LEGO ... for girls

December 15th, 2011, 9:28 pm

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Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 15th, 2011, 11:16 pm

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sanjy009
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I'd like to read that anthropology report.

I can't see how much different that 'girl' minifig is from Duplo minifigs, apart from looking more 'tweeny'
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I see this as the danger:
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.”
That said, my girls gravitate to girl things (fairies, dancing, pink) even though I've tried to make sure they know they can do what they want. It's had various success- my eldest loves Star Wars (we are in the middle of the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar) and they both think farts are hilarious.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 16th, 2011, 1:20 am

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epic
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My sisters had this back in maybe 1995...

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Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 16th, 2011, 8:04 am

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mo-i
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Thanks for providing that link.

Loved LEGO when I was small (up to the age when I started to discover girls, I think.)
but can't remember it to having been "linear" back then.

We just had big baskets of blocks and some special sets, that my father provided an old tool
box for, to sort them. Everything got mixed up when playing and I can remember to having
built the "sets" only a few times each, even if my father kept the "plans" very accurately in a
folder in order not to loose them.

Mostly it was a boys only play, though. The girls really didn't like the Lego world. They
liked Playmobil much better.

It is stunning that it took Lego 30 years of try and error to find out, that girls didn't
like the "little yellow men". Why did they think so many barbies lived in Lego houses ???

I am very curious to see how the new Lego for girls takes off, as we have a little daughter
now and I'd love to see her adventure into plays, that take a little more than being a most
demanding princess. (which she isn't. she is a toddler, who loves tupper ware stacks at
the moment.)

mo-i
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Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 16th, 2011, 9:35 am

iab
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epic wrote:My sisters had this back in maybe 1995...
Hmmmm... were your sisters 32-year-old gay men?

2 guys. Alone. Beach resort. Drinks. Pink cabana chairs. Umbrella. Parrot. And I swear the guy on the right has a moustache.

Not sayin', just sayin'.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. ;)

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 16th, 2011, 10:59 am

Waxy
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iab wrote:
epic wrote:My sisters had this back in maybe 1995...
Hmmmm... were your sisters 32-year-old gay men?

2 guys. Alone. Beach resort. Drinks. Pink cabana chairs. Umbrella. Parrot. And I swear the guy on the right has a moustache.

Not sayin', just sayin'.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. ;)
haha... hard to see, but the one of the left is a girl.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 16th, 2011, 1:08 pm

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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
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... with apologies to my friend in Germany.
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Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 16th, 2011, 1:48 pm

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With my daughter, who loves horses more than anything, Lego was not discovered until I bought her a set that had a horse in it. Then she got into it and all the houses and barns she could make. She got my old Lego from my parents as a Christmas present a few years ago. Then she wanted one that was a house you could make different ways. Now that she is 11 Lego is not high on the list , but learning how to make things with Lego has helped her design barns for her Breyer horses, which I helped her make out of wood.

For my daughter, being able to choose the colour was more important than if it were pink or some other "girl" colour.

I think that if a girl wants a pink gun, she is not saying I like pink, she is saying "I am a girl”. Much like if a guy paints his car flat black he is embracing masculine behavior. My wife is a shooter, and a pink gun is laughable to her, she prefers the nickel finish on her ruger new vaquero .357 revolver.

Colours are not in themselves boy/girl, but promoted as such. When I went to school a boy would get beat up for wearing anything pink. Now it is a common color in business for shirts.

To change the parental perception of what is boy/girl starts when when said parents are kids.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 16th, 2011, 10:27 pm

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I worked with LEGO's Boston office in the mid nineties, consulting on innovative product ideas. At the time, they had concrete research criteria (and that Boston office co-opted with MIT, so their research was no joke). Their criteria consisted entirely of boy-types-and-ages; Agent Anthony, Bully Bob, Kreative Kristian and Systematic Sygfreud - and all four 'type' categories had age-sub categories into which each toy was to be aligned. Very Danish!

When I asked if they pursued parallel research on girl-oriented toy development, I received a warm smile and a polite, 'no market for that, but your product ideas can be feminine if it seems to work - no issues there'. I guess a down-Global economy will force even the staunchest of detractors to think differently! It seems only natural that the product managers thought to themselves, "hey, what about those other 58% of kids out there...you know, the pretty ones?"

Like Sanjyoog, my wife and I have done a commendable job of making sure both our son and daughter not feel limited to toys and activities that are gender-acceptable. My son sews, my daughter plays football (but neither do those things particularly well nor do they seem to enjoy them!!)...but I didn't go out of my way to make sure my son only sewed things made of denim or corduroy - and I didn't buy a pink football for my daughter - maybe Lego has lapsed in their extensive child-psychology research, because it seems shallow that they felt their only option was to make curvy, pink kits with blonde hair and flowers to accomplish increased interest with girls.

Seems like the easy way out to me - like they missed the good boat. I should've kept in touch with those guys - that could have been a nice 2 year, 7 figure project!! :)
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Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 17th, 2011, 4:22 am

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This reminded me when I was walking down the street the other week when the local grade school was ending. It took me 5 seconds to realize that every single girl had some sort of pink item, mainly their backpack or jacket. After 5 seconds I made an effort to find a single girl without a single pink item, dozens and dozens of them and not a single one.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 17th, 2011, 7:06 pm

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nicanor wrote:This reminded me when I was walking down the street the other week when the local grade school was ending. It took me 5 seconds to realize that every single girl had some sort of pink item, mainly their backpack or jacket. After 5 seconds I made an effort to find a single girl without a single pink item, dozens and dozens of them and not a single one
A relatively recent phenomena:
"The ghettoisation of pink: how it has cornered the little-girl market"
Children weren't colour-coded at all until the early 20th century: in the era before domestic washing machines all babies wore white as a practical matter, since the only way of getting clothes clean was to boil them. What's more, both boys and girls wore what were thought of as gender-neutral dresses. When nursery colours were introduced, pink was actually considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red, which was associated with strength. Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy and faithfulness, symbolised femininity. (That may explain a portrait that has always befuddled me, of my father as an infant in 1926 wearing a pink dress.) Why or when that switched is not clear, but many of the early Disney heroines – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wendy, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins's Jane Banks – were dressed in various shades of azure. (When the company introduced the Princess line, it deliberately changed Sleeping Beauty's gown to pink, supposedly to distinguish her from Cinderella.) It was not until the mid-1980s, when amplifying age and sex differences became a dominant children's marketing strategy, that pink fully came into its own, when it began to seem innately attractive to girls, part of what defined them as female, at least for the first few critical years.

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 17th, 2011, 10:24 pm

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Great article. To note my fave color is pink fwiw (dont read too much into it) . Even when I was in grade 5 (it was the 80s, mind you) I would only wear fluorescent pink, blue or yellow. Still some of faves. :)

R

sanjy009 wrote:
nicanor wrote:This reminded me when I was walking down the street the other week when the local grade school was ending. It took me 5 seconds to realize that every single girl had some sort of pink item, mainly their backpack or jacket. After 5 seconds I made an effort to find a single girl without a single pink item, dozens and dozens of them and not a single one
A relatively recent phenomena:
"The ghettoisation of pink: how it has cornered the little-girl market"
Children weren't colour-coded at all until the early 20th century: in the era before domestic washing machines all babies wore white as a practical matter, since the only way of getting clothes clean was to boil them. What's more, both boys and girls wore what were thought of as gender-neutral dresses. When nursery colours were introduced, pink was actually considered the more masculine hue, a pastel version of red, which was associated with strength. Blue, with its intimations of the Virgin Mary, constancy and faithfulness, symbolised femininity. (That may explain a portrait that has always befuddled me, of my father as an infant in 1926 wearing a pink dress.) Why or when that switched is not clear, but many of the early Disney heroines – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wendy, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins's Jane Banks – were dressed in various shades of azure. (When the company introduced the Princess line, it deliberately changed Sleeping Beauty's gown to pink, supposedly to distinguish her from Cinderella.) It was not until the mid-1980s, when amplifying age and s3x differences became a dominant children's marketing strategy, that pink fully came into its own, when it began to seem innately attractive to girls, part of what defined them as female, at least for the first few critical years.
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Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 18th, 2011, 11:12 am

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This whole pink discussion reminded me of this fantastic article by Erica Eden:

http://www.fastcodesign.com/1664474/sma ... n-backfire

I admire her distinction that overtly feminine design only works when a company considers the person's mindset when using their product. Lego is definitely on the right track because a child's mindset during playtime is to latch onto the part of their identity that they know is fixed (their gender) and celebrate/reinforce all the things associated with it. Hence the blindingly pink aisle in most toy stores.

I just hope that Lego follows up with a diverse range of girls toys because I think most children get bored after a while with gender norms and thats when they start bending the rules during playtime. I distinctly remember when I was little and decided that pink princesses were for babies and that tomboys were soo much cooler.

Plus, most girls toys are really unimaginative past animals, castles and fairies whereas boys have a huge sci fi/combat category to explore which is due in large part to the video game industry. Lego is in a unique position to expand the imaginative potential of girl's toys. Personally, I really hope they come out with a Kim Possible lego kit or something. 8)

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 18th, 2011, 11:45 am

Re: LEGO ... for girls

December 19th, 2011, 8:51 am

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Richard: In Uni, I wore a lot of pastel colors. I like pink too. Even more now that, culturally, it has been pigeon-holed as girly. Unfortunately, it's hard to find nice fitting clothes in those colors. Now, I wear way too much black. Oh well.
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