Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bindi Irwin for Sale!

I write this post with conflicting feelings. On one hand, like millions of others, I was shocked and dismayed at the sudden death of Steve Irwin, the Croc Hunter. Sure, he was over the top, but he was fun and you could tell he was into what he did for a living. After his death last year, Wild Republic launched the Steve Irwin line of toys, which seemed a little hinky.
This year, Wild Republic launched, with tons of publicity (bags handed out at Toy Fair, buses painted with ads), the Bindi Irwin doll. The launch, which was not without controversy, ended up kinda split between Toy Fair and FAO Schwartz. The official launch was to take place at Toy Fair, with Bindi being billed as in attendance both Sunday and Monday. However, Toy Fair is a trade show, and is off-limits to children under 18. Since Bindi is nine, she was technically not allowed inside the Fair. (oh, by the way, I saw at least three people under 18 in the fair - including a baby in a booth that featured baby-dolls). The Toy Fair people offered them an exception to allow Bindi to go, but her mother said (according to the New York Post) "No, thank you. I don't want Bindi to grow up being the exception.", she hosts a show on TV, makes appearances all over the world (and sings?) and now you decide that making an exception to allow her to launch her own doll at Toy Fair is over the top?
Now, like I said, I'm conflicted about this, because the point of all seems to help the Australia Zoo and raise awareness of wildlife protection, but I'm worried about the affect all this will have on a nine year old girl who lost her father doing the same thing. Plus, her mom mentioned at the launch of her doll (mom filled in for Bindi) that Bindi's four year old brother, Robert, was recently bitten by a baby boa constrictor.

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