November 15, 2014

Not Just For Boys/Girls!

The last couple weeks have had a 'SpiderEarth's crazy thoughts' theme to it, with all the harsh finger-wagging at Mystical Warriors of the Ring: Evolution and my glowing adoration over some cheap Walmart toy line.  It's certainly been bizzaro-land, for sure, and to cap it all off, let's do some more.

But let me pause it for a second.  I know I have some fringe opinions lately, but I've generally prefaced them with the fact I understand how unreasonable my thoughts on keshi are, slash should be.  My thoughts today are still that of a minority, but unlike previous posts as of late, I think today's topic holds water.  So, let's talk about it: gender and toys.

We've all seen it:  there's a pink isle for girl toys and an isle full of action figures for boys.  But why?  Sure, I'll concede to a point that says most kids of a gender will prefer a toy aimed to their liking, but why such separation?  Why are dress-up figures in one place and action dolls in another?  Is it really just for convenience sake, just so a majority doesn't accidentally purchase a toy they may accidentally enjoy?  Why spilt children and toy enthusiasts apart?  If it's not gender-identity issue than it can be an issue about style and craft.  Maybe there is a toy in the pink isle that has the best sculpt, vivid color application, and design in the whole toy section, why say it's just for girls?

I understand this is an enormously heavy topic, and I'm barely scratching the surface, but I am from the camp that I will enjoy anything from any isle, and will allow others to enjoy the same.  I don't have any kids, but if I had a daughter that grew into loving Ninja Turtles, Transformers, or some other so-called boy toy line instead of dress-up dolls, I wouldn't push her away from it.  Same goes for if I had a son.  If he wasn't into super heroes and instead preferred Monster High, that's perfectly acceptable too.

There's a couple girl-isle minifigure toy lines I'd really be interested in collecting, that, let's be honest, are super cool and really should be blended in with everything else.  Every toy from every isle should have that privilege.

The first is MGA Entertainment's Lalaloopsy Tinies.  These minifigures are micro-versions of their plastic, Joe-sized, rag-doll figure counterparts that have become really popular in the last few years.  They started off Joe-sized, maybe around three inches, but then spread out to every proportion, you name it.  The Tinies look to be about an inch tall and look very reminiscent of those gumball Bok-Choy Boys and other like that, so a little small for me, but it's not a deal-breaker.  They also have paint apps on their faces and eyes.  Again, something I wouldn't prefer, but where this is such a late installment into their franchise, I can see where current fans would want it.  But what I really like is the colorful clear plastic in the hair and body.  Some of you may have already guessed from previous posts, that I love bright transparent ones and the shiner and more glittered the better.

The other minifigure is another line from Moose Toys and it's their Shopkins.  I love their Trash Pack line, even with all the negative marks I give it, and Shopkins follows their lead.  Where Trash Pack is super gross and humorous, Shopkins is aimed for those with cleaner and neater pallets.  Much in the same way as their Trash Back kin, Shopkins are small food and shopping items with a cuter cut.  The only real difference I can spot is they are not sold in blind packaging like Trash Pack, aside from a couple rare ones it appears.  Shopkins get all the negative and positive marks Trash Pack does.  They are virtually one in the same, just minus all the vomit and snot.

Some may argue Shopkins and Lalaloopsy Tinies are for girls-only, maybe like the manufacturer intended, but I would disagree, much in the same way amazingly-fun minifigure sets like Monster In My Pocket and Kinnikuman could be loved by anyone of any gender, if only separate isles and preconceived gender roles weren't a thing.  I think it may time to start blurring the lines a little more.


  1. This is an interesting topic, I can tell you first hand that more girls have bought MWOTR in person then boys. And it frustrates me when parents try to force their kids into gendered toys, we have had a few parents physically put our figures down because they were "boys toys" :(

    1. Yeah, that's really disheartening to hear, especially if that's the convention crowd, but at least you know MWOTR has appeal for both boys and girls.

  2. Shopkins seem pretty interesting to me; probably because they remind me of an NES game that confused the heck outta me when I rented it when I was younger lol -