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.
Yeah, I know, I know, I am a very bad minimalist. I collect things when I shouldn’t, just because they’re strange and they make me smile.
I was introduced to Chicago’s Rotofugi gallery and toy store shortly before I moved into the city and it quickly became an obsession. It’s like they just took all of my favorite things in the world, packaged them, and put them on shelves for sale. From figurines of Japanese kaiju monsters to Doctor Who mini-figures to art prints from local and national artists to handmade toys to street art magazines to art books to handmade jewelry (the last, unfortunately, only available in store), Rotofugi is a weird art kid’s dream.
Hey, some people want to fill their lives with Precious Moments figurines, some people want to fill them with cycloptic cats. SUE ME. Just don’t buy the Gipper bust, I’ll have to fight you for it.
LEGO has received steady pressure to include more women figurines in more diverse roles. Well, good news: they have listened to their fans and a new LEGO play kit out this month features three female scientists — a paleontologist, chemist and an astronomer — as part of a “Research Institute” set. Several years ago, scientist Ellen Kooijman proposed 13 different mini-figs for a female scientist set on the LEGO Ideas site, where fans can propose new sets. She even traveled to LEGO’s headquarters in Denmark to discuss the issue with the toy engineers. In June, the company announced hers was the winning idea for 2014 and Kooijman posted LEGO’s prototypes for three of her “Research Institute” mini-figs on her blog. As you can see from the photo above, there’s lots of fun bits and pieces and one of the mini-figs is even wearing glasses! I haven’t played with LEGOs in years, but I just might want this set for myself. But you have to act fast: according to NPR, the set is already out of stock online. [NPR; Scientific American] [Image from Scientific American via Ellen Kooijman]
How awesome would it be if we could hand a kid a doll that didn’t have absurdly unrealistic proportions like Barbie does?
You may remember last year’s 3D print of a Barbie created using the average measurements of a 19-year-old girl. It made waves on the internet because, spoiler alert, the original Barbie’s shape was nothing like the average-sized doll. Artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm, the genius behind that project, got bombarded with questions about where parents could buy a doll like his creation. Lamm couldn’t point to any doll on the market with a realistic look, so he took things into his own hands. Keep reading »
Dear John Bitmead, AKA The Guy Who Built An Adult-Sized Version Of The Little Tikes Coupe,
When I was growing up, my youngest brother had a Little Tikes coupe car, and my other brothers and I delighted in having him drive it up to the edge of this small cliff by our driveway, and then pushing him off. He never got seriously hurt, but we thought it was so funny to watch this happy, bright-colored little car careening down a craggy hillside with our tiny brother inside, screaming, “Damn you, Dr. Nebulous (or whatever our villain name was that day)!”
What I’m trying to say is that I’ve always gotten a lot of joy out of Little Tike coupes, so when I found out that you had created an adult-sized version, that runs on gasoline and is totally street legal, well, it made me want to date you and push you off a cliff. Could we arrange something like that, please?
This is 10-year-old Melissa Shang. In addition to being completely adorable and obsessed with American Girl dolls, Melissa also suffers from muscular dystrophy. She has Charchot-Marie-Tooth disease, which means she cannot feel sensation in her arms, legs, hands and feet and to get around in a wheelchair. Along with her sister YingYing, Melissa is petitioning American Girl (owned by Mattel) for a doll like her: a girl who is disabled. Keep reading »