A couple of things have recently been doing the rounds which have started me thinking about the whole pink toys for girls thing again. I did a post on this, focusing on Hamleys because they are such a big name in toys.
The two things going round now are related to Lego. The first is a letter from a little girl to Lego. In it she asks if Lego would please make their girls ‘do something’ and not just leave everything to the boys. This very truthful letter coincided with a photograph that I found of a Lego advert, then and now. Someone had found the girl who had posed for the advert in the 80s, and taken a second picture.
The original advert is very different to the Lego adverts you get now. Apparently, the girl made the Lego model in the picture herself , in the studio before posing for the picture. The motto ‘for little kids’ is interesting, Lego now seems to be aimed primarily at boys
I have also recently read a newspaper article with a quote from Jenny Wilcott, the consumer affairs minister in the U.K. She thinks that the toys girls were given could have an effect on the occupations they had when they grew up. Wilcott thinks this is having an effect on the British economy because fewer women are going into higher-paid occupations.
Another thing that she says is that in the 1970s toys had ‘far more bright primary colours, orange, yellow, green and red’. That again reminds me of my previous post because the lack of primary colours was something I noticed as well.
So, is it true that in the ’70s and ’80s toys were more gender neutral? That certainly seems to be many people’s opinion. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around then so I don’t really know if it’s true or not! If it is true, then why have toys become more sexist? A lot of manufacturers argue that they make pink toys for girls and blue for boys because that is what the public want. However, I am of the opinion that the public want this because the manufacturers have told them that that is what they should want.
What do you think? Have toys changed colour since the ’80s? Are manufacturers the cause or the effect of pink and blue toys? The floor is open!