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Kids comics without plastic junk?

  • 21-10-2013 1:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5

    [Maybe this should be in the environment section, but it is aimed at parents and kids.]

    Does anyone else object to the useless free junk that seems to come with all kids comics these days?

    A few of us are thinking of starting a campaign against the plastic freebies that come with comics. I'm personally motivated by having a large bag of plastic stuff that I can do nothing with - can't be recycled, can't be given away.

    The issues are:

    • Environmental disaster (factories in China, transport across the world, ends up in land-fills in Ireland)
    • Danger to kids (choking hazards, toxic materials)
    • Gender-stereotyping (pink ponies for girls)
    • Cost for cash-strapped parents (comics cost around €5 a pop!)
    • Cynical exploitation of kids (branded merchandise, etc.)

    We like comics, we just think the selling point should be the fun reading, not the environmental disaster selotaped on the front!

    Anyone else agree? Or disagree?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,238 ✭✭✭✭Sleepy

    Hate it myself too. The kids end up choosing a comic based on whatever shiny crap is on the front instead of for it having content they might enjoy reading.

  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭Umekichi

    I don't mind the cr*p to be honest. My LO gets the friends magazine and they do have some cr*p in front sometimes. However she plays with it and gets enjoyment out of it and sometimes it's stuff like stickers which we use for Craft stuff. Her favourite was the pirate issue(she loves pirates) and she got a telescope, some plastic gold doubloons and an eyepatch(along with a cut out hat). She still has them and wears the patch regularly :D

    However the magazines for the older kids are not as good.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,318 ✭✭✭Vel

    My kids love the comics because of the free toys! I don't buy them for them to read necessarily as the stories tend to be dire, badly written etc.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,893 ✭✭✭Hannibal Smith

    I like the pair have always got fun out of it. Some of them have great craft things, which we've made, framed and hung on their wall

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Fiona4

    @Vel: Fair point about the content in the comics not being great - some comics are great of course, ie. the ones that tie in with a well-known-ad-free-children's-tv-channel (Are we allowed name things on or will messages be blocked?)

    @Hannibal: Fair point about the 'make and do' activities in some comics, which can be great - it's the plastic rubbish (mobile phones/cameras/figures, etc.) which I object to.

    Here is a cartoonist from the Beano (and other comics) talking about it:

    "...the profit making is based on attacking buyers by having the jazziest cover and the snazziest free gift. Is it any wonder that these magazines are bagged so that kids and parents cannot examine the contents?"

    Ok, they are not all bagged - but many are.

    "On top of that, if we saw the same sorts of toys in a pound shop, we'd probably turn our noses up at them, viewing (correctly) that they were cheap and nasty, yet we spend £4 on them if they are bagged up nicely with a few glossy A4 pages?"

    I think he is completely right on the last point!

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  • Administrators Posts: 14,027 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    Of course he's right!! It's called marketing! The plastic junk sellotaped to the front is what attracts the child to that particular magazine over another one.

    I don't usually buy magazines for my gang purely because I refuse to pay in or around €5 for rubbish.. both the magazine AND the toy!

    If you don't want a bag full of plastic junk (why can't it be recycled, by the way? Anything I have that's plastic and useless ends up in the recycle bin :( ) just steer away from magazines. Say no, or head to the library instead.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,824 ✭✭✭vitani

    I buy the occasional comic for my LO - she gets ages out of each one, between the comic itself and the plastic junk that comes with it. I don't buy toys for her that often so it's a fairly cheap way of giving her something new to play with but if she breaks them in some way, nobody is going to mourn their loss.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,542 ✭✭✭✭freshpopcorn

    I just saw this thread.
    These plastic toys make magazines more attractive to children which thus encourages them to read the magazine.
    If your not happy with the toy you could leave it in the shop if they are in the way at home.
    Also most of these things are made from plastic which should be recyclable.
    Another thing you could do with them is give them to charity.
    In the lead up to Christmas they are loads of campaigns by charities,
    Such as the shoebox appeal. you could try and make a few up yourself or they are loads of people/groups out there that send out shoeboxes every year and they would be delighted with this stuff to add to them.
    If you wanted to keep it closer to home they are a lot of charities that look for toys in the lead up to Christmas in shopping centers/supermarkets. These toys would make good stocking fillers for kids.
    These little toys might seem like junk to you but they are kids that have very little both at home and abroad. I think that these toys would bring a lot of fun/joy to their lives especially at Christmas.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Fiona4

    Some good ideas here!

    @freshpopcorn @Big Bag of Chips - I think they can't be recycled unless marked with a code to say the type of plastic (eg. PET, PVC, etc. - all the ones I checked had no mark). So if you put them in your recycling bin, they probably still end up on a landfill.

    The shoebox appeal, however, is a great idea!