Oona loves Leon’s Imaginext Bat-Cave. LOVES it. It is so cute to see her putting the figures in the lift and peeping through the windows!
We’ve had it a while now and he has played and played with it. We’ve expanded it so that he has just tonnes of the stuff. He loves Marvel Super heroes. Oona of course isn’t aware of it’s cool comic book status, to her they are just people that can fit in a building… even Leon hasn’t really noticed that all his figures are boys because at their respective ages (18 months and 5 years) gender isn’t an issue…although being ‘Super’ kind of is, to Leon!
The message being sent by Mattel though is that girls just aren’t terribly Super. My older girls have played with Leon’s Bat-cave with him in the past, but there’s only a Wonder Woman and a Cat Woman available to buy versus tens of different Superhero and villains packs with male figures in them.
I have to say that I get a bit tired of it. I find the ‘pinkstinks’ argument pretty tedious, really. How many times do parents/consumers/bloggers bang on about it? But try and find a similar product to Imaginext for a little girl! There’s the Playmobil 123 range, which is cute…but Oona knows when I give her ‘baby’ toys. It’s like trying to trick her with one of those remote controls with buttons to press that you can get in the Supermarket for little-uns! She knows it isn’t the one that works the TV and in our house, the one with the remote control has the POWER! But I digress, my point is, she knows! She wants a big-kid toy…The Peter Rabbit House is cute:
but it doesn’t do much and out of all the animals available to buy (it only comes with Peter) there is one girl. It’s a rabbit. It’s dressed from head to toe in PINK!
There’s the pretty Happy Land Treehouse:
I think she might like this one, if I am honest although I have issues with it: the girl pixie has bloody pink HAIR..also how exciting would it be to ride a carriage drawn by a SNAIL? Seriously? If it had been a bee it could have gone flying through the air! If it had been a ladybird it could have both crawled and flown AND been a nice shiny bright red! But a pink and lilac SNAIL?? Probably the slowest, safest creature they could have chosen to pull the carriage. Because of course little girls don’t want anything fun, or dangerous do they? They want to make the Mummy pour the tea and the people have picnics over and over again. NOT! I would also be concerned that Oona would grow out of this really quickly and it is pricey at £57 on Amazon! Eeeeek!
Which gets me back to Imaginext. Their ‘girl’ range is called ‘Precious Places’ and includes ‘Woodland Princesses’, ‘Silver Bells Wedding Chapel’, ‘The Swan Palace’, ‘Masquerade Ball’ and ‘Flower Palace’. YAWN! I’m not even going to bother putting pictures of them on here! What’s the point? Princesses, swans, balls, chapels…because girls want to go to the ball, meet a prince, marry him and live in a castle with gold swans on the pond. I don’t want to send the message to my girls that they should find themselves a wealthy male to look after them (and to practice their singing, cupcake-making, dancing and tea-pouring skills along the way) and this isn’t what I want my daughters’ toys to do! They get the strong message from me and their Dad that they can do anything, they can be anything and they want to play with exciting toys. They want to pretend to be knights, have adventures or go to space. Unfortunately they have to also pretend to be male in order to access this type of play.
Mattel I don’t think you read my little blog but if p’raps you stumble upon it and happen to read this would you please PLEASE just make some girl pirates, girl fire fighters, girl Super Heroes (and villains of course with vehicles that are not pink) and girl knights and astronauts too! It won’t put the boys off, they are used to having girls in their lives. Most boys have female friends at school and at home, Mothers, Grandmothers, Sisters and Aunts! Surely to goodness Batman can have a few girls in his life!
Stop limiting our children!