Tuesday, November 26, 2013

GoldieBlox and The Mad Beasties a Fairy Tale For The New Millennium

Saturday we were hangin' with Debbie Sterling, the inventor of 
GoldieBlox, a girls' engineering game featuring cute little animals like a suit sporting Polar Bear, Basset Hound, sloth and more at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.   She signed and gave away free games to all the Girl Scouts who played in the Top Trumps Tournament.

We're all about encouraging STEM in girls and busting the gender based toy industry.   The inventor even signed a couple of the games for us.   My 10 year old daughter has been obsessed with it ever since.

Check out their catchy grrrrrl power video here:

Monday I woke up to THIS in my in box.
(I'm a music blogger at ChiIL Live Shows in addition to an Urban Parenting Blogger at ChiIL Mama.)


Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial "GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys," we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.

We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.

As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads. When we tried to simply ask how and why our song "Girls" had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.

Wish this would have arrived a few days ago so I could have interviewed Debbie about it in person.   The Beastie Boys have been favorites of ours for decades!   I'm a big fan of the creatives on both sides of this dilemma and I'm fervently hoping it's just lawyers being unpleasant, and that this can be peacefully resolved.   

I get it.   GoldieBlox cries parody and free speech and wants to keep riding the wave they've created with their viral YouTube video that has over 8 million views and is likely to increase exponentially with the Beastie Battle.

Instead of the original 1987 hit’s lyrics, “Girls to do the dishes, girls to do the laundry,” GoldieBlox replaced the lyrics with more girl-empowerment words, “Girls to build the spaceship, girls to code the new app.” Says ABC News.

Hey GoldieBlox-- Play nice and quite stealing the bears (erm... I mean the Beasties) property that they nicely asked you to stop using.   You can't waltz in and take other people's stuff, just like fairy tale Goldielocks, (the kids who was guilty of breaking and entering, theft, destruction of property, and takin' a nap in baby bear's bed).  That story didn't end in a bloodbath, or a courtroom.   The bears could have mauled her... but they didn't.  They just let her run off & did their own dishes, and cleaned up the chairs and beds she'd thrashed.

That said, The Beastie Boys probably did Goldie Blox a HUGE favor with this, because the conflict will likely catapult the grrrrl powered spinning machine game into the news, and even bad PR is PR.   We do dig the game, the message behind it, and The Beastie Boys, too.   But I've gotta side with the artists here.   They wrote the tune even if Goldie Blox changed the words, and when one of their members was dying of cancer, he hand wrote that he never wanted his songs used in advertising.   That's gotta count for something.

Goldie Blox, as fun as your YouTube parody is, you didn't ask permission to use "Girls" and they didn't sue you, they just asked you to stop using it.   You're crafty... hire a few musicians and get your own song (not "She's Crafty... that one's off limits too.)   We're pulling for you, but it's time to pull the "Girls" and let the Beasties have their song back.

You gotta fight... for the right... to paaaaaaaaroddy.   But chose your battles.   The Beasties are good guys and there are a lot of other tunes out there.

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