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  • Pink-ification does bug me. I remember going to buy some lego for my daughter in smyths and being asked if I wanted Girl Lego, or Boy Lego. Grr.

    In some ways, I do see how product personalisation and product differentiation is just marketers doing their job. We see it in shampoo for example... shampoo for blonde hair, shampoo for red hair.... as if there's any difference. But it does annoy me when the girl and boy versions of a product are as different as the lego ones.

    Pink Lego Friends set... it's a pet salon. 'Help Joanna and Emma pamper the poodle with a rotating grooming table, bubble bath, purple hair accessories and lots to shop for!'
    http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Heartlake-Pet-Salon-41007;jsessionid=3pieW6fsRsyPs5WBb6+G9g**.lego-ps-3-1

    Barf.

    Having said that, I've found it's easy enough to avoid. I was lucky enough that my parents kept a lot of my old wooden toys... trains, doll house, wooden farm animals etc. We add some footballs and she is fairly happy. I've gotten her dolls, but so far she has no interest, and has asked for a helicopter from santa. I just shop in the boys section as well, and don't exclude her from playing with toys she finds interesting, either pink or otherwise.




  • Everything is "gendered" these days, even down to pink Lego. I make a conscious effort to buy a range for my children that isn't specific for one gender but its difficult when we're given pink stuff. I've overheard children say things are only for boys/girls.

    It annoys me that "girls" versions of things are available, its obviously making sure you buy more because while a girl might play with everything, boys mightn't play with pink versions.


    I also know of dads who won't allow things like kitchens/buggies be bought for their sons. Says a lot about how they view such toys and doesn't bode well for the future!




  • I think boys and girls are inclined to go for boy and girl things regardless of whether it's pushed on them or not.

    On facebook the other day I saw a post about someone who bought girl and boy toys for her daughter to play with and she put the cars into dolls cots and covered them up.

    I've read about someone who refused to buy guns for her sons, the first thing they'd do when they got to a friends house was run straight for the guns and stuff.

    It's natural. While boys and girls are interested in toys aimed towards the other, there does still seem to be a natural inclination to go towards things which are aimed at your gender.

    I had access to my brothers lego as a kid, the 'boy' lego but I sill loved playing with my pink lego dollhouse. I loved playing cars and guns with my brother but loved my sullvanian families more. They seperate them for a reason, it doesn't mean you CAN'T buy a doll for you little boy or a car for your little girl but they will generally be more inclined to enjoy the toys that are aimed towards their gender.

    My nephew was bought a doll and a buggy because he had an interest in dolls, he's not even 3 yet and doesn't mix much with other kids so his lack of interest in the doll and buggy now is completely his own. He likes his cars and planes and trains.




  • Tbh the new pink and blue kinder eggs are driving me crazy every time I see them.




  • I think boys and girls are inclined to go for boy and girl things regardless of whether it's pushed on them or not.

    Some are, some aren't I'd say. We are all individuals and all that. Really don't like these generalisations, as they lead to stereotypes, followed by sexism.


    We've all heard things like 'What kind of a woman doesn't like shoes', 'What kind of man are you, not into football'. It's annoying.


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  • My brother 'organised' fights among my barbie dolls on his Masters of the Universe castle. HI-Man and Skeletor were thrown somewhere into the corner. We both had the same Legos and played with them but I did prefer playing with the dolls and making dresses for them..

    I have a nearly five years old boy who is obsessed with lego city series. His one year old sister doesn't give a damn about gender toys and is mostly occupied with trying to kill her brothers hat. I'm not that bothered about gender toys but it always amazes me how much crap (for both genders) toy stores sell. So mostly I'm just trying to avoid the totally brainless toys. V-tech with their counting, letters and naming shapes with annoying voice and blinking for one year olds drive me crazy. Personally I really dislike pink so just because of my own aesthetic I'm trying to limit pink in the house as much as possible.




  • http://www.change.org/petitions/hasbro-feature-boys-in-the-packaging-of-the-easy-bake-oven

    I thought this was really sweet - a teenage girl petitioned for non-pink easy bake oven for her little brother.

    I always find it incredible that with so many Dads staying at home and/or contributing equally to the housework, cooking, baby minding etc that there are still so many gendered household toys. If a little boy wants to copy his daddy hovering or minding the baby how is he going to feel If he is told they are "girls" toys??

    I think people are speaking up about this issue. http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/apr/30/boots-removes-gender-signs-toys
    How foolish was it for a science based company to put science toys in the boys section??




  • bluewolf wrote: »
    I used to love the toy cars and remote control cars and collected loads of them
    I had barbies probably at my grandmothers' insistence and they were grand, little polly pockets as well :D
    Sounds like me when I was a child! I had loads of toy cars, my dolls were the patients for my play hospital, my brother's Action Men and my Barbies sometimes got into scuffles, and we both had loads of Lego. :cool:

    Any child of mine, male or female, will get loads of Lego. it's great, really encourages creativity and they'll learn a bit about structure and spatial reasoning too.




  • Saw a film of baby chimps being brought to a room with toys and the males went for the toy cars etc, the females went for the dolls and played out "nurturing" them. I'd say it's innate in some people, but I know lots of little boys like dolls/little girls like "boys' toys".

    I don't believe we're entirely blank canvases and our toy preferences are instilled in us via nurture though. Maybe later on, but not when we're babies/toddlers.




  • Saw a film of baby chimps being brought to a room with toys...the females went for the dolls and played out "nurturing" them.

    Never had any interest in dolls. Books were my thing, and paper, pens etc. My favourite Christmas was the year I got a desk! Shamefully, I appear to have been out-parented by a baby chimp. It's probably a good thing I'm childless.


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  • Sounds like me when I was a child! I had loads of toy cars, my dolls were the patients for my play hospital, my brother's Action Men and my Barbies sometimes got into scuffles, and we both had loads of Lego. :cool:

    Any child of mine, male or female, will get loads of Lego. it's great, really encourages creativity and they'll learn a bit about structure and spatial reasoning too.

    I think I'm the only person on boards who hates lego.

    Never was into dolls either. Way into dress up and pretend up, books, paints and clay, science experiments, gymnastics and water sports. And of course music. A lot of time was spent outside and not so much inside with toys.

    I think boys like cars and planes and guns is because they like motion, they like to see how it moves through space. They have dolls too, they just call them action figures.

    A toy is not the answer to the women in science disparity. Take a look at these figures from UNESCO.

    http://www.uis.unesco.org/ScienceTechnology/Documents/sti-women-in-science-en.pdf

    You have Bolivia where 65% are women. And then you have Luxembourg where 21% are and get this
    Myanmar where 85% are women. Ans your belvedere Sweden, that socialist paradise where there's so much gender equality, 35% are women.




  • I wasn't really talking about the disparity in science although I know that's what the ad is geared towards.

    Why cant they just make interesting toys without genderising them and putting them into special aisles? Its so ridiculous!

    Let kids choose what they want to play with rather than making that choice for them!




  • I just put up 18 pics tonight of my toy iguanadon doing random things. I've owned it since I was 8. I think toys like animals, farm and zoo and dinos, lego, kennex, etc will never be gender specific, or at least, aren't anymore.




  • fits wrote: »
    Someone posted this ad on facebook and it reminded me that there really were no toys that I was interested in when I was a kid and things look even worse for girls now. I don't know much about girls toys now though. What's out there these days and is it possible to avoid pink? Do toys need to be gender segregated at all? I know some will attract boys more, some girls, but there are some that will have a good cross over.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/11/19/goldieblox_commercial_rewrites_the_beastie_boys_urges_young_girls_to_pursue.html

    TBH, I don't really get all of the love for this ad. It seems like the toys they are selling play into the same gender stereotypes, especially with the color schemes.

    I also don't get the whole 'this is how girls will become engineers' thing. While, given the rapturous reception on my Facebook feed by women with young daughters, it is clearly a brilliant marketing ploy, most of my friends who became engineers as adults were habitual 'tinkerers' as children: they were always trying to figure out how something worked by taking it apart, or building things. Their parents gave them the space to be creative and were tolerant of scattered legos and racing tracks, and later tools, random engine parts and screws all over their basement or dining room. This didn't require special blue and red (pr purple and pink) kits, it just required giving kids the space to fiddle around and the stuff to fiddle around with.




  • fits wrote: »
    I wasn't really talking about the disparity in science although I know that's what the ad is geared towards.

    Why cant they just make interesting toys without genderising them and putting them into special aisles? Its so ridiculous!

    Let kids choose what they want to play with rather than making that choice for them!

    I dunno fits. All I know is I skip the pink aisle.




  • Saw a film of baby chimps being brought to a room with toys and the males went for the toy cars etc, the females went for the dolls and played out "nurturing" them. I'd say it's innate in some people, but I know lots of little boys like dolls/little girls like "boys' toys".

    While we have huge similarities in many ways to the other great ape species and watching how they live can at times offer insight into our own species, I'd suspect that this is not one of those times. Play in mammals exists as a learning tool and the bare bones of it involves imitating the adult behaviours of our species/society. As chimpanzees have not even invented the wheel, let alone cars, the young males choosing to play with cars wouldn't really have any bearing on human play. The social disparity between our species is too enormous for any conclusions to be drawn.




  • iguana wrote: »
    While we have huge similarities in many ways to the other great ape species and watching how they live can at times offer insight into our own species, I'd suspect that this is not one of those times. Play in mammals exists as a learning tool and the bare bones of it involves imitating the adult behaviours of our species/society. As chimpanzees have not even invented the wheel, let alone cars, the young males choosing to play with cars wouldn't really have any bearing on human play. The social disparity between our species is too enormous for any conclusions to be drawn.


    Interesting article. It also addresses the monkey study at the end and outlines some reasons why the monkeys may have picked the cars despite cars not being a part of a regular monkey's life.

    http://www.parentingscience.com/girl-toys-and-parenting.html




  • Funnily I think Lego is one area where they did need to diversify the range to attract a wider audience of children. Don't get me wrong,as a child I LOVED Lego. I had a tub of pieces inherited from others and spent hours building houses and restaurants and hospitals etc. However I had no interest in the boxes of Lego I saw at the shop that made up cars with guns on the roof or space ships etc. I wanted something that spoke to my idea of play which always centered around little toy people and creating their social and living environments so they could have little adventures. I suppose I was playing out my own mini soap operas!

    I don't think that I was taught to play like that,I have a video of myself opening a small Fisher Price dolls house I got for my first birthday and immediately with no prompting I was putting "little people" to bed,up and down stairs, sitting on chairs, identifying a mammy,daddy and baby. I don't think that's exclusively a girl trait, I'm sure there are boys that do it too naturally. However there are children who are geared towards that form of play,immitation of their environment and playing out what they wish their environment was. Personally I welcome more creative based toys like Legos that aim to cater to those children just because I think they're missing out on fun if they don't experience them. They shouldn't label it boys or girls though. I'd rather see lego school, hospital, restaurant kits that would be unisex in appeal but attract more socially wired kids.




  • Funnily I think Lego is one area where they did need to diversify the range to attract a wider audience of children. Don't get me wrong,as a child I LOVED Lego. I had a tub of pieces inherited from others and spent hours building houses and restaurants and hospitals etc. However I had no interest in the boxes of Lego I saw at the shop that made up cars with guns on the roof or space ships etc. I wanted something that spoke to my idea of play which always centered around little toy people and creating their social and living environments so they could have little adventures. I suppose I was playing out my own mini soap operas!

    I don't think that I was taught to play like that,I have a video of myself opening a small Fisher Price dolls house I got for my first birthday and immediately with no prompting I was putting "little people" to bed,up and down stairs, sitting on chairs, identifying a mammy,daddy and baby. I don't think that's exclusively a girl trait, I'm sure there are boys that do it too naturally. However there are children who are geared towards that form of play,immitation of their environment and playing out what they wish their environment was. Personally I welcome more creative based toys like Legos that aim to cater to those children just because I think they're missing out on fun if they don't experience them. They shouldn't label it boys or girls though. I'd rather see lego school, hospital, restaurant kits that would be unisex in appeal but attract more socially wired kids.
    I don't mind a social thing like you mention but it should just fit in with the rest of the range. In the Lego Friends series, the minifigs don't even fit with the "regular" lego, you can only use them in the Friends kits. So if you were interested in have a hair salon AND the pirate ship, you couldn't interchange the two.




  • If there's one thing a pirate ship needs, its a hairdressers. A lot of bad hair days in Pirates of the Caribbean.


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  • I don't think that I was taught to play like that,I have a video of myself opening a small Fisher Price dolls house I got for my first birthday and immediately with no prompting I was putting "little people" to bed,up and down stairs, sitting on chairs, identifying a mammy,daddy and baby. I don't think that's exclusively a girl trait, I'm sure there are boys that do it too naturally. However there are children who are geared towards that form of play,immitation of their environment and playing out what they wish their environment was. Personally I welcome more creative based toys like Legos that aim to cater to those children just because I think they're missing out on fun if they don't experience them. They shouldn't label it boys or girls though. I'd rather see lego school, hospital, restaurant kits that would be unisex in appeal but attract more socially wired kids.

    Imaginative play and role playing is something all children do. It's neither girl or boy specific. And Lego already has generic schools, hospitals, restaurants... and indeed a big box of mixed blocks which can be made into any of those things. Over the weekend my daughter built herself a Duplo shopping center (complete with multi-story carpark where the cars get catapulted in, rather than going up a ramp). That got dismantled, and she turned it into a flower garden, with paths for rabbits and a swing. Both of those had mammy, daddy and herself in lego form, exploring them and having little make-believe chats. All she has is this box of bricks x 2. http://www.johnlewis.com/lego-duplo-deluxe-brick-box/p230444013

    The problem with the Lego Friends sets, is that you can only make one item out of it. The pieces are not generic, you make what's on the box and that's it. Plus, the bits are not interchangable with the other lego. It's just so restrictive, and unimaginative.

    Like I said initially, I do understand that it's all just marketing to sell even more lego, and I can't really fault them. It just gets sad when the generic boxes of imaginative toys get ditched completely and the shops only stock the newer, less versatile versions... and then tell me that this is the section for my kid.




  • i was looking for crafty things for my boy in Smyths and to my utter despair they are really geared to the girls - I like the idea of him making things (FYI I have an older girl aswell but there is a big age gap) all they had were friendship bracelets in pink etc. I was hoping for a model car to paint or a plane....

    He's not into lego yet but i got him stickle bricks!! :) always wanted them when I was small

    Might change the topic a bit - I would have no bother with my daughter dressing up and going out dressed as spiderman or a fireman etc, would I let my son do the same if he wanted to be a disney princess??? Truth is I would get them for him but I may not let him outside. any opinions?




  • This is more manufactured neurosis.

    If you want your daughters to have an interest in science then get them interested in science at home, take them to museums, explore, experiment, make messes, take risks, that's what it's all about.

    My mom was very good at science and as a result helped me, inspired me really with the wonder of the world, and I always had the best the project for the science fair and show and tell. It had nothing to do with painting the stuff pink or blaming the toy stores.

    And as for crafts and boys, easy peasy, just make it about dinosaurs and they will have lots of fun.




  • aknitter wrote: »
    i was looking for crafty things for my boy in Smyths and to my utter despair they are really geared to the girls - I like the idea of him making things (FYI I have an older girl aswell but there is a big age gap) all they had were friendship bracelets in pink etc. I was hoping for a model car to paint or a plane....

    He's not into lego yet but i got him stickle bricks!! :) always wanted them when I was small

    Might change the topic a bit - I would have no bother with my daughter dressing up and going out dressed as spiderman or a fireman etc, would I let my son do the same if he wanted to be a disney princess??? Truth is I would get them for him but I may not let him outside. any opinions?

    They have those kind of models in Hamleys, not sure if they're too old for him or not yet, but you could take a look around. I find they have completely different stock to the likes of smyths.

    If you can't get there, I think you can shop online too. :)




  • They have those kind of models in Hamleys, not sure if they're too old for him or not yet, but you could take a look around. I find they have completely different stock to the likes of smyths.

    If you can't get there, I think you can shop online too. :)

    Thanks, am in Cork, will have to be online!




  • pwurple wrote: »
    Imaginative play and role playing is something all children do. It's neither girl or boy specific. And Lego already has generic schools, hospitals, restaurants... and indeed a big box of mixed blocks which can be made into any of those things. Over the weekend my daughter built herself a Duplo shopping center (complete with multi-story carpark where the cars get catapulted in, rather than going up a ramp). That got dismantled, and she turned it into a flower garden, with paths for rabbits and a swing. Both of those had mammy, daddy and herself in lego form, exploring them and having little make-believe chats. All she has is this box of bricks x 2. http://www.johnlewis.com/lego-duplo-deluxe-brick-box/p230444013

    The problem with the Lego Friends sets, is that you can only make one item out of it. The pieces are not generic, you make what's on the box and that's it. Plus, the bits are not interchangable with the other lego. It's just so restrictive, and unimaginative.

    Like I said initially, I do understand that it's all just marketing to sell even more lego, and I can't really fault them. It just gets sad when the generic boxes of imaginative toys get ditched completely and the shops only stock the newer, less versatile versions... and then tell me that this is the section for my kid.


    The problem with Lego Friends sets then is that they just want to ensure you buy other sets. That's not about pinking things up or the creation of specific sets for girls, it's about revenue creation and wringing small kids for profits

    Generic boxes are great,in fact I think they are best and it's a huge pity if they are done away with. My point wasn't that sets are better than generic boxes, just that in the past all the marketing was aimed at a specific type of child who wanted to make cars and space ships, it needed to change to encourage other children, particularly girls, into the fold.

    Of course where marketing fails parenting can fill the void. The best encouragement to enjoy lego or any other toy that requires a little imagination and perseverance to create something is when a parent gets down on the floor and shows the child that the limits are set by your imagination, not the picture on the box.




  • I don't mind a social thing like you mention but it should just fit in with the rest of the range. In the Lego Friends series, the minifigs don't even fit with the "regular" lego, you can only use them in the Friends kits. So if you were interested in have a hair salon AND the pirate ship, you couldn't interchange the two.

    That's just lack of imagination, GI Joe regular visited Lego town to fight the pirates, the Lego technic plane was just a Howard Hughes whim that coexisted with the minifigs.




  • The problem with Lego Friends sets then is that they just want to ensure you buy other sets. That's not about pinking things up or the creation of specific sets for girls, it's about revenue creation and wringing small kids for profits

    Generic boxes are great,in fact I think they are best and it's a huge pity if they are done away with. My point wasn't that sets are better than generic boxes, just that in the past all the marketing was aimed at a specific type of child who wanted to make cars and space ships, it needed to change to encourage other children, particularly girls, into the fold.

    Of course where marketing fails parenting can fill the void. The best encouragement to enjoy lego or any other toy that requires a little imagination and perseverance to create something is when a parent gets down on the floor and shows the child that the limits are set by your imagination, not the picture on the box.
    Generic boxes are still around.
    Lego are a toy company, they are not obliged to change how girls play. besides when they start tapping into the girls market they are pinking the Legos.

    This is not about girls Legos being any worse than boys. It's a bout how society perceives female or male activities. Engineering and science is the buzz word of the day. Well did anybody actually see how a lot of the engineers function in sales and marketing. Accountancy? Most of the time they don't? So there actually is need for people with different skill sets.

    Nobody is complaining why there are mostly pink doll houses. And yet they support creativity and so on but because there is a cooker in them they shouldn't played with. If a girl (or a boy) becomes passionate about hairdressing after they played with Lego friends, then good for them and good for me because there are not many good hairdressers around. Even if we all play with exactly the same Legos, we won't turn up the same. Some of our kids are not smart enough to be engineers, some have other talents, some are less talented.

    Btw I'm perfectly capable, I had plenty of gender neutral Lego at home and yet I never had any desire to go into science.




  • This is more manufactured neurosis.

    If you want your daughters to have an interest in science then get them interested in science at home, take them to museums, explore, experiment, make messes, take risks, that's what it's all about.

    My mom was very good at science and as a result helped me, inspired me really with the wonder of the world, and I always had the best the project for the science fair and show and tell. It had nothing to do with painting the stuff pink or blaming the toy stores.

    And as for crafts and boys, easy peasy, just make it about dinosaurs and they will have lots of fun.

    Whats with all the "I HAVE TO GET MY DAUGHTER INTERESTED IN SCIENCE!!" attitude around here... It's like a dad pushing his son into football or GAA when he doesn't want to.

    Why not let your kid roam free.

    When I was a kid I used to love to draw. I remember my mam buying me pencils, drawing pads etc... because I showed an interest. I hated team sports with a passion and never wanted to join any sports team.


    But I also loved electrical things. Anytime there was a radio being thrown out I'd have it out in the shed in a million pieces, connected to the mains while poking around with a screwdriver :pac: :rolleyes: Not the greatest level of supervision but when my dad would get home from work he'd find me using his tools, give out to me and then start showing me how to take the motors out of the casset tape unit!

    I think it's best to let a kid pick their own paths and help them along with their little hobbies, whatever they may be. As opposed to the ever-present helicopter parent looming overhead.

    As for the little boys dressing up as fairies or whatever... meh. Kids will be kids and if I had one I'd let him outside wearing whatever he wanted. I'd say any man embarrassed by his kid needs to really take a long look at his own insecurities.


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  • Dean0088 wrote: »
    Whats with all the "I HAVE TO GET MY DAUGHTER INTERESTED IN SCIENCE!!" attitude around here... It's like a dad pushing his son into football or GAA when he doesn't want to.

    Why not let your kid roam free.

    When I was a kid I used to love to draw. I remember my mam buying me pencils, drawing pads etc... because I showed an interest. I hated team sports with a passion and never wanted to join any sports team.


    But I also loved electrical things. Anytime there was a radio being thrown out I'd have it out in the shed in a million pieces, connected to the mains while poking around with a screwdriver :pac: :rolleyes: Not the greatest level of supervision but when my dad would get home from work he'd find me using his tools, give out to me and then start showing me how to take the motors out of the casset tape unit!

    I think it's best to let a kid pick their own paths and help them along with their little hobbies, whatever they may be. As opposed to the ever-present helicopter parent looming overhead.

    As for the little boys dressing up as fairies or whatever... meh. Kids will be kids and if I had one I'd let him outside wearing whatever he wanted. I'd say any man embarrassed by his kid needs to really take a long look at his own insecurities.

    Because engineering is fashionable or something. I agree it's a little weird.


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