Articles

Crossbeams for Girls

Charles SharmanFebruary 19, 2015

The introduction of Lego Friends (2012), Goldie Blox (2012), Roominate (2012), and K'Nex Mighty Makers (2015) reveals the Toy Industry's recent attempts to market building toys for girls.

These offerings attempt to pique girls' interest by color and story. Certainly, they will have some success, at least for single-time buyers. However, I question the long-term efficacy. Girls, like boys, were made to create. It's in our blood. However, when the average parent or grandparent loads their girl with princess stories, pink dresses, and dolls from an early age, girls are trained to believe their value is in outward and inward beauty. Girls don't necessarily need a special girl building toy. They need parents and grandparents in their lives that load them with things that enhance their innate creative talent. To make at least some concession, a building toy without "boy" written all over it helps.

In the U.S., 20% of building toy purchases go toward girls [1], whereas 39% of Crossbeams purchases go toward girls [2]. Why has Crossbeams crossed the gender-gap better than the average building toy without even trying? First, Crossbeams builds anything. Unlike many building toys that are no better than assembly toys, a Crossbeams angle2x1 can go just as easily in a sports car, a helicopter, a house, a dolphin, or a swing set. Crossbeams doesn't constrain creations to specific things; it unleashes creations to unlimited things. Second, Crossbeams are white, a gender-neutral color for a gender-neutral toy.

Girls don't need a special girl building toy. Girls need an excellent building toy with gender-neutrality, and Crossbeams fits that specification well.

  1. NPD Group
  2. Percentage of sales from inception through January 30, 2015. Unknown recipients excluded.