Get ready for major changes in how you shop in retail stores! Aliceana Belling marched past the rows of pink princess dresses at her local Walmart last month and headed straight to the superhero outfits. She mulled the options for Halloween. Iron Man? Spider-Man? The Hulk? Then she saw the Captain America suit, shiny shield and all. “I can fly in the air outside!” Aliceana, 3, said from her home in Fond du Lac, Wis., where she plans to go trick-or-treating as the Marvel Comics superhero this Halloween.
“I’m going to save dogs!” Aliceana and her parents, Brittany and A.J. Belling, make up one of many families that are fed up with the strict princess dresses for girls, action figures for boys stereotyping that they say still pervades children’s toys, clothes, costumes and other merchandise. Retailers and manufacturers in the $22 billion toy industry, along with media companies, are starting to heed these concerns. Not only are toymakers more wary of marketing some items only to boys or only to girls, they and major store chains are creating gender-neutral or androgynous labels and store aisles. FULL REPORT