17 Oct 2010

NEVER MIND DAVE, WHAT ABOUT TOYS WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS?

You remember me telling you about DAVE THE FUNKY MONKEY on Tuesday?

Well! How about this as an alternative?

A GERMAN toymaker is selling a range of soft toys, each of which has their own psychiatric disorder.
The toys range from Dub, a turtle who suffers depression, to Kroko, a crocodile with an acute phobia of water, as well as an hallucinating snake called Sly and a sheep called Dolly who has a personality disorder.
The cuddly toys are sold from parapluesch.de website, styling itself the Psychiatric Institute for Abused Cuddly Toys, where customers can also play an online game as a doctor trying to diagnose the toys' problems.

With last Sunday (the 10th of October) being WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY  are these toys merely a bit of fun that might, just might, have some therapeutic value OR are they just a way of promoting a new idea in toys that make fun of those with mental health issues?

Undecided myself, I confess that my first thought was to laugh at the idea of a sheep with a personality disorder. But then I suppose political correctness raised its head and I started to think are these toys really appropriate or are they just encouraging people to mock those suffering with such an illness? Then again, could they be a great way of introducing the whole topic of mental illness in a non-threatening, fun way? Hmm - what do you think?

28 comments:

Marieke said...

I love the idea, personally :) Think it's a great way to introduce the topic of mental illnesses to children!

dr.antony said...

I don't know which group they are meant for...mentally deranged adults or healthy young children.Adults could see them as some kind of therapy.But,I cant find a place for them with good kids.
To me,the whole thing sounds like an expensive joke.There are people who can find meaning in any thing!

A said...

I did not know about 10th Oct being Mental Health day. This is a good article. I really liked it. Making people aware of it.

Sure you can include the link :)

Clarissa Draper said...

I kinda like the idea but the sheep looks like a sheep. How can you tell it has a personality disorder?

CD

naida said...

Awww...I think its a good idea for explaining mental illness to children. Really interesting post!
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Stranger said...

I feel disturbed coming to know about the toys. I am not in the medical profession so cannot judge the success of such ventures. In my simple mind, I feel that it may help kids with mental illness but wont merit adults much. It may not be good idea to introduce such toys to kids who do not suffer from any disorders too. It might disturb their mind.

My prayers to all who are suffering from such disorders.

Mary said...

They are rather cute but I have to wonder about the true motivation behind the toymaker. I hadn't heard about these. Interesting.

susan s. said...

I suppose the hippo with a zipper on its mouth has an eating disorder?

And Mary, the true motivation behind these toys is probably to make money.

kavita said...

Those toys are cute but frankly speaking i don't like the idea behind them .

Suko said...

It's a creative idea, I think, a way to "de-stigmatize" mental illness.

Alyce said...

My first reaction was to laugh too. I'm not sure about them to be honest.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I'm not sure...don't get me wrong, the idea is cute, but I'm always bothered by people that make fun of such things. One of the biggest way to really flare up my temper.

Kelly said...

I've never heard of these and I'm not really sure what to think. I'm also a little confused as for whom they are really intended.

There are several kids in my extended family who suffer from mental health issues so I realize this is not a topic to take lightly.

NRIGirl said...

If these toys can show some love to disturbed minds, I truly appreciate the efforts...

Thank you for the informative post.

~ NRIGirl

Jenners said...

Well, they are cute toys -- regardless of their mental state. I just wonder who they are being marketing to? I could see them being good for kids if they came with books that helped them overcome a fear (fear of the dark etc) or something. But the illnesses they gave these animals are a bit serious!

Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I like the idea as well; makes me feel more normal...LOL

Trac~ said...

Very interesting to say the least! Hmm... some great thoughts to ponder. Thanks for sharing! P.S. The only way to keep my wine bottles dust free is to dust when I find the time - LOL

chitra said...

When I read it , it was funny, a crocodile having water phobia, etc, but I do not know any thing how it would help any one. may be one should create stories around them and show how they get out of those problems.

Bad Alice said...

Oh, my, I had to chuckle when I heard about these. I could see them being used in a psychologist's office for play therapy. They are probably already using stuffed animals in similar ways. In any case, I want that hallucinating snake - he's adorable. Actually, they are all pretty adorable.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This is pretty interesting! Love the toys!

GMR said...

You know, I was kind of split myself when I read about the dolls. Part of me what's to chuckle and say WHAT'S NEXT....but the other part thinks that it may be a "safe" way of introducing these issues to children (or even adults) and helping them realize it's not just them, others have these challenges too. Something to ponder for certain....

Su said...

Those toys are so cute! I want one of each. I'm sure it is a good way to introduce kids-- and probably adults, too-- to mental disorders. Of course, I have some soft toys that I'm pretty sure have mental disorders already...

NAZMİS said...

those toys are so sweety :)

David L Macaulay said...

That's crazy and entertaining - thanx for the follo

Nezzy said...

As an adult it's kinda funny in a sick sorta way but as a retired Special Educator I feel they have no purpose in chidren's lives. Just sayin....

God bless ya and have an awesome day sweetie!!!

BURIED IN BOOKS said...

Sorry, but the kids are going to look at them and laugh at the animals, not understanding the mental illness. Then the kids in the classroom with the mental illness are going to feel even worse about themselves, have less self esteem. I don't see any merit in them unless a doctor used them in his practice to help the child. In the general population, it's just going to be one more way to make the children a laughing stock.

As an adult with a mental illness myself, I don't care. I try not sensitive about the dumb things, but get near my kids and I'm a force to be reckoned with. And I have two with mental illness. So tell Germany to keep there mental illness suffering toys to themselves! I don't want them in my children's classrooms.

Heather
Buried in Books

Tracy- You need to read Beastly because the movie is coming out and I saw a trailer on someone's website (you can pull it up on You Tube) and they change the beasts looks drastically. Why??? I don't know. The books is beautiful just as it is. Maybe they didn't find it believeable. Hint-Fairy tale, Hollywood.

Nazmiş Teyze said...

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always wait for my blog, happily thick :)))

Janna Qualman said...

Okay, well I love the idea, and the little boogers are adorable. I'd guess it's because I've always had a soft spot for underdogs, or anyone/thing with a setback.

And I love LOVE the tagline under your header, PW.