Tag » toys
It’s about time that Hasbro began marketing their famous Easy-Bake Oven, which has been aimed towards preteen girls since its conception in the 1960s, in a more gender-neutral manner. Inspired by her little brother, one 13-year-old New Jersey girl has started a petition on Change.org to get the company to make the toy oven more boy-friendly. McKenna Pope of Garfield, N.J. wants the company to drop its all-girl advertising in hopes that boys like her 4-year-old brother will be more comfortable asking for a stereotypically 'girly' toy this holiday season. Read More
I remember getting American Girl catalogs every few weeks in the mail when I was a little girl. I would beg my parents for a doll, and one Christmas I found Samantha waiting underneath my tree. Despite my love for turn-of-the-century girl Samantha, I always wanted one of the My American Girl dolls--the customizable ones with contemporary clothes and range of skin and hair colors. But I never saw one that looked just like me, with medium-tone skin, brown hair, and curls. Now that I’m almost 20 years old, they finally have the perfect doll for sale (you're many years too late, AG!). Read More
I’m sure you all remember the controversy surrounding manufacturer LEGO’s incredibly sexist line of toys called “Friends,” heavily simplified from their normal toys and marketed specifically to little girls. I’m sure you also remember the completely legitimate outrage over these toys (John Darnielle won my heart with his call to arms to “leaflet and raise hell”) and the attempt of SPARK activists Bailey Shoemaker Richards and Stephanie Cole to petition LEGO to “stop selling out girls. Read More
As a child of the nineties, I have such a soft spot for the toys of my youth. Furbies were somehow cute and creepy at the same time, Skip-Its were practically the only way my mom could get me to exercise, and I'm pretty sure I thought my Lite Brite drawings had one up on Van Gogh's Starry Night.  I've gotten over most of my obsessions because, you know, I grew up or something. But every now and then, those old standbys get an update and my pigtails-sporting, Lisa Frank-toting inner nineties child will get to geek out. Read More
More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition on Change.org stating they don't support toy manufacturer LEGO's newest campaign, a line of toys called Friends made just for girls (an already gag-inducing phrase when it comes to marketing). Critics are calling it sexist because the line makes a break from LEGO's usual build-it-yourself aesthetic. Friends features pre-assembled sets that follow gender norms like a hair salon, fashion design studio, and cupcake bakery. Read More
I remember begging my mom for an Easy Bake Oven. Well, actually, I begged her for the Creepy Crawlers playset and an Easy Bake Oven, but she said I could have only one. Since I was too young to explicate a formal critique of gender dichotomies in children's toy advertising, and brownies seemed way more useful to me than bugs, I went for the Easy Bake. Only one photo exists of me using my new toy--in it, I’m frowning at the little white oven, waiting for a heart-shaped cookie which will inevitably be burned in the center, raw-doughy on the sides, and taste like plastic. Read More