REVIEW – GoldieBlox, Building Games for Girls

If you’re one to spend any time on social media sites, you’ve probably already been introduced to GoldieBlox through their video-gone-viral featuring young girls using GoldieBlox toys and an assortment of household objects to create a Rube Goldberg machine.

I purchased an original GoldieBlox set (now labeled a Collector’s Edition) and did a review last summer.  You can see my girls at play with it here.  We loved it then and I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review their latest release GoldieBlox and the Parade Float.

After surprising my girls with this new toy, the first thing they commented upon was Goldie’s make-over.

The new Goldie has a Pippi Longstocking-esque quality about her that I find appealing and my girls really liked.  (What can I say, I love freckles!)  Stella informed me that she wants to see a Goldie cartoon and I would personally love to see that happen.

Mira grabbed the corresponding book right away and began reading the story.  I have to admit, at first I was a bit surprised–

Here we have not only a princess- but a princess pageant that Goldie’s friend Ruby wants to enter.  (Although I would like to point out the stellar choice for the name of the school!)  

If you do a random search for GoldieBlox right now you’ll find mixed reviews.  Some folks are decidedly in the pro-Goldie camp and love the STEM-toy geared for girls.  Others folks bash on Goldie and, in fact, might even be harder on her because they wanted her to be the antithesis to the princess culture.  They expected her to rage against the pink machine and stand as some sort of anti-princess mascot.

While writing this post I’ve been researching GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling; and if you listen to her videos or read her interviews she never states that she’s trying to avoid princesses or pink.  Instead she wants to tap into these things to steer the princess parade another way- to a more educational and creative place.  By creating GoldieBlox, Debbie showed that a girl’s opportunities should not be limited if she happens to be a girly girl.

To be honest, I used to reject all things princess back when I had one daughter.  In fact, I had some underlining assumption that being “girly” was in itself inferior. (Stupid trappings of feminism gone overboard.)  It was easy to write off girly stuff because Mira had no interest in it, so I bought fully into the idea that girls and pink were nothing but a product of Disney and faceless misogynistic marketers of toys.  Then came my second daughter Stella.  I swear sparkly glitter must run in this girl’s veins!  I wrote about my eventual acceptance of “girly” in a post about Stella here.  I won’t repeat myself since you can read it there but my point being- who am I to tell Stella that her interest in fairies and ballerinas is not as worthy as her older sister’s interests in dinosaurs and turtles?  What’s wrong with frilly dresses?! If she likes ‘em why am I trying to force her into something else.  Being girly doesn’t mean you’re inferior.  Instead I individually take each daughter and each passion and make them as educationally rewarding and inspiring as possible.  And yes- it’s possible to do with princesses too.  And now, GoldieBlox gives me a new kick-butt tool to add to my arsenal.

{Spoiler Alert}  Yes, Goldie’s friend wins the pageant…. but I’ll be stressing this page of the book to my girls and then highlighting the pride they feel when their inventions come to fruition:

As interesting as GoldieBlox are to me, I don’t believe that by playing with them my girls will all end up engineers at NASA just like I don’t believe my girls will end up exotic dancers if I let them play with Barbies.  Nor do I believe my girls will always be searching for Prince Charming because they’ve watched Cinderella or believe that a bevy of woodland critters will come do their housework for them à la Snow White.  I firmly believe that the BIGGEST and most profound experience from childhood that will effect my children as adults will be the way in which my husband and I parent them and the lifestyle we live on a day to day basis.  The way in which children are raised will leave the biggest mark upon them- not the toys with which they’ve played.

Now that I shared my two cents- let me get to the details of my review.  My girls love reading Goldie’s book while creating the inventions detailed inside, but the real allure to them is ultimately free play.  They just want to assemble and make things up as they go. The one thing to consider with GoldieBlox is that at this stage they don’t have many sets or accessories, so parts and pieces are limited – which limits creative play.  I would love to see this company grow and offer more products and tools.  A small expansion pack is due out this month but in the meantime I compensated by throwing an event which I dubbed .

 I grabbed our building toys, threw on some classical music, and let my girls have at it.

They had so much fun that we’ve made this  party a regularly occurring event.   I look forward to adding more building toys to our collection including new GoldieBlox products.

 

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About Kristen

Home schooling classically with a dash of whatever strikes our fancy.
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One Response to REVIEW – GoldieBlox, Building Games for Girls

  1. Jody says:

    It’s so great to read your review! I have just purchased these for my nieces and I’m hoping to get them for my girls when we are in the States next. I love your E3 event!!!

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