WE look after our one-year-old granddaughter Jeannie three days a week which means the TV is tuned to children’s programmes.

Maria and I have become familiar with delightful characters like Peppa Pig and imaginative programmes such as Rhyme Rocket and Lazytown.

Unfortunately, when we stray from the BBC, we are also subjected to the advertisements urging children to badger their parents into buying the latest toys for Christmas.

And what toys!

One game urges contestants to “be the thief, rob buildings, steal the money” or how about the one where youngsters feed a fat pig hamburgers until he bursts. That one neatly combines gluttony and cannibalism?

Is there nothing that toy manufacturers will not try for profit?

At least dolls are safe. They are forever popular with girls and a Spanish company offers babies that drink, cry, wee and go to sleep to a lullaby – and a £60 version that breast feeds.


That’s right, a breast-feeding baby for a pre-pubescent child.

‘I don’t believe it’ as Victor Meldrew might have said.

The doll won the Dr Toy Best Children’s product in America. Of course, in America, anything goes.

Little girls, apparently, wear a halter top that has two flower decorations on the front instead of nipples. Place the doll’s mouth to a flower and it makes a suckling sound.

Whatever happened to the magic of make-believe?

What will toy makers come up with next? An adult version of Barbie and Ken? A wedding game where three-year-olds can take their vows with a divorce lawyer in attendance to arrange custody of their play pen?