In case you didn't know, I'm not a big fan of licensed children's products. I'm okay with some clothing (especially clothing that reminds me of my childhood - things with Dr. Seuss characters, Sesame Street, etc.) but must everything a child owns have a cartoon character on it?
I see kids in the mall wearing Transformer sneakers, a Spiderman t-shirt with a Batman backpack. I know little girls who have to have everything Dora. O-ver-kill.
I think the problem I have with them is they are so fleeting. Something becomes very popular and in an effort to be the best parents ever, mom & dad spend hundreds of dollars on plates, spoons, cups, sippy cups, t-shirts, jackets, bedding, toys and backpacks.
Then, 6 months to a year later, the kid is either on to something else or the sequel comes out and a whole slew of new products comes along with it. Vaughn has been in the Disney Store a grand total of one time and he was sleeping. I'm totally okay if he doesn't even know that store exists.
Products that are licensed are more expensive because the company manufacturing them has to pay the company that owns the rights for the use of their character. Then, if the goods are imported (which most of them are), the licensing fees are dutiable. To top it all off, they are not always the most well made products.
I can just imagine what people are thinking - "just you wait". Well, you know what? I'm going to try and do for Vaughn what my parents did for me - I'll provide him the basics and if he wants to get something for himself, he can buy it with his own money. And when he runs out of money, well, then he can't buy it.
I'm not saying I haven't bought him licensed products, but I'm proud that my house hasn't turned into a Disney explosion. There are plenty of small businesses and companies that manufacture unique products that I want to support. Disney and other big companies do not need any help from me.
I grew up with Tonka trucks, Cabbage Patch dolls and Weebles. I loved loved loved the Smurfs and I cherished the one stuffed Smurf that Santa bought for me. If I would have had everything Smurf then it wouldn't have meant that much to me. I had one Cabbage Patch doll that my mom sewed one outfit for.
I guess at the end of all this is that I don't see a problem with one or two things but I don't want all my money going to big companies that charge us to advertise for them. It just feels wrong.