I have a pair of 1-year-old daughters and an apartment with too many toys. However, when one of my daughters began taking a teeny tiny truck with her everywhere, including to bed, I set off on an emergency toy run to buy more. (If my daughter wants trucks, far be it for me to support gender stereotypes that impede her!) I even hired a babysitter so that I could make a run to the toy store. I planned to purchase a whole round-up of vehicles: trucks, trains, cars, boats, airplanes. We had some, but not enough.
So I set out on a mission and began walking up and down the aisles of the toy store. The girls’ Legos and GoldieBlox aisle immediately caught my eye. I’d read all about the rise of GoldieBlox and Lego’s subsequent rush to catch-up with the “girl power” message, but I was blown away to see that the girly construction kits dominated an entire toy aisle. Woo-hoo! My daughters were born just at the right time — or so I thought.
I quickly weaved through all of the toy displays assuming that the vehicles I was looking for would jump out at me. When that didn’t happen, I went straight to the aisle that housed the cars and trucks and looked for some that would appeal to my daughter. Almost all had boy cartoon characters and themes attached to them. It was all Spiderman, Batman, Ninja Turtles and the like. Which, to be fair, I’m sure sell well. But it wasn’t what I was looking for, and it wasn’t what my daughter would be looking for.
So, I went back over toward the girls’ aisles. In them I found nothing. Not even a Barbie convertible. What? How can this be? I went back to the Lego aisle thinking maybe there were some trucks or trains hidden there — nada. Eventually, I snagged some matchbox cars and called it a day. My daughter went nuts for them and is driving one up and down the living room window sill as I type this.
What does this mean that I can’t find car toys that appeal to little girls? Does it even matter? I think it does. An interest and curiosity about movement and mechanics is without a doubt a precursor to construction and engineering. GoldieBlox and Legos geared towards girls aim to reduce the gender gap in the fields of math and science but perhaps we need to start even earlier. Sure, there are gender-neutral vehicle toys, but if I have to dig around on the internet to find them, then that’s already a failure.
What do you think? Do you think the toy companies should start making toy vehicles for little girls?
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