Though many parents don’t want to condone the gender stereotypes that dictate girls play with dolls and boys play with cars, if you walk into any toy store you will find one aisle devoted to all things “girly” and pink and another that is obviously aimed at little boys. A couple of big name toy companies have made some changes to their products in an effort to show parents and girls their toys can be fun for all.
CNN reports about a couple of new toys on the market that mix up the gender lines a little. Nerf, a Hasbro toy company known for selling all things squishy has generally targeted little boys with their squirt guns, balls, and launchers. But there’s a new Nerf gun on the market called the “Rebelle” that’s hot pink and advertised with girls at play.
And Mattel has broken a few gender barriers with their new Barbie construction set “Mega Bloks Barbie”. Lego saw the amount of girls playing with their toys triple last year after they added pastel blocks and dolls to their line. Construction sets are especially important for young girls to be introduced to as studies have shown those that haven’t played with blocks and Legos are more likely to show little interest in math and science by the time they get to middle school.
Expanding the types of toys girls and boys tend to play with is not only good for them, but it’s good business for toy companies too. Gerrick Johnson, a toy analyst for BMO Capital Markets, explains why giving the toys children play with a more crossover appeal is a win win for toy companies. Johnson says, “This trend is hot because you're expanding from appealing to 50% of the market to appealing to everyone.”
What do you think of some of the new toys on the market aimed at both boys and girls?
Do you think girls and boys benefit from playing with toys that are not popularly aimed toward their gender?
I think that it is a good idea for the kids...I will probably continue to buy my daughter "girly" toys but I will buy her toys that are not traditionally girl toys like cars and blocks. I think it will be good for her.
I have one girl and three boys. My girl is use to playing with "boy toys" because thats the type of toys she likes to play with are not made for girls. I think its great Nerf is making the toy pink but not taking away all the action! She's going to love this pink Nerf.
i think the pink nerf is cool also, my daughter alreay has some nerf toys, this would be great for her, she loves pink camo
I think its great us girls think a pink nerf gun is pretty cool!
It's a step in the right direction. I love that video of the little girl at the toy store getting mad that all the gil stuff was pink even some girls don't like pink and such. A very smart kid.
Love the new toys I have 2 toddlers a girl and a boy, I let my son play with his daughters dolls with her and he plays with his cars with him. There is nothing wrong with letting children play with toys not aimed for their gender.
Most toys aimed at boys and girls are uneducational, malfunction and don't have any genuine thought put into them .