New Kmart item sends mums into spin
AUSSIE parents are praising Kmart for the release of a toy they say is helping break down tired and outdated gender stereotypes.
The budget outlet recently launched a $25 cordless toy vacuum cleaner that also features a young boy using the item on the packaging.
Those who have seen the item in-store and shared snaps to a Facebook group dedicated to Kmart have been quick to note the positive aspects of the retailer's latest move.
"I love that there is finally a boy on the packaging of a product like this! Well played, Kmart," wrote one.
Another delighted commenter said: "A boy on the package! Yes! Yes! Yes!"
A third added: "If that actually works I'll buy two for my sons and one for my husband."
Others commenters with sons said the toy appealed to them in particular as their boys were already showing an interest in cleaning and household chores.
"Elijah would love this! And so would I because he actually wants to clean," said one
Another said: "Hudson would love this. Win-win."
Others commenting were keen to know how well the toy vacuum stacked up in terms of realistic "suction".
According to product information on Kmart's site, the battery-powered item, suitable for children aged three years and up, features "real suction to pick up dirt".
"Includes multiple attachments, an easy open dirt compartment and realistic sounds and swirling action."
A few commenters said they loved the toy's concept as it was a great way to foster a child's interest in cleaning.
"Start 'em young," said one, adding: "This is so cool, now all they need is a mini mower."
Another said: "Chuck in the mini washing machine and dryer and we're sorted."
A third chimed in, saying: "I'll get one for each of my boys if they work."
It's not the first time the release of a gender-neutral toy has struck a chord with parents online.
Last September Mattel, the company behind Barbie, launched a series of dolls "designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in".
The dolls have short hair but come with a long wig and a wide-ranging wardrobe featuring clothes like hoodies and tutus.
Retailing for $44.99, the new doll is based on testing with 250 different families, a number that included 15 children that identified either as trans or gender fluid, Time magazine reported.
According to Mattel's head of consumer insights Monica Dreger, the Creatable World range was about making a toy that was accessible to every child.
"There were a couple of gender-creative kids who told us that they dreaded Christmas Day because they knew whatever they got under the Christmas tree, it wasn't made for them," she told the publication.
"This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see it is for them because it can be for anyone."