I think those Moms are not just dealing with the relationship between their child and a particular toy but about their own powerful memories of childhood, their own Moms and the toys they loved, hated, had or wished they had.
When we in the toy industry think about parents (particularly Moms), we tend to think of them as the gatekeeper, the guardian of the purse, the moral arbiter, the ultimate decision maker. When you think about it, it's a pretty grim view of a person who used to be a little girl.
In reality, inside every Mom there lurks a little girl who has powerful memories associated with playtime and toys. My question is: Do we spend too much time trying to get a Mom to open her wallet and not enough time engaging the child who lurks within her?
Toys and their purchase can carry some heavy emotional freight for some Moms. That woman we see on the toy aisle, negotiating with their child over a whether to buy a new toy, is juggling any number of issues in her head. Is the toy too expensive? Does it reflect her values? What kind of message will it send her child?
But I think those Moms are not just dealing with the relationship between their child and a particular toy but about their own powerful memories of childhood, their own Moms and the toys they loved, hated, had or wished they had.
I don't think we do enough to connect with that part of being a Mom, i.e. the little girl who lives inside the adult woman. Perhaps we, as an industry, would benefit from not just looking at Moms as the ones who controls the purse strings and more as a complex individual who has their own emotional reaction to toys. A reaction not based on money or morals but on the sometimes irrational feelings that lurk in all of us just below our adult exterior.
Maybe, if we tried not to just connect with the Mom but the girl inside the Mom we would have better relationships with the adult women who have such a large say in our fortunes.
What do you think?