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About Aquabeads and their marketing?

(49 Posts)
Catsize Sun 21-Feb-16 08:29:43

Not quite sure where DS(4) first saw Aquabeads but he recently declared a strong desire to get some. So, we went online to see the different types with a view to then getting them in a real shop (I know - the reverse of what most people do).

He looked at the different types and said 'No Mummy, I would like some boys' Aquabeads'.
I said that they were for boys and girls.
He said they were not, as every box had pictures of girls on and no boys. He wanted some for boys. The fact that the boxes were all garish pink passed him by, fortunately.

I drew an analogy along the lines of 'do you like baked beans?' 'Yes'. 'If they had a picture of a girl on, would you think they were only for girls and stop eating them?'. This seemed to work, as he said that would be 'silly'.

However, I thought he had a point. It was his idea to say to the people who make Aquabeads that they should put boys' pictures on too.

Bottom, line, we bought a set, he loves it, and we intend to write to the manufacturer.

I mentioned this to my brothers, separately, who looked at me blankly and clearly think I am bonkers. They said they had probably done their market research etc. etc.

I know that any letter we write will probably be ignored, but are we daft for even trying? Are we being unreasonable to think the marketing should be more inclusive, regardless of any supposed research? How would an orange or green box with a picture of a boy and a girl merrily aquabeading decrease sales?

Think I just hate the 'crafts are for girls' thing. Tell that to some of our finest painters.

Catsize Sun 21-Feb-16 08:30:58

Sorry for typos.

Afreshstartplease Sun 21-Feb-16 08:33:18

I agree op I found this when looking for aqua beads for my ds too

misskatamari Sun 21-Feb-16 08:33:39

Yanbu! Stuff like this pisses me right off!

katienana Sun 21-Feb-16 08:35:03

I think kids are quite literal sometimes my 3 year old has some games with a girl and boy on and will say "I have to play that with a girl". I bet there are literally 1000s of examples of toys with only a boy or girl pictured on the box.

mudandmayhem01 Sun 21-Feb-16 08:35:22

Hana beads are a bit better, bigger range of kits and you can just buy bags of mixed beads and create your own ideas. My ds loves craft, the gender segregation of the kits really annoys me.

StitchesInTime Sun 21-Feb-16 08:37:17


inlovewithhubby Sun 21-Feb-16 08:37:20

I'm with you. I hate the gender specific marketing on kids toys but I guess it's so more stuff is sold in gender mixed households. It's like Lego - my girls love it but I'm damned if I'm buying them a Lego friends make up/beauty parlour (wtf?), but similarly they don't want a fighter jet or dumper truck. Reckon all kids would like non gender specific animals, buildings, other scenes like at legoland but I'm stuffed if I can find it! The yellow boxes are great but they don't have the same instruction following focus which is what many kids love.

Well done for breeding a boy who doesn't care about pink boxes - you've won many battles just there. Yabnu, make your complaint.

backinaminute Sun 21-Feb-16 08:39:28

Just the same here with my DS, saw a friend (girl) with some but when he saw the pack in the shop changed his mind. We have Hama beads already but that took some persuading as they were with the 'girls' toys. I have no idea why they only seem to market this stuff to girls when I have buys who want to make guns out of them!

We didn't get the aqua beads but more because he already had the Hama beads and I wasn't buying him any new toys than a boycott.

Griphook Sun 21-Feb-16 08:39:57

Yanbu, lots of creative stuff is in a pink box with a girl on the front. Not much is neutral

Witchend Sun 21-Feb-16 08:44:12

But they can't win. If they have done boxes in pink with a girl on and some in a different colour with a boy on then people will accuse them of doing boy/girls toys and making them gender specific.

Unless you want to insist ever package for everything has a boy and a girl on.

mudandmayhem01 Sun 21-Feb-16 08:45:23

I think some of issue with Lego, is what shops stock. If you go to the Lego shop or website there is loads of Lego that isn't particularly gender specific. Lego city, toy story, Ghostbusters, Harry potter ( sadly seems to have disappeared though) and my daughters favourite when she was younger creator

Earlyday Sun 21-Feb-16 08:47:06

I had the same problem. I wanted to get aqua beads for DS but when I saw all the packets where very girly lucky with a lot of pink I knew DS age 6 would refuse to use them.

I found some other types of beads - can't remember the name - they begin with Q - they were marketed at boys and came with a gun for shooting the water on the beads - DS liked the look of that

Ilovehamabeads Sun 21-Feb-16 08:48:45

Definitely write that letter. I don't see why there aren't boy or neutral sets available. Hama beads are very similar yet they have loads of great sets to suit lots of different interests. Maybe point them towards that in your letter. I'm sure Hama did their research too.

OlafLovesAnna Sun 21-Feb-16 08:51:12

I had the same problem at Christmas when looking for craft sets for my DS aged 8.

He would like beading or keyring making but absolutely everything is pink with girls on the box and it puts him off.

inlovewithhubby Sun 21-Feb-16 08:53:12

Loving the parrot Mudandmayhem - never even thought to go to Lego's website. So it's the department store buyers who are gender biased? Maybe OP should write to the place she bought the beads from too (she says as she readies her quill to write to John Lewis, Smyths, Toysrus etc about bloody Lego beauty parlours for 6 year olds, eeeuuuucch)

Catsize Sun 21-Feb-16 08:54:24

I think you are right witch, which is why I think orange/green boxes with photos of boys and girls on would be fine.

And I agree with Lego - I did not implode as a child because I only had Lego in primary colours. And pink Lego would not have increased my interest in it, if that is their argument.

One of my brothers just snorted and said 'Well, you'd better write to the manufacturers of Barbie then' when I said about our proposed vigilante Aquabead action.

It is just good to know I am not the only one.

Further enquires in the Catsize household have revealed that DS saw a TV advert (which is even more pink and girly) at a friend's house and said he'd like to get some.

Will look into Hama beads. I saw them alongside the Aquabeads but the Aquabeads were his first love.

Roseberrry Sun 21-Feb-16 08:55:56

Yanbu, I have the same issue with ds. He saw them on the telly and said he would love some but they're just for girls, refuses to buy them in case someone thinks he's a girl. It's just a wet bead isn't it??

inlovewithhubby Sun 21-Feb-16 08:59:51

My own girls love both, but the aqua beads are great when they are too young to use an iron - with aqua beads they have complete control of the creative process from start to finish (because the beads 'stick' together when sprayed with water, not ironed). I'd agree that Hama beads do way less gender specific packaging, and all the boys who visit us love doing them, but doesn't obviate the need for aqua beads manufacturers to address the issue. Anyone technological enough to link this thread to their Twitter? Obviously I could never do that (could possibly send them a quilled message by pigeon but response may take longer)

Catsize Sun 21-Feb-16 09:02:07

It is the spraying bit that DS loves. They aren't even beads really, as you can't thread them. Aquaballs?? No doubt too masculine a concept. hmm

Maudofallhopefulness Sun 21-Feb-16 09:02:08

Ds loves hama beads. I bought him a set but the box was pink with a girl on the front ad a large proportion of the beads are pink and purple. Even if he was a girl that would annoy me. The ones he uses most are black, gray and brown.

Catsize Sun 21-Feb-16 09:03:52

Ah yes, Hama beads need an iron. Now, where's that dusty old iron... grin

inlovewithhubby Sun 21-Feb-16 09:07:10

Aqua balls - catsize I hope you're in marketing, as I reckon that would sell! Only using 'boy' colours and 'boy' concepts like cars (obviously females never use cars as they spend all their time in beauty parlours making themselves appear acceptable to the men who drive them around grrrrrr)

Catsize Sun 21-Feb-16 09:16:23

No inlove, I am not. About to go out in my blue car, wearing a grey and green outfit. To the theatre to watch Bear Hunt. No beauty parlours involved. Thank you all - I feel galvanised! The Twitter idea is great - anyone know how? Will check in later...

SoupDragon Sun 21-Feb-16 09:17:19

But they can't win. If they have done boxes in pink with a girl on and some in a different colour with a boy on then people will accuse them of doing boy/girls toys and making them gender specific.

Unless you want to insist ever package for everything has a boy and a girl on.

You only have to look at the packaging for Hama beads to know that it is perfectly possible for them to win.

The IKEA versionofhama beads is just a box of beads and a packet of the peg boards. No gender whatsoever.

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