More dads playing Santa thanks to gender neutral toys - FOX 35 News Orlando

More dads playing Santa thanks to gender neutral toys

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Stop by any toy store and you'll find parents stuffing their carts with sugar and spice and everything nice for their daughters, but is that still what little girls are made of?

Not necessarily, according to recent marketing studies. And to prove it, just ask any father.

"There are lot more girls that are interested in Spider-Man now than when I was a kid," said Evan Crandall, who was shopping for his child at Toys"R"Us with his friend, Alan Kaiser.

Gender lines are blurring not only when it comes to who is shopping for children's toys, but when it comes to children's toys themselves.  For the first time ever, Mattel is introducing a Barbie construction set. And making headlines is a 13-year-old McKenna Pope, who is asking Hasbro to make a "gender neutral" Easy Bake Oven for her little brother.

"There's a lot more toys out there that are not just female toys and boy toys," said Crandall "They are starting to mix them both together ... where the whole family can get a Lego set. There are board games like that too."

It's not just kids who are directing the branding shift. It's also their dads. Just look at who's on line at the toy stores this holiday season.

One-fifth of fathers with working wives are the primary caretakers of their pre-school aged kids, according to a New York Times report. With the ever-increasing need for dual income households, moms as primary bread-winners and stay at home dads, fathers are taking on the necessary role of playing Santa.

"My wife and I both work so we're both trying to tag team it this year and make sure our daughter gets what she wants," said Matt Slater, making his second Christmas shopping trip of the season. He even braved the stores on Black Friday.

And while toy makers continue finding ways to tap into the dad market, this confident father isn't shying away from girlie aisle.

"Well my daughter likes pink so everything I buy is pretty much pink," Slater said.

But instead of an ultra-feminine Barbie doll, Slater opted for a guitar and scooter for his daughter this year. In pink, of course.

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