Toys from 1981 to toys now – what’s gone wrong for girls

January 23, 2014

I’m often writing about the divide between boys’ and girls’ toys – I once wrote about the absence of strong female Lego characters, and most recently, about how girls’ science and tech toys are being dumbed down, or prettified.

I know many moms are divided about girls’ toys – some don’t mind that how they are marketed or packaged, while others like me are a little irritated.

A recent post in Huffington Post showed the differences in toys between then (the 80s) and now, and while one would expect change and advancement, today’s products are screaming femininity, prettiness, glitter and pink. I don’t think anyone is saying that girls and boys aren’t different, but the different marketing, products and packaging are worlds apart.

Have a look:

Lego (Then)


Lego (Now)

lego friends

Strawberry Shortcake (Then)

Strawberry Shortcake (Now)


Rainbow Brite (Then)

Rainbow Brite (Now)
My Little Pony (Then)
My Little Pony (Now)
Trollz (Then)
Trollz (Now)
Cabbage Patch Kids 1983 (Then)
Cabbage Patch Kids (Now)
What do you think? 

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  • Andrea Barras

    Boo! I like the old stuff better – esp. The My Little Pony!

    January 23, 2014 at 8:21 am Reply
  • Brigitta

    I have 2 kids, 1 boy, 1 girl and yes, I have bought pink girly things for my daughter and boy toys for my son, but they play with each other’s toys, so at the end of the day I’m not really phased. As long as they enjoy the toy and learn through playing, it’s all good. I do think though that it is a bit ridiculous that the good old toys we played with as kids have to be revamped.

    January 23, 2014 at 8:22 am Reply
  • Rose

    The trolls appear to have had plastic surgery!

    January 23, 2014 at 12:44 pm Reply
    • Tanya

      Haha – too true!

      January 24, 2014 at 7:29 am Reply
  • Heather

    aah the eighties, brings back memories of my childhood… I remember the cabbage patch kid. I really like that pic of the kid building the lego as she wants, I think that’s ideal and what I want for Nicky too.

    January 23, 2014 at 7:43 pm Reply
  • Kristi Fraser

    why does the my little pony seem to have a waist and hips etc, its weird. Im also curious as to where are gender neutral toys. I have 2 boys and mommy is a big fan of cooking and baking, my boys love it too and many of the worlds best chefs are men, but to find a boys kitchen set is near impossible,its almost all pink or purple. I was also surprised the first time my son played at a girls home and he found a baby doll, he was so caring, he carried it, wrapped it in a blanket and gently put it too bed, so does that make him girlie or caring… is it too weird for a little boy to care for a baby doll, or for a girl to play with a car.

    January 24, 2014 at 2:47 am Reply
    • Tanya

      I agree Kristi. Good that you’re encouraging your son – I know of some parents who won’t let their sons have dolls.

      January 24, 2014 at 7:28 am Reply
  • Sarah

    I don’t mind there being more boy specific and more girl specific toys, what bothers me is how the stereotypes have gone to the extreme and more mature. Even the dolls are consumeristic with more accessories and hi tech gadgets.

    January 24, 2014 at 7:13 am Reply
    • Tanya

      Thanks for the reply!

      January 24, 2014 at 7:27 am Reply

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