Okay, I’ll be spoiling it right here, sooooo sorry if knowing the actual name of the stupid Batwing is a really big deal. But…yeah, this barely constitutes a spoiler.
It’s The Bat.
And my mine goes here:
Over at Nerd Bastards we were lucky enough to snag an interview, via email, with Jordan Hembrough, the host of Travel Channel’s new show, Toy Pickers. Last week an article about the upcoming show had been posted on our site and Jordan contacted us thanking us for the coverage. This lead to a discussion of an interview and, Voila! here it is. As a group we submitted questions and below I’ve included a few of mine Jordan graciously answered.
No big surprise here, but I pegged him with questions concerning toys and gender issues. Being the little girl always catching flack at the McDonald’s for requesting the “boy’s toy,” it’s an issue close to my heart.
What are you thoughts on toys and gender-specific marketing?
I think it will always be there, no matter what we do. While society as a whole has somewhat leveled the playing field in the workforce and home environment, toy manufacturers tend to hold true to their cookie cutter marketing.
In other words, we’re seeing more of the gender roles reversed these days. Women are in the workforce, running companies and becoming executives. They are viewed as equals in the workplace. Men too are staying home… whether it be working from home or being “stay at home dads.” The gender lines are blurred. It’s okay to break away from the normal “Mom stays home, Dad goes to work” philosophy.
Toy companies have yet to catch up. I think that to an extent, there will always be the marketing of the “Barbie” dolls to girls, and the action toys to boys. It’s safe, it’s proven, and it’s trusted. I would love to see the day when a company showcases a boy playing with a doll on the package… but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Not anytime soon
Thinking back to the little girl who threw a tantrum over pink and princessesy stuff being used in marketing for girls, how would you advise toy manufacturers to respond?
My answer is simple: Good for her. I applaud her for knowing what she wants at such a young age, and truly sticking up for herself. This should have been a “wake up call” to some toy manufacturers. You would think that perhaps someone in marketing would have said, “hey guys… I think we’re doing it wrong”
It’s cases like this that hopefully will ring in a new era of advertising and marketing for a younger generation. Simply put, kids are smarter now than they were years ago. They have their own views, and know what they like. I think we should embrace the change and tailor the antiquted marketing strategies a bit.
Are there such things as girl toys or boy toys?
Well, yes and no. Getting back to my answer a little earlier…I think, at their core, girls and boys generally like the same thing in a toy. They like things that inspire creativity and imagination, have a prolonged playability, and overall make them feel good.
Society and marketing has deemed the gender roles for us, particularly when it comes to the younger generation. Little girls play with dolls and dress up. Little boys play with action figures and trucks. It’s all set in motion at a young age through the marketing of the companies. In essence, one could argue that they [toy companies] are determining the “norm” in our child’s lives.
The lines are blurred and transparent at older ages. You don’t see anyone saying there are iPods or Laptops for girls or boys. I see my 11 yr daughter playing basketball with my 13yr old son… and nobody thinks twice about it.
I really appreciate the thoughtful answers Jordan gave to my questions. I would only argue such pigeon-holed depictions of gender within toy marketing will not, “always be there, no matter what we do.” We can change how toys are presented to our children and how gender roles are defined through them. We just need to keep talking about it.
Boys are allowed to have interest in dolls and dress-up. It could lead to them becoming a fashion designer. Girls are allowed to play with building bricks and toy tools. It could lead to them being architects or engineers.
Click the link at the top of this post to read the entire interview. And don’t forget to tune in to Toy Hunters this Sunday, Jan 15th, at 11pm. It really sounds like a neat show showcasing a fun and fanatical aspect of geekdom we don’t often see.
Green Arrow vs Prometheus, A Children’s Tale
Here’s the setup. Justice League: Cry for Justice is a game changer for quite of few of DC’s heroes, especially for their valiant archers. A particularly noteworthy bit is Green Arrow murdering Prometheus. Now, I’m not going to say he didn’t deserve it but as most people should know heroes don’t kill. At least that’s what we teach our children. But in the reality of comics (Ha!) Batman is one of the few heroes who holds himself to that code.
Okay, so a pretty dramatic, life-changing scene. Something that, even if fans didn’t like it, will be talked about and will have a huge impact on the future of Green Arrow.
Here’s what I bought over the weekend,
Yes, they’ve packaged them together in the Action League series of toys, toys I’m sure are targeted for kids even if big kids like me buy them too. Here’s what I wrote earlier,
Yes, this is a child’s toy. And yes it features Green Arrow and Prometheus. Why is this weird and funny? Well, if you’ve read Justice League: Cry for Justice you know Prometheus destroyed a sizeable chunk of Star City, which royally pissed off Green Arrow. So much so he hunted down the villain and murdered him. Yes, murdered him, tied him to a chair and shot him the head with an arrow. After which Green Arrow admits his crime is then imprisoned, ostracized by the entire hero community, his wife, Black Canary leaves him and he’s banished to live a stupid, magical forest. The back packaging puts it so elegantly:
A final showdown indeed. I read this and immediately had to buy it. Either someone marketing this toy isn’t up to date on the current DC comics or this is some sick joke. One I find hilarious, even if it might be a poor choice for a kid’s toy recommended ages three and up.
There must be others who find this is twisted and funny as me, right?