas, my plan did not go accordingly. J was giving Matthew a bath last night, and I hurried in, excitedly blubbering "oh don't forget the shapeable foam!". J looked at me suspiciously, as I pulled out the canister. "No, it's fun, really." I promised.

As soon as J opened the bottle, it struck me - yucky chemicals. Who knows what type of toxic crap is in that container. I'm quite careful about not using too many chemicals in our home and especially around the kids. I grabbed the canister and scanned the ingredients. I had no clue what any of them meant... but then I figured, okay, it's Disney, how bad can it be?

The foam wass oddly rigid and puffy and had a very strong perfumey odour. Matthew looked decidedly unimpressed and went back to his floating plastic boats. Before J could do anything with it, I started with "Um, maybe don't do his hair." I imagined skin rashes and horrible reactions. Okay. "Actually, don't use it all." I was suddenly not liking this product at all. "In fact, would you mind washing it all off your hands in the sink over here?"

So there you have it, the evil marketing geniuses at Disney have got me over a barrel. Me - from a marketing background - who should know better and who is fully aware of the mania created around these kids' brands to get my dollars.

Now what am I going to do with this flipping can of foamy stuff?
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60 comments:

Canadian Bald Guy said...

Is it wrong that I want to run out and buy this, too?

Of course, if you're not gonna use yours....

:-P

Loukia said...

Hilarious. I feel the same way about this shapeable foam soap. We used a similar one, not the Cars one, and I hated it! I made sure he didn't put it near his face or hair, and I made sure he rinsed off well, but still - gross! And the smell - ick! And I was worried about all the chemicals, too. My oldest son just went through a bottle of that stuff in like 4 showers. Now it's gone and I'm hopefully not going to buy it again!

Lisa said...

1. OMG - hilarious. I'm a huge sucker for these things too. Funny how you'll buy ANYTHING for your child, no expense (or common sense) spared. We parents are S-U-C-K-E-R-S.

2. Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. Very kind. :)

~ Lisa

Nicole said...

I'm a sucker for all things Cars too.

Including, but not limited to, couches, cars and bathtub crayons.

And like CBG said, I totally want to buy this.
And I don't know why.
Because I'm brainwashed, most likely.
My son doesn't like touching things with strange textures so I doubt he'd use it..
But my first thought was, "COOL!"

..... Carmen said...

My first thought when seeing the canister, was that it looked like shaving foam. Perhaps J could use it? lol Mind you, if it's perfumy perhaps you would like it? :)

James (SeattleDad) said...

It is amazing how we will throw our ideals out the window to make our children happy. It is easy to do when they are so darn cute and you can see them light up when they get things with thier favorite charaters on them. For us, it has been Elmo. Now cars are getting very popular too.

Lady Mama said...

CBG - nooo don't do it. If you really want one I'll send you mine.

Loukia - the chemicals are worrying aren't they? Why do we so easily get suckered in for this stuff?

Lisa - exactly! Anything to put a smile on their face.

Nicole - Um, Cars bathtub crayons?! I'm intrigued... see? It never ends.

Carmen - I asked J if he wanted it and he said no. Don't blame him - it really does smell like a bad cheap aftershave.

James - yes, out with the ideals and in with the random tacky products. But sometimes it's worth it, for a smile.

Scary Mommy said...

I swore up and down that my kids would never have character clothing, shoes and toys. I lasted about 18 months and that was the end of that!

Lola said...

Stopping by for the June Comment Challenge.

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rightonmom said...

That's funny, and yes, we've all been duped. My kids sometimes a walking billboard for Nickelodean and Disney stuff! Thomas the Tank Engine rules at our house.
Nice meeting another writer mama too!

robin said...

You can always use it to "decorate" any non-favorite neighbors' property. Hee hee.
Visiting from Ann's. Happy GNO!

Just_Aimee said...

Very funny...Stopping by for a late VGNO...hope you are enjoying the weekend.

McMommy said...

Hi, I'm the mom who went out to every single Toys R Us and Target to purchase ALL the Cars diecast car character figurines.

We even had the lead-paint Sarge one...which I almost didn't want to return to the manufacturer. Alas, I did. And now I'm all angry b/c he's the only one missing from our collection. I knew I shouldn't have returned him.

Mother of the year, right here. :)

Liliana said...

Funny I thought the same thing about merchandise geared towards kids..but we now have Dora shoes, Dora hat, Dora book, Dora PJ's...

Christian Mommy Writer said...

When I saw the can, I thought it was shaving gel! :-) LOL!

Honestly, if I would have saw it in the store, I just might have bought it too. My son loves Cars and he has all types of Lighting McQueen, Mater, the King and all other such stuff around here. And to be perfectly honest, I like Cars too! ;-)

Andrea said...

Wow! Finally someone who understands the soap thing! I am afraid to use different soaps on my kids for fear of what is in them! I once googled "rendering plants" and was totally freaked out. I went through my house throwing away all kinds of toiletries and beauty products. When my kids get stuff in goody bags, I hide it until I can throw it out! (they are girls, so you know, nasty lip gloss and such!)Enough of that...

Happy SITS day!

Melissa Papaj Photography said...

That is great! I grew up in the biggest white trash home where my mom was still into that kind of stuff...so fortunately I am not a big sucker for movie characters, but I know lots of people who are :) Again, congrats on your SITS day! I'm so jealous!

debi9kids said...

well...I don't think I have quite gotten to that level, but we do own 7000 Wonder Pet toys, so I am pretty sure that counts for "something". UGH

Mary said...

Oh great. Now I have this insatiable need to go out and buy Cars shapeable foaming soap for my equally Cars obsessed 2 y/o grandson just so I can see for myself!!

Happy SITS Day!!

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

I have no kids so do not have this problem. Glad you realized you fell into that trap.

Congrats on your SITS day!

Tutus and Tantrumns said...

I too have succumbed to this insanity! I do draw the line at shoes and most shirts with Characters on them, though. Other than that if it is Nemo or Princess...we have it!

Queenie Jeannie said...

I don't even want to THINK about how much money I've wasted by buying every stinkin' Disney Princess whatever for my youngest daughter.....but it's a lot. Stupid Disney, lol!!!

cat said...

Oh those clever marketing people at Disney. For us, it is the freaking Princesses. But with a car obsessed boy I can see the car thing coming.

Sandy said...

Disney does have a way of sucking you in! I am another victim of those darn Princesses!

Annie @ astonesthrowfrominsanity said...

I am a fellow sucker! I currently have in my home, 5 princess dresses, 4 princess nightgowns, 5 star wars light sabers and . . . who knows how much more. :)

Double Wide Mom said...

You might try using it as whipped topping the next time you're photographing desserts.
Or caulking.

Angelia Sims said...

Ha! Never fails they get ya. :-)

Kim said...

We've all been there - all in all pretty harmless. Even if we do succumb to marketing.

Melissa @ Cellulite Investigation said...

trash it and forget about it. When I make a regrettable purchase (and we all do!), I always feel better when it is out of the house for good.

Marie said...

Lesson learned. :)

Genevieve said...

OMG! You're totally FAB! We could soooo be GF's! Congrats on being SITS Queen today! xx

Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen said...

Oh I hate those kind of purchases lol OH! and I have been meaning to say:
Happy SITS day

LisaDay said...

Ha, ha, ha. Disney is genius.

Happy SITS day.

LisaDay

Jenn said...

Happy SITS Day!!! Disney is the devil... they suck me in everytime. I don't even have kids yet but by stuff all the time for my nephew, as well as friends kids. NOT TO MENTION MYSELF - should I admit that my husband and I were married there. BIGGEST SUCKER RIGHT HERE!

Congratulations again!!!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have so many Curious George things for my son. Stopping from SITS!

Scraps said...

I hadn't heard of this sort of thing before and, wow... Could totally see buying it out of curiosity but not for actually using it.

...Says the girl who bought an inflatable monkey at the party shop just because it was there. Hey, we all have our "things"

gringationcancun said...

I don't get it... what shapes does this foam supposedly make??

Does it come out in car shapes? because that would be awesome!

Aleta said...

I'm curious like everyone else - what car shapes? It sounds neat, but yeah, I don't know if I'd give it to a child.

Marketing is for the kids to want and the parents to spend. And let's face it... we're all kids at heart, right?

Kelly said...

You don't even want to know what I've done for the love of Dora.

Zeemaid said...

*LOL* it's too true. My son loves cars too. So anytime we see anything it just looks so darn cute and it magically finds our way into the cart.

Thanks for the heads up on the foamable soap... I could see myself having bought this but you're right... what kinds of chemicals are in there?

Happy SITS day!

sarah Baron said...

Honey, there's nothing you can do to beat the psychologists Disney has on staff that work to understand and modify your purchasing behavior. You just don't have a chance. May as well give in now. One thing I did with my kids is when we would watch TV, I would ask them to explain to me what it was that the commercial was trying to get them to do so they'd at least understand that and maybe have a fighting chance.

So, just realize we're all in the same boat.

Sarah Baron, member of the illustrious Anonymous8

Tonya said...

That's funny! It's hard to resist the flashy advertising!

Molly Burke, Queen of Confidence said...

Happy SITS Day! Commercials are insidious!

Molly Burke CPCC MSU
Queen of Confidence
www.lifepurposeworks.com
"Everyone can use an extra boost of confidence every now and again."

It's "Ask the Oracle" Tuesday over on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Molly-Burke-Queen-of-Confidence/343969645120

CoconutPalmDesigns said...

Too funny! Especially washing it off in the sink.

Happy SITS Day!

Cheers :-)
- CoconutPalmDesigns

PS. My son is Matthew too! :-)

Judy said...

When I was little, we ran behind the mosquito truck for fun. Glad I didn't have to wash with poison soap! I was pre-Disney.

Joann Mannix said...

I was the same way. Those awful Disney folks. My oldest was into Barney. He was all the rage back in the day. I, too, bought purple soap and shampoo. Purple! It turned her blonde hair a grayish tinge. These ridiculous products are a powerful vortex for those of us who just want to see our kids smile.

gamommy2two said...

I'm just waiting for the day when my children actually care about branding or characters...It scares me. Honestly. Right now all they know is Dora and I simply tell them No and thats that. What will I do when they can actually argue!?

Young Yoga Masters said...

I use Disney for marketing ideas for my kids yoga classes. Might as well market research from the best if I'm going to have a chance.

Linda said...

It gets easier when they get older and you may have the same interests. Like the large Twilight poster in my girls room. Jacob Blacks abs? Not horrible.

Natalie at Mommy on Fire said...

Oh I can so relate...I used to always say "My children will never wear clothing with licensed characters"...Um...yeah...

Then I became a mother and saw the sheer joy it gave my daughter to wear an Ariel shirt. We also have a Cars obsession. I fall for the stuff in the stores constantly!

The Black Kitteh said...

Too funny! Last week I talked my daughter into getting two happy meals instead of one Mighty kids meal so that we could get tow Madagascar Penguins! *face palm* I realize how pathetic that sounds in hind sight, but I love those guys....."Smile and wave boys, smile and wave!"

simplysandi said...

Stopping by from SITS.. love this post.

Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

Cars is a big favorite in my household too but so far we have not gone the way of the shapeable foam.

Toy Story is even bigger so I'll have to avert mine eyes in the bath foamy aisle.

Life with Kaishon said...

Funny!
My son loves foam soap.
So far the chemicals haven't killed him!
PHEW! : )

Amanda said...

I'm also in marketing and a marketing sucker -- especially infomercials!

Jewels For Hope said...

ha ha oh this is funny. I don't have kids of my own but I can definitely relate to this! *and of course, I have a degree in marketing also ha ha :)

Sabreena said...

I too fall for this with Thomas the Tank Engine as it is the only thing in the world that makes my 2 year old truley happy. Thank gosh your son didn't care about the stuff or the removal of it may have been sketchy.

Carrie said...

LOL, my friend's little guy LOVES Cars and would probably be suckered into buying this as well.

For me, there isn't anything specific my girls are obsessed with at the moment. But I'm sure that will change :)

Visiting from SITS

Miz Dinah said...

Give it away for Hallowe'en and keep the chocolate for yourself. ;)

Joy said...

Ah well, we all have a consumer mistake here and there we could fess up to. ;o)

Belated congrats on your SITS day!