Construction Toys for Girls? They’re Here and They’re Amazing

05/06/2014 at 02:00 PM ET

Fairie tales are so predictable … with yet another beautiful princess finding her prince.

But wouldn’t it be so refreshing to read about a smart, sassy girl who saves the day by fixing her boyfriend’s carburetor? Now, that’s a modern romance we can really get into!

Well, thanks to their innovative construction sets, GoldieBlox is shaking up the fantasy of the damsel in distress.

The brainchild of Debbie Sterling (a former mechanical engineer), the toys were specially designed with girls in mind (lighter-colored blocks paired with engaging storybooks) without dumbing down key engineering principles.

Goldieblox Toy SetsCourtesy Goldieblox

For ages 4 and up, each box features a different adventure for heroine, Goldie, and everything your daughter will need (axels, washers, ribbons, cranks, etc.) to make several creations. For example, GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine ($30) is all about how she uses her noggin and her hands to create a cool machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail.

It’s a really good thing GoldieBlox hit the scene. According to stats released by the company, girls lose confidence in math and science as young as age 7 and only 13 percent of engineers in the workforce are women. We’re really hoping to see a change. Considering how fun their sets really are, we expect they will soon.

Amy Jamieson

Goldieblox Toy SetsCourtesy Goldieblox

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Showing 7 comments

Shawna on

Let’s fight against sexism by perpetuating sexism! Wait, what? How about letting girls playing with regular toys, not “lighter” ones so they are pretty. And the book is absolutely ridiculous. I get what they are trying to do but they have SO missed the mark.

L&C's mom on

I agree. I like the idea and concept behind it but I don’t understand why we have to have separate “boy” and “girl” mechanical toys. I am an engineer in the construction industry (very male dominated) and I know the importance of getting girls into the math and science field. I played with all the “boy” toys but never realized it. I also played with dolls and barbies.

Alissa on

I agree with Shawna and L&C’s mom. It is important for girls to know there is more to their life than their looks, but we don’t need girly engineering toys…just engineering toys. Conversely, boys don’t have to all rough and tumble and boy stereotypes too. How about we teach all children the same thing…they are important, knowledge is a gift and learning requires some failures along the way.

megan on

“she uses her noggin and her hands to create a cool machine to help her dog, Nacho, chase his tail.”

That is so embarassingly dumbed down & random. I would never buy that kit for a child

mrsb on

As a mother of a girl, I have never seen anything so ridiculous. Girls can play with any toys they want, they dont need specific lightly coloured versions. In our family, from three women, two are in engineering and science careers, without the need of girly toys

otdina on

I agree with a lot of you guys, in theory. While I appreciate that this is not “dumbed down”, I also wonder why girls NEED to have different toys than boys. Why not just put some colored bricks in a box, label it Engineering toy and be done with it. The thing is though, as much as I don’t like it, some boys prefer toys that are more rugged and tough looking, and some girls are just naturally drawn towards more refined and elegant looking toys. It is just how it is. While I want to encourage my daughter’s love for building with Legos, or this particular engineering toy, I also don’t feel that I have the right to tell her not to like pink or princesses. Isn’t my job as a parent to encourage all her likes (within reason)? Do I wish she didn’t care that it was packaged with fairy princesses? Sure I do. But the truth is that while she adores princesses and fairies, and my son loves Ninja Turtles, even though he has no idea what they are (because I don’t let them watch that junk), it is how they are. We have “boy” toys and “girl” toys in this house. They are all lumped together, and I try to buy gender neutral as much as I can. But I can tell you this, my daughter will gravitate towards the princess costumes, and my son will make a gun out of anything he can find (we don’t keep violent toys in the house, so he had to figure out how to make them from legos). It is just how they are. And as a parent, I think it is my job to explain to them that color has no gender, but I also think it is my job to (within reason) get them the things that they want and like. And for her it will be pink engineering toys. But hey, if it will get her to stop playing princess, I am all for it. At least with this, she is thinking and problem solving while enjoying herself. But one of my most proud moments as her mom was when two years ago she asked for a Handy Manny toolset for Chanukah instead of a pink kitchen. Later, I did get them a wooden kitchen set (which is actually nicer than my own kitchen), but I was thrilled that she was able to live without the disgusting pink plastic one.

Gil on

Girls can play any type of toys, its ridiculous to specify type of toys girls have to play.