Posted on June 27th, 2012 @ 12:48 pm
So my daughter (6yrs) and I were working on her Santa list for Christmas. It’s only June, I know, but my girl is all about the big events in life….birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Christmas. No sooner is one event finished, then she is thinking and planning for the next one. I wonder where she gets that from? *shuffles feet and whistles innocently*
Anyway, she has been going on about these new robots called Fijits. She’s seen the ad on TV and has seen them in all the toy catalogues. They dance and sing and you can talk to them and have full conversations. They’re marketed as a girls best friend.
New to the world of Fijits, I decided to do some research. I find that they have 4 different Fijits; Seraphina (pink), Willa (purple), Logan (blue) and Sage (yellow/green). They each have different personalities and these are published on the website and the boxes of the toys. My guess is that the designers tried to accommodate all kinds of girls when making these robots, something I applaud. Seraphina is the resident ‘girly girl’ and sweety pie who likes romantic comedies, Willa is a fashionista and loves clothes and art, Logan is the sporty one and loves action and soccer and Sage is adventurous, likes hiking and science.
Ok, so despite my own loathing of the girly girl and the fashionista, I accept that there are many ways to be a girl. I’m thrilled that they have reached out to all kinds of girls and catered for everybody. I load up the Toys R Us website and look up Fijits. They only have the pink and purple fijits on offer. So my choices are girly girl or fashionista trend setter. Hmph. Ok, I’ll try BigW. Same story there. Only pink and purple. So again my choices for my daughter are girly girl or fashionista. Next I called up Kmart and they don’t stock them at all. My next call was to Toyworld and they only have the purple one in their catalogue, but they had none in my local store.
Toys R Us and BigW have them on sale for $68.67 and $67 respectively.
My next option is to search online for Sage or Logan. I type in “buy fijit online”. I changed my location to Australia only and I get a bunch of hits. All of them for Willa (purple) or Seraphina (pink). Next I tried searching for “buy fijit sage logan online”. Again, I got a number of hits for toy stores who sell Fijits, and mention Sage or Logan in the description, but they only actually sell the pink or purple with the exception of Fishpond.com.au who actually have all 4 characters for sale. The catch? I have to pay $89.95, but they do offer free shipping. eBay has quite a few for sale, most of which are located in the USA, but will ship to Australia for a hefty fee.
So, not unlike the Merida dolls from the new “Brave” movie in my recent post, I must either import these toys or pay a premium for them online. Once upon a time I would have just gone to BigW or Toys R Us and picked up whatever they had available, without much thought to what was on the box. These days, I’m a lot more concerned with the messages these toys are sending to my daughter. My daughter loved the pink and purple ones, but when I showed her you could also get an adventurous Sage or a sporty Logan too, I thought her little head was going to explode! She could not decide whether she wanted sporty or adventurous. She still keeps changing her mind and has no idea what to tell Santa! She keeps changing between sporty and adventurous. In her own words “Sporty or adventure, that’s waaaaaaaay more fun than just pretty or liking clothes Mum! I want to go on adventures!” My girl is the kind of girl that will throw on a princess dress and gum boots, grab her scooter and go on adventures with her stuffed animals or kick a soccer ball or pink football (we’re not perfect, nor are we immune to the pressures of pink) around in the back yard, or pretend she’s in a rocket going to the moon to find aliens. She is by no means what some uneducated people refer to as a ‘tomboy’. I HATE the word “tomboy”. But that’s a whole other blog post!! My point is, she likes ALL things, not just pink things.
So I’m not sure why it’s so hard to get all 4 characters in Australia. At first I thought maybe it was the stores only ordering what they feel will sell better. They will only supply what sells. They don’t want a bunch of yellow/green and blue Fijits left over on their shelves that they can’t sell. Perhaps that is a huge part of it, but my daughter told me that the advertisement on TV for them only features the pink and purple Fijits. The advertisement doesn’t tell you which store to buy from, it’s just an ad for the line of toys by Mattel. Do the big companies have such a huge influence on what our kids see on TV that they are having the ads modified to suit what is for sale on their shelves?
It’s really very disappointing, no angering, because these companies are alienating half of their audience! Why are these companies so scared of girls that aren’t pink and frilly?
This is where we come in as consumers. How many of us would actually choose to buy blue or yellow/green if they were on the shelf right beside the pink and purple ones? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of my girl wants pink or purple, without stopping to think about the message behind those colours. We need to give our girls options! Think carefully about what you spend your money on because it sends a message about what we want to buy. Think before you pick up that pink toy. Read the box. What does the message say? Is that message something you’re comfortable for your child to absorb? As consumers we have the power to change the way these companies sell their products.
Just realised I forgot to include Target in my research. I’ve just viewed their catalogue and called them up. Same exact story. Pink or purple only. You can contact them HERE to ask them to please supply the full range of Fijits.