Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby moonstruck » December 19th, 2011, 11:29 am


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My daughter is 5. She loves building with Lego and constructed a Christmas tree using Lego on the weekend. Other times she builds houses or playgrounds, buses or boats. She incorporates other toys, like plastic animals or toy cars, into her Lego worlds.

We have a big bucket full of all the base parts, including windows, doors, wheels with axis, and when we get a new set from someone, we just throw the parts in with the rest, rather than trying to puzzle the sets together the correct way. I think Lego should concentrate more on fostering imagination and less about the closely defined sets which are just glorified 3D puzzles.
Their best products are the big buckets which give lots of open-ended options (the girl version does have a nicer colour palette – light green, yellow and hot pink).

My daughter likes the assortment of yellow Lego people we have, except that their hair helmets keep falling off and get lost. I cringe at the the thought of the new hair salon set Lego is introducing.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby seurban » December 19th, 2011, 2:54 pm


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While I applaud Lego's effort I have mixed feelings about their result. It looks a lot better than most of their previous efforts, though, like others, it has a little bit of "the easy way out" feel (though I'm sure a ton of work went into it).

The thing that struck me first was that the new figures would be a different size & configuration than the current figures. While the basic reason for this, that girls see themselves in the figures while boys are more 3rd person, seems sound, I really don't like how this makes sets for boys and girls less compatible. It'd be great to see a spectrum of sets from boy focused to girl focused, with a lot of gender neutral in the middle, but this move makes that difficult. I agree that the best part about legos is being able to dump all the sets into one bucket and make whatever you want, & this impedes that.

Just this past weekend I was in a mall and noticed there was a new Lego store. I went in, saw that you could make a custom figure for purchase from a bin of parts, and decided to make a couple for my brother and his fiance (they had a Lego advent calendar last year). It wasn't too hard to make one that looked remarkably like my brother, but when it got to his fiance it was quite a challenge. They had a few different hairstyles and faces to choose from, but for the torso and legs it was almost totally guy skewed. I ended up giving her overalls, which she doesn't even wear (if only she was a policewoman or doctor). It seemed like there was a lot of low hanging fruit to better suite girls within the current framework. And speaking of policewoman - all it previously took to make that police uniform go on a girl was to change the head - easy for a girl to be anything she wanted. Now will girls see all the traditional figures as masculine and not believe they can be made into women?

But in all fairness, as the NY Times article Generatewhatsnext linked said, maybe "... we've reached the point where girls see blocks in primary colors and think they're not for them." So maybe a radical change was necessary (though I'm not quite convinced).

Also, looking at the sets at http://thebrickblogger.com/2011/10/2012 ... -pictures/ they look quite simple. As the originally linked BusinessWeek article noted, building complex models gives a sense of accomplishment. Why not offer that to girls?
Attachments
3315-LEGO-Friends.jpg
Probably the most complicated set on the page
3933-LEGO-Friends.jpg
Typical complexity

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby Bbarn » January 16th, 2012, 9:52 am

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Lmo wrote:
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.


So, we learn that all it takes to "market" to the feminine gender is pink and pastels? It's been done since the 1950s. I wonder what else we can sell based on color alone?

Lionel Trains; 1955
Image

Image

Image

Image

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... with apologies to my friend in Germany.


I have that Pink Estate Wagon. My parents found it at an estate sale. There is an actual chain running down the center of the seat. Ill let you know if my daughter looses a leg next year once shes old enough to drive it.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby shoenista » January 17th, 2012, 8:47 am

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Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby jill020485 » February 7th, 2012, 10:53 pm


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I appreciate that a lot of effort went into the research of the target demographic, which is important. However, I don't agree with / can't believe the new bricks are not compatible with the current bricks. Obviously the two sets are going to at some point get mixed up in a bin when kids are playing. It could have been so cool (even for some grown up lego fanatics) for Lego to have expanded their current set into a totally new color palette with rounded edges (or slightly different profiles)!!


seurban wrote:While I applaud Lego's effort I have mixed feelings about their result. It looks a lot better than most of their previous efforts, though, like others, it has a little bit of "the easy way out" feel (though I'm sure a ton of work went into it).

The thing that struck me first was that the new figures would be a different size & configuration than the current figures. While the basic reason for this, that girls see themselves in the figures while boys are more 3rd person, seems sound, I really don't like how this makes sets for boys and girls less compatible. It'd be great to see a spectrum of sets from boy focused to girl focused, with a lot of gender neutral in the middle, but this move makes that difficult. I agree that the best part about legos is being able to dump all the sets into one bucket and make whatever you want, & this impedes that.

Just this past weekend I was in a mall and noticed there was a new Lego store. I went in, saw that you could make a custom figure for purchase from a bin of parts, and decided to make a couple for my brother and his fiance (they had a Lego advent calendar last year). It wasn't too hard to make one that looked remarkably like my brother, but when it got to his fiance it was quite a challenge. They had a few different hairstyles and faces to choose from, but for the torso and legs it was almost totally guy skewed. I ended up giving her overalls, which she doesn't even wear (if only she was a policewoman or doctor). It seemed like there was a lot of low hanging fruit to better suite girls within the current framework. And speaking of policewoman - all it previously took to make that police uniform go on a girl was to change the head - easy for a girl to be anything she wanted. Now will girls see all the traditional figures as masculine and not believe they can be made into women?

But in all fairness, as the NY Times article Generatewhatsnext linked said, maybe "... we've reached the point where girls see blocks in primary colors and think they're not for them." So maybe a radical change was necessary (though I'm not quite convinced).

Also, looking at the sets at http://thebrickblogger.com/2011/10/2012 ... -pictures/ they look quite simple. As the originally linked BusinessWeek article noted, building complex models gives a sense of accomplishment. Why not offer that to girls?

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby Dugan27 » February 8th, 2012, 11:03 am


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Lmo wrote:So, we learn that all it takes to "market" to the feminine gender is pink and pastels? It's been done since the 1950s. I wonder what else we can sell based on color alone?


Shrink it and pink it.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby Electroflux » February 18th, 2012, 9:39 pm

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A problem is that "pink is for girls" is already an aspect of toys. How do you break that 'standard' with unfortunately rigid gender stereotypes with something that will still be acceptable AND push for advancement?

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby INFOPORN » February 20th, 2012, 10:37 pm


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Yah dont care really discriminate about different colors in accordance with gender besides their aesthetic and scientific values. I mean I have my staples but I deviate in different modes occasionally. Love the black and white. But experimented with a little pink alternative. Ive acutally got a all black hoodie on now with neon pink robot cicuits on in. But yah I think it looks alluring in lavish amount in girls, less so on guys unless its fashion forward and not some big barbie unicorn shirt or somehthing. Lolz. But yah had all the the Legos in the day. Loved the high tech ones that were electrified and had hydraulics, pistons, and you could custom program and stuff. Make all kind of gadgett out of those. My cousin was big into princess barbie palace, I was big into skeletor skull castle. Had some interesting play time with those. hehe. If your into legos check out Minecraft if you havent already. Also love the White Stripes about a girl or whatver music video with legos. Thought saw some house made totally out of legos. They must have had way too much time one thier hands. Lolz. but yah i think girls are naturally drawn to pink because it evokes their nature more. Probably due to a lot a societal programing as well.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby Electroflux » February 21st, 2012, 4:44 pm

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The hello kitty m4 is kind of different than the others though, in a kind of cheeky "Are you going to talk sh.t? Oh, didn't think so" kind of way. :)

Somehow superman or GI joe just would not work at all, but that does. OTOH Barbie wouldn't work right either.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby Wetterschneider » February 23rd, 2012, 11:44 am

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My four year old daughter loves Lego indiscriminately. City, Pirates, Castle, Police, Bionicle, it doesn't matter. She'll build barns for horses then dungeon mazes with death traps. Spongebob has a lightsaber, and all kinds of chaos is going on down on the floor.

So when Friends hit the market, my wife and I were both very interested in seeing what her reaction would be.

She was as excited for the new Friends set at about the same level as she gets excited for any set. Which is to say, very. She built the set, played with the girl, and then an hour later, the girl was on a computer laden spaceship going to the moon...

She didn't really care about the girliness, she didn't notice, or comment or change the way she plays. Anecdotal, sure, but that's what happened.

I'm for anything that attracts more children to imaginative, constructive play. Is the Friends line an overall financially smart move for Lego, probably not. Will it bring a few more kids into the fold, probably.
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Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby moonstruck » September 3rd, 2012, 4:59 pm


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An update:
"Lego's 'sexist' Friends range for girls spurs 35% profit rise":
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/ ... rofit-rise

My daughter did get a small Lego Friends set. The blonde girl figure doesn't seem to be a big deal for her, but she likes that the blonde wig also fits the little yellow fireman really well.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby sanjy009 » September 3rd, 2012, 8:44 pm

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I (finally) bought my girls the Lego friends. From what I'd read the unpacking experience was meant to be different, but it was the same as all Lego I know (a few clear plastic bags loose in the box). Maybe the bigger boxes have that feature.

A different play experience though, much more role play with the figures. Normally they play with Lego because they want to build a house, they build a house, then maybe change it, then thats it. With the Lego friends it was like playing with dolls, lots of talking and doing, and play acting tasks and interacting with other Lego minifigs, and they spend more time with it as well.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby scrotum » November 6th, 2012, 4:50 pm

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Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby Lmo » November 9th, 2012, 12:49 pm

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I likey. But I would have been more impressed if, at the end of the run, all of the balls had become organized into little pallets by color. I was almost expecting it.

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Re: LEGO ... for girls

Postby Cameron » November 10th, 2012, 11:11 pm

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I would hope and guess that Lego would have liked to stay away from Barbie-ification. However, I'm sure that the retail toy store buyers were an insurmountable barrier. Oh, buyers...
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