Tag Archives: toys

The Toy Business Has Seen Better Days

ID-100238505Hey parents! What’s the deal with the toy business? Lego is going strong, (that movie certainly helped!) but almost everybody else in the toy business is hurting. Mattel’s sales are down, so is Barbie, and Toys ‘R Us is doing some…interesting things to ramp up business.

Case in point (according to Time magazine): selling Breaking Bad action figures. Trust me, Breaking Bad is truly one of the best TV shows in the history of TV (the full series is streaming on Netflix.) But, toys based on drug dealers, complete with wads of cash and fake crystal meth? Not so sure about that. The retailer explains that the BB stuff is in their adult section, away from your Hello Kitty and your Iron Man…which makes me ask: Toys ‘R Us has an adult section?

The experts say that this is a sign of the times. The only toy-related things that sell anymore are video games (and Lego, of course). And Toys ‘R Us is partnering with Claire’s to sell earrings and nail polish to teen girls.

But I don’t have kids. So I’m asking… are toys dead? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


UPDATE: Toys ‘R Us bails on Breaking Bad?

Gender-neutral Toys?

An article (more of an editorial, really) at USNEWS.com, entitled “5 Reasons Not to Buy Your Daughter Pink Legos,” begins like so:

Gender segregation starts early these days, with color-coded diapers, blankets, and binkies. Most of us seem happy with this arrangement, spending some $22 billion on toys every year. But when one company recently went too far, the response was swift.

I was immediately reminded on the ONE “Cathy” cartoon I have read in the past decade (I swear.) Cathy is determined to find a gender-neutral toy for her niece. Combing through the toy store, she finally gets an idea: plastic dinosaurs! Unfortunately, they only have two kinds – Dinosaur Commando Squad and Dainty Dino Beauty Shop.

I knew she would say that.

Anyway, Lego did a bunch of research, found that girls were playing with Legos, and figured they might play with them MORE if they were building little kitchens, beauty shops, etc. As a result, a petition protesting the idea went up online, and supposedly has 50K signatures.

This author lays out her case. Here are the bullets:

  • Girls are already surrounded by gender stereotypes wherever they turn.
  • Girls love Legos, even without the new line for girls.
  • Classic children’s toys that stand the test of time are usually gender-neutral.
  • Buying the new Lego line will lead to more gender-specific toys.
  • Strong girl role models abound, and they don’t have to look like models.

That’s her view…what do YOU think?

(photo: classictcj.com)