Gender in Toyland: 2017

You can avoid sexual stereotyping

Nothing proves that attitudes about sexual stereotyping are changing than the fact that LEGO's "Women of NASA" set became the best-selling toy on Amazon in just 24 hours after its release.  It features four amazing women who broke barriers in science.  Nancy Grace Roman was one of NASA's first female executives, and is known as the "Mother of the Hubble Telescope".   President Obama Maragraet Hamilton  as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work at MIT as the lead in writing the software that put Neil Armstrong on the moon.  Sally Ride and Mae Jeminson are two astronaut/scientists instrumental to the Space Shuttle.  
 
In fact, all of products on my toy-list this year are "gender neutral".  Yes, you can still find lots of sexist stereotypes in toyland, but there are so many toys that move beyond.
 
For example, one of my favorites is the Little Tykes Food Truck, which combines  kitchen and truck pretend fun! 
 
In high-tech, many products go out of the way to be gender inclusive.  They show boys and girls on the box or avoid pink and blue, going for purple instead.  
 
Some of my favorites include 
 
  • Dough Universe from Tech Will Save Us where kids use "electro-dough" to build creations that make sounds, light-up, and move;
  • Cosmo, a cute robot that is fully programmable;
  • Anki Overdrive: Fast & Furious Edition, a race game based on the movie that includes female characters that are the match of they guys;
For tweens, start introducing gadgets to boys and girls to signify our acceptance of their growing independence and maturity.  Traditionally, boys used to get the gadgets, and girls got jewelry.  Instead, mix-in tech along with the more traditional gender specific gifts to give an underlying message of "freedom and responsibility".   These gifts cost more and have complex issues assocated with them (like texting/sending photos/ taking care of and not losing):
  • Cell phones like the iPhone, Moto Z2, Samsung Galaxy, or Google Pixel 2;
  • Back-up devices for the computer and phone, like the iXpand Base for iPhones that saves all your pictures and videos when you charge your phone;
  • Cameras like the GoPro Hero that encourage active lifestyles

Editiors Note on Sponsorship:  All products were provided by the manufacturers for consideration, some of whom also sponsored some of my appearances on air this year.  All opinions on the site and on-air are soley mine; sponsors have no editorial control.