Boy Toys -- Why So Aggressive?

gender neutral boy girl toddler toysLook at how passive, sweet, and gender-neutral Eg the Neo-moto is. Was, I should say. Eg is no longer with us, broken as he/she is into three plástico pieces. A couple of kids threw him/her down the slide at our local park.

We try to stress the importance of sharing on the playground. Go ahead and LOL.

Given that every boy and girl in our barrio here in Spain has a mini-moto, we couldn’t have our son wandering the parks without one. But Eg cost us nearly €70 and, besides, around the time of Eg’s demise, Ezra had developed an irrepressible need to beep any and all horns he could get his hands on. So that was two strikes against Eg: too expensive to buy two and he/she didn’t give a toot to begin with.

Now take a look at my son’s new bike, Mr. Moto Feber.


toddler boy toy mini motorbikeDo you see the difference? Eg we met at a boutique toy store, hence the price tag. Moto, on the other hand, hails from a Euro version of Toys ‘R’ Us, the kind of toy megamart divided evenly into pink and blue aisles.

Moto lived on the blue side. His counterpart, let’s call her Meg, lives on the pink side alongside Hello Kitty and Hannah Montana (may she keep her knickers on another day). I looked everywhere for a mini-moto like Eg, but he/she was nowhere to be found.

With a sigh, we brought Moto Feber home. He is my son’s first official boy toy and it’s a milestone that I’m having a really hard time with.

Every time I look at him -- Moto I mean -- I think to myself, Why must you be so aggressive? What’s with the motocross motif and the high RPM stickers on the dashboard?

It’s the same question I ask of the t-shirts in boy departments of most clothing stores. No, he’s not a race car driver, crime fighter, wrecking ball, or pirate. And as amazing as he truly is, he’s not even Superman.

I know that my little guy will soon play shoot ‘em up games of cops and robbers, even if his gun ends up being a banana or his index finger. I’m not delusional. I know that boys are generally into that sort of thing. Yet must clothing and toy manufacturers force the gender divide so soon? And why must parents pay premium dollar for the illusion of neutrality?

What are your thoughts on aggressive boy toys? And moms of girls, what do you think of all that pink?


Photos via K. Emily Bond

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