As kids still play with their new toys from the holidays, one of the hottest videos on YouTube is Riley’s Marketing Rant. Standing in front of toy store shelf lined with pink packaged baby dolls and dress-up clothes, a very astute, very cool little girl tells us how it is with the genderization of toys.
With the honesty and acuteness of only a three-year old, she says “some girls like superheroes, some girls like princesses, some boys like superheroes, some boys like princesses. Then why do all the girls have to buy pink stuff and the boys buy different color stuff?”. Good question, little sister.
There is nothing wrong with girls and boys wanting to play with toys that are traditionally assigned to gender. Many parents of preschoolers will tell you, girls tend to favor the babies and the princesses and boys go to blocks and trucks. I, myself, am a proud parent of a sparkly pink dancing magic princess. It is a beautiful thing when you see your child follow what naturally drives them.
Yet, the possibilities for imagination become limitless when kids are granted exposure to the “other gender’s” toys – when play with everything possibly available becomes allowed and encouraged. My pink girl also has Thomas Trains, conquers the playground as a sword yielding princess and loves to shoot Nerf darts with her 6 year old boy cousin.
Kids like Riley want to be themselves, and the toy companies are getting the message:
Hamley’s, England’s 250 year old toy store, changed the sections of its store from the traditional “boys” and “girls” to be organized by types such as “soft toys” “games” and “outdoor”.
The sets of Lego’s new girl-inspired Friends Collection includes a City Park Café, Inventors Workshop and a Design School.
Pixar’s Brave, to be released on June 22nd, is set in mythical ancient Scotland where we see fiery and determined Merida riding the galloping horse into the foggy land to overthrow and conquer.
Viva la toy revolution! And viva the imaginations and personalities of Riley and her generation.