Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Barbie Assures Us That Girls Can Play with Construction Toys Too

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Good news. It seems as though Barbie manufacturer Mattel has concluded that girls' sexual orientation will not be affected by playing with toy construction sets. Behold! The Mega Bloks Barbie Build ’n Style line for the feminist toddler/budding architect in your life—the first construction-oriented product in Barbies' 53-year history.

It is apparently still very important to remember that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, though, which explains why the sets' building blocks come mostly in fuschia (specifically Pantone 219, Barbie's signature color because it helps highlight her cheekbones.) (I made that last part up.) And none of this racetrack riffraff stuff for the ladies, please: package choices include a mansion, a fashion boutique, an ice cream cart, and a beach house.

Available in stores next week for the holiday rush, the doll manufacturer is attempting to shift its consumer target away from mothers onto fathers buying toys for their daughters, as research shows more and more men are taking control of daily parenting routines in two-income households. "Dad is a bigger influencer in terms of toy purchases over all, and this sets up well for that, because the construction category is something Dad grew up with and definitely has strong feelings and emotions about,” Vic Bertrand, chief innovation officer of Mega Brands, Mega Bloks’ parent company, told The Times.

Apparently all that stuff about helping young girls learn spatial relations and math skills through construction toys is just a bonus, like, whatever.

Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.

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