Mattel Says: Moms Don’t "Get" Cars. I Say: That’s Bull $hit!

12 Mar

He may not know the difference yet between Chevy and Ford, but he’ll soon figure it out. My 2-year-old, Christopher, is OBSESSED with anything that moves. Cars, buses, airplanes, trains, and tractors. You name it, he loves it. His brother, on the other hand, is a comic book nerd (I mean that in the nicest way) and doesn’t want anything to do with those toys. He’d rather dress up like a super hero and battle with his lightsabers, then have to make car noises.

While this is one of the best things about my boys … it’s also the hardest. They each want someone to play with them, but I need a clone if they want my attention at the same time. Luckily my oldest is a pretty awesome big brother and understands that I need to play cars first before I put on the Iron Man mask. Sometimes I am allowed to wear the mask while I play cars, but not very often because they can’t hear my monster truck sounds.


This one is my favorite!

But according to one Mattel executive, who stated during a blogger brunch, “moms just don’t know how to play toy cars with their sons“.  UUURREEERCH!!! Stop right there Mattel … ask my 2yo and my 5yo if I know how to play cars and they’ll say that I’m one of the bestest Vroom Vroom sound makers IN THE WORLD. I also know how to make awesome ramps to jump the monster trucks over. And I can build a parking garage out of mega blocks in 5 seconds. I can spend hours turning our bin of hot wheels into a car show that Hulk and Spiderman stop by and visit.

 
So when you tell me that “moms just don’t know how to play toys cars with their sons” … I found that sentence pretty insulting and ignorant!


What makes it even worse … Mattel is blaming MOMS (me) for their toy sales not budging. A billion-dollar company, says I’M the reason they’re not selling more toy cars. That I’M the reason for the 1% drop in sales. And that I’M the reason that sales have stayed the same for three years.

As one mom on Today.com stated, “I may be to blame for a lot of things in my children’s life … but plummeting toy sales or sales not budging? GIVE ME A BREAK! At least not in my house!”

Admittedly, I am a girly girl. Or was. I played with Barbies and dolls and wore a lot of pink. I didn’t know the difference between a backhoe and a digger. Or even that each hot wheel car had it’s own name and personality, and wasn’t “just a race car”. But now … well, now I am quite versed in the vehicle lingo thanks to my boys.

In my head, this Mattel VP is about 25 years old. He has no kids. He’s unmarried. And he has no real-world experience. I’m not sure if any of this is right, nor is it fair. But I have to assume he’s both young and stupid, because the notion of a mature man in 2013 saying the following thing aloud makes me want to vomit all over his Lamborghini Gallardo:
“Mom… has never played with [Hot Wheels]. She doesn’t get why cars, engines, and all the shapes and crashing and smashing are so cool.”

While yes, I may not understand the reason of hurling a car across the room or ramming the trucks into each other … I play with cars for hours EVERY. DAY. And we have no shortage of hot wheel stock in our house. We even have doubles of a lot of them and we play with them ALL. I continue to buy them for my boys because they like them. Not because they like them and I don’t understand why.

I don’t need to understand why they play with them. All I care about is that my son likes cars, and it’s a great bonding experience between he and I. Sure I would have rather played a matching game or Uno, but it’s not about me. It’s about my sons preference and passions. Even if “I didn’t get it”.
Just because I am a girl (a Mom), does NOT mean I don’t know how to play with cars. I have learned to roar, rev, purr, and grumble these cars. I have taught my boys their colors by categorizing them in groups. I have counted how many we have a thousand times. I have made them race, jump, crash, explode, and be loud. I am a mechanic when one of these cars breaks down. I have built tunnels, bridges, ramps, and lakes.

Since when do moms not know how to play Hot Wheels with their sons? (Not to mention daughters, but don’t worry, this article never does mention daughters, because they are supposed to be somewhere else, playing with their Barbies and not bothering anyone). I’m just not quite sure what to make of Mattel’s claims. I understand moms drive the toy purchasing in most households, and there are many of us who were not exposed to the world of Hot Wheels before welcoming our sons. But I’ll go out on a limb and say most of us just want our kids to be happy. Just because I don’t understand the fascination with cars doesn’t mean I won’t buy them for my son who adores them.

Someday, my little rocket racer 2-year-old is going to move on to Legos and video games. And when that day comes, playing with hot wheels will be a distant memory and I’m going to miss sending the cars through airborne as if they were a stuntman with an adrenaline rush. While I’m sure he’ll occasionally ask me to join in, it’ll be far and few between. But for right now, we’re too busy running over the hot wheels with his John Deere tractor. So that they can break … and then we can go buy MORE of Mattel’s hot wheels cars. And be the reason for the sales staying the same. Or something like that…


Mattel says ‘Moms don’t “get” cars’ …. I say Mattel (or Mr. Peterson) needs to talk to my friend Scotty Reiss over at She Buys Cars. Then tell me again “Mom… has never played with [Hot Wheels]. She doesn’t get why cars, engines, and all the shapes and crashing and smashing are so cool.”
Because Scotty will tell ya straight up … Moms DO know cars!
————————————————
UPDATE: Since this post, the following message was sent from Mattel:
We know many moms love Hot Wheels; we’re sorry for the offense caused by this. Our aim is to help parents & kids connect…
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One Response to “Mattel Says: Moms Don’t "Get" Cars. I Say: That’s Bull $hit!”

  1. Tina March 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    YES! I agree. Who cares if we don't understand it. My children don't complain that I make the wrong noise or don't know what size of engine the car as as long as I'm playing with them!I found this article kind of sexist too. What about the little girls that play with cars.Well, that probably just opened up a whole different blog post and we could go on and on.Great post. Thanks for sharing!_Tina_

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