We in the toy industry need to keep our eye on the birth statistics because the future hits us earlier (with the exception of the baby market) than any other business. That is why my eye was caught by the latest birthrate statistics as analyzed by the Pew Research Center.
According to the Center: “The percentage of babies born to non-Hispanic white women declined to 53 percent of all births in 2008 — only slightly more than half — compared with 65 percent in 1990.”
Why is this information important; because it means that the percentage of children using and parents purchasing toys in three years is going to progressively favor dolls and other toys that reflect the world view and complexion of those who are people of color.
I have to shake my head as I write this as I recently was told of a doll that was perceived by some sales reps and retailers as being "too dark.” What is particularly startling is that these people are from a part of the country that is already dominated by people of color.
This kind of mindset, mired in a time when the US population was heavilly caucasian, is going to mean lost toy sales and disappointed little girls unless it is reversed, and based upon these statistics, reversed pretty soon.