Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thoughts on Target and marketing of toys

Many on "my side of the aisle", including Suzanne Venker, are up in arms because apparently Target is phasing out the gender labeling of toys.  Now I concur fully with Mrs. Venker's assertion that boys are innately different from girls, and that smart toy retailers ought to group the toys usually liked by boys in a separate area from those favored by girls.

But that said, as the daddy of four (not so little anymore) girls, it strikes me that when I walk into the "girls'" section of a toy store, I am bombarded by such an avalanche of pink that I have to wonder whether I'm in a toy store or the visitor's locker room at Kinick Stadium.  (that, or maybe an abandoned brothel or something?) 

It's hideous, and quite frankly unnecessary, because what little girl needs pink to figure out she likes that china doll, and what boy needs camo to figure out he wants a baseball bat?  It's worth noting that the 1950 Schwinn catalog doesn't use garish shades of pink to help girls figure out that they wanted a bike with a drop bar.  The company simply knew that those who wore skirts (or kilts I guess) would want that feature.

Kudos to Target for taking a little step back towards sanity in these matters. 

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