The latest commercial for Goldie Blox has girls building a Rube Goldberg machine out of their old princess toys while chanting for more choice and decrying the injustice that is blue for boys, pink for girls. It’s true this latest commercial is a bit anti-girly-things, and I can understand why they feel they have to present a different image to girls, that it is OK and great to celebrate this kind of different activity. I don’t think anyone is kidding themselves that princess-play will vanish, or that girls won’t ALSO enjoy that. In the end it’s a fun video that makes us think just a little bit about what we’re doing.
I know some of you will look at the Goldie Blox toys afterwards and say, “But Fin, the goldie blox toys are pink and ribbons and stories!”. That’s because research on today’s generation of girls who grew up with today’s princess complex are most likely to avoid something that isn’t pink to start with. So it’s a trick. That also explains why a gender-neutral toy wouldn’t work for girls (yet). And the stories? Turns out girls play with toys differently than boys, they like a narrative, not just fiddling. So this is tailored to how they learn and play, not because of Disney stories. In the end, I see it as hugely positive, even if sometimes we are taking baby steps.