Engineering Child's Play: GoldieBlox & Marketing Toys to Girls

The construction toy GoldieBlox aims to disrupt the pink aisle with its engineering toys for girls. But some critics wonder why there has to be gender specific toys at all. (Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)


Princess Culture reigns in marketing to little girls these days includes the concept of Pinkification. Into this mix, GoldieBlox styles itself as a toy company that promotes empowering options for girls, specifically engineering. But critics say even with this new toy line the gender stereotypes persist.


GoldieBlox no longer uses the The Beastie Boy's track in the "Princess Machine" video.

A video promoting the now popular GoldieBlox, a toy company with the tagline "toys for future engineers." More specifically, its mission is to sell toys that promote construction and engineering to girls.

Stanford engineer Debbie Sterling is the person behind the project. In a recent TED talk she explained how she came up with the idea.

Initially, GoldieBlox received a lot of positive press, a successful kickstarter campaign that raised over $285,000 and an online commercial with over 8 million youtube views.

GoldieBlox: Great for Girls? Terrible for Girls? Or Just Selling Toys? -- Slate

But despite the viral success of its promotional video, GoldieBlox has run up against skepticism - and not just because of its legal fight with The Beastie Boys for re-purposing the  group's track, Girls ... but also because the toys themselves don't live up to some consumers' expectations.

Catherine Connors is one of those critics. She is the editor-in-chief of Disney Interactive Family which includes the parenting website Catherine Connors was in Los Angeles, California.

Rebecca Hains studies the way toy companies market their products to boys and girls. She is an associate professor of communication at Salem State University and she joined us from Salem, Massachusetts.


No pink, no princesses, nothing particular gendered in this
1980's advertisement. Just a girl and her masterpiece.

What are your thoughts on marketing to gender? What do your kids like to play with? Let us know.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Josh Bloch, Debbie Pacheco and Natalie Chu.

We ended this segment with Free To Be You and Me's song, William Wants A Doll

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