Nerf Rebelle: girl-marketed action toys that are cool and work well

Nerf's Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (part of the wider Rebelle line of action toys marketed to girls) gets pretty high marks from its owners, and promises a dart-range of 75 feet. I confess that I'm conflicted about this -- there's nothing inherently masculine or feminine about Nerf toys, their gendering is already a synthetic creation of the company's marketing strategy.

That said, there are unquestionably girls who feel like action toys are not for them because of normative gender pressure (to which Nerf is a contributor, of course), and the existence of toys that are intended to allow them the space for imaginative play without worrying about appropriate gender norms is a good thing. Especially since the Rebelle toys are not just "girly" -- they're also cool, as well-built and well-designed as the "boy" versions, the perfect imaginative accessory for your little Hunger Games fan.

Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow (via Super Punch)

Notable Replies

  1. teapot says:

    I think making things pink and tampon-looking to sell them to girls is the opposite of progressive. Is the neon green of other nerf stuff somehow a mens colour? It's girl-marketed because they're marketing them to girls.

  2. Some children will choose while others will choose this bow. Girls or boys aside, some little people want nerf machine guns and some want flimsy slow bows.That being said I shoot a real bow, nobody considers a bow gendered when they shoot it. The gender has been artificially attached by the person who wrote this article in order to create internet derpdom.

  3. Pink bows, green bows, whatever. Personally, I think of bows and arrows as more feminine than masculine to begin with. Some good examples of which would include Katniss. Emma. Susan Pevensie. Legolas. Etc.

    Plus, bows and arrows are so lame. No self-respecting fighter in D&D ever goes for the bow and arrow, or a crossbow. Swords are where it's at, in a dungeon campaign. Hack and slash! "Now Groo does what Groo does best!" Can you imagine Groo with a bow? Hell no! Pirates? No way Jose! Conan? No! No! A thousand times No!

    And crossbows. Don't get me started. Every time I see the crossbow dude in Walking Dead having to go retreive his crossbow bolts after each shot. Grr. It just burns me up. Law of diminishing returns. One day he's gonna wind up just having to clop the zombies over the head with his fancy damned crossbow.

    More swords! Less arrows! More hacking and less thwipping, damnit. Teenaged girls need some Nerf Battle Axes and long swords, I would imagine. It would make the world a better place!

  4. Making a pink and/or purple version of a Nerf toy: cool.
    Calling it the "Rebelle Heartbreaker": so, so not cool.

    I think someone needs to consult this-

  5. That is the insidious nature of culturally defined identifiers and stereotypes, it can be impossible to tell the difference between nature and nurture in preferences or attitudes. Not to say that sure, some boys like blue and some girls like pink "naturally".

    However, you do realize people said exactly the opposite thing in the late 1800's when pink was for boys and blue was for girls right?

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