Category Archives: Making Our Mark

Ways we can make a difference just by being fans. This is the “tell it like it is” column that addresses controversies rather than avoiding them!

MAKING OUR MARK: The Art of the Letter

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“We just got a letter, we just got a letter, we just got a letter, I wonder who it’s from.”

I like to imagine the Nick executives would actually sing this when they receive all our Winx letters.  After all, if their ’90s programming was any indication, this is what you should always do right before opening a letter (yes, even before getting the letter opener).  If this quote doesn’t sound familiar at all to you, it’s probably the generation gap talking.  So let’s change topics before you make me feel even older.

Turns out my simple comment of “I’m going to write a letter to Nick” might’ve inspired an avalanche of letters as big as the ones that followed Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  And if that got Harry to go to Hogwarts, many wonder if the onslaught of letters will have a similar effect on Nick.

However, not all letters are created equal, and we must keep in mind that this is a large company we are sending to.  We want to make a good first impression on the executives, and above all, we probably want to look well-educated.  From prior experience, here’s what (in my opinion) one should keep in mind when writing these types of letters:

  • Use the triangle.

This might sound weird to all of you at first, but there is an explanation for this.  The triangle is a method of argumentation first used by the ancient Greeks, and is still valuable to this day.  This method emphasizes three principles: logic, credibility, and emotion.  Each of these can create a powerful “appeal” that can be used in persuasive letters.  So how do you do that?  If you have something that can qualify you to a business, by all means say so.  It can be anything from owning one of the Winx blogs to being a PhD.

  • Backstory is everything.

For a great emotional appeal, talk about what Winx really means to you.  Tell them just how much you loved the show growing up.  Did it change your life?  If so, definitely tell that story!  If you focus too much on formality, you might sound like a stuffy person who doesn’t really care about the show.  Tell them that you care, and that’s why you’re sending this letter.  If you also loved other Nick programs as a kid, that would also be nice.  This would show Nick that you aren’t against them, and will probably please the employees.  For instance, I don’t want Winx to get cancelled partially because my favorite Nick show growing up, Danny Phantom, was cancelled after only three seasons.  So this is yet another use of this technique.

  • Leave the cotton candy online.

One of the biggest complaints with the Winx fans is that there are too many SpongeBob reruns, which I agree with.  However, I found this reference to it ironically suiting.  Pretty much, the joke refers to a vendor on there who yells, “Cotton candy!  Can’t have an angry mob without cotton candy!”

Therefore, this means no flaming, or (as it’s known in the world of argumentation) ad hominem arguments.  That means no saying stuff like “Nick is the worst!” or “Winx would’ve been great on any station other than yours!”.  Statements like this are seen as amateurish and possibly threatening.  Do you really want a business conglomerate to be giving you a restraining order?

  • Remember Valtor’s wisdom.

This is probably the weirdest bullet statement of all, but the Winx quote that best embodies the letter campaign comes from Valtor: “Icy, today’s words are finesse and deception, not hitting and fighting.”  Except for the deception part, that’s just about right.  Do it with style, with flair, and with rationality.  Don’t be afraid to make it personal.  You can make a point without yelling and blaming Nick for what happened.  Just do it rationally and efficiently.

Whether it’s typed or handwritten, script or cursive, a letter can be a powerful tool in the proper hands.  We have the chance to truly make our mark and show the Nick employees what we’re made of.  Today is a day where, more than ever, the fans show their ability to shape a show without even entering the TV headquarters.  Will they see us as scary and threatening, or educated and reasonable?

The adventure of a lifetime awaits us.  This time, the Winx are the ones in danger, and it’s a threat that even they can’t stop: cancellation.  But if we all come together and use our own little Convergence spells, we may just be the Magical Dimension’s true heroes.

MAKING OUR MARK: Child Labor and Toys

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Hello, and I’m sorry for not posting in a while.  I’ve really been thinking about how to approach Zenith of Corruption, and inevitably, this new column.  After all the good feedback I got from the 4kids/RAI dub article, I decided to create this new feature.  First off, this is entirely different from the “Thursday Your Say” on Una di Noi, and I’m not copying that site in any way whatsoever.  Rather than being a simple opinion column, “Making Our Mark” emphasizes current issues that have a connection to Winx fans, or sometimes even directly to the program itself.  Issues used in “Making Our Mark” are more controversial than those in posts that I normally put up here, but from your reactions, you seem to encourage these types of rational discussions.  So, here it is.

Like the dub article, this one starts with another source.  Except this time, it’s not a music video: it’s a book PDF.  Now, I wasn’t able to find just the story that pertains to this discussion, so when you get to the link, just read pages 85-88.  So anyways, here’s the story:  http://www.vday.org/~assets/board/Emotional-Creature.pdf  Come back after you've read it, okay?

Unfortunately, this story isn’t as fictitious as you might think, as Mattel has been proven to do just that: http://ihscslnews.org/view_article.php?id=38 .  So, how does Jakks Pacific play a role in this controversy?

The answer is that their position is, as of yet, unconfirmed.  The Winx dolls are, in fact, made in China, but it could be an entirely automated process, or they could even be moving progress to America for all we know.  Now some of you might get mad at me for this, but I believe in “innocent until proven guilty.”  What I request more than anything about this is awareness. One of the posts on this website came from a Jakks Pacific employee.  She, more than anyone, can confirm or deny what we all may be fearing.  This isn’t so much a post about boycotting Jakks as it is a plea for a definite answer to how our dolls may be made.

But for now, I’ve been thinking, and there are some things about the way Jakks operates that might mean that they are by no means contributing to this problem.  Here’s what I mean:

1. Barbie dolls, the main Mattel items that have been confirmed to use child labor, cost less than Winx dolls.  I went on ToysRUs. com for research, and found that a basic Barbie ballerina doll costs $7.49, and a simple Barbie convertible costs $16.99.  Even the convertible costs less than Winx items.  Therefore, this could be a sign that Jakks uses more humane methods.  And remember: no matter how expensive they may become, it’s worth it if we know that no children were harmed or used for any purpose other than playing with the dolls.

2. Winx dolls have increased their prices.  At first they were around $15-$19.  However, I have seen that some of the Harmonix dolls are priced at around $22, and the Bloom Pink Enchantix that put this blog on the map costs $29.99.  Price increases could signify that they may be increasing pay for workers, if not move completely to America altogether.

3. Jakks is a smaller company than Mattel.  Therefore, as a “dark horse” with an increasing presence, they might not feel the need to go to such lengths to assert their dominance.

4. There are far less lines of Winx than there are of Barbies.  With less designs, there are less demands on the company, meaning that there are far less Winx dolls out there than Barbie dolls.  This could give Jakks the extra advantage of more time to make each one, and therefore not even need child labor.

5. The Winx dolls are created to be more detailed than the Barbies.  Take the Blue Bloom Believix, for instance.  She has multiple types of lace and bright blue rhinestones on her wings.  This type of attention to detail requires a precision that may not be met by simple child labor.  The wings on the Winx dolls are very likely to be done by a machine, since human efforts might not be enough to create them.

You can go the way you want to on this issue.  You can choose to attack Jakks if you desire.  But I choose the path of logic, the path that can’t just jump to conclusions without even knowing if they’re true.  We can’t just rely on “guiltiness by association” when there are toy companies out there with good intentions.  I believe that deep down, Jakks is one of them.  But we don’t need to riot now.

We need to know first.