A recently launched website that sells “real” Tooth Fairy toys has been slammed for commercializing a character that once existed solely in children’s imaginations.
RealToothFairies, which features six Tooth Fairies with Barbie-like features, lets children buy toys and accessories, as well as request “Magic Letters” from their personalized fairies.
While the website markets itself as a fun and educational tool for young children, some have branded it as “sleazy” for hijacking the one fictional character who had escaped commercialization.
The interactive website, launched this month by Hasbro former vice president Howard Bollinger, lets children and parents log in and navigate various tooth-themed games, activities and products.
A shop for “earthie girls”, the term the site uses to refer to young children, features a huge variety of books, jewelry, costumes, downloadable songs and party decorations.
But while children used to think $1 to $5 under the pillow was a generous gift for losing a tooth, Real Tooth Fairy sets the monetary standard far higher.
The Birthday Party Collection, for example, which includes party favors like ten rainbow wands, 12 pink cups, 20 balloons and 20 pink plates, costs a whopping $379.99.
VIP memberships to the website, which let girls access more games and products, also cost a fee.
While the site is aimed at young girls aged five to ten, the cartoon representations of Tooth Fairies appear far older, with tiny waists, revealing outfits and make-up that liken them to Barbies.
What’s more, a leaked video of the Real Tooth Fairy LLC’s pitch to investors demonstrates the company’s perception of young girls as merely a profitable marketing opportunity.
In a transcript of the video posted on CommercialFreeChildhood.org, a voiceover says: “With a target audience of 10million U.S. girls ages six to ten who lose 20 teeth, that translates to 200 million Tooth Fairy moments.”
The “cha-ching” sound of a cash register is heard in the background, before the voiceover adds: “And biology guarantees that will never stop.”
Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood, also known as CCFC, has launched an initiative to stop the toy company from “[cashing] in on one of childhood’s most treasured imaginary figures”.
CCFC director Dr. Susan Linn said in a statement: “It’s bad enough that so many commercial characters marketed to little girls are s***alized.
“It’s especially egregious to s***alize a childhood icon that has only existed in children’s imagination.”
Critics of the website have taken to Twitter to voice their concern.