Pamela Davis-Kean

Mattel, maker of Hot Wheels toy cars, may have developed a flat. The toy-maker recently hosted a brunch in Manhattan to tutor mothers in the art of playing with toy cars with their kids, particularly their sons. After the event, a Mattel executive made remarks that appeared to blame the drop in Hot Wheels sales in the U.S. on mothers who never played with cars themselves and who don’t understand how to make the most of the diminutive vehicles, according to a March 12 article in The entire episode has led a number of women, including toy car-playing mothers, to step on the brakes. Among them is ISR researcher Pamela Davis-Kean. “Children’s desire for toys are what usually drives what parents and families buy, and if a boy or girl likes playing with cars—then a parent will purchase it,” Davis-Kean told “I have no doubt that most mothers are quite comfortable playing with toy cars with their sons and fathers are comfortable playing with dolls with their daughters.”