From a very depressing article in the WashPo
re marketing techniques for girl's toys:
Children are moving through play stages faster now, always wanting to go quickly to the next level of toys and encouraged by their parents to do so.
This change is especially pronounced in girls. The result is that Barbie, which used to be a doll that 7- and 8-year-olds would play with for hours, is now the domain of 3-year-olds. Never mind that 3-year-olds don't have the fine motor skills needed to dress the 10-inch bombshell in her tiny outfits and teensy accessories. Playrooms across the country are littered with naked Barbies with missing arms and matted hair.
By age 8, girls are gravitating away from Toys R Us to fast-growing chains like Club Libby Lu, which lets them dress up like rock stars, get glitter on their faces, put on fake ponytails and buy itty-bitty accessories to put in teeny-weeny purses.
But Sugar Snaps are not going to get 10-year-old Tiffany into the toy store. In a recent survey by Funosophy, 92 percent of boys 9 to 11 said they'd probably or definitely go to the toy aisle in a mass market store such as Target. Only 76 percent of girls said the same thing. Their first choice? Clothes, fashion accessories and shoes.