Buzz words make me wary, so I didn't know what to expect when I saw all the headlines blaring "gender neutral" and even "gender-swapped" in reference to a toy catalog. I was starting to fear some bizarre land of beige jumpsuits and bob haircuts ala the J'naii from Star Trek.
(I know you all obviously remember the J'naii, but just in case...)
I don't usually like to post something that most other geek and news blogs have already covered, but since many of those sites are only including the one photo of a girl holding a Nerf gun, I thought it might be valuable to show you guys the more complete picture:
See? Girls *and* boys. As it should be!
Needless to say, I love this catalog. I just wish it had come about as a result of society's changing expectations, and not because a watch dog agency forced the toy company into it.
As with everything relating to gender and stereotypical interests, I think we should focus more on the positive - celebrating diversity and positive role models - than the negative. If we all live our lives in such a way that a girl playing Star Wars or a boy playing House is no big deal, then eventually it won't be a big deal.
So if we all celebrate this toy catalog, and congratulate Top Toys, and tell them how much these photos represent real kids out there who often feel bad for liking "girl" or "boy" things, then maybe other companies will follow suit.
And maybe - just maybe - in another few years all toy manufacturers will catch on to what we geeks already know: that toys are toys, no matter your gender or age, and there are no rules when playing dragons and castles:
Go see the rest of the Top Toys catalog for yourself here, found via The MarySue commenter The I.