Ed Driscoll

When All You Have is a Hasbro Thor the Mighty Avenger Lightning Hammer, All Problems Look Like Nails

Great moments in politically correct enviro-lunacy from Toys R Us CEO Jerry Storch:

Toys R Us boss Jerry Storch says that online shopping is actually quite bad for the environment.

It’s hard to overstate the benefits of online shopping: No parking lot Thunderdome, no horrid Christmas music, no million-mom mosh pit for the latest forgettable toy tie-in to crawl out of Mattel’s marketing department, and with so many online retailers offering free shipping over the holidays, it’s actually cheaper to stay in your chair and turn UPS into your own personal earth-toned Santa Claus.

But there’s a downside, according to Toys R Us Chief Executive Jerry Storch, and that downside is that every time you click your mouse, a baby seal dies. “It’s very ungreen,” Storch told the Financial Times. “[People are] just so enraptured with how cool it is that they can order anything and get it brought to their home that they aren’t thinking about the carbon footprint of that.”

And neither is Toys R Us — which has an extensive online retailing presence. I’ll take Storch’s pronouncements more seriously (well, at least as seriously as I take those from Larry Storch), when he voluntarily closes his company’s Website to save Gaia.

Of course, this may not the worst aspect of PC insanity that Toys R Us finds itself embroiled in:

SWEDEN’S largest toy chain “gender neutral” after picturing boys holding baby dolls and banishing girls from the dolls pages of its Christmas catalogue.

“For several years, we have found that the gender debate has grown so strong in the Swedish market that we … have had to adjust,” Jan Nyberg, director of sales at Top Toy, franchise-holder for US toy chain Toys R Us, said.

The country’s advertising watchdog reprimanded the company for gender discrimination three years ago following complaints over outdated gender roles in the 2008 Christmas catalogue, which featured boys dressed as superheroes and girls playing princess.

A comparison between this year’s Toys R Us catalogues in Sweden and Denmark, where Top Toy is also the franchisee, showed that a boy wielding a toy machine gun in the Danish edition had been replaced by a girl in Sweden.

Elsewhere, a girl was Photoshopped out of the “Hello Kitty” page, a girl holding a baby doll was replaced by a boy, and, in sister chain BR’s catalogue, a young girl’s pink T-shirt was turned light blue.

Top Toy, Sweden’s largest toy retailer by number of stores, said it had received “training and guidance” from the Swedish advertising watchdog, which is a self-regulatory agency.

Ray Davies, call your office.

(H/T: PJTV’s Allen Barton, who has some more thoughts on the topic.)