I agree with you guys, especially the part about the loud blinking electronic toys. I always cringe inside when I see an ad for one of those on TV. If all it does is flash lights and shout words or songs or whatever then after a short time there's nothing else to do with it. It doesn't have any creative possibilities. Giving kids things like action figures, dolls, art supplies/sports equipment etc. is a much better idea. With good toys you can't just push a bunch of buttons and stand there and watch. You have to use your imagination. Kid who aren't given many opportunities to exercise their creativity are missing out.
However, I don't think video games are a complete waste of time either. The games today are light years ahead of those of the 80s. Video games today incorporate a lot of complex problem-solving tasks. Progressing through them requires a lot of patience and strategy. Video games shouldn't be the only way a child spend their time, but I don't they're nearly as bad as the media makes them out to be.