Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

How Polls Can Lead People Astray

There is seldom a day that goes by without this think tank or that researcher publishing the report of the latest poll. Whether it's a popularity poll for politicians or who should be the next judge on American Idol, these things are everywhere, and I think the variable that we don't get (but should) is who actually the respondents to the poll were.
Generally, the information is rather sketchy: the number of respondents and, perhaps, a geographical tidbit, but seldom do we get a more or less complete picture of exactly WHO was casting the vote.
For example, the latest poll taken by the Children's Museum of Indianapolis in an attempt to find the most popular child's toy of all time. I would venture to guess that those responding were not children at all but adults well into their 30s and 40s. I base my opinion on the results of the top 10 toys: 

10. Monopoly. Really? a board game? Do kids even PLAY games that are not online anymore?

9. Play-Doh. Haven't seen the barbershop version in forever, but I have seen the ice cream cone maker.

8. Crayons. I'll give them this one since I think every kid from the Old Testament probably had something like crayons...though now drawing cool pictures is an app as well.

7. Cabbage Patch Doll. Wrong, wrong, wrong. These things have not been popular in decades. Now, if it had been Build-A-Bear or American Girl, I could see that (at least it wasn't Beanie Babies).

6. Bicycles. Perhaps, but scooters (particularly the aggravating one with motors to keep a kid from exercising) seem to be more popular. Some just skip right to Harleys, though.

5. ViewMaster. Come on, now. I'll bet not one kid in the last fifteen years has looked through the distorted images produced by this toy. Nuh, uh. No way. One would have to be in hi or her 40s to even have a glimmer of what this was all about.

4. Barbie. I guess little kids still play with this one so it can stay on the list. The problem is that now there are so many "friends" of Barbie, one would think it's Jersey Shore all over again.

3. LEGOs. Absolutely right on this one. Every basement in America has these strewn all over the floor, and people in their 30s and 40s will drop down and help a toddler build something...even if the purpose is merely to knock it over and smash it.

2. Transformers. Not quite seeing this one. Even though the latest movie wasn't long ago, I still see this as something from the 80s and 90s.

1. GI Joe. This toy is definitely from several generations ago in terms of popularity. With all the violent video games, what kid wants to move plastic soldiers around and pretend to blow stuff up? Definitely an older person's memory here.

All in all, the list looks to have an "older" perspective, despite some toys that are ageless. No, the slinky didn't make it, but when one can watch a video on YouTube of a slinky on a treadmill, SOMEBODY still thinks it's a great toy.


At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Violet absolute loves her Viewmaster. She especially loves taking out the distorted slides and pretending she's a director and it's her "recording" camera. Otherwise, yeah, I pretty much agree with you (though Cabbage Patch dolls are coming back)

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Sue Chaney said...

I have to admit our son is now 23 but his GI Joes are still stashed away up in the attic because he hopes to be able to introduce them to his children(if he has any) some day. He also used the smaller type GI Joes that were out for a while. He would rip their heads off and set them on fire as if exploded by a bomb. You can't do that with a video game!


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