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Friends "Controversy"


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Poll: Friends Controversy (515 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you like the LEGO Friends line?

  1. Yes (376 votes [73.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 73.44%

  2. No (136 votes [26.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.56%

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

  1. Yes (190 votes [37.11%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.11%

  2. No (322 votes [62.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.89%

How could LEGO improve this "problem?"

  1. I answered "No." I don't see any need for improvement. (218 votes [21.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.29%

  2. Make building more challenging (66 votes [6.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.45%

  3. Make monster trucks with female drivers (34 votes [3.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.32%

  4. Make monster trucks in pink (25 votes [2.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.44%

  5. Make houses in neutral colors (104 votes [10.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.16%

  6. Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors? (80 votes [7.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.81%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (187 votes [18.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.26%

  8. Diversify other lines in theme (77 votes [7.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.52%

  9. Diversify other lines with more female characters (160 votes [15.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.62%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (73 votes [7.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.13%

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 [40.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.74%

  2. Make building more challenging (21 votes [4.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.09%

  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 [5.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.26%

  6. Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors? (36 votes [7.02%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.02%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (125 votes [24.37%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.37%

  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 [10.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.33%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (12 votes [2.34%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.34%

What is your expertise on the subject?

  1. I have studied sociology (60 votes [8.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.78%

  2. I have studied child development (52 votes [7.61%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.61%

  3. I am just an opinionated AFOL with no credentials in marketing or child development (332 votes [48.61%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.61%

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

    Percentage of vote: 5.56%

  5. I have studied marketing (54 votes [7.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.91%

  6. I am a parent (147 votes [21.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.52%

How do your children respond to the LEGO Friends line?

  1. I do not have children (338 votes [61.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.90%

  2. I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets (61 votes [11.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.17%

  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 [10.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.81%

  5. I have a son who likes the Friends sets (27 votes [4.95%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.95%

  6. I have a son who doesn't like the Friends sets (24 votes [4.40%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.40%

  7. I have many children who all have different reactions to the Friends line (24 votes [4.40%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.40%

Do you consider LEGO to be a unisex toy?

  1. Yes (341 votes [68.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 68.47%

  2. No (40 votes [8.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.03%

  3. It used to be, it's not now (52 votes [10.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.44%

  4. It has always been a toy primarily for boys (65 votes [13.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.05%

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 (304 votes [61.04%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.04%

  2. No (194 votes [38.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.96%

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

  1. Yes (277 votes [55.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.62%

  2. No (221 votes [44.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.38%

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#51 peterab

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 08:35 AM

View Postpp7, on 17 December 2011 - 07:56 AM, said:

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.

In the linked article, the research TLG did led them to believe that was one of the factors distancing girls. They mentioned splitting the builds to make it possible to start playing earlier hopefully making the Friends sets more appealing to girls. They are deliberately trying to downplay the building part.

#52 Solitary Dark

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 10:29 AM

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!
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#53 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:24 AM

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

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.
Bingo, that's what we want to hear.....boys and girls sharing and building together not caring if the figures are minifigs or not, as it should be.....do you hear that Lego....that's the real world there. :wink:

#54 Teddy

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 11:25 AM

Personally, I like the line a lot better than the current City sets which really lack in the interior and detail department.

Belville was girly, pink, purple, and specifically for girls as well. This concept is not new at all to Lego.
Actually, it is almost 20 years old now considering Paradiso, so I do not understand what the pink fuss is about.

I like this new and improved "Belville" line better than the old Belville, because I think it is a lot easier to integrate these sets with the regular sets.
Also because these figs fit better to the minifigs than the bellville figs did, keeping dimensions more or less comparable to regular city sets.  

I can fully understand the need for another minifig to make a differentiation with classic Lego and get non Lego enthusiasts interested.
Although, I will probably toss them in a bin together with the skeletons trolls dwarfs dragons and all the other figs I did not like the last few years.
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#55 Hive

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 12:13 PM

Ridiculous complaints. Barbie, My Little Pony, Care Bears, etc... other toy companies has been doing stereotypic feminine, pink girl toys for AGES. Why lash out at LEGO? If girls  played as much with ordinary LEGO as boys, they wouldn't be doing such a line. But clearly, they did research that showed that girls would like this kind of stuff.

#56 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 12:24 PM

Well, perhaps blame the parents of these girl's eh ?
Or blame TV or movies ?
There will always be girls who love pink and other's that love black.....we are all different aren't we ? :wink:

#57 vexorian

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:12 PM

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?
Unless the market research itself was based on sexist premises. Anyway, I am skeptical about any market research that concludes that girls hate minifigs.

Edited by vexorian, 17 December 2011 - 01:21 PM.


#58 Speedy

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:33 PM

Just to highlight what the problem is, I took this screen grab from the current US LEGO site.
Posted Image
Now, some of you might think it's silly, or ignorable, but the context I get from this is that all those categories (except preschool) are for boys.  Girls have their own section, that's pink and girly.  This is not something whipped up casually.  This is a multi-million dollar company, and these things are considered quite deeply.  This style of branding will encourage the notion that LEGO is not a toy for girls, hence they have a little pink ghetto to play in, if they even bother to venture into the boys' toys section.

Feel free to justify it with market research or standard practices, but I can't help but see it as patronizing and retro.  It's a shame.

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#59 Ape Fight

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:35 PM

Ha! What feminist bullcrap!

Yes, of course anyone can play with LEGO, but moaning because a girls line is pink?!

Girls LIKE pink!

Scoop!: Boys and girls are different. They are of the same value, but they are different.

The thing I'm most surprised about is the name, which I thought would be copy-write of Warner Brothers.

#60 vexorian

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:53 PM

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

Obviously you missed this bit in my post:
Sorry, I prefer to skip any post that begins by mentioning extreme feminism or ^feminism bullcrap in its... first line.

Thing is that the line is not only stereotypical, but it others girls. It would be nice if we could say that without being called extremists. This is a problem LEGO is getting into by deciding that the rest of the themes, including Creator are for boys. You know, LEGO is flanderizing all of their themes into boys and making a little new theme for girls.  

The business article does not make me hopeful. I got to be honest, is the business article calling me a girl? You know, besides the mandatory pink and the balkanized minifigs, and that 7/8 of the career choices are stereotypically "girly" the sets are great for the most part. I happen to like beauty and detail and it is getting into me that LEGO have been focusing on removing those values from all the other themes so that they can focus on "Mastery"? What? So that's the reason SNOT is becoming mandatory even if it doesn't make the set look good? Do you mean that if some boy told them five years ago that he also wanted to shrink and be inside a SW ship we would be getting colorful and detailed ships? It seems so random.

Wouldn't it be easier if all sets would be beautiful, detailed and also complicated? Can't town sets have modular rooms? So  both kinds of roleplaying were allowed and that there were puppies and hedgehogs in the Town theme? Couldn't SW ships also be beautiful and detailed? Is this paragraph really feminist crap? Oh boy.

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/

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

Edited by vexorian, 17 December 2011 - 02:02 PM.


#61 Wolvarie

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:54 PM

Showed my two girls the list of sets planned for the Friends line today and they are super excited, my eldest is making up her birthday list already looking at the house and the treehouse and the car and liking all the characters. Whether they should have been normal minifigures remains to be seen.
Being a teacher and having a huge tub of lego in the classroom the girls do build the houses and cafes and other items like what is being put out as sets. My two are just as happy building starwars characeter and soliders to protect their princess or having female warriors to kick the bad guys.
I think this line is well overdue and I can see my lego budget going up as a result. :grin:
To all those getting stuck into the idea, grow up, Lego is going to make plenty with this idea and I'll be out there talking it up.

#62 lostboy1

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:04 PM

The day i care about sexless fanbois opinions about anything is the day i blow my brains out.

word.

#63 Cpt. Dan

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:11 PM

I can understand that people do not like it, but I am not sure why people care that much. If you don't like it, don't buy it. I think that's simple enough. I credit Lego for going after a new demographic, if anything we should be happy it is expanding because if their sales continue to grow all that means is more unique items will be created. It's not like in a few years the only lines will be BelVille and Friends :laugh: .

From a business standpoint this is an interesting angle for the company to try and I hope it works. It just seems so strange that there is so much backlash on this line release.
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#64 vexorian

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:16 PM

View Postlostboy1, on 17 December 2011 - 02:04 PM, said:

The day i care about sexless fanbois opinions about anything is the day i blow my brains out.

word.
Yes, I am sure that the reason these people are making opinions you don't agree with is that they are sexless fanbois.

#65 legodac

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 02:30 PM

Well, I'm wondering why most everyone seems to have forgotten a product line called Belville. As a matter of fact I'll be wrapping a few of the sets for one of my grand daughters today. She loves Lego, but her mother says she's been getting into the dolls lately. I'll let you know soon how she reacts.

I'm 49 and male, I myself think the new stuff is cool, I mean hey, there must be a place to put a few pink bricks in a diorama somewhere.

As for the mini-figures that some say are not, they're okay too. Does anyone remember what Lego had for people before the mini-figure?
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When Friends does come out, I'll be buying some for me  :classic:

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#66 Velika314

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:46 PM

It seems like TLC is better off releasing a line for girls, even if it is "stereotypical". If people don't like a line for girls, the "normal" Lego sets are still out there. If people do want a line for girls, now there is one.

On another note, I'm curious that no one has complained when a "stereotypical" boy line is released. There are many Lego themes that have mostly male minifigures holding guns/weapons to fight something. I never saw a huge upset over those sets, why these? :wacko:
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#67 JopieK

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:47 PM

Well, we AFOL's like it I think :) nice colors, etc. But... my nieces like to play with normal LEGO, but they will definitely like Friends even more... So I don't get the fuzz.

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#68 Solitary Dark

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:08 PM

I've just been out to the shops and think the most disturbing thing about the line is the price!

3183 Cool Convertible was £15 in Tesco - The same price as 2508 Blacksmith shop from the Ninjago line. I had to talk my daughter down from getting it then and there. Sorry to go off topic but I was amazed at the price. But my 6 year old said she would choose this set over 3 zoobles, which would cost the same price.

Having said that we saw at least 3 3061 Cafe's in trolley's @£30 each all with happy children clinging to them, all girls.

So regardless of the debate it looks like its a success.
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#69 Hinckley

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:20 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!
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#70 ACWWgal2011

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:21 PM

Personally i'm against the sets. I don't believe that girl sets have to girly colors and it's just wrong for lego to take the stereotypical girl aimed toy path when it's FAILED in the past. On top of that, i also am against them due to the fact of the polly pocket knock offs instead of REAL minifigures. 90% of the reason i'm still attracted to lego is due to the minifigures. I'm a female, i am not girly, and i hate lego doing this.

at this point, the only way i'd get the sets is if the price is cheap enough on discount and i can modify it to for REAL minifigures. though taking into account of the overload of girly parts that don't even attract me that much, i'm much more likely to do the research and build my own designs out of normal colors that i actually like. I'm thinking about doing my own treehouse design.

#71 Bricker

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:24 PM

Actually I am a bit unhappy with this theme. When LEGO thinks of girls they immedietally think of girly girl pink, Bellville was no different. Its understandable that LEGO is doing this to try to attract girl fans but I know very few girls like that. They like all types of colors and these sets are making it look like a diva's dream. I do like this theme though in the fact that it has so many cool parts, like the printed 1x1 brick in the milk carton, people have used 1x1 bricked with 1x1 cheese slopes for milk cartons for a long time but with printing it will look better (lets be happy LEGO didnt make the carton pink and purple or strawberry milk  :laugh: ). Even the rare pink is pretty useful. LEGO is trying to attract girls but the think is, they may have to firl drag them by ofrce to the LEGO isle. They should make commercials to girls that do play with toys more, but most girls I know about dont care for toys, they like fashion more (I hope I didnt just give LEGO the next action figures theme, robot fashion dolls  :sick: ).So all in all I think these sets arent great but they do have nice parts and the colors, despite their hideous appearance to my eyes, the rare colors which may have uses, these sets are worth buying if you want to use them for MOCing. If LEGO wanted a more popular girls theme, they should have learned their lessons from previous girl themes, which pretty much all of them failed. I dont hate LEGO for this, but really MOCing seems like the only use for buying these sets, in my opinion, Im not here to disprove anyone.

Edited by Bricker, 17 December 2011 - 04:27 PM.


#72 Ogre

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:27 PM

I'm at my local LEGO store A LOT (it's practically my second home these days)...and I pay attention to what people are saying and what they are buying.
Regarding girls and LEGO, the most common statement I've heard asked is: "Where are the LEGO sets for GIRLS?  This is all boy's stuff!"
I've also noticed the pink "stereotype bucket" for girls FLYING OFF THE SHELVES there.  In fact, I've regularly seen multiple shelves devoted to that bucket and they seem to empty almost as fast as the staff can fill them.
Next most popular section that I've seen the girls gathering is next to Harry Potter.  Not City, not Castle, not Star Wars, not Alien Conquest...
Many girls feel 'left out' of LEGO and I think that this new "Friends" line is going to fix that.  Personally, I think LEGO hit a home-run with this line and I'm really looking forward to seeing them hit the shelves.
And I LIKE all of the colours!  Adds some much needed diversity to my LEGO collection.   :thumbup:

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#73 Grimmy

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:48 PM

That article was a bunch of exaggeration.  The lady in the video mentioned a non-existing military theme for boys.  I don't think Lego has ever had a military theme.  They've always been against violence and too much gun totting.  It was only after they nearly closed down that they really went into adding some guns and licenses at the recommendation of the new guy brought in to save the company.  

"Web not happy" as if the entire web is lashing out against Lego.  Completely untrue.  Most people are exited and happy about this new line.  Lego is doing this the smart way.  Later on after feedback comes in, then they can make a bunch of sets without any pink or pastel at all.  But right now it's risky.  It's not even that bad.  Most girls I know, their fav colors are pink & purple /fusia.  I showed my niece the posted pics here and she really likes them.  Sure it's not for every color, but it's too risky to cater to a few girls that like black & blue.

#74 dr_spock

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:51 PM

It is good that Lego is trying to reach to different audiences and increase market share from a business point of view. Time will tell if Friends is successful or not.

#75 Fallenangel

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 04:53 PM

Best discussion we’ve had on Eurobricks in a while... I’m afraid I’ll simply be echoing a few key points, though. :grin:

I’ll dismiss the Internet rage and instead focus on the articles. As others have stated, the thinking behind the Friends sets make perfect financial sense as they appear to be based on the reinforcement of existing gender stereotypes. Where does the whole ‘pink = feminine’ thing even come from?

On the one hand, I echo vexorian’s sentiments on this – boys aren’t concerned about aesthetics? Boys don’t have to ‘identify’ with minifigures? - but on the other, I hope that this trend at least leads to nicer Friends sets – I’d say this car looks pretty good.

I would also agree that this in part continues the trend of the LEGO Group taking ideas from other toy companies. In that context, this disappoints me. Things like the Ninjago spinners, the Collectable MInifigures, and LEGO Universe really downplay the building aspect of LEGO, and to see the group take another step in that non-creative direction is to see part of the company’s core principles die.

I’m hoping that the parts introduced in this line will bleed into other lines, so that boys can have their puppies too. Seems like it would make more sense to have both ‘girly’ and ‘manly’ elements of a set, so that a given set will appeal to a wider sense... and I’m sure the parts will come in quite useful.



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