Tag Archives | toys

beyond the bricks to the beauty shop: lego goes girlie

A friend circulated this ad on facebook. Maybe you saw it as it made the rounds?

The ad is from 1981, not a year particularly celebrated for female achievement (although it was the year Britney Spears was born, so I suppose that counts for something).

I love legos and this ad only stoked my lego-love. My kids are lego freaks and over the years, my only consolation for finding those sharp-edged pieces in the couch, on the floor, embedded in rugs–on pretty much any flat surface–has been to feel all smug that my kids play with such a gender-neutral toy, a toy that is endlessly creative, blah blah blah.

Then I saw this ad on the lego page site:

If Polly Pocket mated with a Star Wars mini-fig, or if hookers gave away bobble-head doll versions of themselves…here’s what would result: chicks hangin’ at the Friends cafe.  When you click on the live screen, these figures sway back and forth, hugging each other and kissing each other on the cheeks. Maybe they’re whispering sweet nothings to one another–maybe it’s the lego version of “The L Word.”

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Continue Reading · on January 8, 2012 in Children, Education, Feminism, Gender, Kids, legos, Politics, pop culture, ranting

Barbie 2.0

Let’s face it. Barbie is eternal. From her early days of sky-blue eyeshadow and unbending legs, through her flirtation with the Swinging Sixties, to her attempts at corporate ladder-climbing, she is the toy that will not die; love her or hate her, she’s the tippy-toed doyenne of childhood.

And she’s hanging tough into the 21st century. I saw her today, in K-Mart’s Christmas themed window, and after I stopped gagging at the idea that someone thought I was ready to think about the holidays (um, talk to me, I don’t know, December 23?) I had to look more closely at this festive, not-yet-seasonally-appropriate Barbie and her tastefully brown friend:

Barbie’s friend isn’t African American, I don’t think: I thinks she’s a Mumbai gal with a look that’s pure Bollywood (that hair! those dramatic eyes!)

But Bollywood Barbie isn’t the only 21st century updating that’s happened here. Barbie herself is looking very…I think the phrase they use in L.A. is “well rested,” particularly around the mouth:

I think Barbie’s had a little work done, don’t you? She’s got a sort of Melanie Griffith, Lisa Rinna, Meg Ryan thing going on–a mouth all puffy and plumpety-plump, like a squashed tomato.

She’s a 21st century gal, all right, this Barbie: a South Asian friend and a Restylaned, Juverdermed mouth. What more could a little girl ask for?

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Continue Reading · on November 4, 2010 in Children, Feminism, Gender, pop culture

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