Many boys' toys have historically been associated with violence. From soldiers to secret agents to ninjas to action toys to weaponry, the emphasis of their play value is one of fighting and aggression. But this gender stereotypical notion that all little boys want to behave in that manner is very negative, exposing young boys to an adult agenda, when they should be embracing the innocence of childhood. Creativity, compassion, and goodwill should be encouraged, helping to nurture an emotional balance in young boys.
There is a new toy on the market, which promises to challenge these stereotypes and offer little boys a whole new way to play. Finn is an 18cm boy doll, modeled on a realistic, healthy child's body. He is an age appropriate playmate that embodies the spirit of childhood, offering boys a different way to play. Finn loves the outdoors, playing sports and going on adventures. This is a far cry from the defeat and destroy nature of many other boys' toys and games. It's nice that boys can have a doll that they can really relate to.
Freddy, my 5 year old son, is in many ways typical of the male stereotype in that he will happily indulge in fighting games, rough and tumble and play fighting. But that isn't the only aspect of his personality. He is also caring, loving, gentle and kind and I want him to embrace all of what he is and allow him to explore it through play. He isn't afraid to play with his big sister's toys, so I was interested in what he would make of a doll designed with boys in mind.
He was sent a new Kite Flyer Finn toy to play with. Straight away he played with him and remarked that he thought it was a really good toy. He liked making him do back flips, climb on the furniture and fly around the room like a superhero! He played with him doing the sort of imaginary games he'd play with a friend, chatting away and having fun.
I really like the size of the Finn toy as its a good size for little hands to play with and carry around. It makes a good travel companion when out and about.
Finn comes with a long sleeved top, shorts, red trainers, body warmer and a kite. (Freddy was a bit miffed that he couldn't get the kite to actually fly!) He has realistic hair, is jointed at the hips and shoulders and his knees bend to pose him in different positions. Freddy did find that Finn's legs popped off after over zealous manoeuvres, but they easily popped back into position.
Also available is a change of clothing for Finn, a Gone Fishing outfit. It consists of a shark print top, shorts and brown shoes as well as a fishing rod. The fishing rod is more functional than the kite, and Freddy enjoyed pretending to fish with Finn. (I wasn't sure about the dangling dead fish on the end of the line...not really in keeping with the compassionate image. But then I am a vegetarian. I'll just have to believe Finn threw the fish back after catching it!)
It really is refreshing to find a boy doll on the market. The scope for future outfits such as footballing Finn, explorer Finn or horse riding Finn is great. He is a character that young boys can relate to, which is championing a wholesome, happy childhood. Finn definitely challenges stereotypes by providing an alternative to toys that promote violence, which boys will enjoy playing with. Too often boys are discouraged from playing with toys that are seen as being girlie, which can mean that some sensitive boys are denied appropriate playthings. Toys like Finn can remedy this. Finn will also appeal to girls and can be a friend to Lottie, the female pro-girl doll from Arklu. Playing does not have to be gender specific! To me it is all about balance and Finn definitely fills a gap in the market.
Freddy may still battle with his turtles or play wars with his soldiers, but that is balanced out by him cuddling his teddies and having adventures with Finn. I love watching my son at play and see him exploring every aspect of his personality.
Find out more at www.lottie.com/collections/all-products/Finn or on the Lottie Facebook page and on Twitter @Lottie_dolls.
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