One of my favorite childhood memories is that one time I beat my best score on Tetris…

…said no one ever.

Which is why, for the life of me, I can’t understand why I seem to be the only one disturbed by this:

Relax. I am not a judgmental prude and I am not gearing up to lecture parents on how televisions make terrible babysitters or the theory that video games and computers are systematically rotting our children. Look, I grew up in the 80’s. Also, I was an only child. Lord knows I had hours of fun with this guy:

Looking back, Teddy has a total creep factor.

And this fellow taught me a ton:

Loved it.

But when the creators of Nabi found it perfectly natural to use the tagline, “It’s not just a tablet. It’s a friend.”, I believe a very clear line was crossed. Because it isn’t natural. And the fact they they haven’t been called to task for it, at least not that I’ve seen and certainly not on mainstream media, is absolutely what bothers me the most. And before you fire up the hate mail, I’m not trashing the actual product. I looked it over and think it’s incredible. My beef is with the vomit-inducing slogan and the fact that I feel utterly alone in my dry-heaving.

Maybe, I’d feel more support if they would go ahead and release this model:

Nabi.Mother.2.0
She’s not just a tablet, she’s your Mom!

Or possibly this version would do the trick:

NabiFather.3.0
He’s not just a tablet, he’s your Dad!

Wait, this one will usher the masses my direction:

Nabi Delux:
Now including the “My First Crush” app, free for download.

You may believe I’m over-reacting. And as a self-labeled occasional DimWhit, I quite possibly am. But for the love of all things flesh and blood, in an impressive “but-wait-there’s-more” moment, Nabi advertises this:

Grows with us? Maybe my friend Nabi will call in sick for work for me one day!

Say what? Moral compass: there’s an app for that?!? I understand fully that it is just a wholesome feature. I think it’s great that when parents are trying to instill values like responsibility, their child’s electronic gadget supports those lessons. I really do. But, isn’t it our job as their collective caretakers to teach our youth the difference between right and wrong? Doesn’t just a little part of you cringe at this tactic of marketing? If one were to buy into all the Nabi camp were trying to sell, you’d be forced to surmise that this one product will not only educate your kids, provide them hours of fun via gaming, entertainment via videos, but also aid in teaching them how to be a good person. That’s right folks, life lessons are included!

Oh, and Nabi will also be their friend.

(Mom and Dad, you’re so two-thousand-and-late. )

If you’ve read my about page, I have fully disclosed that I am not a parent and that this is not a Mommy blog. However, as a former child and member of the human race, I still feel aptly qualified to speak to this.

Now, you may be saying,

Hey DimWhit! You’re an 80’s baby. What about My Buddy and Kid Sister..and that Teddy Ruxpin creep you mentioned earlier? It’s the same thing, so maybe you should calm down.

I have since, unfriended him

But here’s what I’m saying. I didn’t sit staring at Buddy in the face for hours on end. I had to use my imagination to interact with him. And the people at Hasbro weren’t making claims to my Mom that the plastic faced boy would teach me life lessons or be an all-in-one replacement for my gal pal Rachel who lived down the street.

And that’s the metaphorical line I feel the marketing gurus behind Nabi crossed. And I kinda think they’re jerks for it. And no, they’re not the first or only to do this, but maybe it would okay if they were the last.

Kids, Nabi is not really your friend, and he really is just a tablet. Trust me on this one. It may be an awesome toy, filled with fun games and educational learning experiences, but it is no substitute for that snot-nosed comrade that sits next to you on the bus. Nabi will not bury you neck deep in the sandbox. It will not chase you relentlessly around the playground. And, Nabi will not help you build a fort out of sofa cushions and blankets. (Please tell me kids still do this)

SONY DSC

Also, when you’re my age, though you may look back on your childhood and have fond recollections of the toys you loved way back when, that time you made it to the next level on the Dora the Explorer game won’t even make your top ten list of memories.

I invested several kid hours into He-Man and She-Ra. I tenderly cared for my baby dolls, and I got better at spelling thanks to a few video games. And although I look back at all of it with blissful nostalgia, none of it holds a candle to that time I scraped my toe on a sprinkler while my friend Danny and I were leaping through it on a hot summer day.

Because Mario was a game, he was not my friend. And because one of my favorite childhood memories was not that one time I beat my best score on Tetris.