By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
A nation of young parents weekly weaned on stereotype-skewering shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons don't want to toss Little Janie a useless Barbie, or encourage James Junior's early war-mongering with GI Joe. But what can we replace them with? Barney's creepy, and American Girl is a cult. We proffer these savvy toys that will prepare children for their futures in New York, imbuing them with the creative skill sets their parents use to get by every day.
Teach your kids: To reach for that Soho loft in the sky . . . while still not compromising their artistic integrity The Fashion Angels, an empowered, multiracial group of dolls with interests in soccer, open-mic nights, and rare vintage, would never kick back in some rehashed My Little Pony stable or Barbie's vomity-pink dollhouse; only a loft in Soho will do, one cribbed out with marabou rugs, glass-beaded curtains, and glass chandeliers. They need a stylish pad to crash in after their grueling hours as fashion designers, just like your little pun'kin could be one day. Other sets include everything your kids need to design their own clothes for the Angels. Various Fashion Angels products, available at Geppetto's Toy Box.
Teach your kids: Windowsill gardens are superior to a backyard Avenue A fire escapes are all the party you need, kids. Get them started early on the unique joys of tiny gardens in our urban jungle, courtesy of this Window Sill Garden Kit at Geppetto's Toy Box.
Teach your kids: An Early Appreciation for Organic Forms in Po-Mo, Minimalist Architecture Available at Kar'ikter, Oliblock are "architecturally-inspired" biomorphic building blocks, an alternative to the more linear Legos of our past. Only suckers would still buy their kids Duplos. Parents feeling a little more flush can shell out $690 for Kid O's Mies-inspired dollhouse, the Villa Sibi.
Teach your kids: The importance of socialist guerrilla uprising in downtrodden, U.S.-backed dictatorships Or, the Che Guevara doll. After they've mastered peas, it's time to hit 'em up with a little lesson on socialist upheaval in Latin America. It's never too early to learn about stickin' it to The Man. The Che plush, part of the Little Thinkers set, is available at Trust Fund Baby.
Teach your kids: The importance of designer labels and identifying fakes Begin with those popular Kid Robot figurines customized by Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier, and others. Then bust out a copy of Art Fraud Detective from Geppetto's Toy Box. A truly smart kid can put two and two together.
Teach your kids: That tofu is a happy staple of any well-balanced vegetarian lifestyle, preferable to slaughtering innocent farm animals Introduce your tykes to soy product with To-Fu figurines, charming, benign dolls with a block of tofu for a head. Or shelve the tofu discussion till later, and hit 'em up with a copy of Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon. It's a pleasant beach read about the dangers of dragons eating human flesh.