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December 15, 2011

Comments

Cait

God that's wierd. What was wrong with the female minifigs they already had? Pink bricks too? Sad face. Lego was one of the few things that was pretty much gender free in its basic format.

Frankie Roberto

I don't want to overly defend these sets, as there are clearly some elements of is that are hugely stereotypical (such as the beauty shop), and I'm quite a Lego traditionalist. However, I think it's good to see Lego at least trying to do a decent girls theme - and this one is much closer to the core Lego play experience that previous attempts (i.e. there is some actual building involved, using generic bricks rather than lots of large specialised parts).

The company also does lots of research, and so some of the concepts will have arisen out of that (not that that can necessarily be used a justification of anything, but still). For instance, the title 'Friends' probably comes out of a recognition that girls are less interested in the good/evil conflicts that dominate all of the boys themes.

@cait see https://plus.google.com/117432874169044990645/posts/CHPauUbaVXd for some thoughts on why they changed the minifig: in short, to make them more feminine & able to wear skirts/dresses.

And whilst the Lego basic blocks, Creator and City ranges have always been pretty gender neutral, the 'play themes' have always ended up appealing to boys far more than to girls, particularly as children get older.

Plus, there's a LOT less pink than there could be (compared to previous Lego girls themes, and most of what you see on the girls floor of Hamleys). The box is purple, for starters. And I know from a Lego insider that the blue colour you see was developed explicitly for the girls theme (girls hated the regular primary 'boy blue', apparently).

rach

the ladyfigs look a little bit like the Doctor Who lego-esque figs that have been out recently to me... I wonder if they're going to use the new form factor on licenced stuff in the future so they can get better likenesses? (although I think the likenesses they can get with normal minifigs is pretty amazing as it is!)

also pretty happy that they don't have tiny tiny waists or massive boobs or a lack of ginger hair options as well.

as much as i love all forms of lego, I'm not ashamed to admit that my favourite stuff growing up was the Paradisa range with all the horses and white and pink bricks, and then I progressed onto the other ranges that had more bits and more creative possibilities. these sets look like they already have quite a good variation of bricks to work with and make new stuff from, and a lot of the themes (design studio, science lab, bakery) lend themselves to being creative rather than just playing with them as flat pack play sets. If we go on the assumption that girls who like boy/gender neutral Lego already play with it, I'd be happy to buy these for a girl who didn't already play with Lego. they're better than playing with less creative toys or toys that have a worse influence on girls' stereotypes or body image (not sure I could say the same for Belville...)

Alice

My choice of language isn't brilliant, perhaps.

I actually have no issue with FRIENDS per se, the inventor set is great and who doesn't love treehouses? And in the context of 50+ product lines, it's just another niche in the same way as Ninjago is.

I do find it odd that no-one has taken the opportunity, however, to take PINK and then do something really really fun with it. Like.. Inventor, Scientist, Explorer, Botanist, Movie Director, CEO, Modern Artist, Archaeologist, Plumber (my plumber yesterday was a lady), Restauranteur, Architect, Detective, Spy, Astronaut, Professor?

Barbie kind of has. That's a bar to superachieve.

Lastly, LEGO's mission is to appeal to boys and girls, and in that, plain lego bricks are genderless. That's not to say the shops SELL them as genderless, but they are genderless.

gametic114

I really love the girly lego products. Not sure if I buy them more for myself or my daughter? :) It's a wonderful product that we can both enjoy together. She also enjoys sharing her lego passion with her brother. Lego is always a worthwhile investment.

Carolyn Nee

I just plan to buy a LEGO toy for my little niece for the upcoming 2012 new year! Cheers~

Mary

I did a blog post about this recently too; did you read the Businessweek article about the LadyFigs? I'm with you - I'm incredibly unimpressed with their scenario choices for girls (beauty shop? seriously?), but some of their reasoning about the colors, and the minifigs themselves seem fairly reasoned.

I mostly just feel like they're giving girls a much smaller subset of activities that they're "allowed" to play with the Friends, which is really unnecessary.

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