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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Franchise Flops

I hardly ever buy commercial icon stuff, not only out of any belief that my kids shouldn't be advertisements for a company, but also because that stuff is so damn expensive.

You take a $1 plate, you put Mickey Mouse on it, and it becomes a $10 plate.

I know because I got the kids Mickey Mouse plates for Christmas, thinking I was treating them.

Silly me. First of all, the kids don't care. They're just as happy eating from the plain pink or green sectioned plates I got for a buck at the Publix. Secondly, the set-up isn't even remotely practical. One big plate area, for the main piece of the meal (way bigger than necessary.), and two teeny tiny "ears" for the side dishes. Seriously, I can fit, like, three peas in those side dish sections. No good.

Most irritatingly, they're badly made. I get that I'm not supposed to cut bites on the plate itself due to the laminate, but sometimes it's just not practical to cut the meat on my plate first and then transfer. I believe I used a knife on these plates once, right after I got them. I hadn't thought about the laminate until I saw the results, which at the time were minimal. Now?

As you can see, the dishwasher was kinder to one of the plates than the other. Both need to be tossed out. Little pieces of plastic mixed in with food isn't ideal, now, is it? But, the whole plate came undone after just one cut-up pork-chop experience and lots of washes.

And now, I have to hear a million questions about where Mickey Mouse went, whenever the babies so much as catch a glimpse of these no-longer-used plates. It's unpleasant all around.

I recently stocked up on these, six of which cost less than half of what the two Mickey plates cost.

Perfectly-sized sections, stackable for storage, holds up well against a knife blade. They're great.

This franchise phenomenon doesn't end with dinnerware. My mother recently bought the kids some Dora underwear. The kids had been wearing underwear for quite a while before that, so I had plenty of regular pairs around already.

The Dora underwear pairs are shot. They're done. I'm tossing them. After less than three months' time, they're unravelling at the seams, tearing and breaking down. The underwear I'd bought months before Dora made her appearance, on the other hand, are still holding up strong.

Just because an item has a picture of some popular icon on it doesn't mean it's any better than any other item out there. In fact, it's probably worse. And it probably costs 10 times more.

No, thank you.  Back to generic babywear for me.

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  1. You'd think Disney could make a more high quality plate! We also buy mostly generic. If it's cheap I don't feel so bad when it doesn't last. You've been voted for on Babble. Congrats on your high ranking!

  2. Seriously. I hate using branded stuff. Whoever makes it pays far too much for the branding, and then skimps out on the materials, and then *still* charges more for the finished product. Which is completely sidestepping the "too much advertising towards my children" issue of branded merchandise that also concerns me.

    I'm going to have a hard enough time keeping them from the *WANT* of branded stuff once they hit school years, I certainly don't want to start them out on that road all by myself. If I can also send them the message that the non branded stuff is generally of a better quality, then I'm all for it.

  3. We get very few branded things. If they are shows we know he constantly watches (Like Thomas or Backyardigans) we will get the items for him as long as they aren't more expensive than non branded items.

  4. @ grumpy grateful: thank you so much. Your blog is so amazing. I'm really happy I found it!

  5. I agree so many products today are made to be replaced. It's a big waste.

  6. Where did those plates come from? I need me some.

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