Beauty and the New LEGO Line for Girls

A few years back we published this fantastic ad for LEGOs as an example of gender-neutral advertising. It appeared in 1981; during my childhood, I’m happy to say.

The ad offers nice context for the new effort by LEGO to capture The Girl Market. Their new line of LEGOs, LEGO Friends, has gotten a lot of attention already. In the circles I run in, it’s being roundly criticized for reproducing stereotypes of girls and women: domesticity, vanity, materialism, and an obsession with everything being pastel. Kits include a house, cafe, animal hospital, tree house, beauty salon, and an inventor’s lab. Choice examples:

The new line also includes a new LEGO figurine that is taller, thinner and more feminine—with boobs. There is no innovation here; it is the exact same makeover that we’ve seen in recent years with Dora the Explorer, Strawberry Shortcake and Holly Hobbie, Lisa Frank, Trolls and Cabbage Patch Kids, My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, and Candy Land (or visit Sociological Images’ Pinterest collection of Sexy Toy Make-Overs).

 

The company is framing their new line for girls with “science.” Executives are going to great lengths to explain that the line is based on research, using anthropologists who spent time with girls in their homes. The frame gives the company an excuse for reproducing the same old gender stereotypes that we see throughout our culture. They can shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, what are we to do? This is what girls want.” In this way they are trying to make it clear that they shouldn’t be held accountable for the messages their products send.

But it’s no accident that girls feel alienated from LEGO.

According to Business Week, LEGO has spent most of the last decade focusing their products on boys. They have deliberately designed products that they expect will appeal to boys and included boys almost exclusively in their marketing material. Today LEGOs are shelved in the boy aisle is most toy stores.

So, basically, what LEGO has done over the last few decades is take a truly wonderful gender-neutral toy, infuse it with boyness, and tell every kid who’ll listen that the toy is not-for-girls. Now, stuck with only 50 percent of the kid market, they’re going after girls by overcompensating. And, to top it all off, they’re shaking their heads and doing “science” to try to figure out girls, as if they’re some strange variant of human that regular humans just can’t get their head around.

In fact, girls don’t feel like the toy is for them because LEGO has done everything in its power to ensure that they will not.

The market research manager sums up Legos’ impression of what girls want this way: “The greatest concern for girls really was beauty.” How ironic, because the true beauty of LEGO is its ability to inspire creativity, not enable conformity. They somehow knew that back in 1981.

(An ad that deserves being looked at over and over.)

Thanks to Anjan G., Sangyoub P., Rachel W., Dolores R., Erin B., Christie W., and Paul K. for suggesting that we write about this!

To tell LEGO to stop selling out girls, sign this petition from Change.org:

[iframe http://www.msmagazine.com/blog_change_widget4.asp 650 300]

This post originally appeared at Sociological Images. Reprinted with permission.

 

Comments

  1. WELL PUT. Shame on Lego.

    • Don’t be so sanctimonious… There is a “scientist” set, and a veterinarian” set among others… There is no Lego conspiracy to hold back young girls or perpetuate stereotypes.

      • … They are like Playmobile or Polly Pocket sets. Totally limited in their possibilities, thus totally limiting for the imagination of little girls. Because, you know, girls can’t deal with building blocks and using their imaginations. They need some pretty, thin dolls to play with in made-up pink houses.

        Don’t tell others to stop being sanctimonious – think about what is being sold to our daughters instead.

        • As a younger girl myself, here are my opinions. Yes, this is playing on stereotypes. Yes, the color palet is pastel. I agree with you on those points, but others I found ridiculous. LEGO people using science to find out how girls like to play does not mean that they think girls are “some strange variant of human that regular humans just can’t get their head around.” But for the most part, I agree that these sets are encouraging girls like me to conformity. I have several sets of regular LEGOs myself, and use them to make stop action movies. I’ll admit, I do, personally, prefer the look of the new people better. Face it, humans are aesthetic creatures. It’s okay to teach girls that they can be pretty and smart at the same time. That being said, I recognize that the only sets that even partially embody this are the Vet and the Inventor. LEGO has a lot of work to do. My final point is on the boobs of the characters. I agree that young girls like me should not be taught that breasts make beauty, but they shouldn’t be tiptoed around either. Fact of Life: Girls go through puberty and have boobs, small or large. Going even father along this path, I’m certainly not endorsing promiscuity, but it’s about time that girls get a better sex-education at a younger age. Parents need to stop treating sex like a taboo and not speaking about it, because all that happens is sex becomes this strange and curious thing that the girls get incorrect information on from the internet. What parents need to start doing is introducing “the talk” at an early age and building on it as the child gets older. That way, sex becomes less mystical, discouraging the awe and experimentation that happens in the teen years. If kids my age are kept in the dark, they will go through their middle school years not knowing what to look out for and how to stay safe. I once had a friend ask me if she was going to get pregnant from HUGGING A BOY.
          Okay, I know I got a bit off topic there, but, as part of this age group, these are my opinions.

          • Very well said. As a 60 yr old grandmother I’ve seen LEGOs as well as other toys progress from generic to gender specific. I still buy regular LEGO so all the kids can/will play with them. While working I directed afterschool care and many boys wouldn’t play with identical blocks because they were pink. How sad that we as parents have been influenced thus influencing our children to be gender biased.

  2. Lego was one of my favourite toys as a kid. I didn’t want dolls, domesticity or materialism. I wanted to build space-craft, farms, even small villages (I’d always claim they were cities, but there’s only so many lego houses you can fit on the living-room floor). I liked Lego because I could make whatever my imagination wanted.

    • A part of the problem is that Lego isn’t really marketing imagination or free form play these days. I think at some point they realized they could make more money if they convinced kids that they had to buy all these kits designed to build just one specific project. This way families spend a whole lot more dollars on kits than they ever would’ve on one or two generic tubs of Legos. It’s sad because 1) it’s just another way for adults to direct kids’ playtime activities and 2) it lends towards this whole gendering problem because the kits end up being skewed in one direction or the other. You sell a lot more kits when the boys won’t go near the girly kits and vice versa than if you sold kits that brothers and sisters could happily share.

      • I agree with this. One commenters said that Lego Friends is limiting girls in their play possibilities. I would extend that as well that Lego limits it’s “boys” sets as well. I can’t remember the last time I saw a generic large set of variety lego bricks. It’s all kits these days.

  3. Maybe we should push parents into not buying the ‘girly’ toys for their daughters. Why? Because of just what the article stated, they reinforce gender stereotypes. I do seem to remember Legos being a gender neutral toy too. I played with them all the time. Maybe we need to go back to the old style of Legos. This is really ridiculous. Any toy company trying to imitate Barbie is going to get hollered at, for the right reasons. Moms shouldn’t buy the ‘girly’ toys for their daughters, period.

    • Nor should dads!

      • And so what about the dads who have a girly girl who wants the pink and frills? What then? My oldest isn’t girly at all, through no intervention whatsoever on my or my wife’s part. My youngest was drawn to pink and frills at an early age, and loves the new Lego line. How about we all calm down, either buy the product or not, and stop giving Lego a bunch of headaches? It’s not Lego, they are the manufacturer of the product. YOU ultimately make the decisions according to your values. If you want all gender neutral, knock yourself out. Just buy bricks.

        I for one will continue to buy Pink Legos. How else can I build pink spaceships with my daughter? How else is Olivia going to fly her cat to the moon?

        • there are pink lego bricks?

          • Yes, and they are wonderful. They also have a Perry the Platypus color, and a bunch of other nifty new colors, bricks, etc.

            Even some ladybugs and butterflies you can stick on the trees. How cool is that?

    • “Maybe we should”push parents…”, “sign petitons at Move on.org”, “protest”…etc. NO! I say. Mind our own business. Raise our own kids and let others make their own choices. If people want to buy these products then so be it. If it’s not profitable (people aren’t interested) then Lego will stop making these products. What’s wrong with having toys that are “girly” or “masculine”? That is a subjective opinion. Do we stop making dolls with pink and blue blankets? Do we stop making Barbies that look like hookers? NO. Just because some people prefer gender neutral toys, clothes, lifestyle and dislike the messages sent by Mattel (Barbie) and other toy manufacturers doesn’t mean it is bad or wrong or should be outlawed. Make your own decisions. Stop trying to make rules, laws, decisions for other people. There are so many other areas of injustice where your time, effort, dollars could be more wisely utilized. Just my view.

      • e richardson says:

        lego should talk to the women. they encourage their daughters to be aqnything they want. why not do scientist, doctors and such. i think lego doesn’t want female business with such a narrow attitude. of course girls want some homemaking things but they are much more. and there a colors other thqt pink in a girls life.

  4. sjfbarnett says:

    What would be nice to see is a marketing campaign that doesn’t embue gender stereotypes at all. While the original ad from 1981 shows more innovation than anything, the girl is still wearing what is considered boy’s clothes. I can’t help but think that the statement is one that girls can be “just like boys” without having their own identity.

    I wore {and wear} both jeans and skirts, but still like to use LEGO to build cities, or whatever I please. I’m happy to see some pink on regular bricks {pink is just as much a worthy colour as blue, although it would be nice to see more}, but agree with the overall criticism that the creation of new sets and a whole new minifig is a giant misstep for LEGO.

    I believe I read that some toys stores in Europe have decided to remove the gender divisions in their stores and will be integrating all toys together. I wish that were the case here {in the west}. It’s a shame to completely ignore one side of a store when I go in as my 9 year old son has zero interest to see what’s there.

    My son adores LEGO and has said from the beginning “the new girl version sucks” and he’ll never go near it {my teen niece also thinks it’s ridiculous}. If it weren’t for the forced stereotypes, he would think nothing of it. All LEGO had to do was incorporate more female faces in their relatively androgynous minifig lines as well as in their stories {all their movies are boy-centric; even openly sexist at times}.

    I hope they take this backlash into serious consideration. I had always held LEGO in relatively high regard, but this regard is slipping.

  5. Lego needs to bring that 1980s ad back. Think of all the women who played with those basic sets who, out of nostalgia, would put a set in their daughters’ hands and maybe even sit down and play with their kids.

    Legos were one of my favorite toys as well. I used my much older brother’s early 70s set well into the 80s and recently passed that set down to another kid. Oh, well made toys – where have you gone?

    I liked my more traditionally girl toys, too, and would have liked more color and shape options for Legos. Not because I wanted to build jacuzzis and kitchens but because I often got frustrated that I couldn’t build what I was visualizing with those basic bricks.

    I can also attest to the focus on boys to the exclusion of girls. My niece and nephew are about 1 1/2 years apart. He adored everything Lego and Bionicle. She could not care less. And we tried! He’s about to go study Engineering. She’s good at science and math but her heart’s not in it. I wonder if having Legos to introduce those principles early might have changed that.

  6. Melissa Bee says:

    Not cool, Lego. I loved playing with legos as a kid. They are a great gender neutral toy.. and now this? Tisk tisk.

  7. Sigh, More of the sick nonsense trying to prove a girl is more boy than boys, no wonder we have such a confused country. First they told us gender identity was the result of culture and treat everyone the same and no problem. So equal protection laws were passed to give everyone the same opportunity and no problem.
    But there was a problem women did not like competing with men on level playing field so laws were passed to as Hatch said to protect his daughters. Now all men are criminals and still feminist are now satisfied. Big problem

  8. My daughter loves LEGOS the way they are. No matter that they cater their packaging and ads to boys. She doesn’t notice. She just thinks they are fun.
    LEGOs are an awesome toy. I don’t have a problem with them catering the cutesy stuff to girls, so many companies do that. I don’t think it’s necessary to have another Jr Barbie type doll, but I’m sure they will sell.
    I have no respect for how they have excluded girls from their present toy line. Love the old ad.

  9. LEGO, here is what I’m telling you:

    When I was a child, you were really good at making toys that last. (Are you still?)

    I have boxes of my old treasured LEGO and this is what my boy and two girls play with today. Thank goodness I can avoid giving you any of my money for gender stereotyped kits!

    • My heart broke the day I had to explain to my daughter why there are no “legomanses girls”. I then did some research and found that out of the minifigs…..about 10% were girls in traditional girl roles, as if the last 40 years of equality had not happened, as if girls were not doctors, lawyers, fighter jet pilots, soldiers, engineers, architects, designers and anything else that girls might aspire too.

      Now they are pinkwashing……I will never buy a pinkwashed lego set for my daughter, who seems happy to build animals with her older brothers primary colored set. Sometimes Brother gets into the action.

      As for this being what girls want….I call BULLSHIT. What girls want is being manipulated by marketers, producers and advertisement. Is it any surprise that they cave to the media and marketing pressure?

  10. What’s the problem? Either there is a market or there is none. If the girls don’t want it, LEGO won’t sell it. That’s it.

  11. The girl in the ad is portrayed as a total tomboy. Which is fine. But, some girls like to be tomboys, and some prefer the pinks and purples and “girl things”. What happened to embracing all kinds of people, and encouraging people to be whatever it is they are? Could this partially just be giving the more “girly girls” an outlet? More than likely, they were probably hoping to just sell more Legos, but there might be a place for these. Just a thought.

  12. EnergeticCrab says:

    “The Lego Friends team is aware of the paradox at the heart of its work: To break down old stereotypes about how girls play, it risks reinforcing others. “If it takes color-coding or ponies and hairdressers to get girls playing with Lego, I’ll put up with it, at least for now, because it’s just so good for little girls’ brains,” says Lise Eliot. A neuroscientist at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago, Eliot is the author of Pink Brain Blue Brain, a 2009 survey of hundreds of scientific papers on gender differences in children. “Especially on television, the advertising explicitly shows who should be playing with a toy, and kids pick up on those cues,” Eliot says. “There is no reason to think Lego is more intrinsically appealing to boys.””

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/lego-is-for-girls-12142011.html

    • Well, see, there is a reason to think Lego is appealing to boys. A lot of what Lego manufactures is boy-centric lines. There are a lot of girls out there (my wife and my oldest daughter) who like super heroes, Indiana Jones and Star Wars. My littlest girl, although she likes Star Wars (mostly for Ahsoka Tano), also loves pink, girly dresses and frills. It was not something we guided her towards, it’s something she was drawn to, and not by popular media. We don’t watch commercial TV, just movies and streamed content from Netflix. My littlest loves the new line, as I was sure she would, and I’m very pleased with the new sets because it gives us options. I have a mix of 30+ years of Lego sets, and very few of them appeal to my littlest. If I can offer her a chance to play with the bricks as well as my “people box” then I’m taking that chance.

      And Lego is not just doing this to create gender bias or other such nonsense as most of the #LiberateLegos people are touting. They are trying to improve their marketability in an ever increasingly competitive toy market.

      • why cant they do this with a basic lego body? They do make female heads and hair for the regular lego body. I think what bothers me more is the design of the new girl lego characters. They have freakishly large eyes.

  13. Lego.. I think you need to take some advice from this little girl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-CU040Hqbas#!

  14. We act as if there’s something wrong with girls WANTING dolls – or with boys wanting them, for that matter. Seems to me the biggest “shame” in this new line of toys is that LEGO is trying to be too much like Barbie, Polly Pockets, and Bratz. My son’s unhappy that they’re not selling their Chess sets.

    Nothing wrong with variety – and kids will play with what they want. The whole idea of “gender neutral toys” was blown out of the water for me – by my KIDS, when they were toddlers. No matter what I put in front of them, they wanted whatever toy they wanted at the time. And often, a cardboard box or its wrapping paper was the best toy EVER.

  15. I think the problem with this is not that Lego have created a new line aimed at girls, after so many years creating lines aimed at boys, but that they felt the need to continue to separate the two. I was an 80′s kid and we had mostly lego basic, playing with it was the basis for some of the happiest times of my childhood, it’s one of the few toys my sisters and brothers shared, and that was all for the good, we built things together and had respect for each other’s work with no thought of gender division at all.

    I have no kids but 2 nephews, and if there were female figurines of fire fighters, train drivers or race car drivers the boys simply would not care that there was a difference, so why do Lego have to create one as they have been since they started designing the project specific lines aimed at boys? With this new line my concern is that by focussing some of the ‘girl’ sets on activities like sunbathing (from the looks of it?) and going to the beauty salon they automatically restrict the liklihood of the sets from being bought for boys, reinforcing the gender division and stereotypes (not to mention introducing the idea of the need to ‘perfect’ oneself from an early age for girls, especially with the new slimmer figures, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were products creeping into the market that do the same for boys these days).

    I’d like to see a race track set with girl and boy figures of mechanics and drivers, for example, or a cafe with boy and girl waiting-staff/cooks/customers. And I love the idea of mixing the aisles at the toy shops and no longer dividing by gender. We can’t forget that kids learn most of what they learn from us, so if we take them into a shop and say ‘this stuff is for you, and this stuff isn’t, because you’re a boy/girl’ we are perpetuating the very problem Lego is now capitalising on. That said, I very much hold them responsible for their decisions with the design of this new line. Just because there’s a market for something doesn’t mean you should sell it and not think of the consequences, that’s just basic business ethics, a quality until now I would have credited Lego with.

  16. From the looks of it, those new Legos For Girls won’t even fit with the regular Lego bricks. Since I don’t have younger sibs or neices/nephews, I haven’t looked at new Legos in a while, but they definitely wouldn’t fit with the Legos my brother and I still have left over from our own childhood. That seems to be a clear sign that Lego doesn’t want girls playing with “regular Legos.”

    I read a piece on Jezebel a while ago about the “science” Lego supposedly used to determine “what girls want” from toys. They watched girls in their own homes, playing with their already-stereotyped GIRL toys, and they asked the girls what they liked about them. It would have been far more interesting to put the girls in a room with regular Legos, and see how they played with them and what sets they would want.

    Or, you know, just stick a girl in a commercial and have her play with them. That would cost a hell of a lot less.

  17. Craig,

    I don’t think anybody (especially feminists) condemns girls who are “girly” (let me for the sake of argument accept this adjective as neutral and objective when it really is not; it is your conceptualization of girly). Feminists don’t condemn women who want to stay at home and be mothers and wives and cook and clean either. The opposite is true: We respect and value differences and personal choices. What we do condemn is presenting only ONE type of choice as the feminine one. Most importantly we condemn media or other social institutions that celebrate the very narrow standards of femininity that they created and present if they were women’s or girls’ own choices! I would buy my little girl the pinks and the frills…but I would buy them because she is HER not because she is a GIRL…Lego made these toys for girls because they are girls, not for the children who would perhaps be drawn to them. That is sexist and offensive.

  18. Nina van Vert says:

    I am glad you didn’t use care2 for your petition. I have realized their contempt for feminism. They always call it “womens rights” but never use the word feminism unless in a negative and stereotypical way.

    Heres what I mean: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/feminism-is-irrelevant-to-me.html

    ugghh

  19. I’m a girl and I think the new Lego line is fantastic.

  20. I just want every Lego set to come in a resealable container and my life would be so much better. I would probably step on less of them and not have to look for missing pieces. This is such an inflated issue. Some girls and boys even will like the sets. I am not signing a petition for this. Some child will be elated to receive one of these sets. Please find a real issue to start a war over.

  21. Marketing is so powerful and tv commercials have an incredible ability to make kids think that certain toys are just for girls or boys.

    The difference in my life for kids who watch tv and those who don’t is striking. That’s not to say it’s all about tv and marketing but a lot of this can be avoided (if you want to avoid it at all) by avoiding the commercials.
    http://lucyhallowell.blogspot.com/2011/12/toying-with-gender.html

  22. Sassoula: LEGO has been limiting themselves for a LONG time. Why hasn’t anyone been up in arms over how they have limited boys to conflict/battle oriented themes for ages now?

    Have you seen these Ninjago sets? Very little building…mostly battle interaction. This is supposed to be preferable to a set like, say, Olivia’s House? I’d much rather my daughter and/or son play with Olivia’s House or the Treehouse or the Inventor’s Lab or Cafe rather than the Ninjago theme. At least with Olivia’s House, there would be an element of building.

    I do agree that LEGO made some missteps in their marketing, but I’m honestly glad that there are themes out there now for girls AND BOYS who like the aesthetic of the Friends line.

  23. Karen Lyon says:

    I have to get into this discussion. I think the outrage over this is somewhat over the top. Children are not the blank slates everyone would like to believe; it is not just “what we teach them” that gives them the idea of who they are. Babies show distinct personality characteristics very shortly after birth that can later be corelated to how they act later in life — such as being shy, more likely to take risks, and so on. I have a niece who liked purple almost from the moment she could talk. And believe me, she wasn’t necessarily raised as a girly girl. My mom would put her in pretty dresses and bows so she’d look cleaned up for her parents, and if her Dad got home first he took off the bows and girly clothes and put her in blue jeans. I don’t see girls building beauty parlors with Legos as a problem. The problem is that we send the message that girls shouldn’t be “girly” because then they lost their power. Only if we let them! We should teach women that they can be girly and still be assertive and powerful in their career, in school, wherever. I have an aunt who ran three municipal water districts, hired and fired people, participated in city councils, worked with various Chambers of Commerce, and was an active member or her local Rotary Club before she retired. She also gets her hair and nails done regularly, has a closet full of lovely clothes, and would be the first to tell you that she loves being a girly girl. But you would not spend five minutes with her without knowing that she is a confident, powerful, assertive woman. That’s what I want for the girls in this world: to be able to embrace their femininity, to enjoy being a “girl”, and to be able to make their way in the world with as much confidence as any male peer. And to be able to do all those things without being judged as something less than woman for it.

  24. Hello Lisa Wade, why are you using a copyright image that you neither own, have permission to use or even attach any attribution:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/60445953@N08/6714647149/in/photostream

    Apparently you thought this would go along well with your biased interpretation of TLG’s research for your own “spin” on it. That’s hardly liberating.

    • Hi there, so sorry for using your photo without permission. We have removed it from the site. Again, many apologies for the oversight and thank you for bringing it to our attention.

    • Taking a straight up photo of someone else’s product is hardly “intellectual property”.

  25. Lisa, you might like this; LEGO fans are taking Friends into their own hands. Seriously; these guys and gals should be hired by LEGO! :D
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/60445953@N08/6714647149/in/photostream

  26. Lisa, so sorry, posted the wrong link! It should be http://thebrickblogger.com/2012/01/lego-friends-undergo-plastic-surgery/
    Sorry about that! :oops:

  27. Our lovely LEGO Friends remind girls what all girls who are friends do:
    http://friends.lego.com/en-us/Default.aspx

    Meet team LEGO girl: Because ALL girls giggle and hold hands, clad in bow ties and butterflies or short pastel skirts…

    My mom cannot wait to buy her almost 4-yr-old granddaughter some LEGOs from the new Girl line. I’d like to show my niece MY two favorite lego kits that I had as a girl: the cop set–because it came with a mini motorcycle–and the pirate ship.

  28. alice james says:

    The LEGO’S are the favorite toys of any child specially the girls i have a 3 year old niece and she loves them so much that it could make anyone take interest in it.
    http://www.siambeautytherapy.co.uk/

  29. what annoyed me the most was the fact that Lego did make sets to cater to girls… I always played with Lego’s as a kid in fact I played with a lot of toy’s that would of been considered “Boys” toys… I had hot wheels and LEGO’s but I had barbies too. I always thought Lego’s could of been a gender neutral toy they could of just added girls into the minifig line… they didn’t have to make all new sets.

    (and to be honest my grandma hated the fact that I played with boy toys… my mom let me an my sister have both)

  30. Spot on. I was about the same age as the girl in the ad in 1981, and it didn’t matter whether the bricks originally came from a space, technic, Duplo, Fabuland, or town & city building set. They all got chucked in the same box at the end of the day and were used to build whatever the feck you pleased. In my case, usually skyscrapers with each floor of an increasingly crap build quality as i ran out of bricks and started taking daft shortcuts.

    I don’t feel like an old geezer saying this- boys and girls had mixed-up sets of all the above and I don’t recall Lego ever being thought of as a gender-marketed toy. How sad modern advertisers feel they have to impose their own lack of imagination on children.

  31. Any reason girls can’t play with the other Lego sets? By the way, my 3 year old boy loves Legos, has a bunch of normal sets, and just got one of the Friends sets (detailed in this post) and loves it too. Go figure.

  32. Can we start with one thing first… It’s “LEGO” always LEGO, never Legos or LEGOs. Lego should lays be used in the singular as Lego is a system, not an individual items. You have a Lego brick, you have two lego bricks.

    Add a second thing, in your story above you’ve lumped a whole bunch of toys into gender roles by saying each toy store has a “boys aisle” what are the toys that are gender specific enough that they belong in the boys aisle?

    Thirdly, odds are the ad you’ve shown here was an attempt to appeal to more girls rather than an out and out acceptance of their girl players. Lego finds itself in a very different environment now, it’s competing with Barbie and Brats dolls. They needed something to compete.

    Lastly consider the Friends range as a gateway to the other lego styles, their limitations are easily overcome by purchasing other brick systems.

    Personally I hate that the figures in the new system are completely different than the minifig, but you should also know this isn’t Lego’s first foray into dolls and “happy homemakers” they actually had sets in the 70s that used more doll-like figures.

  33. Heather says:

    I’m trying to create a Lego Duplo box for my nieces to have when they visit. I’m not interested in the pre-made kits because it limits their creativity to but a few construction goals. One of the other annoyances I have is with the change from the gender neutral figurine I remember constructing with, with my brother to today, having incredibly gender driven figurines. I want my nieces to be able to see themselves and their future opportunities represented in the toys that they play with today. Young boys are represented in Lego Duplo with policeMEN, FireMEN, Doctors, and many other professions. Yet, young girls are represented by casual clothing, the role of a mother, a vet, or a nurse (and occasionally the nurse is the same figurine used to make her into a Vet). Underlying themes of the female figurines …caring, sweet, etc. :/

    I’m all for the mentioned Lego Duplo options but I’ve definitely had to search through the overly bright pink and purple clutter to try and find any other female career choices for my nieces to have in their little Duplo town. I’ve given up on the idea that there could be a female fire officer. I’m still holding out hope I can find a female police officer… but even that is becoming more and more difficult until somebody on eBay eventually lists one from an old kit. There sure as hell aren’t any options available in the stores.

Speak Your Mind

*