Sweet Suite 2016

COMMENTARY: Shoppers Offer Their Takes on Target’s Decision to Drop Gender-Specific Marketing

Resized large Target-LogoIn recent days, the toy industry has been abuzz with the news that Target will remove gender labels from its in-store marketing. That means for the retailer’s toy department, there will no longer be signage referring to certain toys as being girls’ and others as boys’, nor shelves swathed in pink or blue paper, which traditionally have had gender-specific connotations (pink for girls, blue for boys).

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Target to Remove Gender Labels from Its Toy Department

Target LogoTarget Corp. will remove gender labels from most of its children’s departments, following customer complaints about signs designating certain toys for girls.

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PlayScience Unveils New Study Showing Gender Influence on Parents’ Digital Preferences for their Children

PlaySciencelogoPlayScience recently unveiled a new study showing parents’ perceptions about their child’s technology and media use is heavily influenced by their child’s gender—along with device type and perceived educational value. The study was conducted with a national survey of 501 parents of children between the ages of 2 and 9 years old.

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Arklu Adds Kite Flyer Finn, a Playtime Pal for Boys

KiteFlyerFinnArklu has launched Kite Flyer Finn, a boy doll designed as a playtime buddy that boys can relate to. He has a realistic, childlike body shape, and promotes wholesome, gun-free play values.

Finn’s accessories include cargo shorts, a star-themed long sleeve t-shirt, a puffer gilet, sneakers, and a diamond-shaped kite. Arklu has launched some accessory kits for Finn, including the Gone Fishing Set and a soon-to-be-released Scooter Set.

Finn’s clothes fit both him and Lottie dolls, allowing boys and girls to break gender stereotypes and letting kids be kids. Finn is available at www.lottie.com and www.amazon.com.

COMMENTARY: Lego Friends Video Game Appeals to Boys and Girls

Lego Friends box art.jpgRight in time for the holidays, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released Lego Friends, a video game based on the construction toy line of the same name. While the game is all-ages-friendly, the target demographic appears to be young girls in particular: The box art features many of the characters that appear in the game—fresh-faced ladies of various hair colors, skin tones, and hobbies.

I first heard of Lego Friends, developed by TT Games and Hellbent Games for Nintendo 3DS and DS, months before, and even then I was interested in how it might differ from titles intended for more of a boys’ audience. Eventually, I got to demo it alongside Lego Marvel Super Heroes, a game that if not specifically for boys, is certainly a more testosterone-heavy affair. The art direction and color palette for Lego Friends are cuter and brighter, respectively. But do those factors alone—and that the main avatar and supporting characters are all female—qualify calling it a video game for girls? Could it still conceivably appeal to other audiences? [Read more...]