Are Barbie and Ken extinct?


When was the last time your children played with blocks, action figures or dolls? Do they play with technology more than they do with traditional toys?

British research has reported a sharp decline in traditional toys with kids these days preferring sophisticated devices over teddies, blocks, dolls and marble runs. Even action figures are being left behind.

Online retailer told the Daily Mail their sales figures reflect a major change in the way our children develop. They’ve seen a shift towards technology-driven toys for the past decade but say the shift has accelerated dramatically over the past two years.

Children aged one to three are play with traditional toys more such as dolls, cuddly toys and characters like Thomas the Tank Engine. From three to five they choose toys like prams, swings, cars and toy guns but by the age of just seven traditional toys are being rejected in favour of computers and devices. This change is seen in both boys and girls.

So the key age is seven and reliance on computer-driven gadgets is completed by nine years, with many having their own iPods, laptops, phones and gaming devices.



Gary Kibble, retail brand director at said: “This is the first generation of children for whom playing with a computer feels just as natural as playing with dolls or marbles.”

It’s been suggested part of the reason children are choosing devices over traditional toys is because they’re imitating the behaviour of their parents.

“Children like to imitate the adult world they see around them and since most of our lives are now dominated by technology, children are choosing the toys to match,” Gary Kibble said.

Some parents applaud their children's ability to master technology from an early age but other feel sad at the lost tradition of playing with the toys they remember from when they were kids.

What was your favourite childhood toy? Have your kids every played something you remember playing with when you were little?


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