The siblings behind an ingenious toddler’s toy have been shocked at the attempts by Australians to cancel their invention because they claim it is ‘not inclusive’.
Dennis Mitrevski, from Perth, designed a ride-on toy ‘fitted with a removable sweeping mechanism’, called Mommy’s Tiny Helper, which was initially named for the American market.
The toy bike has a dust collector inside that allows toddlers to sweep up whatever they spill as they scoot around the house.
Although stay-at-home mums outnumber stay-at-home dads by six to one, many people have complained the name of Dennis Mitrevski’s Mommy’s Tiny Helper (pictured) is not ‘inclusive’
Sam Minniti, 34, (pictured with daughter Scarlett) was shocked at the reaction of Aussie mums when she promoted her brother’s ingenious toy bike in several Facebook groups
The product sold well in the United States, with Mr Mitrevski and sister Sam Minniti successfully launching it at the New York Toy Fair in 2019.
But recent efforts to promote the toy online in Australia left them baffled.
Ms Minniti asked for feedback on the name in several Australian mums’ groups online and was shocked to be told the name was ‘ridiculous’ and unwelcome ‘gender stereotyping’.
‘Yeah that’s a no from me. It’s 2021, it isn’t mummy’s job to clean the floor,’ one woman wrote in a Facebook group.
‘You’ll get absolutely slaughtered if you put a product to market called mummy’s tiny helper,’ said another.
Screen grabs of some of the online responses to the Mommy’s Tiny Helper toy produced by Dennis Mitrevski and Sam Minniti
The Mommy’s Tiny Helper sweeper collects household dirt and debris while the rider pedals around the house, including pet hair
Ms Minniti (pictured with her toddler Scarlett), thinks complaints the name Mommy’s Tiny Helper is sexist are ‘a bit precious’
Another woman complained ‘it’s not inclusive’ and suggested ‘Vroom Broom’, while another said dads, grandparents and non-binary parents were being overlooked.
Ms Minniti, who has a seven-year-old, Scarlett, was surprised Australians responded differently to Americans.
She said it would cost too much to change the name on all marketing and packaging.
‘I think they’re being just a bit precious,’ she said.
‘It never dawned on me that the name could cause offence, which is why I tested the name out on a few of the Perth mum’s groups I’m a member of, and now I’m really worried about the negative feedback we’ve received.’
Ms Minniti said she thought mothers would be more supportive because it’s still women doing most of the housework and child-rearing – even if they work.
‘You come home you need to get dinner on the table, those kids’ mouths are ready to eat,’ she said.
‘So you give them have a snack so you can get peace to make dinner and by the time you get back, the snacks are all over the floor, so you’ve got to clean that up, on top of bathing.
‘The kids are going to be playing with toys regardless while they’re scooting around, this way they’re scooping up their own mess.’
Sam Minniti helped her brother Dennis Mitrevski (pictured left and right) with the development and marketing of his Mommy’s Tiny Helper
Ms Minniti said she thought mothers would be more supportive because its still women doing most of the housework and child-rearing – even if they work
Ms Minniti said she and her brother researched how many women were at home compared to men and found there were six times as many mums at home as dads.
‘Given there’s something like 489,000 stay at home mums compared to 80,000 stay-at-home dads, I’m especially surprised at the reaction of women,’ she said.
‘I’m a mum and there’s plenty of women out there who would love a little bit of help around the home. We really didn’t mean to offend anyone.’
Woman’s ingenious ‘mommy’s tiny sweeper’ toddler toy slammed for not being ‘inclusive enough’