Maggie Maggio

Smashing Color for the 21st Century

Lite Sprites – Oh My Stars

I am appalled by the Lite Sprites.  Yes, I would love a light wand that could pick up colors from all around me and change the colors of  the lights in my room. No, I don’t like such a great idea being used in such a crass commercialized way.

Lite Sprites are the latest hot ticket toy for little girls this Christmas. Here’s what the ads say:

“Lite Sprites use color and light to express their moods and feelings. Each Sprite has her own personality and domain in the natural world. The Sprite Sisterhood includes: Prisma, Astra, Meadow and Brooke. Bleak, the naughty Sprite, rejects color and uses her powers to eliminate or disrupt color in Lite-Topia.”

Here’s the commercial –

I can’t tell you on how many levels I am horrified by the Lite Sprites.  Here are just the top ten:

Level One – An amazingly cool new color technology- the color wand – is being used to sell landfill ready “toys”. What a huge waste of a very cool, very creative product.

Level Two – The cartoons. The creators of the cartoon characters are using the most stereotypical girliness imaginable. I am sure there is, or will soon be, a whole little-girls-wanting-to-be-teenagers product line tie-in for selling everything from hair accessories to clothing to bedsheets and blankets. (For my girls it was Rainbow Brite. Now its Lite Sprites.)

Level Three – I watched a few of the cartoon episodes. The color filled characters are giggly sweet. The one who takes the colors away, the rebel sprite “Bleak” is the only one with any backbone.

Level Four – “Shine On” as a catch-phrase.

Level Five – Shadows are protrayed as bad.

Level Six – The hyper reinforcement of the message of superficiality – its all about how you look. The colors need to be bright – girls need lip gloss.  The first question at the party of the Sprite Sisterhood?  “If you were a lip gloss what color would you be?” Really???? (Did you notice all the pre-teen girls in the commercial are wearing mascara and lipstick?)

Level Seven – Plastic, plastic, plastic.

Level Eight – They are hyping it as an educational toy to parents. Right. If you want to teach your kids about color – get them some art supplies, or go on the computer, and spend some time exploring the world of color together.

Level Nine –  The missed opportunity to do some actual education – both about color and about life. No doubt some color information will be absorbed – but it pales behind the other messages in the cartoons.

Level Ten – The pimping of color. I know, I know. Color is used all the time in marketing. But this is selling COLOR itself as the lure.

2 Comments

  1. Maggie Maggio

    January 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    It really is too bad that they co-opted such an incredible idea. I’m on the lookout for the technology in other applications – I would love to be able to teach about the colors of light using a “light wand!” I agree that creativity is encouraged by simple things and am always surprised when I find a home without art supplies!

  2. I agree totally with your disgust! The watchword today seems to be “Easy”. Easy is good. Difficult is seen as having no reward. Why would you work for something that was so “easy” to do? Could any child really be amused with this for more than 3 minutes? I remember that when my sister and I had dolls, we spent more time designing our own clothes and dollhouse furnishings for them then actually making them talk and interact. Maybe that’s why we’re both artists today. We were always given drawing and painting tools and supplies and spent many rainy Saturdays with just a pack of construction paper, scissors and Scotch tape.

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