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Friends "Controversy"


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Poll: Friends Controversy (516 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you like the LEGO Friends line?

  1. Yes (376 votes [73.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 73.29%

  2. No (137 votes [26.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.71%

Do you think the LEGO Friends line is too "effeminite" in appearance?

  1. Yes (190 votes [37.04%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.04%

  2. No (323 votes [62.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.96%

How could LEGO improve this "problem?"

  1. I answered "No." I don't see any need for improvement. (218 votes [21.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.23%

  2. Make building more challenging (67 votes [6.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.52%

  3. Make monster trucks with female drivers (34 votes [3.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.31%

  4. Make monster trucks in pink (25 votes [2.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.43%

  5. Make houses in neutral colors (105 votes [10.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.22%

  6. Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors? (80 votes [7.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.79%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (187 votes [18.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.21%

  8. Diversify other lines in theme (77 votes [7.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.50%

  9. Diversify other lines with more female characters (161 votes [15.68%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.68%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (73 votes [7.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.11%

Which of the above issues affects your stance on this product the most?

  1. I answered "No." I don't see any need for improvement. (209 votes [40.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.66%

  2. Make building more challenging (22 votes [4.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.28%

  3. Make monster trucks with female drivers (3 votes [0.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.58%

  4. Make monster trucks in pink (6 votes [1.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.17%

  5. Make houses in neutral colors (27 votes [5.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.25%

  6. Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors? (36 votes [7.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.00%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (125 votes [24.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.32%

  8. Diversify other lines in theme (21 votes [4.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.09%

  9. Diversify other lines with more female characters (53 votes [10.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.31%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (12 votes [2.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.33%

What is your expertise on the subject?

  1. I have studied sociology (61 votes [8.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.92%

  2. I have studied child development (52 votes [7.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.60%

  3. I am just an opinionated AFOL with no credentials in marketing or child development (332 votes [48.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.54%

  4. I have studied consumer product research (38 votes [5.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.56%

  5. I have studied marketing (54 votes [7.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.89%

  6. I am a parent (147 votes [21.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.49%

How do your children respond to the LEGO Friends line?

  1. I do not have children (339 votes [61.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.97%

  2. I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets (61 votes [11.15%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.15%

  3. I have a daughter who doesn't like the Friends sets (13 votes [2.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.38%

  4. I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets and sets meant for boys (59 votes [10.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.79%

  5. I have a son who likes the Friends sets (27 votes [4.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.94%

  6. I have a son who doesn't like the Friends sets (24 votes [4.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.39%

  7. I have many children who all have different reactions to the Friends line (24 votes [4.39%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.39%

Do you consider LEGO to be a unisex toy?

  1. Yes (341 votes [68.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 68.34%

  2. No (40 votes [8.02%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.02%

  3. It used to be, it's not now (52 votes [10.42%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.42%

  4. It has always been a toy primarily for boys (66 votes [13.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.23%

Do you think keeping Friends promoted only among girls toys in store and not with LEGO will reinforce the impression that LEGO is a boys toy in general?

  1. Yes (305 votes [61.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.12%

  2. No (194 votes [38.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.88%

Do sets marketed specifically to girls enforce the idea that the other sets are meant only for boys?

  1. Yes (278 votes [55.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.71%

  2. No (221 votes [44.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.29%

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#76 Walter

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:56 PM

View Postlorax, on 16 December 2011 - 11:40 PM, said:

I really think that Lego is brilliant for a child's development, and if more girls build it is a brilliant outcome (for Lego, for our girls and for me (who will have access to more colours and pieces).

Well said! Some people don't realize what an amazing tool Lego can be for creating and building. The possibilities are endless.  :classic:
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#77 TenorPenny

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:59 PM

I consider myself more feminist than anything else. The idea that making pink things is bad for equality, or whatever, is tripe. The sheer amount of males who cannot wait for these sets for various reasons is very encouraging on that front! Making things which girls are encouraged to be interesting does not mean Lego are contributing to a global problem of some sort. They are trying to work within a competitive market. Staying rigidly gender-neutral is not going to change the world, and this way might get more girls into Lego and into the rest of the themes.

I for one am going to buy a lot of this theme, for the figures, the animals and the amazing colour palette.

#78 Ralph_S

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:41 PM

I realise that this thread has become quite long and that probably not all of you will have read everything, but the business week article I linked to in my first post made it pretty clear that LEGO are aware that the colour scheme and some of sets are stereotypical.
However, irrespective of whether many girls'  preference for pink colours and for dogs and ponies over cars is due to nature and/or nurture, one thing is clear: if LEGO don't opt for a somewhat 'girlie' theme, a lot of girls out there will probably either never play with LEGO or turn away from it once they reach the age (around five) where their preference apparently kicks in. That would be a terrible shame and LEGO would be stupid to do it differently.

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#79 Hikaro Takayama

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:27 PM

View Postvexorian, on 17 December 2011 - 01:53 PM, said:

Sorry, I prefer to skip any post that begins by mentioning extreme feminism or ^feminism bullcrap in its... first line.

:wall: :facepalm: :facepalm:   Really? Wow, that is such a great reason to ignore any points someone is trying to make and/or completely misinterpret what they're trying to post... And you're right:   :sarcasm: This isn't extreme feminist bullcrap, it's FEMINAZI bullcrap.

..All kidding aside, though:  you're only proving the point that I was trying to make: I.e. that these types automatically assume that anything pink or otherwise "feminine" is automatically "weak" or "dependent" and that girls should be religiously beat over the head with such viewpoints so that they can finally be exactly like the boys and thus truly equal.  :pir-hmpf_bad:  I think "Mad Max" on the John Boy and Billy Big Show said it best:

Mad Max said:

"They (these types of feminist) won't be happy until they can stand up behind a urinal and pee like a man!"

Quote

It is also not like LEGO is the only company getting this sort of criticism. It is probably the only company you heard of getting this criticism, because you are AFOLs. I remember this recently: http://blogs.discove...ience-to-girls/

Yes, I'm quite well aware of this overall controversy... That is why the Trope "Real Women Don't Wear Dresses" exists in the first place!  Basically its the result of people, mostly feminazi groups who seem to think that anything "girly" (read: PINK) is automatically "setting the progress of women's equality back 500 years," rather than actually going after REAL problems, such as the GROSS inequalities in most Muslim countries... Seriously, in many of those countries, women can LITERALLY be flogged or worse for doing anything that is considered to not be appropriately "feminine."

Seriously, if you want to target anyone for "forcing gender sterotypes on women" THERE is where you want to direct their windmill crusade at!

Quote

And of course girls like pink. But can't boys like pink too? Can't girls like other colors too?

...And we get to the heart of the whole thing:  I'm a guy and I like pink, but for years I wouldn't admit that because it was a great way to get the ever-loving crap kicked out of me by the other guys at school for being a "fag" (never mind the fact that I am not even remotely attracted to other guys), along with supressing my emotions for the same reasons... Now, having taken martial arts, been in the military for 6 years, I'm no longer afraid to let my "feminine" side show through:  Knowing at least three ways to kill someone with your bare hands can go a long way towards not caring what other people think, it would seem.

...But I digress:  The main point I was trying to make earlier is that NOBODY is holding a gun to anybody's head and saying, "You are a GIRL, und You MUST BUY ZE Friends sets OR I VILL SHOOT YOU!", or "Sorry, but boys have to stick to Star Wars... NO PINK FOR YOU!"

I think TenorPenny said it best:

TenorPenny said:

I consider myself more feminist than anything else. The idea that making pink things is bad for equality, or whatever, is tripe. The sheer amount of males who cannot wait for these sets for various reasons is very encouraging on that front! Making things which girls are encouraged to be interesting does not mean Lego are contributing to a global problem of some sort. They are trying to work within a competitive market. Staying rigidly gender-neutral is not going to change the world, and this way might get more girls into Lego and into the rest of the themes.

I for one am going to buy a lot of this theme, for the figures, the animals and the amazing colour palette.

...Which is something I agree with whole-heartedly.

EDIT: Yes, I was getting a bit too hot under the collar here, and I apologize.

Edited by Hikaro Takayama, 18 December 2011 - 05:42 AM.

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#80 brickbuilder

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:48 PM

I think its silly that people complain about the sets. Sure, girls will love them, and I'm sure they will buy them. But it's not like those are the only sets girls buy. My kid sister is 11 right now, and she bought the Belville sets when she was younger. Now, she ocasionally buys some City, some Harry Potter, and she's been collecting the Winter Village sets. She also is looking into the Kingdoms line. And it's not like she's some wierd tom-boy or whatever, she's just a normal girl who goes to school, makes friends, goes shopping, etc. So as I said, I think it's silly that people say LEGO is exclusively for boys. Just my opinion.

#81 Jareth

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:11 PM

I give the sets a resounding....meh...new parts are cool.

I think there are two things missing from this argument, First Lego is doing a better job including women in their normal sets.

Second, this girls theme has been tried before.  Larger figs with pink accessories didn't work then, will it work now?  TLG seems to think so, but I have my doubts.  I would prefer the sets to have less pink, but keep the new figures.  At least it would be trying something new.
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#82 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:45 PM

Reading all this, oh man, let the children of the world decide okay.....and a suggestion, why DON'T we as AFOL's design our own girl's theme based on the female minifig's we have either from sets or the collectables series.....now there's a challenge and perhaps a contest....what do you think moderators ? :wink:

#83 Legoking

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:57 PM

Well this is going to be interesting. A new line appealing to girls. From watching the short clip about it and the comments people made on twitter, I think they are ignorant. From my experience of going to Denmark and being on the Lego Inside Tour, I was informed on many things. But relating to this topic, TLC has children from Denmark test and play with upcoming lines and new products. They give the criticism they are able to give and such. So if the children that have tested the toy, and like the toy, of course Lego see's some potential in this new Theme.
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#84 BelValcor

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 09:57 PM

After reading all the posts here it occurred to me that no one has mentioned that the marketing of the new theme may be directed at us.

From an Uncle point of view I am looking for Christmas gifts for my two nieces.
I see this new line and think "This would be a great way to introduce the girls to LEGO in a way that competes with the other 'girls' toys out there."

Do the girls know what sexist is? Nope.
Do they troll the net to see if LEGO is a boys toy or girls? Nope.
When they have played with their brother's LEGOs do they care about colours or the minifigs? Not that I've seen.

I am all for a LEGO theme designed for girls. The colours and figures makes it easier for the girls to move from the other toys out there to the best toy.
This ( as others have pointed out ) makes it easier for them to move onto other themes such as Harry Potter, CITY, etc.

Once the girls get older and have a few sets in their collection then THEY can decide what is a boys or girls set.

I have seen the 'girls' block boxes before and didn't buy any. I was thinking they are nice enough but what goes with them?
With a new theme aimed at girls, now those block boxes look worth while.

Sorry that my thoughts are jumbled here but I think you can see my points.

#85 Speedy

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 10:36 PM

View PostHikaro Takayama, on 17 December 2011 - 06:27 PM, said:

:wall: :facepalm: :facepalm:   Really? Wow, that is such a great reason to ignore any points someone is trying to make and/or completely misinterpret what they're trying to post... And you're right:   :sarcasm: This isn't extreme feminist bullcrap, it's FEMINAZI bullcrap.
etc etc etc
This post is an incredible strawman argument.  I don't think anybody has implied that LEGO was oppressing women, so to bring up the treatment of women in Muslim countries is ridiculous. The topic is about LEGO and its marketing to girls. Also, I haven't seen people saying that pink is a weak color.  I've seen defenders of this toy line make claims that it's not weak, but I haven't (in this thread, at least) seen that to be a basis of complaint.  You'll have to highlight that fact if I'm wrong.

It's really easy to prove your point if you make up a fake argument to go after  :wink:

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#86 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:28 PM

I feel we are getting side tracked.....the topic is wherever or not this theme is too girly ? :classic:
Point one is the figures are more doll like, but that doesn't mean girly....hands up guys who have had an Action Man, I had as a boy had fire fighting dolls with full rescue kit and breathing tanks.
Point two is the colours in use too girly.....well, it does lean more towards girls, but there's nothing wrong with pastels. :wink:
What would everyone's opinion be then if they were minifigs, but still girly and more standard bold Lego colours of bright red, blue, green and yellow....oops, not to forget orange eh ? :wink:

Over in the historic and pirate forums, topics are a blaze with the pros and cons of licensed pirate and medieval sets. Looks to be the same here, like I said before let the kids decide and let the children play. :sweet:

Edited by lightningtiger, 17 December 2011 - 11:30 PM.


#87 Hinckley

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:37 PM

View PostSolitary Dark, on 17 December 2011 - 10:29 AM, said:

I thought this was a fascinating discussion discussion so I showed my kids the set - My son (8) and Daughter (6) are both regular Lego builders, but my son has always been more 'Obsessed'.

When I showed them all of the 2012 sets and asked them which set they would most like, my son picked the Bandit hideout from the new Police line because of the Bear, the new 'Brick profile brick and the because he thought the new cabin looked like a fun build.

My daughter picked the Heartlake vet, because she liked the new Hedgehog, the Pony stable and beacause she wanted to look after the animals.

Then they asked if they could have a baseplate and set up the two buildings on the same street and play together.

They think the bandits will steal the hedgehog and the police will have to find him - they did not care that the friends figures were different. Theyre the target audience - Then my son said he wanted the vets and the cafe in his city.

As usual it's only adults who think this stuff is important!
OK, so I did the same thing with my niece (8) and my nephew (10). My niece wants the set with the horse, the puppy, the treehouse and the bear. My nephew wants the pterodactyl and has no interest in "the Barbie sets." :laugh: That was fun! :sweet: I told my sister what I planned to do and about the new girls' line and she said " :hmpf_bad: They're not pink like the last ones, are they?" She's all nutty about girls and colors, etc. While her daughter sat there looking at the sets, wearing all pink, my sister agreed that the colors aren't too girly. She did wonder why girls needed new colors and I suggested their years of test-marketing probably showed the LEGO group something.

View PostHikaro Takayama, on 17 December 2011 - 06:27 PM, said:

:wall: :facepalm: :facepalm:   Really? Wow, that is such a great reason to ignore any points someone is trying to make and/or completely misinterpret what they're trying to post... And you're right:   :sarcasm: This isn't extreme feminist bullcrap, it's FEMINAZI bullcrap.

..All k SNIP

...Which is something I agree with whole-heartedly.

:sarcasm_hmpf: Or would you rather the girl line included sets more along these lines:

Posted Image
I respect anyone's opinion for the sake of it being their opinion and anyone has the right to express said opinions. However, I would ask you to keep this topic in perspective. Thank you.

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#88 vexorian

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:35 AM

View PostHikaro Takayama, on 17 December 2011 - 06:27 PM, said:

:wall: :facepalm: :facepalm:   Really? Wow, that is such a great reason to ignore any points someone is trying to make and/or completely misinterpret what they're trying to post... And you're right:   :sarcasm: This isn't extreme feminist bullcrap, it's FEMINAZI bullcrap.

..All kidding aside, though:  you're only proving the point that I was trying to make: I.e. that these types automatically assume that anything pink or otherwise "feminine" is automatically "weak" or "dependent" and that girls should be religiously beat over the head with such viewpoints so that they can finally be exactly like the boys and thus truly equal.  :pir-hmpf_bad:  I think "Mad Max" on the John Boy and Billy Big Show said it best:





Yes, I'm quite well aware of this overall controversy... That is why the Trope "Real Women Don't Wear Dresses" exists in the first place!  Basically its the result of people, mostly feminazi groups who seem to think that anything "girly" (read: PINK) is automatically "setting the progress of women's equality back 500 years," rather than actually going after REAL problems, such as the GROSS inequalities in most Muslim countries... Seriously, in many of those countries, women can LITERALLY be flogged or worse for doing anything that is considered to not be appropriately "feminine."

Seriously, if you want to target anyone for "forcing gender sterotypes on women" THERE is where you want to direct their windmill crusade at!



...And we get to the heart of the whole thing:  I'm a guy and I like pink, but for years I wouldn't admit that because it was a great way to get the ever-loving crap kicked out of me by the other guys at school for being a "fag" (never mind the fact that I am not even remotely attracted to other guys), along with supressing my emotions for the same reasons... Now, having taken martial arts, been in the military for 6 years, I'm no longer afraid to let my "feminine" side show through:  Knowing at least three ways to kill someone with your bare hands can go a long way towards not caring what other people think, it would seem.

...But I digress:  The main point I was trying to make earlier is that NOBODY is holding a gun to anybody's head and saying, "You are a GIRL, und You MUST BUY ZE Friends sets OR I VILL SHOOT YOU!", or "Sorry, but boys have to stick to Star Wars... NO PINK FOR YOU!"

I think TenorPenny said it best:



...Which is something I agree with whole-heartedly.

:sarcasm_hmpf: Or would you rather the girl line included sets more along these lines:

Posted Image

I am not sure why this topic is raising such passion from you. Let us just say that you are not making me rethink my reflex about skipping posts that downright begin accusing the other side of being feminist extremists.

Your point seems to revolve about how nobody is holding guns to buy them and that we could buy SW sets just like that. I don't think that tells the whole story.

For starters, the business week article admits that they are building walls around just about all LEGO themes that are not "friends" so that only boys feel welcome. Their lossy market research is probably not very effective, but the intention is clearly mentioned. Let's make all themes but "friends" focus on Mastery instead of beauty and detail because those things are girly. That way friends can focus on Mastery and whatever. More so , advertizing will make sure that SW is targeted at boys exclusively whilst friends will be targeted at girls. So, sure, there are no guns being held against girls so that they only get "Friends". There is just the advertizing machine and the fact that the other sets don't consider the priorities TLG assumes girls have.

The controversy is about whether LEGO fell in stereotyping and is calling it market analysis. To me it is clear that sets in both ways are getting full of gender stereotypes. After TLG decided all themes but friends/belvile are for boys, we have been getting sets that are stereotypically heared towards boys. Most creator sets nowadays are cars or helicopters. Town alternates between Cops and Firefighters every second wave and every set needs flicker missiles. I think that it is pretty clear to me that gender stereotypes are getting worse in TLG than years ago.


It is actually funny if you think about that in the first step, LEGO try very hard to make the themes unappealing to girls. In the second step they gloat about how they are making a single theme that does not. TLG has certainly come full circle over this mess.

It would surely be nice if we could say that when a theme is aimed at girls has pink in every single set and career offerings such as clothe designer that it is stereotypical without being accused of saying that LEGO oppresses women and is worse than Muslim countries. I'd like to state that it is quite clear that LEGO have been victims of following these stereotypes and there shouldn't be much argument there.

Once we just establish that the stereotypes are well and living we can discuss about whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. I'd say that it is not an ok thing. Surely it is not the end of the world, but when a global toy company surrenders to the stereotypes it may not be causing a problem, but it is doing nothing to fix it either.

The other way of the argument is saying that TLG are doing this because it is good for their business. I see two issues with this point: a) I think it is way too soon to jump to conclusions about how well the theme will do financially for TLG. Surely they made tons of market research, but there is a lot of market research behind LEGO's most notable failures like Bellvile, 4Juniors and Galidor. The strongest market research is not a sufficient condition for victory.  b) The second issue I see is that the topic about whether it is good money-wise for LEGO or not is not really relevant to the discussion about it being stereotypical or not, clearly TLG's financial success wouldn't suddenly mean it was alright to do it. And c) We are not LEGO employees, we are costumers and as such our priority is not LEGO's financial success but making sure that LEGO is a convenient product for ourselves, our tastes and, if we are parents, the development of our children. Surely we can just not buy them, but just not buying a product is not going to let LEGO learn about why we are not buying it, so it is very useful to use the internet to make ourselves heard so that LEGO learn the reason we are not buying their things.

#89 Clone OPatra

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 04:57 AM

I think this photo from the Businessweek article shows some good history:
Posted Image

Clearly, as far back as 1979 LEGO felt like trying and manufacturing something specifically for girls, but that didn't work out so well (I've never heard of it at all before this).

I've read numerous times that LEGO's target age group is boys.  Perhaps it was not always this way, and the fact that they moved that way can be called into question, but that's the way it is.  The other fact is that society creates gender stereotypes.  I cannot believe that anybody would look to a toy company to try and work around or blast through stereotypes; in our hopes and dreams sure, but that is an unreasonably high standard for a toy company that wants to make a profit.

That said, even within a stereotype of color palette this Friends theme, to me, is amazing.  These sets are filled with actual bricks and actual building, they are entirely normal LEGO and have all the benefits associated with LEGO.  Paradisa did that too to a certain extent, but Paradisa was limited to a beach vacation resort, whereas Friends is an entire town.  People can complain that the figures are different, but honestly at least these figures are about the same size so the sets aren't filled with a plethora of big, building-less parts like Belville.

I wouldn't bash LEGO for buying into the stereotypes; I would praise the company for working so well within them.  These sets actually contain the core of LEGO, the building aspect, while still being marketed specifically towards girls.
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#90 DrWeevil

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:15 AM

I'm a grown woman AFOL who always played with Lego when I was a kid. When I recall my childhood, there were two main types of toys that my sister and I (no brothers around) would play with equally - Barbies and Lego. We only had one or two Paradisa sets during that time, but they just fit in with our overall combined town/castle/space empire we amassed and built over the years. I don't remember being dissatisfied with the appearance of minifigs - I do remember thinking though, that the girls were always daggy thanks to the single female hair piece that was available back then (not that the male hair piece was much better). We were examples of girls that liked playing 'dolls' as much as Lego - which I think probably represents a large number of girls out there.

There are also already a large number of sets that I'd call totally gender neutral - Harry Potter, City, Castle/Kingdoms, Creator, Modulars, Spongebob, Toy Story, Collectable Minifigs, etc etc

I think a line geared a little more towards girls is a good idea. You won't find anyone out there who
more strongly believes in gender equality than me (just ask my partner!) - but I also agree that certain lines appeal more to boys than girls (I'm mainly talking about Star Wars here - man I find almost all of those sets just plain ugly, aside from a bunch of UCS sets). So if there are lines that appeal more to boys, then why not a line that appeals more to girls?

Personally, I'd rather another theme along the lines of Paradisa - as I really dislike the figures in this Friends line as I think it takes away from the 'Lego feel' of the sets, but at least they're using normal bricks that can be integrated with other sets, even if the figures cannot (unless you're planning a MOC of marauding female giants - which could be interesting). I personally won't be buying any (don't care for pink and purple bricks much myself), but I'm not the target demographic.

Introducing this line isn't going to lose any existing young female Lego fans - all it can do is gain some. So what's the big deal?

#91 Hikaro Takayama

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:26 AM

View PostHinckley, on 17 December 2011 - 11:37 PM, said:

I respect anyone's opinion for the sake of it being their opinion and anyone has the right to express said opinions. However, I would ask you to keep this topic in perspective. Thank you.

Aye, sir!  I admit that I got too hot under the collar earlier and was insulting, and I do apologize.

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And one last thing:

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:thumbup: I'm with you 100%

...And now that I've calmed down a bit, I just want to say this:  The real issue here, from what I've seen of the comments posted on the various links essentially boils down to three main things:

First of all, the "adults" aren't giving children enough credit, namely the fact that they think that just because a girl wants to play with pink, girly stuff means that she'll grow up to be a submissive doormat who is dependent on men for her identity, despite the fact that just isn't so... Heck, it's even possible for "girly" women (as in very fashion conscious and have "feminine" hobbies and interests) to be independent and have gender-defying careers... One prime example is roller-derby queen "Luna Impact" who's a career astrophysicist working on her PhD.  As mentioned earlier, if a girl is so impressionable that pink toys somehow DO make her into a submissive doormat, she's obviously got bigger problems.

Secondly, there is the fact that the outrage against LEGO and other manufacuterers is more of attacking the symptoms rather than the disease:  This is a free-market economy (except maybe China and Cuba, but both are moving that direction), meaning that manufacturers make what sells best, and pink, frilly stuff is what sells in the girls' market, particularly girls' toys.  The ROOT of the cause, as I alluded to earlier, but hopefully shall make abundantly clear here and now is the fact that, despite all the lip-service payed to "tolerance" and "non-conformity", almost ZERO has actually been done on that front when it comes to gender roles:  Where were all these people complaining about Friends (or insert brand x girl toys here) being too "girly" when I was getting the ever-loving megabloks kicked out of my on the playground because I actually DARED to show emotions besides lust and rage, or admitted that I liked Rainbow Brite?  Again, where were these shining knights when my girlfriend was called a lesbian and worse because she likes blue and doesn't like wearing skirts and other "girly" stuff?  Until THIS issue, i.e. bullying and violent peer pressure to conform, is addressed, gender-stereotyped toys are what are going to be bought by their target customers, and any complaining about such is going to make about as much difference as peeing in the ocean. (Vexorian, does that answer your question why this issue is a bit of a berserk button for me?)

...And of course, this leads to the third and final problem (WARNING: I'm about to go meta here!):  Namely the fact that considering pink and frilly stuff to be "girly" and girls/women who like them to be weak and submissive is, in itself, a negative stereotype, and thus, for the TRUE anti-establisment types, something that needs to be done away with.  Further along that line of reasoning is the fact that the mainstream feminist movement, by adhering to such stereotypes is, itself, limiting women to certain roles (albeit different ones), which itself, is against the ORIGINAL goals of feminism... A perfect example/parody of this type of feminist goals is the Dwarfs in Terry Prachett's Discworld series:  The dwarfs have exactly ZERO gender role differences, and thus no gender stereotypes, and thus would THEORETICALLY, be the perfect society.  The problem is that the female dwarfs are forced into the same exact occupations and roles that the male dwarfs are, and thus it becomes a major issue in dwarf society when one Cheery Littlebottom (of the Ankh-Morpork city watch) decides to start wearing (chainmail) skirts, a "contoured" breastplate, high-heeled greaves, start braiding pink ribbons into her beard and calling herself "Cherie"...  Of course, this is what the postmodern feminist movement advocates as well: I.e. that women should not be limited to acting just like men to be respected, but doing what they like, whether it's traditionally "feminine" or not.  On the flip side is the Masculist movement, which seeks to do away with stereotypes the other way (i.e. that pink is for girls and that if guys want to wear dresses, then they should be allowed to)...

That is essentially the heart of the controversy, as I see it anyways.  In the meantime, I'm just going to take advantage of the new parts and just hope that this theme DOES prove to be a gateway for girls to get into the rest of LEGO, or at least help erode gender stereotypes while paying nominal lip-service to them.

However, barring some kind of oppressive government action or laws, you're still going to see manufacturers use the pink-product ploy to sell stuff to girls and women until and unless these three root issues are addressed.

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#92 Legocrazy81

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:42 AM

What's with all the feminist talk from you, Hikaro? I didn't read the Bussinessweek article, so if they brought it up, then ok. But, I didn't read it from anyones posts. I never really got a good look at this line, until tonight. Personally, I won't be buying these for my collection, but I do like some of the sets as a whole. The figs are the worst part to me, they won't integrate very well into other themes, as mentioned before. Much like the pieces will.

Now, if you asked 10 target audience girls what their favorite color is, I would be willing to bet everything I own that 9 of them would say pink. Who cares? It's just another color. It's stupid the emphasis people put on colors. There's nothing wrong with associating colors with people. Look at street gangs, or sports teams, even cops associate colors. People who own red cars tend to speed more. Does that mean people who drive the speed limit and drive a red car should go complaining to the police chief? No, because it doesn't affect them... Anywho, that's waaaaay off topic.

Is anyone(not here, in general), complaining because Barbie comes in a pink box and not an array of colors? It's just the way marketing is.

Edited by Legocrazy81, 18 December 2011 - 06:45 AM.

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#93 CarsonBrick

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:45 AM

I am honestly super excited about the new line and I am sure that I will buy most of the sets. I can see how they are very pink, but that's my favorite part.  :blush:  They provide us with tons of new colors and pieces. Eithor way, there are hundreds of other sets to buy for girls if this new Fridns line doesn't work out for them.
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#94 Hikaro Takayama

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 06:54 AM

View PostLegocrazy81, on 18 December 2011 - 06:42 AM, said:

What's with all the feminist talk from you, Hikaro? I didn't read the Bussinessweek article, so if they brought it up, then ok. But, I didn't read it from anyones posts.

Well, it was briefly touched on in the Business Week article, but HEAVILY referenced in the Yahoo video, the After Ellen link on the frontpage and in the comments section of all the above... Seriously, if you were to read the After Ellen article and most of the comments posted on all the linked articles, you'd think LEGO was one step away from forcing all women to give up their voting rights and work as sex slaves... THAT is mainly what I was addressing is that most of the complainers tend to be extremely vocal feminists, or at least the commentors do... Granted you have to take the whole G.I.F.T. (Great Internet F***wad Theory) into account when reading anything posted online, but still, the amount of hate I've seen directed against this toy line for being pink and frilly reaches almost Al-Qaeda like levels of fanaticism! :sad:

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#95 Hinckley

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:07 AM

View PostHikaro Takayama, on 18 December 2011 - 06:54 AM, said:

but still, the amount of hate I've seen directed against this toy line for being pink and frilly reaches almost Al-Qaeda like levels of fanaticism! :sad:
Doesn't the ridiculousness of your comparison do the same thing? Honestly, in my opinion, one should never accuse anyone of terrorism or Nazism unless there are actual atrocities occurring. Playing the Nazi/Terrorist card on people personally gives me the creeps. Can't we have an intelligent discussion without such alarmist and over-dramatic accusations? Even if other people are already over-reacting to things? Discuss this how you want, but I don't like this sort of thing.

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#96 Speedy

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:44 AM

View PostHikaro Takayama, on 18 December 2011 - 06:26 AM, said:

First of all, the "adults" aren't giving children enough credit, namely the fact that they think that just because a girl wants to play with pink, girly stuff means that she'll grow up to be a submissive doormat who is dependent on men for her identity...
Who's saying this?  It's not anybody in this thread.

Quote

This is a free-market economy (except maybe China and Cuba, but both are moving that direction), meaning that manufacturers make what sells best, and pink, frilly stuff is what sells in the girls' market, particularly girls' toys. ... Where were all these people complaining about Friends (or insert brand x girl toys here) being too "girly" when I was getting the ever-loving megabloks kicked out of my on the playground because I actually DARED to show emotions besides lust and rage, or admitted that I liked Rainbow Brite?
I don't think anybody has claimed it wasn't a free-market economy  :wacko: The things I and a few others in this thread have stated was that it was a disappointing thing coming from LEGO.  Reading that business article on it, about how target won't be keeping it in the LEGO section... Well, that's only going to contribute to gender separation in kids, as boys won't set foot in the girls toy section for fear of the bullying that comes with it.  As a kid, I loved Star Wars, but I hated G.I.Joe.  I would rather have played with a Barbie, but even at that age, I knew to stay away from it, for social reasons.  I was a sensitive boy.

Quote

...And of course, this leads to the third and final problem (WARNING: I'm about to go meta here!):  Namely the fact that considering pink and frilly stuff to be "girly" and girls/women who like them to be weak and submissive is, in itself, a negative stereotype, and thus, for the TRUE anti-establisment types, something that needs to be done away with.
So then you think the Friends toy line shouldn't be kept in a "GIRLS" section of their website and in the "GIRLS" section of the toy store?  Because this toyline is being explicitly labeled as girls toys, and is pink and frilly, and placing it in that category will help keep boys from even considering buying it.  As for women liking pink being weak and submissive, you're the only one here I see writing that, so I wonder why you need to repeatedly attack an idea nobody is promoting.

View PostLegocrazy81, on 18 December 2011 - 06:42 AM, said:

Is anyone(not here, in general), complaining because Barbie comes in a pink box and not an array of colors? It's just the way marketing is.
Are you a Barbie collector?  Are you an Adult Fan of Barbie (AFOB)?  No?  Hmmm.

LEGO is beloved by us for many reasons, but I'd like to think one reason is that it isn't generally a patronizing, lowest-common denominator company.  It's a brand of excellence.  Would you say the Barbie toy line?  I personally have zero-respect for Barbie as a product.  And I feel the same way about most toy companies.  I think most of them have a real lack of respect for the consumer.  And in general, I don't feel that way about LEGO.  So, I hold them to a higher standard.  Reading some of the non-AFOL opinions of people on the Internet, I get a real similar feeling.  People respect LEGO in a way they don't other toy companies.

Looking over the articles linked to, the key thing which I agree with is that question: LEGO is a boys' toy?

View PostHinckley, on 18 December 2011 - 07:07 AM, said:

Doesn't the ridiculousness of your comparison do the same thing? Honestly, in my opinion, one should never accuse anyone of terrorism or Nazism unless there are actual atrocities occurring. Playing the Nazi/Terrorist card on people personally gives me the creeps. Can't we have an intelligent discussion without such alarmist and over-dramatic accusations? Even if other people are already over-reacting to things? Discuss this how you want, but I don't like this sort of thing.
On top of that, I haven't even seen any hatred aimed at the line.  Discussion of it, but no hate, no extreme rhetoric.

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#97 Derek

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 07:47 AM

Wow. I had no idea this topic would be so popular when I started it.  *oh2*

I personally think that financially, the line is a very, very wise move for Lego. Just because THESE sets are aimed towards girls does not mean that they cannot buy and play with sets of other themes as well. It would be like saying a boy fan of City sets could never buy and mix his sets with Castle ones.

If anything, the Friends line will create many more fans of Lego in general, which is never a bad thing.

After just completing a course in 21st Century Art, I've realized that I am fascinated with the societal connotations with what is "Boy" and what is "Girl." I think it's amazing that for hundreds of years blue has been for boys and pink has been for girls just because that's the way it's been and few have argued it.

I recently got both of my ears pierced (and now coordinate a bunch of Lego earrings I made with 1x1 studs with whatever outfit I'm wearing  :devil:) and my family was initially upset because piercing both ears was, in their eyes, a feminine thing to do. On my college campus, this is a very common practice, so perhaps times are changing.

As a young artist, the idea of societal connotations with male and female identities is something I find fascinating and plan on exploring through my work.

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View PostIgnited_Impulse, on 20 September 2010 - 01:51 AM, said:

Dude, you've got a Final Fantasy sig and you're on a lego forum....arguing about elves. Try not to think you're some cool guy because you don't play D&D
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#98 Speedy

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:02 AM

View PostDerek, on 18 December 2011 - 07:47 AM, said:

After just completing a course in 21st Century Art, I've realized that I am fascinated with the societal connotations with what is "Boy" and what is "Girl." I think it's amazing that for hundreds of years blue has been for boys and pink has been for girls just because that's the way it's been and few have argued it.
If you check it out, it was mainly a product of marketing in the 20th century.  Blue did not used to mean boy, and the same for girls.  And of course, that's only in Western culture.  Colors have different meanings around the world.  The blue and pink meaning have become more global thanks to America's influence though.

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#99 Phyre

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:24 AM

I don't get it.  LEGO had Belville before, and I don't remember that being a big problem...  And like one of the first posters in this topic said, walk down any girl aisle in a store and all you see is pink.  So whatever the people's arguments are for opposing Friends, they don't really make sense.

I'm a guy, and so not interested in the theme at all, and I mostly buy castle related LEGOs, so they aren't going to be that useful for me for parts either, but I have nothing against the theme in general.  I'm sure many girls enjoy having a "girly" theme like Belville or Friends, and those that don't can buy other sets.
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#100 romdam

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 10:29 AM

View PostCarsonBrick, on 18 December 2011 - 06:45 AM, said:

I am honestly super excited about the new line and I am sure that I will buy most of the sets. I can see how they are very pink, but that's my favorite part.  :blush:  They provide us with tons of new colors and pieces. Eithor way, there are hundreds of other sets to buy for girls if this new Fridns line doesn't work out for them.


That's my biggest problem when reading the "Friends" thread.  All talk about "oh look at that piece" and "oh look at that".  Everyone went way too overboard with the excitement for all the sets.  Now everyone here finally has some issues to these sets.  I don't get it.  They are marketed for girls and I thought that was to be a good thing but I just get tired of reading how excited people are to buy them for themselves.  I guess that means we get to see how many other countless posts of horrendous 6 wide vehicles or modual monstocities.



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