Children – You Can’t Buy The Games, But Here’s Some Toys! BUY THEM NOW!!!

One of the strange ‘advantages’ of having a child is that you can watch cartoons almost guilt free. And so what if my daughter is only 8 months old? We can watch Ultimate Spiderman if we want too!

Inevitably the kids channels are filled to the brim with toy adverts – a) it’s kids TV and b) Christmas is coming! But one advert left me a little uncomfortable today.

Gears of War has Meccano sets out!

Now, neither of these products are ‘new’. Meccano is something my grandfather used to tinker with as a younger man! Gears hit the marketplace in 2006. But the cross over is somewhat uncomfortable for me – mainly because Gears of War 1 to 3 (and presumably Judgement when it comes out) are all 18 rated games.

I’m not some prude, I know an awful lot of under 18s have played the games and that a great many parents are happy for them to do so – believing their son or daughter are mature enough to understand the adult content of the games.

But they are advertised as 18 rated games, at times when a mainly adult audience is likely to be watching on channels mostly viewed by adults.

Does an 18 rated game have a place advertising toys on children’s TV at 4pm on a Monday? (Peak viewing really – after school etc)

Other games have toys attached to the franchise – Halo for one. But on Halo 3 has thus far had any kind of ‘age certificate’ attached; Halo 3 was a 15. Effectively anyone could buy Halo ‘1’ (original Combat Evolved or Anniversary), 2 or 4, ODST or Halo Wars. Gears? Not so (or at least it shouldn’t be if shops do their duty)

In reality it is just a studio maximising its revenue streams – making greater profits where possible, and as I said other franchises have done it. But something sat very awkwardly with me about the whole thing where a young lad can buy toys associated with a game he cannot buy himself…

I suppose it is no different to the Robocop toys that were on the shelves when I was a kid, and maybe I have simply become an old fuddy duddy, but the whole thing felt very dirty.

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3 thoughts on “Children – You Can’t Buy The Games, But Here’s Some Toys! BUY THEM NOW!!!

  1. Is there much difference between the HM Armed Forces range and toys based on Gears though? Ultimately one is a purely fictional – albeit mature focussed – and the other is a reflection of the fact that people like playing ‘war’ be it realistic or fighting some monstrous foe.

    It’s been a long standing thing, as Dave mentions, for toys to be based upon mature material, I had a Freddy Kruger DOLL when I was younger. Think about that, a toy aimed at kids, based upon a child molester and serial slasher killer from a seminal horror series. Similarly Scream masks are sold every Halloween alongside cartoony witches and pumpkins.

    I’m not saying it’s right or justified, just that there is a fine line between toys and their source material. Hell, Robocop got an animated TV series.

    All that aside, I think these are pretty cool toys and a very canny move by the Meccano folk to get kids interested in their contruction toys. Be honest, which would you rather be playing with: A King Raven from Gears of War OR a wobbly crane.

    I think the defence rests M’lud.

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