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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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#26 vexorian

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:22 AM

View PostUsernameMDM, on 17 December 2011 - 12:39 AM, said:

Statements like this make me want to slam my head against my keyboard.  What is wrong with little girls (or females in general) wanting to be girly/feminine?  


What is wrong is the assumption that pink and horses are girly/feminine. And that girls' minifigs ought to have boobs.

Quote

I guess they didn't bother looking at Olivia's Treehouse or Olivia's Inventor's Workshop,
Fun bit about lady scientists: They don't use pink microscopes.

Edited by vexorian, 17 December 2011 - 01:30 AM.


#27 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:30 AM

Now please don't tell me Lego has not once thought that girl's hate the minifig.....my son swaps minifigs with a girl, I have seen a girl walk out of a toy shop not with Belville but Lego City trucks - a pile of them I asked her dad, and yep, they were all for her. :classic:
I think we'll be talking till we are blue in the face and fingers sore from whacking the keyboard over this topic. :laugh:
I've said it before, lets wait and see how it goes first before we tear this theme into tiny little pieces. :wink:
What's needed in this theme are male figures to balance out and make more real life. I'm still of the opinion that this is a bridging theme to get more girl's into Lego in general.....even though I'm a bloke as a kid I was only into Town....many years later...city, kingdoms, SW, POTC and Harry Potter fill my collection....so why can't Friends be a starting point for girls to later break into other Lego themes ? :wink:

#28 lorax

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:33 AM

View Postdef, on 17 December 2011 - 01:07 AM, said:


Again, if you think girls inherently liking Polly Pockets is a fact of life, I hope you never raise a daughter, with such a limiting point of view.


But by assuming that there are no gender (as opposed to sex) differences between brain size and areas of activity (leading to preferences) leads us to ignore the nature component of our children (and focus purely on the importance of nurture).

We also assume that somehow girls playing with certain toys is negative and 'weak' or 'unintelligent' or the 'lowest common denominator'.  That is negative stereotyping, saying that the 'feminine' is somehow inferior.  (My teenage son doesn't mind pink shirts, but is mocked because of the same philosophy that it is 'girly' and therefore inferior).

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#29 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:34 AM

View Postvexorian, on 17 December 2011 - 01:22 AM, said:

And that girls' minifigs ought to have boobs.
What's wrong with printed on breasts, at least they give the impression that the girl is worth for a male minifig to chase after ! :laugh:
Fun bit about lady scientists: They don't use pink microscopes.
You are right, especially if the girl is called Velma Dinkley ! :laugh:

Edited by lightningtiger, 17 December 2011 - 01:35 AM.


#30 UsernameMDM

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:44 AM

View Postdef, on 17 December 2011 - 01:07 AM, said:

Again, if you think girls inherently liking Polly Pockets is a fact of life, I hope you never raise a daughter, with such a limiting point of view.

Too late!  I already have two of them, and no matter how hard I tried to get them to like Star Wars, etc, they pick 'girly' stuff every time.

#31 Speedy

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:47 AM

View Postlorax, on 17 December 2011 - 01:33 AM, said:

But by assuming that there are no gender (as opposed to sex) differences between brain size and areas of activity (leading to preferences) leads us to ignore the nature component of our children (and focus purely on the importance of nurture).

We also assume that somehow girls playing with certain toys is negative and 'weak' or 'unintelligent' or the 'lowest common denominator'.  That is negative stereotyping, saying that the 'feminine' is somehow inferior.  (My teenage son doesn't mind pink shirts, but is mocked because of the same philosophy that it is 'girly' and therefore inferior).
I wouldn't say I'm a believer in nurture over nature either.  I've taught kids for years, and boys tend to fight in a way girls don't, at an early age.  

I live in Japan, a country where a majority of women still become housewives, my wife included.  I don't think housewife is a pejorative term.  But I think marketing the world as such is poor.

Why your teenage son is uncomfortable with something girly is another issue, not suited to EB, having to do with negative connotations of feminine things in language and society, where a woman who becomes a CEO is a stunning success, while a man who becomes a house-husband will have low self-esteem.  I don't hold LEGO in any way responsible for that, and don't think these toys support that notion at all.

I certainly don't think girls choosing to play with "girls" toys is weak at all, and never said anything of the sort.  If they choose to, it's great.  But that's not what this topic is about.  It's about a company that chooses to divide its market into boys and girls for the sake of profitability, and using stereotypes to sell to girls.  It makes business sense, and I've acknowledged that, but I don't have to respect it. LEGO is one of the few brands in the world I have any respect for, so it's a shame that they have to resort to this sort of thing.

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#32 UsernameMDM

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:50 AM

View Postdef, on 17 December 2011 - 01:47 AM, said:

and using stereotypes to sell to girls

The very same 'stereotypes' the test market reinforced?  So giving the customer base something they want is bad?

#33 lisqr

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:59 AM

I can't understand why Lego need to be unisex. Individual bricks can be unisex, but when put together they are not. Tell me that a laser shooting tank and a doll house covered in flower can be sold to the same sex.

Plus some of the bricks themselves are not unisex. How many different swords and guns do we have? Why can't we have pink ribbons?

I just want new molds and new colors.

#34 Speedy

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:00 AM

View PostUsernameMDM, on 17 December 2011 - 01:50 AM, said:

The very same 'stereotypes' the test market reinforced?  So giving the customer base something they want is bad?
:hmpf:  Why don't they just crank up the flowers ten-fold and get rid of the scientist character?  Girls hate math, after all.  Test market.  After that, they could sell jewelery sets and make-up kits.  The test market, after all.  Since that's what's important to you...

As I wrote in the post above yours, from a business point of view, it makes sense.  But I'm not going to respect the decision.  It's stodgy and old.  To be honest, being profitable has never been in my top ten things I respect about any company.  I like LEGO because it's been an intelligent company, and ideas like "Girls like pink," is nothing I'd consider intelligent.  Their avoidance of such things was something I really respected about them in the past.

Add this series to NinjaGo's collectible cards concept, it seems like the "new ideas" of LEGO are based on trolling other toy companies' successes from past decades rather than being a trail blazer.  But, as you say, "the test market."

The test market  :ugh:  It's my own fault for placing faith in a company.

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#35 Haltiamieli

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:06 AM

Whether or not it's an ideal situation, in this era in the western culture there happens to be a lot of girls (and some boys) who like things that we perceive as "girly" and Lego really wants to attract them - to get more customers and money, yes, but is it so bad that even they are given a chance to get indulged in the world of Lego, the world's best toy?

Lego really can't magically counter-code all the girls' worldviews in a fortnight so that they would be suddenly interested in the usual more gender-neutral Lego sets. So Lego makes sets that (they hope) would appeal to those girls. This does not mean that girls couldn't still buy usual Lego sets, if they like them. Introducing Friends doesn't even really change much in terms of stereotyping, as there already was Belville theme before, which included arguably worse stereotyping with less saving factors. Also, I think Lego has made some progress (albeit slowly) in including more female minifigs in their other lines. Though there is still much to be done.
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#36 Flipz

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:22 AM

View Postdef, on 17 December 2011 - 02:00 AM, said:

As I wrote in the post above yours, from a business point of view, it makes sense.  But I'm not going to respect the decision.  It's stodgy and old.  To be honest, being profitable has never been in my top ten things I respect about any company.  I like LEGO because it's been an intelligent company, and ideas like "Girls like pink," is nothing I'd consider intelligent.  Their avoidance of such things was something I really respected about them in the past.

Add this series to NinjaGo's collectible cards concept, it seems like the "new ideas" of LEGO are based on trolling other toy companies' successes from past decades rather than being a trail blazer.  But, as you say, "the test market."

The test market  :ugh:  It's my own fault for placing faith in a company.

Let's not forget the whole Lego Universe closing fiasco. *shuts up about that topic before I end up in an off-topic flame rage*

Honestly, I have nothing against Friends, heck, I'll probably pick up some of the sets for the awesome parts (purple tools, anyone?).  Making a "girly" toy is not a bad thing, the problem I see is that there's no balance.  City needs more "girly" colors and more female minifigs (though Lego has been making progress in that regard compared to a few years ago), and Friends needs some men, and some sets that aren't quite so over-the-top pink and purple.  Balance is the key.  The world is not completely feminine (like the Friends sets' world seems to be), but it's not completely masculine either.  And, if this line is really intended to draw more girls into Lego in general, why not blur the lines a bit?  Just my two cents.

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#37 Etzel

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:23 AM

The Friends theme is not perfect, far from it, when it comes to dealing with stereotypes. But it's better then Belville and Scala so I get a feeling that TLG might be on the right way. Very small steps now in the beginning maybe, but I'm not surprised, it's not like they are the expected organisation to break new borders in gender science.

I think that we in coming years will see that sets that is now targeted specifically towards boys or girls will be less specific and more neutral. I think we can see this effect already today, look at the many of the civilian sets in CITY today and compare to those in the beginning of the 00's, e.g. the only civ set in World City 2003, 7045, vs. one from 2012, 4435.

LEGO isn't doing the best thing now, but I don't think Friends is a bad move either. They are following how our society is changing, and by doing that they are changing it too. But they don't want to change to fast because that is risky and that's why they are acting a bit cowardly. But business is business I presume and they can't do it all alone. When the world changes, so will LEGO.


On a side note I think this is a great example on how companies can use anthropological studies to improve their work. :wink:

#38 UsernameMDM

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:06 AM

View Postdef, on 17 December 2011 - 02:00 AM, said:

:hmpf:  Why don't they just crank up the flowers ten-fold and get rid of the scientist character?  Girls hate math, after all.  Test market.  After that, they could sell jewelery sets and make-up kits.  The test market, after all.  Since that's what's important to you...

To a business, yup.  Businesses are designed to make money.  I never said it was important to me.  I think you got lost in your tirade and assumed too much about my statements.

#39 peterab

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:38 AM

I think this discussion highlights the difficult position TLG is in.

There are people out there like me and Def who have higher expectations of them than just taking the most profitable path, based on their own earlier stance.

There is also a market reality that boys are more attracted to LEGO than girls, and this has always been so. There is/was a perception LEGO, even in it's 60's gender neutral form, is a boys toy.

My mother did a womens study course in the 80's, and one of the interesting bits of research that she brought home from that was; parental influence on their children's perception of gender roles was minimal if the gender roles they were trying to instill were not reflected by the wider community. Lesbian separatist mothers with buzz cuts still ended up with daughters who wanted to dress as fairies and princesses if all their school friends did.

I've noted that the toy market in Australia over my life has become far more gender polarized, and in the boys toys far more militant. I'm pretty sure this is in no small way a result of the greater influence of American toy companies, particularly Mattel/Barbie, and action figures (which hardly existed in many toy shops here when I was a kid).

I'm pretty sure playing with LEGO is beneficial for kids, and that should not be denied to girls even if it means using more 'girly' colours. The inclusion of the science/robot lab seems to suggest TLG would like to add a bit of balance to this theme too, but there is no point to marketing to an already gender biased pool of little girls something they don't want. A few girls will be interested in the more gender neutral city sets, but many more will like the beauty salon initially. If that leads to many more FAFOLS in twenty years time, who buy from many themes, I think that would be a positive impact. If over time the divide between 'boys' and 'girls' sets gets wider I would be disappointed.

Hopefully our society as a whole will change enough that TLG's use of stereotypes can reduce over time, but one can't expect companies to lead society in a better direction, only applaud and support them when they do.

#40 Tamamono

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:43 AM

Personally, I see nothing wrong with the "Friends" theme. (Although maybe I'm a bit biased because I'm hungry for those new parts! :drool:)

There's no reason why girls wouldn't want to play with non-'girly' LEGO sets, and there's no reason why they shouldn't. However, the girls who want to play with Castle, Star Wars, etc. already do. LEGO is obviously trying to reach beyond their current demographic with this theme. There are countless little girls out there who disregard LEGO and other gender-neutral toys as 'too boy-ish' and only play with stereotypically 'feminine' toys such as Polly Pockets and Barbies. If they see a LEGO set that looks like what they're used to playing with, then they will likely be more open to it than they are to other themes.

In other words, LEGO is not trying to restrict girls into a little category, they are trying to make money. Producing the "Friends" theme could be a very profitable move for LEGO, and like Etzel said, it has much more potential than themes such as Belville and Scala did.

Just my two cents on the topic.

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#41 Delta 38

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:57 AM

Wait, there's a controversy over this?

I really can't see any problem. Sure, the colour scheme and everything may be "stereotypical", but when has a "stereotypical" colour scheme ever stopped all of the other toys being produced featuring copious amounts of pink?
"Girls can like a toy without it being pink." If that's the case, then they're probably already collecting sets from City or otherwise. The new colour scheme, if anything, will attract more people that like their toys pink.

They're not complaining about the simpler (mostly) construction of the sets, or the larger figures. It's just because of colours. Seriously?
Additionally, quite a few of these are entirely new colours. Even if you're not a girl or don't like the sets, they provide more variety in pieces.

As a side note, when has Lego ever had a "military line", as stated in the video?  :wacko:
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#42 peterab

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 05:41 AM

View PostDelta 38, on 17 December 2011 - 04:57 AM, said:

As a side note, when has Lego ever had a "military line", as stated in the video?  :wacko:

Well from my 60's perspective Indiana Jones, some adventurers sets, pretty much all action themes, and space police sets are far more militaristic than Lego was in my childhood. Even creator has had a plane that apart from its colours looks a lot like an F-14 Tomcat to me. There were _no_ conflict based sets in the sixties.

#43 Speedy

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:06 AM

View PostUsernameMDM, on 17 December 2011 - 03:06 AM, said:

To a business, yup.  Businesses are designed to make money.  I never said it was important to me.  I think you got lost in your tirade and assumed too much about my statements.
I think I got your point.  Mine is simply that LEGO is not just a business.  I'm not surprised by that sort of target marketing by Mattel or Hasbro.  Of course, as an adult, I would never spend my time on an Adult Fan of Mattel website.  I have higher expectations of the TLG than other toy manufacturers.

Pulling out old maxims like "businesses are designed to make money" doesn't mean much.  I don't think anyone is under the illusion that it's a charity organization  :wink:

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#44 Hikaro Takayama

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:09 AM

View Postvexorian, on 17 December 2011 - 01:22 AM, said:

Fun bit about lady scientists: They don't use pink microscopes.

Obviously you missed this bit in my post:

Quote

As an electronics engineer, I'm all for ANYTHING that encourages girls to get into engineering, even if it IS pink and lavender! :laugh:

...I never said it was an ideal solution, but at least its a start (compared to "I hate math" Barbie).  Then again, you can actually get pink microscopes and tool sets (seriously, do a Google search sometime), so yeah.

Still, despite all the BS talk about "tolerance" and "non-conformity" getting thrown around these days, the fact of the matter is that kids are under HUGE pressure to maintain gender-conformity, and AFAIK, it's worse for boys than girls:  After all, a girl can play sports, wear pants, etc and nobody (except certain ultra-right wing fanatics) will call them on it.  Now a boy, on the other hand, who doesn't act "manly" enough (read: act like a hormone-crazed fool around anything that looks vaguely feminine, obsess over over-powered cars, road-hogging pickup trucks and care about nothing other than football, baseball and basketball), let alone even shows any "feminine" traits, will be the target of all kinds of homophobic slurs and bullying... I know this from sad, painful personal experience....

Unfortunately that's the way it is, and Friends looks like it might be a handy "gateway series" to introduce more girls to LEGO... In the meantime, I'm taking full advantage of the new hair pieces (and more importantly the new, cute accessories for said hair pieces), the new animal molds (loving the ladybug and butterflies) and other stuff (I want to see if I can mod Stephanie's convertable so that it is all-pink and use the hair piece from the series 6 Mechanic plus some white duds and Jake Raine's head to make an "Elvis in his Pink Cadillac" MOC :wink: ), so overall, I say it's a good thing.

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#45 Legocrazy81

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 06:54 AM

No matter what someone does, there is ALWAYS going to be people complaining... You could feed 1 million peole, and someone would complain about it. People these days just like to bitch. The girls complaining about this were probably fine(assuming they have a daughter) with the nurse putting a pink hat or booties on her. "NO! I want red booties! Just because I have a daughter doesn't mean she likes pink!" :tongue:
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#46 Gabe

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:16 AM

Off topic: You know what i'd like? Sweet ninjago vehicles in lavender and pastel pink. That way we'd see a lot more of these new colours in greater quantities/set! :wub: Who's with me? Let's get together and petition Lego for a pink kitten mech or something!  :devil:

End off topic/


Actually, i'm a bit concerned about the accuracy of LEGO's market research when they come up with statements like "girls hate minifigs" - i'm yet to find anyone human who hates minifigs! :oh:


(ps. I'm serious about that pink mech!)
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#47 Hikaro Takayama

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:17 AM

View PostLegocrazy81, on 17 December 2011 - 06:54 AM, said:

No matter what someone does, there is ALWAYS going to be people complaining... You could feed 1 million peole, and someone would complain about it. People these days just like to bitch. The girls complaining about this were probably fine(assuming they have a daughter) with the nurse putting a pink hat or booties on her. "NO! I want red booties! Just because I have a daughter doesn't mean she likes pink!" :tongue:

True, that!  Based on my experiences in various forums across the internet, you could probably start a flame war, somewhere, just by stating that the sky is blue, largely thanks to the Great Internet Megablock-wad Theory (or GIFT for short), which at its simplest states the following:

Normal person + large audience + relative anonymity (and therefore lack of consequences for one's actions) = Total Megablock-wad....

...Of course I'm willing to bet there will be an even BIGGER stink raised when the Disney Princesses line comes out.  :hmpf:

EDIT:  I actually decided to check the other two links posted on the front page, and the comments I read on those sites are some of the most EPIC cases of COMPLETELY missing the point I have ever seen:  Apparently people these days have either completely forgotten that the main idea behind LEGO is to use your imagination and build your own world, or perhaps they're too stupid or lazy to think outside the box... When I was a kid, my brother and I only used the Official themes as a very loose guideline at most and completely ignored them more often than not.  Granted, that ended up resulting in a bizarre massive-multiplayer crossover universe (where you had Gandalf duking it out with Darth Vader, among other things), but it was more fun (and IMO, totally AWESOME) that way!

Edited by Hikaro Takayama, 17 December 2011 - 07:35 AM.

Genderfluid and proud of it.

"Wot's faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin' idea, but I'm gonna find out."  - Kog da Flymek, pioneer of the Deffkopta


#48 Flipz

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:40 AM

View PostHikaro Takayama, on 17 December 2011 - 06:09 AM, said:

Still, despite all the BS talk about "tolerance" and "non-conformity" getting thrown around these days, the fact of the matter is that kids are under HUGE pressure to maintain gender-conformity, and AFAIK, it's worse for boys than girls:  After all, a girl can play sports, wear pants, etc and nobody (except certain ultra-right wing fanatics) will call them on it.  Now a boy, on the other hand, who doesn't act "manly" enough (read: act like a hormone-crazed fool around anything that looks vaguely feminine, obsess over over-powered cars, road-hogging pickup trucks and care about nothing other than football, baseball and basketball), let alone even shows any "feminine" traits, will be the target of all kinds of homophobic slurs and bullying... I know this from sad, painful personal experience....

Same here.  I have relatives who actively pretend I don't exist because I'm not a car freak, and I like the arts.  If they'd paid attention enough to find out I still play with Lego...

Also, let's not forget that according to cultural "standards", boys are not supposed to show any kind of emotion besides lust, anger, or both.  If you feel sad and/or cry, you're called a "wuss" and teased mercilessly.

You know what, now I want to walk into Toys'R'Us and pick up a big stack of these sets.  Who wants to bet I'd be called a pervert at least once by the time I made it to the car, or at least thrown a dirty look?

May be slightly depressed due to learning that Shortpacked! is ending in a year. :,-(
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#49 Arigomi

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:42 AM

I don't agree with the assertions that Friends sets are too simple in terms of building. This criticism might have applied to Belville but Friends doesn't repeat that same mistake. If you compare 8403 City House with 3315 Olivia's House you can clearly see that Friends has just as much brick building as any comparable set.

#50 pp7

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 07:56 AM

Lots of great comments here, just wanted to throw in my two cents...

Here's the thing - no matter what kind of Lego you buy, it all has one thing in common: you have to build it.  I think most people are assuming that TLG is simply selling pre-fab, easy-to-use, brainless toys shamelessly aimed at girls when they are clearly selling what they have always been selling - a toy that you BUILD YOURSELF!

LEGO is not comparable to other toys because of that fact.  I think Lego is, in some ways, an alternative to other hands-on, creative passtimes like crochet or model airplanes - you're given the raw elements and an instruction manual, and you can't play with it until you've built them.  Thus, TLG cannot really be accused of any kind of shameless sexism because any person who enjoys these toys is going to have to work to enjoy them.

Whether or not Lego is inherently unisex is an interesting discussion, but when framed the way I'm hoping to portray it, I hope people will recognize that building the set is the first aspect of satisfaction from any Lego toy, and playing with it is secondary.



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