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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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#251 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:30 PM

View PostAanchir, on 04 January 2012 - 09:03 PM, said:

The Friends figs do have actual depth to their chest, which ties in with the greater realism of the figs in general compared to the classic boxy minifigure. But that aspect is one reason I actually think the Friends figs promote a healthier body image than classic minifigures. In classic LEGO, the way female figs are identified usually involves a printed hourglass figure and printed chest. The figures for the Friends theme have more modest and reasonable physiques, even if they're stylistically thin compared to the chunkier classic minifigures.
Yes, but bosomy denotes some sort of bustiness or large, unattainable breasts. They're attainable normal female chests. Even minifigs have cleavage.

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#252 lightningtiger

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:11 PM

Okay, trust us guys to get to this part in the topic.....those girls would be I say a B cup, the mum the same perhaps, next people will complain about girl's body image....though Lego has thought it though, they want the figures not to say to girls....be a slut, they totally far from that.....though the mum could be considered a MILF. :devil:

#253 Flipz

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:23 PM

View PostRook, on 04 January 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

I think this the most important question:

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?

I know for marking purposes it would best serve Lego to have the Friends line in amongst other "female toys". However I believe Lego should have them displayed in with the rest of Lego as well.

I think they did this with the Toms the Train Theme in Walmart Canada. Made sense, since parents with very small children only would probably not be in the regular Lego aisle for several more years. Same with close minded parents, "Oh I only have a girl, I don't need to go to the Lego aisle."

YOu know what LEGO should really do to end the "controversy" over the placement of the toys?  Build a display model with Friends sets mixed in with City sets. (In particular, Olivia's House and/or the diner.)  It wouldn't help the other aspects of the "controversy", but it would certainly shut most of us AFOLs up.  :laugh:

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#254 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:29 PM

I think it's not a bad decision. Granted, it may be more of Target or TRU's decision, but it allows those Moms who don't visit the LEGO aisle for their girl that there's a construction toy girls can play with too. I think the feminists who are dying to boycott this line think The LEGO Group doesn't want girls to play with the sets "intended for boys." :hmpf: This is a good way to introduce girls to the market and get them interested in other lines, which they will be. My eight year old niece already has all of the Creator houses...and lots of dolls! She will be very happy to populate her town with the mini-dolls. That was one thing I didn't ask her specifically, I'm just assuming. I didn't want to delve into her psyche too much. She's a kid, I don't think I need to ask her to overthink her toys! :ugh:

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#255 lightningtiger

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:51 PM

There is a factor that we haven't talked about yet really, the retailer....where will they stick this theme in the girls section next to Barbie or in the actual Lego section, because the latter will still be seen by girls and their interest could be broadened by seeing other themes,.....just a thought. :classic:

#256 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 10:55 PM

View Postlightningtiger, on 04 January 2012 - 10:51 PM, said:

There is a factor that we haven't talked about yet really, the retailer....where will they stick this theme in the girls section next to Barbie or in the actual Lego section, because the latter will still be seen by girls and their interest could be broadened by seeing other themes,.....just a thought. :classic:
:angry: I just talked about it! If you weren't busy posting, you would've noticed! Misogynistic pig!

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#257 lightningtiger

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:06 PM

Sorry, 'Hinckley'....now you are going to make me look up WFT is Massagynistic ? :look:
Wait, I'll check Goggle.....I'm a hip-hop group ? :wacko:
Do you mean "misogynistic"......but I don't hate women at all, well except I'm sometimes not happy with the wife. :wink:
What did I write to have that stigma placed on me ? :wacko:
Anyway, this is screaming away from the topic in question.

#258 AndyC

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:08 PM

View Postlightningtiger, on 04 January 2012 - 10:51 PM, said:

There is a factor that we haven't talked about yet really, the retailer....where will they stick this theme in the girls section next to Barbie or in the actual Lego section, because the latter will still be seen by girls and their interest could be broadened by seeing other themes,.....just a thought. :classic:
In my local Toys 'R' Us, there were a few near the entrance (where they generally show "new" toys), none just behind that where the Lego display area is (that's largely still Cars stuff) and some in the actual Lego aisle. As far as I could tell there weren't any in the "girls" area, but I may have missed them because I'm not normally looking in that area so I don't know where stuff generally is. That said, they tend to also scatter smaller Lego displays around other areas of the store too, which I'd imagine might be where some Friends sets end up (NinjaGo, Minifigures and the small Creator sets have typically been in these spots in the past year).
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#259 Hinckley

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:17 PM

View Postlightningtiger, on 04 January 2012 - 11:06 PM, said:

Sorry, 'Hinckley'....now you are going to make me look up WFT is Massagynistic ? :look:
Wait, I'll check Goggle.....I'm a hip-hop group ? :wacko:
Do you mean "misogynistic"......but I don't hate women at all, well except I'm sometimes not happy with the wife. :wink:
What did I write to have that stigma placed on me ? :wacko:
Anyway, this is screaming away from the topic in question.
Oh God, I don't have spell-check on IE at work. :sceptic:

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#260 lightningtiger

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 11:24 PM

View PostHinckley, on 04 January 2012 - 11:17 PM, said:

Oh God, I don't have spell-check on IE at work. :sceptic:
Ah, a Windows program....that explains it all ! :laugh:
On topic, I have spoken to staff in many discount/toy stores....they know very little about Friend's, but they are not due until March in the land of Oz.
I have noticed some stores locate Duplo closer to the toddler toys section, so perhaps Friend's might treated the same.....no problem at a local Target of mine, Lego is just straight across from Barbie...handy eh ? :wink:

#261 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:34 AM

View PostHinckley, on 04 January 2012 - 06:30 PM, said:

I do love how she's completely ignoring the invention workshop and the female doctor at the vet.... ill-informed activist.

But the sets are focused on "girls getting their hair done" and other stereotypical "girly" activities.  There's a beauty salon, a splash pool, a dance stage, a dog show, a fashion design studio and a "cool convertible" in lilac.  It's all pretty stereotypical stuff.  Yes, there is some good stuff in the theme, like the veterinary practice, the excellent house and Olivia's lab.  But overall, the focus is on looking cute and hanging out.  If you look at the Friends section of the Lego website, the characters all have introductions where they tell us what kind of things they love.  Emma's is "I love drawing, fashion and giving my friends makeovers!"  Andrea says "I love music, singing and dancing with my friends!"  Stephanie loves... planning parties!  Tell me these girls don't sound shallow and image-obsessed.

Mia loves sports and being green, according to her intro.  But it's hard to see it, since there's not a single sports set or green-themed set in Friends as yet.  She does have the Pet Rescue, so I have to give her points for that.  And maybe there will be more Mia-centric sets in future waves.

So they're not as shallow or sexist as Barbie or Bratz.  That's not exactly setting the bar high, is it?  It's really, really not hard to make a product that's not as shallow or sexist as Barbie or Bratz.  And for the record, Barbie has had veterinarian playsets since at least the 1980s.  It doesn't change who Barbie basically is.  She's also served in every branch of the US military and been an astronaut.  But the focus of Barbie is still bikini beach parties, pink Jeeps, nights out on the town and hanging out with Ken.  The "Friends" sets send a similar message - a couple of sets about inventing and doing worthwhile things for animals, and a bunch of sets about hanging out and being attractive.

I don't hate the Friends theme.  As an AFOL, I think Emma's house is totally awesome, and as the father of two girls I think Olivia is a neat character.  There is a lot of nice building in these sets, some very cool new pieces, and real depth, and I'm happy that TLG took on the challenge of attracting girls to Lego without making the sets as ridiculously pink and "juniorized" (loaded word, I know) as Belville.  As toys for girls, these sets are indeed better than Barbie or Polly Pocket.  But they're not perfect.  They send a very mixed message to girls, and I think the protestors are justified in pointing out the problematic aspects of that message.  If nobody ever pointed out the negative sides of things, things would never get better.  "Friends" is not as bad as some of these women are making it sound - but it's also not as shiny and problem-free as most AFOLs, who as a group are predisposed to approve of new Lego products, seem to think.  Being a fashion designer, singer, or beauty salon owner is not progressive and liberating.  It's the same set of stereotypes we've been seeing in girls' toys since the Sixties.  Being an inventor is pretty cool, but the name of the theme is Friends, not Inventors.
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#262 AndyC

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 12:46 AM

View PostGryphon Ink, on 05 January 2012 - 12:34 AM, said:

Being a fashion designer, singer, or beauty salon owner is not progressive and liberating.  It's the same set of stereotypes we've been seeing in girls' toys since the Sixties.  Being an inventor is pretty cool, but the name of the theme is Friends, not Inventors.

Well, in the Sixties being a fashion designer or a beauty salon owner actually was pretty progressive thinking. And there is nothing wrong with girls (or boys) who do want to do those sorts of things. I still think the key fact is that these, unlike older "girly" themes, are proper honest-to-goodness Lego construction sets. They have all the building elements of other Lego sets and that teaches the same skills. That the theme also promotes some non-traditional roles is a plus. Sure TLG could have made them all police officers or firemen, but the girls who like those sorts of things and Lego building have probably already been playing with System sets anyway.
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#263 Legocrazy81

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:03 AM

I think we, and this feminists are seriously over thinking the sets and this theme. Does the target audience really give a damn that they don't have "manly" occupations? Except that 4 year old "free thinker" feminists daughter. :hmpf:  I don't think some six year old girl is going to think, "where is ____?! What a sexist, stupid toy!" then throw it on the ground and stomp it with all the anger they can muster.
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#264 tiggerkiddo

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:12 AM

At the Targets I've been to, they've stuck the Friends sets over by where all the girl toys traditionally are...a few aisles away from the other Lego sets. Was kind of hoping they would get grouped in with the other Lego but I can kind of see their reasoning.

#265 Hinckley

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:08 AM

View PostGryphon Ink, on 05 January 2012 - 12:34 AM, said:

But the sets are focused on "girls getting their hair done" and other stereotypical "girly" activities.  There's a beauty salon, a splash pool, a dance stage, a dog show, a fashion design studio and a "cool convertible" in lilac.  It's all pretty stereotypical stuff.  Yes, there is s
...
ting out the problematic aspects of that message.  If nobody ever pointed out the negative sides of things, things would never get better.  "Friends" is not as bad as some of these women are making it sound - but it's also not as shiny and problem-free as most AFOLs, who as a group are predisposed to approve of new Lego products, seem to think.  Being a fashion designer, singer, or beauty salon owner is not progressive and liberating.  It's the same set of stereotypes we've been seeing in girls' toys since the Sixties.  Being an inventor is pretty cool, but the name of the theme is Friends, not Inventors.
Thank you for posting an intelligent and well-written response. I'll try not to boil the controversy down to one-sentence jokes anymore. I agree with your opinions to an extent. However, my problem is that the activist is boiling it all down to one idea so she can create a stink. However, what's really being missed is that LEGO is an educational toy because it is a construction toy. And here's where I disagree with your points. Barbie comes right out of the box. The dolls and houses here are constructed. What image do minifigs have in other sets? None. Joe who drives the recycle truck doesn't do anything for fun. Maybe he drinks and bets on dog fights in a back alley. Anyway, they're already ahead of Barbie and Bratz, in my opinion, because of the construction aspect of the toy. The characters were developed through 4 years or more of market research. Apparently, this is what the market research found girls like to play to motivate their creativity, perhaps encouraging them to build more. Let's see... They're marketed towards young girls and the girls in the sets are clearly in their teens. I assume so anyway, since Olivia lives with her parents. They're cool teenagers. Perhaps young girls look forward to having cars and pets and responsibility like a job at a cafe. Boycott this toy quick before girls start liking green and planning parties! :cry_sad: The horror! Maybe we'd like to see "Olivia studies for the MCAT," but would it sell? The good news is we will be hosting a contest for people to vent about this controversy however they like through the medium of brick. We'll get that going soon. In my opinion, the characters may be slightly vapid and they're not activists or lawyers or firefighters, but they're not overly negative. They are interesting to young girls and the toys challenge them to build things on their own and be creative and get their imaginations going. Play time can be about play. It doesn't have to be about rights and activism. Barbie and Bratz may still be on the shelves for some reason. I keep burning bras but they seem to keep showing up. I'm not sure what's wrong there. LEGO may not be producing the most positive role models for future feminists but they're listening to what young girls want to provide an educational toy to that demographic. The woman in the referenced article suggests that LEGO misses out on the girl market because it doesn't have enough female figures in the sets for girls to identify with. Would they actually buy more speeder bikes if Leia was riding them? Would a snake wrecking ball with a female driver entice girls into the market? Are there any other toys that successfully market themselves to both genders? Toys can't parent children. Any toy, no matter how socially responsible, needs to be coupled with a responsible parent to foster positive gender roles in our society. In the meantime, Andrea and Lucy Lamb are opening their own Ice Cream Shoppe in my tabletown. They may plan a party there. I hope activists won't boycott my condo.

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#266 TheBrickster

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:48 AM

I haven't posted in Town for a while, but this "controversial issue" is rather interesting.  I didn't read the entire discussion, just the beginning and a few of the later replies, but I wanted to share my thoughts.

I for one find the entire theme too pink for me (coyboy thing and all, but that's a different discussion :blush: ), but I applaud LEGO for adding a more feminine touch to a traditionally boyish market line.  I work with a young lady who has daughters/nieces and a son, and she really likes LEGO (esp. the minifigs).  A few days ago, she asked me if I had seen the new LEGO Friends line.  I told her I had seen the theme but didn't know much about the sets or the line-up. The woman likes quads, cars, mechanics, and some traditionally "guy-related" hobbies.  She told me that she can't wait to buy a few of the sets for (I think) her nieces. Beauty salon, ponies, whatever the theme offers is simply for another market niche of a more feminine variety. If that market niche is to target a more traditional feminine interest, then that's great.  

The option; as with anything, is if you don't like it, you don't have to buy it. I'm sure LEGO will find a lot of girls (and others) who very much love the theme and like what the sets offer for building and imaginative play.

Don't tell anyone, but I would love to get my hands on a Dolphin Point from the old LEGO Paradisa theme (a little pink, but I can replace some of the pieces (like the stairs), with maybe black/brown).

It's all good and if there are some who like the theme, then LEGO did a good thing.  It's all about fun and if you don't like it, don't buy it.

-my two cents.

#267 Sarah

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:51 AM

View PostGryphon Ink, on 05 January 2012 - 12:34 AM, said:

But the sets are focused on "girls getting their hair done" and other stereotypical "girly" activities.  There's a beauty salon, a splash pool, a dance stage, a dog show, a fashion design studio and a "cool convertible" in lilac.  It's all pretty stereotypical stuff.  Yes, there is some good stuff in the theme, like the veterinary practice, the excellent house and Olivia's lab.  But overall, the focus is on looking cute and hanging out.  If you look at the Friends section of the Lego website, the characters all have introductions where they tell us what kind of things they love.  Emma's is "I love drawing, fashion and giving my friends makeovers!"  Andrea says "I love music, singing and dancing with my friends!"  Stephanie loves... planning parties!  Tell me these girls don't sound shallow and image-obsessed.

Mia loves sports and being green, according to her intro.  But it's hard to see it, since there's not a single sports set or green-themed set in Friends as yet.  She does have the Pet Rescue, so I have to give her points for that.  And maybe there will be more Mia-centric sets in future waves.


If you asked my niece what she liked (12 years old) she'd tell you "I like writing, making jewelry, and planning parties" and she is neither shallow nor image-obsessed. But her one sentence definition is.

Only time will tell if these sets are successful or not.

I do know this: it was the Homemaker Kitchen and bathroom sets that drew me to Lego. VERY 'sexist" stuff, really. But it didn't hold me back on aspirations for the future. BUT! It was what I had fun playing with.  I had Hot Wheels, the Little People garage and castle sets, a magic set, plus dolls and dollhouses. and played with all of them. (though I didn't tend to crash my cars together and such. Instead most of these became part of my family play.)  My kids didn't put on makeup. But there were lots of animals involved! In fact, *I* became more technical than my play ever was. I liked the one chemistry lab set I had, as well as the 50-in-1 electronics set. But I didn't play any of that with my dolls.
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#268 Legocrazy81

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:53 AM

View PostHinckley, on 05 January 2012 - 03:08 AM, said:

Thank you for posting an intelligent and well-written response. I'll try not to boil the controversy down to one-sentence jokes anymore. I agree with your opinions to an extent. However, my problem is that the activist is boiling it all down to one idea so she can create a stink. However, what's really being missed is that LEGO is an educational toy because it is a construction toy. And here's where I disagree with your points. Barbie comes right out of the box. The dolls and houses here are constructed. What image do minifigs have in other sets? None. Joe who drives the recycle truck doesn't do anything for fun. Maybe he drinks and bets on dog fights in a back alley. Anyway, they're already ahead of Barbie and Bratz, in my opinion, because of the construction aspect of the toy. The characters were developed through 4 years or more of market research. Apparently, this is what the market research found girls like to play to motivate their creativity, perhaps encouraging them to build more. Let's see... They're marketed towards young girls and the girls in the sets are clearly in their teens. I assume so anyway, since Olivia lives with her parents. They're cool teenagers. Perhaps young girls look forward to having cars and pets and responsibility like a job at a cafe. Boycott this toy quick before girls start liking green and planning parties! :cry_sad: The horror! Maybe we'd like to see "Olivia studies for the MCAT," but would it sell? The good news is we will be hosting a contest for people to vent about this controversy however they like through the medium of brick. We'll get that going soon. In my opinion, the characters may be slightly vapid and they're not activists or lawyers or firefighters, but they're not overly negative. They are interesting to young girls and the toys challenge them to build things on their own and be creative and get their imaginations going. Play time can be about play. It doesn't have to be about rights and activism. Barbie and Bratz may still be on the shelves for some reason. I keep burning bras but they seem to keep showing up. I'm not sure what's wrong there. LEGO may not be producing the most positive role models for future feminists but they're listening to what young girls want to provide an educational toy to that demographic. The woman in the referenced article suggests that LEGO misses out on the girl market because it doesn't have enough female figures in the sets for girls to identify with. Would they actually buy more speeder bikes if Leia was riding them? Would a snake wrecking ball with a female driver entice girls into the market? Are there any other toys that successfully market themselves to both genders? Toys can't parent children. Any toy, no matter how socially responsible, needs to be coupled with a responsible parent to foster positive gender roles in our society. In the meantime, Andrea and Lucy Lamb are opening their own Ice Cream Shoppe in my tabletown. They may plan a party there. I hope activists won't boycott my condo.

This. Well said, Hinkley, that's kind of what I was trying to get across. That little girls aren't throwing a fit in the girls aisle because they don't have alien fighting toys. Also, I was curious as to what's coming up next for this line. There's a plane set, a boat set, a really great looking stable set, looks like summer wave focuses quite a bit on horses. But, I'm sure the femisits will find something more to bitch about.
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#269 TheBrickster

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:58 AM

I would also like to point out that if this was a Barbie, Bratz, or a doll forum, we would probably not be having this discussion.  Most of us are male judging a more female oriented product-line.  This changes the dynamic and perspectives completely.

#270 GuntherThePenguin

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:19 AM

The only thing I don't like about the whole 'For Girls Only!' thing is that if a boy CFOL purchases one of these sets, simply for new pieces like many male AFOLs do, he will probably get bullied and get called 'gay' by other children for purchasing a 'girly set only for girls'. Sorry for that rant, I just Hate bullying of all sorts.

Edited by GuntherThePenguin, 05 January 2012 - 04:20 AM.


#271 lightningtiger

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:25 AM

Are we going around in endless circles, I feel we are.....'The Brickster' hit the nail on the head, if you don't like it, don't buy it. :classic:
What I have witnessed in the past is city is very popular with girls, where the licensed theme's are with boys....except Harry Potter of course. But there can be and are girl fans of SW, so we might have boy fans (in the closet though :blush: ) of Friend's.....claiming that they can spend more time playing with their sisters' ! :grin:
It would make sense for retailers to display the line in both the Lego and girl's toy deparments, both direct and indirect approaches to selling both boy's and girl's themes. :wink:
I might be planning on buying some of these, so I can babysit my great-niece's and have something for them to play with ! :sweet:

#272 Ricecracker

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:55 AM

View PostHinckley, on 04 January 2012 - 11:17 PM, said:

Oh God, I don't have spell-check on IE at work. :sceptic:
I wish I could give titles! :laugh:

Damn massageynists... :hmpf_bad:

#273 Legoist

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:29 AM

View PostGryphon Ink, on 05 January 2012 - 12:34 AM, said:

But the sets are focused on "girls getting their hair done" and other stereotypical "girly" activities. There's a beauty salon, a splash pool, a dance stage, a dog show, a fashion design studio and a "cool convertible" in lilac. It's all pretty stereotypical stuff. Yes, there is some good stuff in the theme, like the veterinary practice, the excellent house and Olivia's lab. But overall, the focus is on looking cute and hanging out.

If you look at the Friends section of the Lego website, the characters all have introductions where they tell us what kind of things they love. Emma's is "I love drawing, fashion and giving my friends makeovers!" Andrea says "I love music, singing and dancing with my friends!" Stephanie loves... planning parties! Tell me these girls don't sound shallow and image-obsessed.

As I mentioned in another thread, I did look at the website and now I am more convinced that this theme isn't shallow at all. :classic:

The colours are definitely girly. The characters are only mildly stereotypical however... there is much more stereotype in all the police, firemen and construction workers sets, why isn't anyone complaining about that? With the exception of indian chiefs, we practically have the entire Village People range in Lego "for boys" all the time every year :tongue:

These Friends characters could certainly be less girly. Do you want policewomen, firewomen, female construction workers? You get them, just check the 2012 City sets, they all have women in those roles. We might get some later also in the Friends theme. Overall the Friends theme is a step towards gender neutrality, but it cannot be too neutral if the whole point of introducing this theme was because people thought that Lego did not have enough girly things!!

#274 GRogall

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:55 PM

We'll had to laugh when I saw this!

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Oh my! *huh*

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#275 Gryphon Ink

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

View PostLegoist, on 05 January 2012 - 09:29 AM, said:

As I mentioned in another thread, I did look at the website and now I am more convinced that this theme isn't shallow at all.
The colours are definitely girly. The characters are only mildly stereotypical however... there is much more stereotype in all the police, firemen and construction workers sets, why isn't anyone complaining about that?

Actually, no there isn't.  There's no stereotyping involved with a construction worker minifig, because "construction worker" isn't a stereotype, it's a job description.  Those minifigs don't have shallow personalities, because we don't know anything about their personalities.  We only see them on the job.  Off duty, the Lego builder is free to imagine that the construction worker's hobbies are anything s/he can imagine, from hang gliding to singing German opera.  We can picture them as straight or gay, white or black or Asian, rich or poor, image-obsessed or interested only in sports - whatever we want, they can be.  Stereotype level = zero.  With the Friends minidolls, on the other hand, we know EXACTLY what their interests are, because their interests are the focus of the sets and because the website tells us.  And their interests are stereotypes.

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These Friends characters could certainly be less girly. Do you want policewomen, firewomen, female construction workers?

The Friends girls are clearly too young to have actual jobs, which is a whole different ball of wax, but I can live with it.  All I want for them is a wider, less stereotypical range of interests.  How about a couple of girls who like to play soccer?  How about an artist, or a sculptor?  How about one punk girl in the theme, or a mountain biker, or one who likes fishing or gaming?  A girl who likes to cosplay, with steampunk goggles?  While we're wishing, how about if the one black character wasn't a singing, dancing diva?

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You get them, just check the 2012 City sets, they all have women in those roles.

You're right, and that is exactly the tactic I think TLG should have focused on for bringing more girls to play with Lego.  The shortage of female minifigs in the classic themes is one of the biggest problems for girls.  I see this constantly at home.  My girls are perfectly happy to play with standard Lego, but they always want the female minifigs.  I'm happy that TLG is addressing this issue, but at the same time I think it would have worked just fine without introducing a "girls' theme".

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Overall the Friends theme is a step towards gender neutrality...

Gender neutrality isn't having one special theme for girls with incompatible minidolls and a pastel color palette.  Gender neutrality is making your existing themes more neutral.  Make Nya a real ninja, for crying out loud.  Let there be more than one female per action theme, and let them actually do something aside from being monster bait.  Put some pastels in the standard City sets.  Design a veterinary theme that doesn't have cutesy misshapen puppies, using the standard Lego animals - they've made plenty of them over the years.  THAT would be gender neutrality.

This is the opposite.  It's gender polarization.

Again, I have to state for the record that I don't hate Friends, although the more I post about it the more it sounds like I do.  It's not a horrendous theme, and I think my girls might like it.  I plan to buy one of the sets for my eldest today, in fact, as a reward for doing a fantastic job in school.  (No, it won't be the beauty salon...)  But there IS a sexist element to the theme, no matter how much AFOLs want to deny it.  I hope that TLG are paying attention to comments that point out problems with the theme, and that they will attempt to fix them in future waves.  They did listen to the complaints about not having enough female minifigs, after all.

And then we can all be Friends again.  :cry_happy:
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