The founders of educational toy company Click-A-Brick are giving their backing to small and big toy companies alike that are making strides to do away with gender stereotyping in toys. One new toy startup has released a line of dolls for boys while children’s toy and entertainment powerhouse Disney has released a poster that espouses principles that all children can look up to regardless of gender.
Boy Story, as the new line of dolls are called, was funded partially through a Kickstarter campaign launched in April by sisters Katie Jarvis and Kristen Johnson and are similar to American Girl dolls.
As Slate has reported, the dolls are referred to as ‘action dolls’ and each come with a book that tells a story of the dolls’ characters overcoming some kind of adversity.
So far the company has released a caucasian/Hispanic and an African American doll and has plans to release a white and Japanese doll in the future.
“Boys love them because they finally have a tool that encourages them to embrace and grow their natural desire to be nurturers,” the Boy Story’s website said.
Unlike superheros, which the website says emphasize powers, muscles, imagination and adulthood, the Boy Story dolls emphasize relationships and encourage caring from children.
And while Boy Story is giving boys dolls, Disney is doing its part to make sure little girls who love the company’s famous princesses know that being a princess doesn’t mean following certain gender stereotypes.
It has released its Princess Principles, which is a list of positive attributes young girls or boys can aspire to. The principles are available as posters that parents can either print on their own or purchase from Disney.
Founders of educational toy company Click-A-Brick Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza like the direction toy companies are going with desegregating toys for children.
“We’re glad to see both small toy startups and major brands tackling this issue,” Smith said. “We believe both boys and girls should be taught nurturing and empowerment. I remember back when I was a kid seeing the My Buddy doll commercials and thinking they were perfectly natural to see on TV. Nobody seemed to make a big deal out of it back then, at least not that I can remember. It’s great to see that there’s finally dolls for boys back on the market after we’ve allowed ourselves to get pulled into this whole nonsensical debate about boys and girls toys.
“And we’re glad to see Disney taking steps to undo the damage it has done by years of telling girls they had to be rescued by princes instead of taking care of their own distress. Their Princess Principles are a good start and we hope they keep it up.”
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