First, TMX Elmo, now the Teletubbies. One day after the revolution, citizen parents will recognize the late 1990's as the beginning of the New Dark Ages of kidsploitation. But for now, the marketing and licensing overlords cling tight to power and are trying to whip up more wild orgies of consumerist ecstasy to commemmorate the anniversaries of the hatching of their own business plans. And by celebrating them, they hope to extend their franchise even further.
Which is a roundabout way of saying that on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of The Teletubbies, the brand is launching a Beatlemania-themed campaign designed to reposition the characters for the tween market, the first wave of kids who were exposed to the TV show. After a "funky retool[ing]" to make the controversially infantile characters "relevant to kids now," tween-y T-shirts and accessories will go on sale at Urban Outfitters. [Wait, isn't that a college student store that started as a head shop and that also stocks Nerve.com's Position-of-the-Day series of calendars? The ones I got as swag after my initial meetings about contributing to Babble? Yes, yes it is.]
Also, Isaac Mizrahi is designing Teletubby-themed purses [Wait, isn't a purse what got the gay one into trouble in the first place? I wonder what Garrisson Keillor thinks about this?] which will be on display at a pop-up store in the Village [an industry term for a temporary storefront, allegedly not inspired by Nerve's desk calendar]. There's a parallel campaign targetting "the Teletubbies' core audience—toddlers and moms," too.
But the point here is clear: choose carefully what your child watches from the get-go. Because the producers and marketers behind it are going to be as unshakeable as a sticky booger on the end of your finger, and will follow your kid for his whole damn life, seeking to be "relevant" to him just one more time.
The Biz: Meet The Teletubbies: Kiddie Brand Taps Beatlemania [brandweek, very press-releasey, via fashionista]