|A picture from one of Hasbro's Funlab test sessions.|
Toy makers have begun marketing a more aggressive line of playthings and weaponry for girls — inspired by a succession of female warrior heroes like Katniss, the Black Widow of “The Avengers,” Merida of “Brave” and now, Tris of the book and new movie “Divergent” — even as the industry still clings to every shade of pink.The article further mentions the changes made in the Barbie and Skylanders brands, and seems to give a fairly objective view about this shift within the toy industry. It's worth a read, in my opinion.
The result is a selection of toys that, oddly, both challenges antiquated notions and plays to them deeply.
The Rebelle line, introduced last year, comes in a swirl of pink, purple, white and gold plastic, and the weapons have names — like the Heartbreaker and the Pink Crush — that are enough to make an enlightened 21st-century mother groan. But around a dozen new toys in the line are coming out this year.
Zing’s Air Huntress bows and sling shots (Slogan: Ready. Aim. Girl Power!) account for more than a quarter of the company’s sales in a little over a year on the market. A pump-action “cheetah shooter” from the Marshmallow Fun Company is bathed in pale pink with darker spots and fires mini-marshmallows.