GoldieBlox, the kickass toy company that encourages young girls to explore engineering and other STEM fields, will have a float in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. “The Girl-Powered Spinning Machine” float will look like a life-sized GoldieBlox toy and use “kid power” to make pinwheels, parachutes and other components move. Goldie, the company’s girl inventor mascot, will be on the float with her dog. The company’s key message centers around the idea that “while girls may love princesses, they can build their own castles too” and hopes to do away with the gendered toy store aisles that teach young girls that they belong in the home. The company began on Kickstarter just two years ago and has already made its way to big retailers like Toys ‘R’ Us and Amazon. Clearly, the world was eager and ready for something to buy for daughters that wasn’t a princess doll.
Last week, we showed you this new advertisement from the girls toy company GoldieBlox, spoofing the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls.” Well, the company’s use of the song has sparked a legal battle over copyright infringement — but before you assume that it’s the Beastie Boys suing GoldieBlox, think again. According to The Hollywood Reporter, while the band claims that the inclusion of “Girls” in the video doesn’t fall under fair use and is a “big problem” that has a “very significant impact,” it’s GoldieBlox that’s preemptively suing the Beastie Boys, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to “vindicate the rights” of the toy company. Their argument is that the lyrics to “Girls” are sexist and therefore their use of that song in an ad related to little girls’ empowerment qualifies as “parody.”
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We are obsessed with this brilliant commercial by toy company Goldie Blox, which aims to inspire and educate future female engineers. Their goal is to “disrupt the pink aisle,” as little girls are interested in lots of cool toys but primarily targeted with princess dresses and pop star dreams. The company’s creator, Debbie Sterling, is a Stanford engineering graduate disappointed with how few female classmates she had. Only 11 percent of engineers are female and Sterling believes that encouraging girls to be inventive at an early age with construction toys that come from “a female perspective” is a step in the right direction. The video takes the notoriously sexist “Girls” by the Beastie Boys and revamps it as something of a feminist anthem as the girls in the commercial get creative with household items — and those silly feather boas and tea sets they’re “supposed” to be sashaying around in. Anyone else want to adopt these three? [GoldieBlox]
Late last year, Debbie, a woman in the male-dominated field of engineering, became frustrated with what she saw as the link between the gender disparity in her field and the toys children play with. Specifically, that toys which encourage inventiveness are typically marketed towards boys and therefore lead boys to become more interested in subjects like math, science and engineering as they grow up. So she decided to do something about it. She started a toy company called GoldieBlox, with the goal of encouraging girls to love engineering as much as she does. You can watch her introductory video here. But the next step is actually bringing these engineering toys for girls in stores nationwide, especially a major chain like Toys R Us. While the store has stocked some of GoldieBlox’s toys, it’s been in small quantities, dwarfed by the sea of Barbies around them. “We’ve been told that GoldieBlox can’t survive in mass stores next to Barbie,” the company writes on their YouTube page. “Convention says that engineering toys for girls are a “niche” for the affluent, and for the internet. Together, we must prove convention wrong.” You can help them do that in one small way — sharing this awesome video, featuring a bunch of adorable girls singing to the tune of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” about “disrupting the pink aisle” with your Facebook and Twitter followers. Want to do more? Check out more suggestions for how to help at the link! [YouTube via Upworthy]