GoldieBlox Introduces Female Action Figure with Orwellian Ad

By Erik Oster 

Upstart girls engineering toys brand GoldieBlox is back, following up its “This Is Your Brain on Engineering” spot from April with a new Orwellian ad introducing an action figure for girls.

The ad, created in collaboration with production company Society and director Megan Griffiths, opens with the message “Fashion dolls teach girls to value beauty over brains. One is sold every three seconds.” Then a screen shows a Big Sister figure repeating, “You are beauty, and beauty is perfection,” as identically-dressed girls line up to receive Barbie-like dolls from a conveyor belt. Then one girl, dressed in overalls and Chuck Taylors, breaks from his spot in line and smashes the screen, causing GoldieBlox’s action figure to be produced instead.

“There’s Bob the Builder, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Jimmy Neutron—they’re all boys with IQs off the chart,” Goldieblox creator Debbie Sterling told TIME. “That’s intimidating for all kids, but particularly for girls who suffer from this thing called math anxiety where they have really, really high standards for themselves when it comes to math.”

While it effectively communicates its message, the spot lacks the same staying power as the clever “This Is Your Brain on Engineering” and the video that catapulted the brand onto the scene early last year. Still, the real question is whether it’s enticing enough to get girls to replace Elsa with GoldieBlox’s new offering. Stick around for a “behind the scenes” video after the jump.

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