Back in 2016 a run-of-the-mill trip to Toys “R” Us is resulting in a big change at toy giant Fisher-Price.
Gina Zuk Gerber, a Baltimore mom of two and public relations executive, was shopping for her 1-year-old daughter when she came across one of Fisher-Price’s Little People toys that she initially “thought was a joke,” she told ABC News.
The Little People toy SUV features a “mom figure,” according to the product description. And on the box it reads, “Time for yoga and a smoothie!” The toy also has an audio chip that says this, among other phrases.
More like “dirty diapers and screaming babies,” Gerber said with a laugh.
Outraged, Gerber posted a photo to Facebook, calling out the company for the toy. “Today when shopping for toys for Anna I was disgusted to see the ‘girl’ versions of Little People,” she wrote in part. “The only ones with all girl figures were all smothered in pink and purple, they worked in interesting places like the ‘home,’ and they all lacked the multiple educational elements the ‘boys’ toys had.”
The post ultimately caught the attention of Fisher-Price. The company told ABC News, “As a result of Ms. Gina Gerber’s advocacy, we are planning to make a running change to both the package and audio chip.”
The company also pointed out it has a female firefighter, dentist, mailwoman and more in its Little People collection.
Gerber said she doesn’t have anything against yoga. In fact, she brings in a yoga instructor for her staff every other week. But she said working moms and stay-at-home moms alike were offended by the insinuation that yoga and smoothies is a major part of motherhood.
“Maybe it’s one relaxing moment in a day, but it’s definitely not representative of being a mom,” she said.
Why Packaging Is Important For Kids?
Problems like the one above occurs when companies don’t have the kids in mind when working in the packaging of their toys. Yes, the toy itself is the most important part but packaging has almost the same importance.
To avoid being misinterpreted by parents companies need to target their packaging to kids, even though they won’t be the ones who pay for the toys.
Also, as we all know the packaging serves as a lead magnet, if a kid sees a nice packaging for a toy they might not even know about it yet they will probably ask their parents to buy it.
Packaging on itself doesn’t get a lot of customers but creates brand awareness. In today’s world when toys are competing in the market against video games which are getting day by day more and more engaging as we have seen with games like Fornite and Minecraft where building is just one way to expand their creativity, toy manufacturers have to use all tactics possible to get more sales.
Toy companies should never overlook the impact their packaging can make on kids because even if they themselves might not be fully aware of what they are looking at, their parents will.
Packaging once again has proven to be an important factor of brand reputation and how it can negatively impact companies sales.