Why Are Toys So Hetero-Centric? Are they Behind the Times?

Photography by Carlo Mendoza

What would happen if Barbie, Dora or Manny suddenly came out of the closet? As a society we are becoming increasingly accepting of homosexuality, but it seems toy manufacturers haven’t gotten the memo. And, to emphasize our point, Playmobil has come out with its marriage series. The collection, which features a bride and a groom, with extra figurines like a minister (no rabbis or wedding officiants available either), photographer, and some party guests, keeps it traditional with white dresses, sparkling diamonds, a church weeding and three-tiered cake—essentially implanting dreams of tying the knot before they’ve mastered tying their shoes. And, while we aren’t holding our breath for a surge of gay-friendly toys in the local Toys R Us, wouldn’t it be amusing if Barbie ditched Ken for a female partner?

One anonymous reader wrote us with her thoughts on this issue:

Hi, I just received the April issue in the mail & I find it appalling that you are in favour of gay & lesbian toys. What is so wrong with letting our kids play with Ken & Barbie?!!!!! They can decide for themselves when they are older as long as the parents are loving & open-minded. I don’t think I will be renewing my subscription when it ends. I am extremely offended by this!!!!!

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