We’ve all seen this ad for GoldieBlox, right? It’s making its way around social media these days and seems to pop up on my Facebook feed a couple times a day. Everyone is mad for it and I can definitely see why. It looks to me like a pretty good product with an amazingly spectacular ad. It’s empowering young girls to stop playing with princess toys and start becoming the engineers we’ve always known they could become. And all while a bunch of girls sing their rendition of Girls by the Beastie Boys. As an advertisement, it’s genius. As a product, I’m not so sure.
My problem with it is this: How is this any different than the pink Lego everyone was enraged about a few years ago? Why are the same parents that were rightfully complaining about the pink Lego now promoting GoldieBlox on their social media pages? Why do building blocks and tool kits have to be given a cutesie name and have pink and purple packaging for parents to buy them for their daughters? And let’s not kid ourselves, as catchy and cool as the commercial is, the packaging is still super girlie and you will absolutely find this product in the “girl aisle” at the toy store, right next to all the princess gear. You want to empower your daughter? Let her watch Star Wars, read comic books and encourage her to choose toys from the "boy aisle" once in a while.
And while I’m at it, why is this product just for girls? According to the GoldieBlox site, they are “tapping into girls’ strong verbal skills” by including a book with every kit, allowing girls to build according to the story line. Brilliant! My five year old son would LOVE that! Thankfully, we have raised him to know that he is not too good to play with pink things or to read books about parades and puppies so he would absolutely play with this toy, purple packaging and all. The thing is, I don’t need to be tricked by a catchy ad in order to encourage my kids (specifically my daughter) to play with construction kits. We already have lots of blocks and building toys (in all colours) that both kids love to play with when they’re not already setting up dinosaur land, playing dress-up (both dressing up as fairies, princesses, pirates and superheros!) or having dance parties in our kitchen. I’m all for empowering young girls but I don’t think GoldieBlocks is the product to do it and they will definitely not be under our Christmas tree this year.I’ll likely still watch the ad every time it pops up on my Facebook feed though, but that’s just because it’s awesome.