||Loss in the Land of Toys:Purikyua and the Marketing of Childhood Nostalgia
44 , 2018-03-01
This paper explores the relationship between perpetual innovation and connection to an unchanging past in the media content and merchandising of the children’s series Purikyua. Using an ever-expanding array of merchandisable devices in regularly renewed worlds, Purikyua functions as a celebration of transformation in both the structure of its narrative and its transmedia networks. At the same time, numerous elements of Purikyua’ s content and affiliated events centre on moral lessons valorising children’ s closeness to an unchanging identity or previously lost past. The merchandising of the series encourages children’ s enactment of that closeness, resulting in a system that both asks children to connect to the past and positions that connection as ultimately attainable through engagement with Purikyua. This paper combines analysis of the 2009 Purikyua film with a broader discussion of the series’ structure and merchandise. Purikyua, like many similar children’s franchises, simultaneously glorifies change and fixates on maintaining the past without change. Through its intense merchandising, nostalgia becomes intimately intertwined with consumerism, displaying children’s regained connection to the past as the goal of their participation in the transformative realms of Purikyua and its many toys.