Plus I've got a leg up this year, because I did a section on toy messages in my LICAC workshop a few weeks ago. So I can be lazy and worked-up at the same time. Whee!
For those of you who are new to Reign, I’ll fill you in on the method to my madness so you don't think I’m a complete nut job (partial maybe, but definitely NOT complete!). I do not have a problem with toys. I LOVE toys! We had lots of them growing up and spent many a magical afternoon playing out fantastical scenarios. I also work in the toy industry, so I have an understanding of what goes into creating great toys for kids. At the same time, I'm a promotional writer, so I've spent many hours studying consumer trends in order to speak to consumers in language that motivates them to make a purchase. So I'm not coming at this toy thing one-sided … I'm looking at it from all sorts of nutty angles.
But for the sake of space (and time, because I could easily go on all day…and no one wants that) I'll tackle one thing at a time. So today, I'll just give you some food for thought...
Have you ever noticed that you don’t really find big gender differences in baby toys? Children under 4 years of age don't give a damn what they play with. Boys and girls will play with a doll a car a box …an old shoe... they don't care. Their stimulation and learning comes from interacting with the world around them, and they're curious about everything. It's a beautiful time!
For a preschooler or a kindergartner on the other hand, gender is starting to come into play. Toy makers know this. Which is why once you move from the infant/toddler section of the toy department into the preschool section, things start to get very segmented…either the aisles are PINK PINK PINK or BLUE BLUE BLUE. For example…
Images from --LIFE Weekend Magazine, April 2007
Pretty striking, huh?
So what's the big deal? Oh dear, I've become faint with excitement and must now rest. In other words, tune in tomorrow for Part II.