Christmas – The Season of Goodwill and Gender Stereotypes

BY cushion the impact

With two months until Christmas, retailers such as Hamleys, Argos and Smyths have released their predictions for the hottest toys of 2013. Looking at the lists has made us think about more than just what to buy the children in our lives for Christmas.

From a quick glance it is more than obvious that old-fashioned gender stereotypes are still alive and well. We all know that that women can be just as successful as men, so why do we persist in buying pink fairies for girls and guns for boys?

While we fully accept that girls and boys tend to naturally have different interests and tastes, the trend for producing pink versions of toys which were perfectly suitable for both genders rankles. For example, Leapfrog’s LeapPad Ultra comes in pink, despite being decorated in a gender-neutral green, Lego have created their Friends range and even one of the brand new toys this year, the Teksta Puppy, comes in boys’ and girl’s versions.

We don’t blame (well, yes we do really!) the manufacturers for coming up with these ideas, after all, it is their job to appeal to the market; what really bamboozles us is why there is still a demand for pink versions for girls. Don’t get us started on pink guitars, keyboards and tool sets…

Now that we have got that particular bugbear off our chests, we will devote the rest of the article to being a bit more helpful and sharing the top toy lists.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the gender stereotypes in the toy industry – do you buy into them? Do you think there is a real need for separate boys’ and girl’s versions? Or do you have a child who resolutely refuses to conform? Drop us a line and let us know.

2013 Top Toy Predictions

According to some of the most popular toy retailers, robotic animals will feature very heavily in the letters received by Father Christmas this year.  The lists released by Hamleys, Argos and Smyths all include the likes of the Tekstra Puppy, Robo Fish and Furby Boom.  The LeapPad Ultra, Lego Chima Lion Chi Temple, Doc McStuffins Doctor Bag , Monster High 13 Wishes Dolls and Chasin Cheeky also feature heavily.

Let us know what you buy…or don’t buy!

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