Working mothers looking for toys that reflect modern life a bit better than the traditional Barbie doll can take heart. The National Association for Female Executives Inc (NAFE) is negotiatingto develop a line of playthings that includes a female executive doll complete with feminine career wardrobe and, for all we know, tiny plastic ulcers.
The idea grew out of a NAFE study of its more than 100,000 members last summer Eighty-one percent indicated they shopped for toys 50% said they spent more than $100 a year on toys for their children, and 74% said they would like to see toys that would help children understand their work as executives.
Of course, it takes more than a doll in a pin-striped ensemble to get that point across. But Wendy Rue, president of NAFE, a for-profit support group, says the chief-executive action figure is just a start. Although the doll is still in the preliminary sketch stage, Rue has plans for an entire line of business toys ranging from office furniture to business cards.
"Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to take away [children's] teddy bears." says Rue. "If anyone tried to take away mine, I'd kill 'em." But she is concerned that toys now on the shelves don't reflect the changing lifestyles of children's parents, particularly their mothers. "This either creates conflicts in their minds when they have nothing that represents mommy in her other roles outside the home, or else their minds are simply left blank," she explains.
NAFE is currently negotiating with several toymakers to manufacture professional playthings, and Rue is confident that they can cinch a deal by the end of the year. A Christmas or so from now, Junior might be asking Santa for a power suit instead of a power sword.