A great article was recently published by the NY Times about the growing market for “aggressive” girls’ toys in the wake of female action heroes like Merida from Brave and Katniss from Hunger Games taking the box office by storm. I’m glad that these kinds of toys are taking off, but what I’m not so happy about is the fact that all of these toys are pink, purple, and “feminine.”
Apparently, bow and arrow sets, nerf guns, and sling shots are only for girls if they have names like “Rebelle Heartbreaker” and “Pink Crush,” and come in all the same colors as cotton candy. Why is a plastic sword only supposed to be appealing to a girl if it has glitter on it? Why is a girl supposed to still be pretty while she’s taking down evil sorcerers and scary monsters? I truly do not understand why the toys that parents’ buy their little boys will not suit their heroic little girls equally well. If these toys weren’t marketed exclusively for boys, parents might not see the problem, either.
It reminds me of the whole Easy Bake Oven debacle. Apparently boys can only cook if their cooking toys can double as the bomb in their next James Bond-themed game, and girls can only do it if the oven is the color of unicorn poop.
I think stores (and consumers) ought to be taking a page out of Marks & Spencer’s book and stop dividing all the toys between what is “for girls” and “for boys.” Absolutely some girls will still gravitate to pretty pink dress up clothes (and some boys will, too) but we don’t need to tell them that This Toy is Only For Girls.
Toy Companies: Please Stop.
Also, there’s this: