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  1. #1

    Is Hasbro Sexist?

    A few weeks ago I purchased an interactive R2-D2 from KB. They shipped it in its original Hasbro shipping box inside their KB shipping box (A box in a box in a box!). It was a gift for my wife since she loves R2. I presented it to her yesterday and she loved it. But we both noticed on the outside of the Hasbro shipping cardboard box was in bold letters "BOYS".

    We couldn't believe it. In a world where children should be encouraged to play with whatever toys they like, here it is clearly marked that this toy is for boys. Doesn't that seem a bit sexist?

    The only logical explanation I could come up with is that retailers divide up the toy sections in stores into "girls" and "boys" areas (which to me is SOOOO wrong, but that is another topic altogether). The marking on the box is so that stockers know where to unload it to and put it in the right section. But this is just a guess.


  2. #2
    No I don't think sexist. Well At lest no more sexist then Mattel labeling Barbie "GIRLS."

    Right or wrong social (American social) has dived most thing up in "girls" and "boys." Dolls are girl's toys. Action figures are boy's toys (yes can blame this on Hasbro). Using the example of Barbie the label of doll fit and quite well. On the other hand Star Wars I think action figure also fits well.

    Statically I think more boys buy SW toys than girls. Based my own experience I can tell you that there are very few girls that I knew as a kid who like SW, and none that had SW toys. But as an adult I know a couple of women who are SW collectors, more I still know more men who are.

    So I'm trying to say is that its more a social construction rather than one or two companies.
    "I'm sick and tried of these motherfrakkking Sith on this motherfrakkker plane!"
    Mace Windu - Episode 2.5: Sith on a Plane

  3. #3


    ...I have worked for both KB and Toys R us and I can tell you that the sections are broken up into boy and girls toys and items. Toys are grouped by what the retailers figure are geared toward boys or girls. And yes, I think that there is some sexism in this way of thinking. In my experience, I have seen the girls walk away with "boys toys" like action figures and such under their arms, and I have seen boys looking for dolls and "girls toys."

    But as both a customer and a retailer I think it is also easier to find things if they are grouped in such ways. I would expect to see Barbie grouped with other dolls and items and I would expect to see Star Wars next to He-man, Dragon Ball and the like. But in general I haven't noticed if the naming has changed in stores. I know that at Toys R Us the grouping for action figures was called male action and Dolls were always girls something or other. Even looking at it from that point of view the names MALE and girl seem to put more stress on the boys stuff than the girls.

    Ok I am rambling, but I see your point, and I know that the guys are not the only ones buying Star Wars and such. My daughter is only two and a half, but she likes both dolls and figures. And I am raising her to get what she wants. Now if I had a boy, I would hope the same would apply to him.
    "Not again, Obi Wan is going to kill me."

  4. #4
    I think it's sexism. Just shows that the guys running these big businesses are male chauvanists. This sort of tagging of toys is ridiculous. No wonder kids get screwed up with their sense of identity. How the hell do these toy manufacturers and stockists appeal to the growing number of intersexual kids? Hermaphrodites? kids who know at a very young age they are different and will no doubt grow up to lead alternate lifestyles. Pegging and pidgeon holing is disgusting and unless it stops at the grass roots level with kids it's going to be perpetuated from here to eternity. These companies seem to think we still live in the 1950's. It really makes me feel ill walking into stores where the girls and boys toys are segregated from each other. What's hard about actually taking a few minutes to browse with your kid? But the way i see parents shopping the kid is the last thing on their mind, it all seems to be about either shutting the child up and not evewn bothering to look how much something costs because it's all on the credit card, or it's about status and having the newest and best available for playground one-upmanship.
    Shopping in toy stores at the beginning of the 21st century is a really sad and desultory affair. I hate it which is one of the reasons why i tend not to frequent rel world stores anymore. I buy online where it's all just listed by brand or manufacturer.

  5. #5
    Hasbro sexist? I'll say so! Look how they objectify the male body by churning out resculpt after resculpt of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Maul. We only got one Malakili and Jek Porkins. They're sending us the message that if you're an XXL size you aren't worth a resculpt. You have to be young and buff to merit the kind of redundant plastic immortality they shell out.

    I'll just get off my soapbox now and eat a whole carton of Dreyer's...
    "I'm just a YES man trying to make my way in the universe." - Jango McCallum

    "Good dialogue and smooth editing are no match for a good YES man by your side, kid." - George Lucas

  6. #6
    DarthChuckMc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Sunshine, alligators, and mosquitos.
    I think BOYS and GIRLS on the Hasbro boxes indicates which division of the company developed the toy in question. BOYS division handles action figures and such. GIRLS division handles PLUSH (SW Buddies were labeled GIRLS), and PRESCHOOL for the younger crowd.
    Shop at the SOFA-KING Big Sofa Store

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  7. #7
    Banned stillakid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Los Angeles
    I don't think that it's sexist at all. I didn't grow up with sisters, so watching my daughter grow up is a new experience. I can say with impunity that we never encouraged her to like or not like any kind of toy or manner of play. In fact, with an older brother, most of the toys already laying around the house were definitely geared toward boys.

    However, quite on her own, she has gravitated towards wanting "girl" things, like pink purses that she can put stuff into, like little "girl type" dolls that she can dress and comb the hair with...etc. This doesn't stop her from playing with some of the "boy" stuff, but she has an inherent drive towards the more "feminine" items.

    All this '60s banter of equality is rubbish. Men and women are fundamentally different, not only in body, but also in mind. Somewhere the concept of equal rights swept up the unfounded idea that everyone is created equally, both genetically and mentally. I don't think that this could be further from the truth. While I have proof of some absolutely stupid people who exist on this planet with the rest of us, I also can observe that many girls gravitate toward "girl toys" without being driven down that road by anyone.

    So we're different. What's wrong with that?

  8. #8
    I can see this thread getting closed really fast. Here's something that might help speed things along: MEN AND WOMEN ARE FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT THAN ONE ANOTHER. It's not some "patriachally" imposed male chauvanistic plot. No wonder why kids are so messed up, with parents that let their sons buy barbies......... So what if some girls want to play with boys toys. When I was a kid, me and my sister used to play together with both our toys (ie Skeletor would turn crystal castle into his own private brothel). My sister ha a few boys toys like Teela, a Transformer or two and princess Leia, but she was more geared to plastic sewing machies and easy bake ovens. THIS STUFF IS NOT BRAINWASHING: IT'S the way things are. Sure some boys want dolls but that doesn't mean they SHOULD be playing with dolls. Fire away.
    Hating aurra sing since 1999.

  9. #9
    Originally posted by Bosskman
    I can see this thread getting closed really fast.
    Nice. It's good to have goals.

    To answer the question ... yes.
    But no more so than just about any other toy company.
    Girls play with dolls and plastic food while boys play with cars and guns. No, it's not "BRAINWASHING", but it is a reinforcement of tired old stereotypes.

    (BTW, this threads gotta be in the wrong place.)

  10. #10
    Originally posted by plasticfetish
    (BTW, this threads gotta be in the wrong place.)
    Mods, feel free to move this if desired. I mainly posted here because the R2 was a 2003 product, but that's fine. Maybe the "Other" section would be better.

    Glad to see I generated some conversation on this. I'm going to pay more attention to any pallets I see on store floors in the toy section just to see if other companies do the same thing. It would be interesting to see if they do.

    And anybody know why Barbie likes the colour pick so dang much?


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