What makes a toy hot? Is it hot because it's on TV every 20 minutes in front of your kids or because all of their friends have it so they absolutely must have one too? Or is it hot because it's based on a character they truly love, a passion that they have or their own unique play style, even if they haven't asked for it yet?
It's an important aspect of this buzz-worthy conversation to understand what we're really talking about when it comes to gendering in the toy industry as a whole. There is a big difference between the way retailers and marketing teams are handling gender, and the role that gender plays in toy design.
Mattel has plenty of stellar executives. But as the company searches for its new leader from outside or within its walls, it needs to select the one who has entertainment, franchise development, and storytelling expertise in his or her DNA, and who can infuse the same at all levels and in all discussions.