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CCFC Takes Aim at High Tech Toys

Hot-button media issues like drones and online privacy have made their way onto the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) list of worst toys.

In response to the Toy Industry Association’s annual Toy Of The Year (TOTY) Awards, CCFC came up with its own TOADY (Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young children) Awards.

This year's nominees include the Sky Viper Video Drone, which CCFC argues belies its target of 12-plus by advertising in TV shows like The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries, which it says "ensures that even very young children will nag their parents for their own flying spy cam" with which to conduct "military-like surveillance."

It also takes issue with Hello Barbie. "Prepare your daughter for a lifetime of surveillance with Hello Barbie, the doll that records children's private conversations and transmits them to cloud servers, where they are analyzed by algorithms and listened to by strangers," says the group.

The group two weeks ago launched "Hell No Barbie," a public education campaign targeting the Wi-Fi enabled talking doll, saying surveillance has no place in kids toys and could be susceptible to data breaches.

Then there is the Tube Heroes collector packs celebrating "the brave young men and women who upload videos of themselves playing video games to YouTube."

The "winner" will be announced Dec. 7. Representatives of the toy companies had not responded to requests for comment at press time.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.