The video: Mattel's "Little Mommy" doll is a demanding little robo-child that asks for kisses, her teddy bear, and even tells you when she needs to pee, with the aid of a treacly robo-voice, motion detector sensors, and colored lights that signal boo-boos and wee-wees. Unveiled earlier this week at the New York Toy Fair, it's already weirding out parents. (Watch a demonstration of the doll below, or another one here.)
The reaction: Not only does this "possessed sounding automaton" enforce "stringent gender norms" — let's train little girls to be mothers while boys play with trucks — it's also just plain "terrifying," says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. Yeah, this doll gives me "chills," says Rebecca at Babble. Funny how Toy Fair is supposed to be a "showcase of the newest, most forward thinking innovations in play," but "Mother Training Toys" like this one are decidedly old-fashioned. Still, you have to admit that the tech here is very innovative, says DeWayne Strickland at NewYorkStateNews , even if she "does remind me of the horror movie Chucky." See for yourself, below.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
Subscribe to the Week