As the countdown to Christmas begins, research reveals that shoppers opting for traditional presents of dolls for girls and skateboards for boys could be wide of the mark this year, according toy manufacturer Martin Yaffe. It claimed that about 70 per cent of girls under six admit that boys’ toys are what they really want.
Martin Yaffe carried out a focus group, during which children were invited to put this year’s top Christmas toys through their paces and seven out of 10 girls chose to play with toys designed for boys over the girls’ alternatives.
Bob the Builder emerged as the top character for this Christmas, outshining traditional girls’ favourites such as Barbie and Bratz. The Bob the Builder Snaptrax set with working car wash and dryer was an instant hit, prompting 55 per cent of parents at the group to consider buying the toy for their daughters when it hits the shelves this month.
Other boys’ toys popular with girls in the group included a remote-control version of Scrambler, the quad bike from the Bob the Builder TV series, and a new range of colourful characters and vehicles called Oddbodz from the Born to Play range, which can be dismantled and rebuilt into different figures and creations.
Of course the reported survey results must be taken with a grain of salt, given the purveyor of the preferred toys conducted the survey, but it would be great to see independent research on this, because it seems intuitively correct to me. My friends and I played with Barbies a lot as children, but we did this by building things for her such as furniture, camping equipment, transportation devices and amusement park rides out of boxes and tape and string and whatever else we had, and by taking her on adventures around the house and out of doors. She wore the same outfit for weeks on end and I don’t remember ever attending to her hair.