What It Looks Like
I Have a Bad Ceiling About This...

Commercialismism

My kids have never been exposed to many commercials. Though only in the strictest sense of the word: I am fully aware that NickJr. advertises the shit out of other NickJr. shows and products under the guise of: 

"LET'S GET UP AND MOVE WITH THE FRESH BEAT BAND, EVERY WEEKDAY AT 4, YAY EXERCISE!" 

"LET'S GO BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE THEATER FOR A LOOK AT A CARTOON-TIE-IN LIVE SHOW THAT WILL COST YOU $375 AND YOUR WILL TO LIVE, YAY CULTURE!" 

"LET'S LEARN TO SAY IT TWO WAYS WITH DORA AND PROMOTE SPANISH LANGUAGE LITERACY, YAY COMING ANCHOR TERROR BABY APOCALYPSE!!"

(Ooh, topical.)

But thanks to the cable networks and TiVo, they (so far) have mostly been spared seeing the kinds of commercials I remember from the Saturday morning cartoon block, where every toy was the most amazing fucking toy in the history of the fucking universe, oh my God, go wake up your mom RIGHT NOW and start screeching about her hair grows all by by itself AND she goes potty AND she has fairy wings AND a matching purse AND a dreamhouse with a jacuzzi sold separately AND you can put GLITTER in the jacuzzi until you forget to breathe in and pass out cold on your parents' bedroom floor because GLITTERY DIAPER-WEARING FAIRY HOT TUB PARTIES WITH VERY TINY COMBINATION COMBS/MAGIC WANDS OMFG BZZZZT.

That never happened in our house. Until...Pillow Pets. 

Now, I know that those of you with young children are like, "Fuck you, I am not clicking on that video." Because you know. YOU KNOW.

For everybody else: I swear to God, this is a THING. This is the toddler/preschooler equivalent to a life-sized plush Justin Beiber with coordinating Silly Bandz woven directly into its creepy, synthetic hair.

This commercial airs after pretty much every episode of Sesame Street, and if you're like me, you're thinking: Wait, wasn't the Whole Point of Sesame Street that there weren't any commercials? Just maybe a "Sesame Street Is Brought To You In Part By Evil Corporation X Who Totes Doesn't Want To Advertise Or Anything But Just Gave Money To Big Bird Because It CARES And Shit" title card or something? 

No more, sadly. It seems that Sesame Street moved to cable (PBS Sprout) and learned a very important lesson in capitalism during a sleepover where Ernie decided to order a Slap-Chop and a Snuggie off late-night informercials and Kermit was all, LOW-RENT AS-SEEN-ON-TV COMMERCIALS ARE THE SHIT. WE'RE ALL GOING TO BE RICH.

True story.

So Noah saw the commercial for Pillow Pets. And started dropping hints about how he would really like a Pillow Pet?  Maybe Santa could bring him a Pillow Pet? Maybe a Pillow Pet could come in the mail for him? Were we aware that Pillow Pets popped out into a full-sized pillow and then went BACK to being a soft cuddly animal? I mean, DID WE CATCH THAT AWESOME FEATURE? 

I admit: We had absolutely no intention of ever buying him a Pillow Pet. Because...what the fuck. It's a PILLOW WITH A FACE. 

Until we went to the mall and goddammit, walked right freaking in front of a Pillow Pet kiosk. The Pillow Pets...IN PERSON. LIVE AND IN THE POLYESTER FLESH. 

Noah and Ezra stopped in their tracks. Noah covered his mouth, rendered momentarily speechless. Ezra barreled forward and grabbed the first Pillow With A Face he could get his hands on and promptly dropped to the floor to roll around with it, shrieking with rapturous joy. 

Jason: But, guys! Guys! There's a LEGO STORE over there! LEGOS. 

By this point, Noah had gotten over his shock and was jumping up and down because they had the LADYBUG! The LADYBUG! Which was all he's ever wanted in the WHOLE IN TIDE WORLD, DADDY. The kiosk lady obliged (THANKS) and pulled one down from the top shelf for him, and I thought, for a second, he was going to pass out and hit the floor like a felled tree. 

Amy: I don't think Legos are going to work.

Jason: *nerdpouts, because maaaan, he really wanted some Legos.*

So guess what MY kids have! 

IMG_1453

Full size fail!

IMG_1454 

Not even close! 

The whole ride home, Noah recited the commercial from the backseat, demonstrating the Pillow Pet's endless list of exclamation-point-worthy features, while Ezra buried his face in his dog version, kicking and squealing with uncontainable glee, a precocious start to a lifetime of Personal Fulfillment Through Goods As Seen On TeeVee. 

Noah took his ladybug to show-and-tell the next week, despite our subtle suggestions of things that might be smaller and/or less totally lame. (Jason: LEGOS. WTF. I BUILT YOU A WAMPA CAVE.) We were wrong about that last bit, because Noah wandered through the hall like a rockstar, with children pointing and gaping and begging to hold it, while the other parents glared at me, because really? REALLY? I nodded and stared at my feet, embarrassed that my parental weakness was so brazenly on display, in the blobby shape of a cheerful humanoid mutant, because COME ON NOW, LADYBUGS DON'T EVEN HAVE FACES LIKE THAT.

Our neighbor stopped by the other day with her much older kids, and even they couldn't resist examining the MIND-BLOWING OPEN/CLOSE VELCO FUNCTION of the mighty Pillow Pets over and over again. "It's so SOFT," her daughter marveled, stroking the polyester pelt reverently. 

Her son studied me quietly after that, sizing me up as an easy mark, and then started dropping hints about whether or not we actually played with all of our Wii games, because they didn't have nearly so many at his house, cue the big sad Precious Moments eyes.

Sigh. I know

I hereby present Spoiled...

IMG_1450 

and Rotten.

Photo (55) Photo (54)
   

Comments

Sherry

*I* want a Pillow Pet. Is that wrong?

I saw them recently at Walgreens. I may have to make a trip back there.

Mandy

That's what a pillow pet is?! My son has been asking for that and I had no idea what he was talking about. A kid from daycare brought his and I guess all hell broke loose over this pillow thing. I will pass but your kids certainly look cute with theirs.

Barb

Hate me if you must. I bought my Grandson's in February (on line) and had it expressed shipped. I honestly don't remember which one he HAD TO HAVE for his birthday. But he got it! :)

Kirsty

So, obviously, France is waaaaaaaayyyy behind the US (and the UK too, so I'm guessing we won't be getting Pillow Pets till about 2012 at this rate) but I've had a look at the commercial and yeah, the song is really irritating (or I imagine it would quickly become so). BUT I have to say that those lil guys look really cute to me - especially as they are actually washable. I'm even tempted to see if I can get one (or two) shipped here for my two girls (one of whom is coming up to 9 and who regularly goes into semi-meltdown over an almost lifesize stuffed labrador at IKEA). We could be trendsetters! How cool would that be?!

Heidi

My mom gave my son a dog pillow thing a few years back. He still thinks it's one of the awesomest thing ever.

I dun't gettit.

Jamie

Do you not remember the undeniable allure of Pillow People, circa mid-80's?! I totally had the yellow one with the boxing gloves and black eye. I love that damn thing.

Plus, the cuteness of the pillows only accentuates the cuteness of the kids. WIN WIN.

Amanda

De-lurking because the pillow pet commercial cracked me up. I have no kids, but was recently babysitting my 4 & 6 yr old cousins and they were SO EXCITED about the pillow pets they got that day. But what was most exciting to the 4 yr old to tell me was that "it is machine washable!!!!" Because that really matters to 4 yr olds apparently?! I figured that came from the commercial and the video you posted confirmed this. it's total brainwashing!!

Dayna

My sister in law bought one for my 2 year old last Christmas, before the infomercial was all over tv. Fortunately, I've been able to avoid the purchase of one, given that WE ALREADY HAVE ONE, YAAAY!! but it is so very, very strange how that commercial reels them in.

Rachael

Mommy, I want a pillow pet! I bought two. And I only have one kid old enough to beg, but it seemed like the kind of thing that would be fought over if more than one kid was around. I especially love the fact that the velcro... oh, I mean, hook and loop fastener has a flap over it that you have to pry off in order to convert it back to a pet, so my 4 year old can't do it himself.

Rachael

Mommy, I want a pillow pet! I bought two. And I only have one kid old enough to beg, but it seemed like the kind of thing that would be fought over if more than one kid was around. I especially love the fact that the velcro... oh, I mean, hook and loop fastener has a flap over it that you have to pry off in order to convert it back to a pet, so my 4 year old can't do it himself.

Kendra

I spent a sad afternoon googling Pillow Pets. I thought my kids would love those, plus I have a day care kid who's obsessed with dolphins, and of lord, they make a dolphin one! And they're the perfect $20 gift! Except that they're $10 shipping, at least. And now I'm looking at spending upwards of $200 on these stupid things for my kids and that other kid, and now that other kid can't be left out, and I should remember that it's almost my niece's birthday, and DAMN YOU PILLOW PETS! Just close the damn browser and go have a cup of coffee while you admire all the other toys that were going to be the best thing ever until they weren't. Sanity regained.

Susan

You must have some sort of psychic powers. I had never heard of a pillow pet until I read this post, but when I got home last night, guess what my son was asking for for his birthday. At least I knew what he was talking about.

Wendy

My 5 year old just asked me for one yesterday! He too is exposed to very few commercials, as I think they are a tool of the devil. But he watches some TV at the babysitter's house and sure enough, now he's asking for stuff! THAT'S why I don't let him watch commercials.

That must be an amazingly effective commercial.

NaysWay

My 8YO has the dolphin, my 4YO has the ladybug. They sing the fricking commercial every time it comes on television, right down to the "boom-boom-boom" sound of the drum that follows the hook.

FML.

James

I actually work at a Pillow Pets kiosk at the Mall of America. You think you have it hard? Imagine hearing children ALL DAY screech 'PILLOW PETS!" from all the way down the hall!

Also, I can't speak for the ladybug, but the dog is a knockoff brand. The official Pillow Pets brand dog is colored different. You can tell the official from the knock off by the little sewn tag on the bottom right paw of every animal that says "My Pillow Pets" and has a little cow on it. A *lot* of people have been selling knock off brands and calling them pillow pets.

Not that your children likely care, nor should they. Soft, fluffy, animal, hey. Happy kid :P

elsimom

Look how happy they are - sometimes it is worth it to say "yes" (My husband is much better at this than I am!).
If it were my son, he would have dubbed your boy's day the "Best Day EVER!!!"

linka72

My friend's sister is absofuckinglutely TERRIFIED of the Pillow Pet/Pal thing..she's 34 years old and when we opened the box that contained the a Holy Jeebus BUMBLE BEE?..She almost fainted..and I almost laughed myself sick while rubbing it on her..because I'm mean and ready to start my residence in hell.

mrspooley

I saw these at the Portland Saturday Market a few months ago and almost got one then, before I knew about their blatant commercialism. And they are so cute, and really soft, in person. You almost can't walk away; but of course there was a slightly pushy sales person in their booth and I was all, "I'm not rewarding you with my money."

But now I might have to go online and buy one for my son. Sigh.

mrspooley

I saw these at the Portland Saturday Market a few months ago and almost got one then, before I knew about their blatant commercialism. And they are so cute, and really soft, in person. You almost can't walk away; but of course there was a slightly pushy sales person in their booth and I was all, "I'm not rewarding you with my money."

But now I might have to go online and buy one for my son. Sigh.

Colleen

We have 2 pillow pets here in our house too. Zoe has a lavender hippo and Ana has a white sheep. They LOVE them. Since getting them (as a Christmas gift from Grammy and PopPop) they have slept with them EVERY SINGLE NIGT... and they've taken them on every trip.

I usually avoid all infomercial/commercial product... but this one actually isn't so bad. Now that moon sand???? I think that comes from hell.

Megan

I've never heard of these before, but now I'm tempted to show the commercial to my 2-year-old just to see if she goes bonkers like every other kid on the planet. But it seems like a poor idea. A poor idea I want to do anyway...

I feel like a frat boy - "Dude, I can totally jump off the roof without breaking my leg."

Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy)

It is just a matter of time until one (or two) make it into our house as well. Thank god we don't go to the mall very often.

Lady in a Smalltown

My kid (15 months) watches PBS or things on Netflix. The only commercials he sees are when I watch a grownup show while he is around. Oh, and mall? What is a mall? (I live in southern Vermont.)

I am safe from this trend!

Lady in a Smalltown

Oh, but totally, if he did see the ad, we'd end up with the duck or the cow. He would either say "duck" when the yellow one flashed by or "moo" when they showed the black and white thing.

alison

OMFG- I never comment but I am compelled!!! My 5-soon-to-be 6-year-old has been singing this song forever and I thought he made it up and was showing him items at Target (does he mean pet pals? No, he yells, it's a pillow, it's a pet....) and he LOVES Justin B (what?!?) and lives for Silly Bandz. Let's just say we all know what he's getting for his bday next week...I almost died when I saw the commerical one night and realized it was a real thing!

Dr. Mom

There has been a Pillow Pets cart at one of our local malls for three years (they are actually not a new phenomenon). We bought one for my daughter, who played with it for a while and promptly forgot about it. And then the commercials started, which made her come to me and beg for a Pillow Pet. Just so that I could remind her that she has one in her closet already. Sigh...

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