I was raised a typical girly girl, constantly given Barbies and jewelry, but I was never really into that kind of stuff. My favorite Barbie was the mermaid one, due to my early interest in sci-fi/fantasy, which is still one of my favorite hobbies. I played with Legos, had a GameBoy at 8, and played with action figures (still do, hee hee). I even played ‘boyish’ sports like hockey. and I actually won a few Karate tournaments.
I was made fun of a lot when I was little – ‘Those are boys toys! You can’t play with those! You’re not supposed to!’ were familiar phrases. I was happy, though, and I think that’s all that mattered. When I was about 10, until I was about 13, I tried so hard to fit in, do girl things, hang out with girls and do the girly thing (not that I had only male friends, they were just the majority. We liked the same things, so why not?). It didn’t work. I got depressed and gave up doing all the things I loved. It was mainly because even at that age, I had classmates calling me gay just because of what I did and the things I liked, and I wasn’t too happy about that. Now I’m back to who I was, in a sense, and kind of reliving the childhood I almost missed out on, including rebuilding the comic book collection I had sold off.
I don’t think people should pay attention to marketing. Get the kid what they want, period.