When are design critics like novelists? After the holidays, when they have to decide whether to offend the people that gave them gifts by reviewing them. So here’s my disclaimer, family members: I thank you for your generosity, and my children will play with everything you gave them to the best of their abilities and interest. But I can’t turn off the voice in my head.
Now that that’s out of the way, it is time for my annual post on the horrors of design for kids (previously: designer toys, baby clothes). This year, it is not just me that is talking about the gender gap when it comes to toys. The week before Christmas there was lively debate online about the news, via this Bloomberg BusinessWeek story, that Lego was creating a new line of pastel pieces for girls. Peggy Orenstein wrapped it all up in the New York Times on December 30.