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The Many Ways In Which Your Kid’s Smartwatch Can Be Hacked

Most of us aren’t going to spend hundreds of dollars on an Apple Watch for our kids, but there are many less-expensive, kid-targeted smartwatches available. Unfortunately, a new report claims that your young one’s tiny screen may also be a huge privacy risk. [More]

Mattel Scraps Always-On ‘Aristotle’ Monitor Amid Slew Of Privacy Concerns

Mattel Scraps Always-On ‘Aristotle’ Monitor Amid Slew Of Privacy Concerns

Facing a new wave of privacy questions from lawmakers, consumer advocates, and concerned parents, Mattel has decided that it won’t go ahead with its delayed launch of Aristotle, the always-listening kid monitor designed to track and learn about your child from birth through adolescence. [More]

Lawmakers Say Mattel’s Always-On ‘Aristotle’ Kid Monitor Raises “Serious Privacy Concerns” For Families

Lawmakers Say Mattel’s Always-On ‘Aristotle’ Kid Monitor Raises “Serious Privacy Concerns” For Families

Despite announcing the product in January, toy giant Mattel has still not released the always-on, always-listening Aristotle kid monitor that has already raised red flags among privacy advocates. Now, a bipartisan pair of U.S. legislators are asking Mattel to address what they see as serious concerns about this connected-home device that is intended to track info about your kid from birth through adolescence. [More]

The Caldor Rainbow

Toymakers Owed Millions Brace For Hit After Toys ‘R’ Us Bankruptcy

Many toymakers say they won’t let Toys ‘R’ Us die after filing for bankruptcy, noting that doing so would be bad for their own businesses. After all, the chain is typically their biggest client. However, it appears there’s more at stake, namely, the millions of dollars the manufacturers are owed.  [More]

Nicholas DiMaio

Small Vendors Cut Ties With Toys ‘R’ Us, Concerned They Won’t Be Paid

While some suppliers of bankrupt toy mega-chain Toys ‘R’ Us are desperate to make sure that the chain stays in business, others are taking the opportunity to stop dealing with the mega-chain. That’s because they’ve already shipped thousands or millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise to the deeply indebted retailer that they may never be paid for. [More]

MikeKalasnik

Toymakers Won’t Let Toys ‘R’ Us Die Because That Would Be Bad For Their Business

Although the news of the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy may have thrown some shoppers into a pre-holidays panic at first, the company will be keeping its stores open and its shelves stocked with toys. Not only because it wants to cash in during its biggest season, but because its suppliers need it to stick around. [More]

New Barbie Doll Lineup Lets Ken Settle Into His Dad-Bod, Live Out His Man-Bun Fantasy

New Barbie Doll Lineup Lets Ken Settle Into His Dad-Bod, Live Out His Man-Bun Fantasy

The times, they are a-changin’. And much like Barbie’s evolution into a doll that comes in sizes other than “impossibly perfect,” Ken is getting a new look that more closely reflects today’s reality: He’s got a man-bun, a dad-bod, and comes in a more diverse range of skin tones. [More]

Privacy Advocates Raise Concerns About Mattel’s Always-On ‘Aristotle’ Baby Monitor

Privacy Advocates Raise Concerns About Mattel’s Always-On ‘Aristotle’ Baby Monitor

Anyone who has watched a young child become fascinated with virtual “assistants” like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Google Home could guess that it was only a matter of time until one of these “smart” devices would be created specifically for monitoring kids. With Mattel set to release an all-in-one assistant/monitor, consumer advocates are questioning how secure, beneficial, or harmful these devices actually are. [More]

bluwmongoose

Tax Proposal Could Result In Higher Prices On Toys

Lawmakers are currently mulling over a proposed tax code overhaul intended to reduce the tax burden on U.S. companies that could also have the net result of raising prices on the products those companies manufacture overseas, a change that could hit toy companies particularly hard. [More]

Hatchimals, This Holiday’s Hot Toy, Leaves Many Parents Disappointed

Hatchimals, This Holiday’s Hot Toy, Leaves Many Parents Disappointed

If you have a child of a certain age — or you just keep up with the latest trends — then you’ve probably heard of Hatchimals. The interactive toy was amongst the hottest, in-demand products this holiday season. But for some who were able to score the coveted plaything it left a lot to be desired.  [More]

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

Kids say a lot of random, unsolicited, or just plain personal things to their toys while playing. When that toy is stuffed with just fluff and beans, it doesn’t matter what the kid says: their toy is a safe sounding board. When their playtime companion is an internet-connected recording device that ships off audio files to a remote server without even notifying parents — that’s a whole other kind of problem. [More]

frankieleon

That Was Quick: 6 Top CEOs Who Have Been Unceremoniously Kicked To The Curb Since 2013

Upon hearing the news this morning that American Apparel CEO Paula Schneider was resigning from her post, we couldn’t help but feel a twinge of deja vu. After all, she’s far from the first top executive to cause a stir with a sudden departure. [More]

Library of Congress

How Much Control Do You Actually Have Over Your Private Data?

“Privacy” is the buzz of our era, but… what even is privacy? Different consumers, businesses, and regulators each have their own definitions and perspectives on the issue, while the law, too, is always evolving. [More]

Mattel, Viacom, Hasbro Accused Of Tracking Kids’ Online Behavior

Mattel, Viacom, Hasbro Accused Of Tracking Kids’ Online Behavior

When your child uses a kid-targeted website for Barbie, Dora the Explorer, Neopets, Nerf, or Nickelodeon, federal law limits what information can be collected. But an investigation by the New York state attorney general found that some of the biggest names in toys and kids’ entertainment were violating that law by collecting information from their young users without authorization, and by allowing third parties to track users’ behavior across the internet. [More]

SarahMcGowen

Lawyer: Employers Should Take Away Workers’ Right To Sue; Arbitrators “Know Where Their Bread & Butter Comes From”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently working on rules to stop banks, credit card issuers, and others from forcing customers to sign away their right to a jury trial. Opponents claim that this change will only benefit trial lawyers, but some candid advice from one lawyer shows exactly why these protections are needed — and who really stands to benefit. [More]

American Girl Dolls Will Soon Be Available At Toys ‘R’ Us Stores

American Girl Dolls Will Soon Be Available At Toys ‘R’ Us Stores

When I was but a young Consumerist, the only way to get your hands on an American Girl doll — once parents had been successfully harangued into purchasing the pricey toy — was by mail order. Since then, Pleasant Company, now a subsidiary of Mattel, has 20 stores around the country dedicated to selling the dolls as well as a website. Times are changing yet again: starting next month, the dolls will also be available at Toys ‘R’ Us stores. [More]

10 Questionable Movie & TV Tie-Ins That No One Asked For

10 Questionable Movie & TV Tie-Ins That No One Asked For

No cultural phenomenon would be a complete success without its own line of merchandise attached to it, and it makes sense: fans of popular TV shows, comic books, and movies will often seek out products that tie-in with those franchises, providing a great way for a lot of people to make a bunch of money. But when it comes to some infamous product tie-ins, we’ve got to wonder if it all that effort was worth it. [More]

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Actually Mark Something Down, Take It Too Far

Raiders Of The Lost Walmart Actually Mark Something Down, Take It Too Far

Regular readers are probably familiar with the Raiders of the Lost Walmart, where we feature obsolete yet comically overpriced items available on store shelves. Our readers scour the nation’s clearance sections to find these items, which turn out to mostly be at Walmart because of the retailer’s size, vast inventory, and meager budget for discounts. [More]