13 thoughts on “Boy Toys/Girl Toys

  1. I see the point being made here, and there’s something to it — but a doll can be a source of much creative thinking (it does more than just “be a doll”). My friends and I used to come up with some pretty elaborate stories and dialogue for our dolls. Not to mention the clothes we made or the furniture we built. So, give dolls and electronics to both boys and girls, I say.

  2. lol, interesting point. Historically “boy toys” teach little boys to build and make things, and “girl toys” teach girls to be pretty, decorate, and be domestic.

  3. What about GI Joe? That’s pretty clearly just a doll for boys.

    No way, man! That’s an “Action Figure”, totally different from a doll. At least that’s what me and my friends told ourselves.

  4. action figure
    Function: noun
    Definition: a doll, that we do not call a doll, so that boys can safely play with them without elevating girls who play with dolls to a level of play equality.

  5. I think there are two closely related processes at work: one where the awesome engineering stuff is marketed toward boys (the cool toys become boys’ toys), and one where people adjust their opinions about the value of things like GI Joe upward, and their opinions about the value of things like dolls downward, for dubious gendered reasons (the boys’ toys become cool). I’m not always sure how to distinguish these processes.

    One of favorite girls’ toys is needlework–something about combination of engineering intelligence required to design and execute a pattern, combined with the soothing repetitive motions. It’s similar to lego, jigsaw puzzles, and origami in that way.

  6. i’m reminded of the toy inventors i know.
    two of them were once a husband and wife team.
    they wanted to make toys that could be equally enjoyed by boys and girls. long story short: in the 80’s it didn’t work.

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