When I saw this post from Let Toys Be Toys For Girls and Boys, my eyes bulged out of my head:
Best Boy and Girl Toy winners at the Toy Industry Awards this week. What’s your thoughts?
There is a “boy” toy and a “girl” toy award? The best “boy” toy is shown in action, shooting a web; he is a superhero who saves the world. The best “girl “toy is a possy of hair, make-up, shoes and bags; the dolls pose as if someone is taking their picture.
Here were my thoughts: This can’t be right. Cynical, jaded blogger that I am, I still don’t believe that the Toy Industry Awards would be so publicly, blatantly, offensively sexist. These are children we are talking about, after all. Why would anyone segregate and stereotype kids in this way?
So I Googled “Toy Industry Awards 2012.” I am sad to report Let Toys be Toys is absolutely correct. From Toy News:
The 2012 Toy Industry Awards winners have been revealed. The awards ceremony took place at London Olympia’s West Hall last night, organised by the British Toy & Hobby Association and the Toy Retailers Association…Girls’ Toy of the Year Monster High Ghouls Rule Doll Assortment, Mattel Boys’ Toy of the Year Web Shooting Spider-Man, Hasbro
Backpacks: now your favorite friendly postituses can go to school with you! Yay yay! ~Melissa Wardy
Dolls dem selfs: Woo! I just need a pole and we have a strip club! THIS IS FOR 6+ PEOPLE! SIX AND UP!!!! OMFG WTF!!!!
Movies: wtf…. They even act and talk like sex workers. WTF?
i do love monster high toys and the dolls which are very nicely made.
Had these dolls ‘foisted’ on me as their comics are in the library of a 6 year old’s class..!! Think I’ll be having a word about that >< ~ I actually like the dolls except for their reliance on 'dates'/boyfs; I HATE this, same old fairy tale guff I was brought up on ~ Bratzillas are better as they don't seem to have boyfs spoiling the plot?! Whatever age they claim to be marketed at, they're obviously hitting a very young / impressionable one.
I totally agree with you. Those dolls are horrible. I don’t want my 5-year old little girl to play with them, and the frustrating thing is that them dolls are taking over the shelves in most stores. I can’t believe that parents are buying such Goth-looking toys for their impressionable young daughters, and I don’t understand at all why anyone would market this to children.
Oooooo I love Monster high but I havent stared coleting the dolls so yeah I only have one and its Draulara
Yuck. I hate those Monster High dolls /: When I was a little girl, I also played with hot wheels cars (but mostly with little figures of dogs). it made no difference to me because I made characters out of everything. That neat black car that looked like the car on Knight Rider was always the lead character in every little story I played with the cars. 😀
The dolls actually looked kind of interesting to me so I wanted to look them up a little before rejecting them just because they’re well…pretty for lack of a better word. I’m always resistant to the assumption that attractive means superficial.
Here’s what amazon.com had to say.
“Monster High Ghouls Rule Doll Collection: The ghouls have always stayed home on Halloween – but not this year. They’ve decided to come out of hiding to take back this haunting holiday in fang-tastic, over-the-top costumes. Clawdeen Wolf, Frankie Stein, Draculaura and Cleo De Nile dolls each featuring killer hairstyles, sparkles and accessories that pay homage to their famous monster heritages, revolt against tradition and restore Halloween to a day when monsters celebrate their individuality and show everyone that it’s okay to Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster. Each doll sold separately, collect them all.”
So some of these, at least Frankenstein and Dracula are gender flip dolls. I like that there’s some meaning to them, other than a vague “goth” look meant to appeal to “unconventional” little girls. And I like the “be yourself” “be unique” message. It is a little disappointing that a “girl” version of monsters means you strip away almost everything that makes them monsters.
OK, more research. Apparently there’s a cartoon and books.
I guess my verdict is that it feels a little hollow to me. The characters seem like analogues of male characters stripped of everything that made the male characters interesting. The message of accepting people for who they are and what they look like feels less genuine when they’re almost identical to “normal” characters.
Oh, and just because I had to share… there’s a music video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGawAhRjtoA
Tweet from Let Toys Be Toys: “not sure but seem to be organised by http://www.btha.co.uk/ and http://www.toyretailersassociation.co.uk/ – @toyfair2013 should know”
I am also curious who were the judges who votes on the award–toy industry executives and marketers? And who sponsors the Toy Industry Awards? Certainly not parents, educators or kids!
Maybe it is supposed to be a big marketing thing and the toy industry people do it, but I have no idea right now.
that is a good question, i’ll do some research. If anyone else learns anything, please report here.
Do you have info of who did the voting? Who could we contact to let them know we don’t appreciate their criteria?
here’s another thought from a commenter on Pigtail Pals’s FB page: “Note that according to that toynews.com link these awards were organized by the British Toy and Hobby Association (BTHA) and the Toy Retailers Association. The BTHA web page states on of its two goals as “to represent the interests of British toy manufacturers”. I’m going to venture a guess that something similar is true of the Toy Retailers Association.”
(more info at the top of the comments from Let Toys Be Toys)