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CULTURE WATCH : Two Types of Toys: 'Gross' and 'Pink'

March 21, 1994|WASHINGTON POST

Toy manufacturers insist that they're not promoting stereotypes.

But for children beyond preschool age, toys seem to be divided into two categories: gross and pink.

"We've done research," says Lisa McKendall, Mattel Toys' manager of marketing communications. "Boys love yucky, disgusting and scary. Girls love pretty and pink."

Kids may love this stuff--or not:

* Dress & Dream Dress-Up Vanity--Fisher-Price describes its three-panel vanity with makeup counter and stool as "an all-in-one play center combining vanity play and fantasy dress-up." $86.

* Dr. Dreadful Food Lab--Great for creating monster brains on a stick and other wiggly, jiggly creatures. Tyco makes a companion Drink Lab to concoct seriously putrid potions and foaming drinks. $25.

* Gorzak--A child's voice activates this fierce monster from Tyco to move and attack. Kids age 5 and up learn how a battle-ax works. $40.

* Incredible Edibles Grosseries Maker Oven--Toymax makes it possible to create such vile snacks as Macaroni & Sleeze, Corn on the Slob and French Flies. $30.

* Shout 'n Shoot--A bad-boy water gun with a twist. The voice-activated headset by CAP Toys fires a stream of water on command from a 24-ounce hip water tank. Described as "state-of-the-art water weaponry." $25.

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