Last night, while having an adventure at our local store, my daughter and I made her wish list for her birthday and Christmas, which are both quickly approaching. We always make a single list for both—limited to twenty items or less, which she knows she will likely get about half of—and this was our first time doing so in the store itself, browsing through as casually as we pleased.
She found a lot of cool things she wanted—craft supplies, Hot Wheels cars, a Star Wars fighter pod (though she wants a Chewbacca with a closed mouth rather than an open one) and a wicked awesome Lego werewolf pack. Some Littlest Pet Shops and Moshi Monsters also made the list. Puzzled, she asked me where Merida’s stuff was—she was hoping to add her bow and arrow.
I told her I’d put it on the list, but her question was a good one. After all, Toy Story 3 has been out for a couple of years now—yet an entire aisle was dominated by that movie’s toys, while the “princess” aisle featured less than six Merida toys. All of them, by the way, did not look like Merida, and my daughter wanted none of them, least of all the wig offered for girls to have long Merida hair.
Seriously? Since when do we sell wigs to go with Disney films?
The fact that the bow and arrow were sold out—indeed, there is almost always a gaping hole where they might be featured—should tell toymakers something. The abundance of wigs is clear as well: girls don’t want wigs. Girls want Merida’s bow and arrows.
There’s a gaping void where Pixar’s latest merch push should be, and though I’m not one to cry for more stuff to bury our children in, I am a little miffed. Merida is amazing. Brave is amazing. Why can’t we have some toys to bring home and celebrate that fact with—to reenact our new favorite movie with cool action figures and not made-up dressed up dolls? (I kid you not; the Merida figures have makeup on them, though in the film she did not wear makeup once.) Can toymakers not get over sexualizing girls for five minutes and make us some actual good quality toys here?
In the meantime, it looks like I need to get a bow and arrow online sometime soon.