COMMENTARY: New Toys Inspire Girls to Cross Stereotypical Boundaries

Some girls like to play with dolls, while others might enjoy more crafty activities. But some girls also want to take charge at an early age and are interested in subjects that are stereotypically dominated by men. Recently, there has been an emergence of toys that help young girls develop an early interest in areas such as business, math, and science, as toy companies follow the trend of encouraging young girls to follow their dreams to the career path of their choice.

Alexi.July24Fashion Angels will be launching a line of products this fall called It’s My Biz, designed to encourage tween girls to consider careers in business. Barbie launched Entrepreneur Barbie this year, drawing inspiration from female entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses, such as Rent the Runway, Girls Who Code, and Genuine Insights. Finally, Debbie Sterling, the creator of Goldieblox, created her product with the mindset of “disrupting the pink aisle” and building girls’ confidence in their spatial abilities to develop an early interest in math and science, areas usually dominated by men.

Alexi.July24_3All of these items build on familiar modes of play: Fashion Angels uses the “Make, Share, and Sell” behavior that is popular among tween girls, but in the form of stores that they might enjoy. Barbie has been encouraging doll play for decades, but with Entrepreneur Barbie, young girls can now learn about presenting themselves professionally. Meanwhile, Goldieblox utilizes the popular play modes of storytelling and construction, but the product is pastel-colored and all its stories feature a female protagonist, Goldie.

By appealing to the current generation of young girls through products that increase their confidence in various skills, such as selling, management, and spatial ability, toy companies are responding to the larger trend of empowered women. According to Entrepreneur, in 2004, women owned 10.6 million businesses in the United States, accounting for 2.5 trillion dollars. Fast forward 10 years to 2014, and female entrepreneurs, engineers, and other female leaders are gracing the covers of Time Magazine as Time’s 100 Influential People In The World. As other organizations follow this trend, it is toys like these that will prepare kids for their future careers.

Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht‘s thoughts on this trend are being broadcast in various news markets nationwide. Not only does she demonstrate some of the hottest boy-gone-girl toys on the market, but she explains how important this shift is for consumers and companies alike. Check out the TV spot below!

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

For more commentary from Alexi, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!