You see, in a perfect world, building toys would be for all kids. So would dolls and dress up. My house comes pretty darn close to this ideal.
But the reason we even own a pink princess dress is because my daughter, despite all my best efforts, is obsessed with all things pink and frilly and girly. Which I'm fine with- to be otherwise would be to reject who she is as a person, and the fact that she likes pink even though I didn't dress her in pink all day every day or give her solely pink toys or ever tell her (or my son) that pink is for girls... or, for that matter, that cars/trucks/trains are for boys... shows that she is being herself.
So the girl likes pink. And the fact that most regular building sets are space ships and jets and and dump trucks and robots... not that girls can't and don't enjoy these things, it's just that some girls don't (and some boys don't). The bigger solution would be to have more variety of "regular" building sets- things like those that are included in the new girl directed Lego sets, like veterinarian offices, stables, fix it shops, etc. But in the mean time, I've come to realize that pink and purple Legos ARE going to encourage my daughter to build more, and that building helps her build spacial and reasoning skills.
this girls engineering set by Goldie Blox are good ones. They may be pink and purple, but they otherwise don't put unreasonable sexual pressure on young girls or over value beauty over intellect, and they encourage critical thinking.
What do you think of girl centered building/engineering toys? Am I alone in my hesitation?