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November 9, 2011


Javier Martin

Hi, Richard

Just wanted to inform about ride-on girl toys photos & a complete line of products, made by Injusa, one of the oldest Spain Toy companies.



Kim Vandenbroucke

Wasn't Target's old "mascot" a dog? Maybe that explains the lack of cats. :)

Rob Bartel

In the boardgame sector, most catalogs and websites showcase the box cover and components rather than an image of people playing the game. For an example of this sort of presentation, see the 2010 Christmas Catalog from boardgame wholesaler Publisher Services Inc.: http://www.pubservinc.com/PS/sites/default/files/PSI_Holiday_Cat_D.pdf

Two boardgame companies I know of that buck the trend are Canadian publisher and distributor Outset Media ( http://www.outsetmedia.com/webpages/ourgamespages/forretailers/retailers.htm ) and American publisher Buffalo Games ( http://www.buffalogames.com/downloads/ ). I'm happy to report that the catalogs of both companies appear to emphasize inter-gender and inter-generational play with no significant gender stereotyping I can detect. Some games are clearly targeted at different age groups, of course, and the photos reflect that but not in a way that strikes me as inherently ageist or stereotypical.

Follow the links above to check out the catalogs for yourself.

Retail Guru 200X

Loved this one Richard, I agree.
But perhaps you looked through the wrong catalog this year.
For gender x toys, check out the Ugly Dolls with their new thirty foot Toys "R" Us boutiques and sharing of major space with both Star Wars and Barbie on the cover of the Big Book.

Lorrie Grace McCann

What struck me most looking through this last weekend was how PINK all the girls' pages were, and how black, green, and red the boys' pages were. It still astounds me that toys are so gender-based, even today.

Susan O'Halloran

Couldn't agree more, Richard. In many ways, the toy industry (and retail industry) has experienced massive change, but as Lorrie has pointed out, it still clings to traditional stereotypes in fundamental ways. It would be a great experiment if these ads were shot using adult models instead of kids. Imagine the backlash if we showed men holding toy guns and women playing with kitchen sets. Perhaps then we could put an end to the pink ghetto.

Marsha Smith

There was so much pink in the catalog I looked at. Everything seemed to be for girls. Most of the hobby/craft kits are aimed at girls-jewelry etc.

David McCord

Isn't the ideal world gender blind, so it doesn't matter who's playing with what? Does pointing out this stuff help or hinder progress towards breaking down of gendertypes? In an ideal world, this article should be unnecessary. (On the other hand, boys are boys and girls are girls. Does that make this article unnecessary, too?)

Sarah King

Ha! Good point Richard... I did some nosing around myself and found that perhaps the UK is far more advanced in this arena than we are. I was able to find product photos of a boy playing with a kitchen and a girl driving a train!


Not all... check out the Ginny's catalog:
Girl driving a boy:
and a girl with a lawn mower:

Fred Held

Great post my man.

With over 30 years of experience I had the most interesting conversation with my 8 year old grand daughter.

Poppi, why are there boys and girls sections in toy stores? Try answering that question.

Ashley: Why do you ask. Dodging the questions. I have to go back and forth at Toys R Us to look at trucks, construction sets, Barbie, Hot Wheels, video games and other stuff. How come?

Poppie: Ashley how should it be arranged based on you are your friends. Ducking the questions again.

Ashley: By categories she said. Brilliant marketing mind she understood categories. Vehicles in one place, dolls and accys. in another, video games in another etc. No need to categorize by boys or girls.

Ashley is a very nice looking, extremely smart, very active, athletic and social (all grand parents say the same thing) 8 year old.

When she fell off her bike and scraped her knees she was not crying. She said, "big girls don't cry"

Why do I bring up this one instance? Ashley has a lot of friends and I like to get to know them. They all think the same way. If you have not seen this major change in the behavior of 30 and below women you are blind. They are not asking for equal rights they are JUST DOING IT.

Fred Held

If you have not seen my Toy Industry rants, here is a semi repeat.

The toys industry is committing slow but sure suicide by avoiding the main stream video game and entertainment business.

Play patterns have dramatically shifter to two major categories that most toy companies seem to be afraid of.

1) Tweens! Especially evident in young girls. They are emulating teens moving down in age to 7 years old. They are spending money on.
a) Fashions, music and entertainment
b) video and like games (now 40% of this market)
c) sports, title nine has changed the sports world. Women tennis, golf, swimming, gymnastics, soccer, especially beach volleyball (almost like watching a Victoria's Secret show.

2) Boys toys are fast become non-gender specific toys driven by sub 10 year old girls.

Reviewing their websites, the major companies seem to be asleep and keep pushing thes SOS in advertising.

Any debates, counter comments or arguments are totally welcomed.



As the mother of five and ten year old girls, I can attest that print catalogues in and of themselves are influencing young children's ideas of gender-appropriate play, not just strategically reflecting or using pre-existing notions of same in those little brains.

I love this idea from the commentator above:
" It would be a great experiment if these ads were shot using adult models instead of kids. Imagine the backlash if we showed men holding toy guns and women playing with kitchen sets. Perhaps then we could put an end to the pink ghetto."



I grew up in Sweden, a progressive country in the seventies, I as a boy were given toy-dolls and doll houses to play with. I would not do the same for my children.

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