The police are considered to be the face of law and order in the modern society, and their presence also helps make any playset seem a whole more orderly (at least, in the eyes of the ones playing –not the ones who will be cleaning up afterwards). Fact of the matter is, kids love them. They are pretty much every day heroes who are there to keep us all safe and sound. It’s the badge, the gun, the uniform, the sirens, the patrol car –these little things all add up to the ideal vision of peace and safety. Adding them to a child’s playtime is all but inevitable.
Going High Tech
For kids, no cop strikes a stronger influence than the toughest one of them all: RoboCop. This iconic movie hero from more than a decade ago still stands as the epitome of high-tech law enforcement. With a reboot movie coming out it is not surprising that a whole new line of RoboCop toys will be appearing. The new look sports a much darker and sleeker form, as opposed to the heavy silver look of the original. The exposed hand in the new form looks a little awkward and out of place, and despite how it is explained in the story, it seems pretty much out of proportion with the rest of the figure. The original toys however, are not just iconic, but they are also very play-worthy. We highly suggest getting both RoboCop and the ED-209 bipedal mech, as those two look real awesome together on a shelf.
All About the Badge
Nothing says cop more than a badge. In uniform or not, police show their badges as a proof of who they are. And even when you’re play acting, having something inside an ID kit to flash at people says you’re the guy in charge. There are plenty of toy badges to be found, you just have to look. Most commonly, you can acquire them from stores specializing in party favors and costumes. They can also be found as part of other playsets, often containing other police themed items such as toy guns and to handcuffs. Some are even thematic, like the one for LEGO.
Our favorite, among the ones we mentioned above, are the sets. Having the whole set (gun, badge, handcuffs), really completes the whole playtime experience, and they all get packed away neatly in a single container. Just be careful when buying these toys, they may be made completely out of plastic, but some of them are designed to looks so much like the real things (especially ones designed for costume purposes), that they can be mistaken as such. For kids who are not really keen on what the toys looks like, just use the ones that have bright plastic parts that instantly identify the toys for what they are (just be sure to avoid bright pink guns of course).
Getting Some Wheels
Of course, what is cop without a proper patrol car right? In movies and TV, the most police-theme action shows have some form of car chase or another –often with the police doing the chasing. What kind of cop car toy you should buy really depends on the child who will be playing with it. Those a little too young to appreciate complex moving parts will be happy with something designed for their age. Toy cars made for children usually have spinning wheels and nothing else. This means that the kids are safe from small parts and that the toys are designed for some rough playtimes.
If you think that the child can appreciate something a little more complex, then maybe a starter RC toy would be more their thing. Car aesthetics will slowly shift into something close to what adults consider an actual car as you move up the age tiers and seek out ones that look good even for pre-teen boys.
Things to Remember
As cool as cop toys are, parents have an obligation to explain certain things to children about authority, crime, guns, and other things related to law enforcement. The good part is that you will not need a degree in law to know what you need to say.
The key is to emphasize that the purpose of the police is not to scare people into following the law, but to assure everyone that they will stay safe even if someone attempts to break the law (because the police will be there to stop the lawbreakers). The use of handcuffs, and more importantly, the gun is only done when necessary. And most important of all, real guns should never be played with. As long as you remember to teach (and remind) children about these basic things, then they will be able to enjoy and appreciate playacting as the police even more.