Slime Time

I’ve been really creatively inspired by Retroband’s most recent toy drop (which, I’m disappointed to say, sold out while I was entering in my credit card info), and while I’m thinking about creating my own slime toy, I started thinking back to all my slime toys as a kid.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, He-Man, Captain Planet – each of these 80’s toy lines had a slime toy of some sort.  And looking back, they were always marketed towards boys.  

I also remember there being a My Little Pony film that had some sort of a sludge monster in it, and I really wanted to watch it, but My Little Pony was marketed towards girls and so I never got to see that slime monster.  

While I know about the bronies (bros who are into My Little Pony),  and that slimes have made sort of a comeback with women in the DIY/craft space, I wonder how many people lost out because their gender didn’t match their interests that are specified by binary-focused toy companies?  

How much money was left on the table by toy companies by selling a narrative that some toys are for boys, and others are for girls?  

When we market things, it makes sense to be specific about who it’s for.  But what if we looked past the easy demographics, and focused on psychographics instead?  How might we better reach our audiences, make more money, and also create a more inclusive world, all at the same time?  

2 comments

  1. Michele Reiner

    I love this thought line Rick and even though things have improved, the issues still continue today. Just yesterday, my daughter’s class was doing a ‘get to know you’ thing and each person said something they liked to do and the other kids raised their hands if they liked it too. A boy in her class said he liked Minecraft, which my daughter loves, yet she didn’t raise her hand because none of the girls did. When she told me about it later, it really seemed to break her heart to not share her passion with the class – yet the fear of being different held her back. Hopefully next time she’ll remember the pain of not sharing your true self. . .

    1. Rick

      Thanks for sharing this, Michele, and so sorry to hear about your daughter’s experience. I think this goes to illustrate how easily our society can shape how we show up – I wonder how many of your daughter’s female classmates were thinking the exact same thing and also didn’t raise their hands.

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