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Friends "Controversy"


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Poll: Friends Controversy (521 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you like the LEGO Friends line?

  1. Yes (379 votes [73.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 73.17%

  2. No (139 votes [26.83%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.83%

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

  1. Yes (193 votes [37.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.26%

  2. No (325 votes [62.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.74%

How could LEGO improve this "problem?"

  1. I answered "No." I don't see any need for improvement. (220 votes [21.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.22%

  2. Make building more challenging (68 votes [6.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.56%

  3. Make monster trucks with female drivers (34 votes [3.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.28%

  4. Make monster trucks in pink (25 votes [2.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.41%

  5. Make houses in neutral colors (106 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? (82 votes [7.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.91%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (188 votes [18.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.13%

  8. Diversify other lines in theme (78 votes [7.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.52%

  9. Diversify other lines with more female characters (162 votes [15.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.62%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (74 votes [7.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.14%

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. (211 votes [40.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.66%

  2. Make building more challenging (22 votes [4.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.24%

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

    Percentage of vote: 0.58%

  4. Make monster trucks in pink (6 votes [1.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.16%

  5. Make houses in neutral colors (27 votes [5.20%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.20%

  6. Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors? (38 votes [7.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.32%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (126 votes [24.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.28%

  8. Diversify other lines in theme (21 votes [4.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.05%

  9. Diversify other lines with more female characters (53 votes [10.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.21%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (12 votes [2.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.31%

What is your expertise on the subject?

  1. I have studied sociology (61 votes [8.85%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.85%

  2. I have studied child development (52 votes [7.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.55%

  3. I am just an opinionated AFOL with no credentials in marketing or child development (334 votes [48.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.48%

  4. I have studied consumer product research (38 votes [5.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.52%

  5. I have studied marketing (55 votes [7.98%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.98%

  6. I am a parent (149 votes [21.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.63%

How do your children respond to the LEGO Friends line?

  1. I do not have children (341 votes [61.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.78%

  2. I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets (63 votes [11.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.41%

  3. I have a daughter who doesn't like the Friends sets (13 votes [2.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.36%

  4. I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets and sets meant for boys (60 votes [10.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.87%

  5. I have a son who likes the Friends sets (27 votes [4.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.89%

  6. I have a son who doesn't like the Friends sets (24 votes [4.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

  7. I have many children who all have different reactions to the Friends line (24 votes [4.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

Do you consider LEGO to be a unisex toy?

  1. Yes (346 votes [68.65%])

    Percentage of vote: 68.65%

  2. No (40 votes [7.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.94%

  3. It used to be, it's not now (52 votes [10.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.32%

  4. It has always been a toy primarily for boys (66 votes [13.10%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.10%

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 (309 votes [61.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.31%

  2. No (195 votes [38.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.69%

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

  1. Yes (282 votes [55.95%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.95%

  2. No (222 votes [44.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.05%

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#551 daisy

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:51 PM

View PostACWWgal2011, on 24 April 2012 - 03:17 PM, said:

I am a person against the series. While the boy aimed sets have boys in all sorts of cases, the friends line all revolves around girls in sterotypical scenerios(baking, hair, vet, etc) that revolve around girls with set story lines. Lego could of done so much better to catch the female attention while avoiding the risk of a 6th fail lego girl aimed theme.

And honestly it's getting to the point that if i could, i'd NEVER set foot in a walmart again. I can't go into the girl isle looking for the moshi monsters anymore without those sets staring back at me. I can't even go into the discount section at the walmart we go to without seeing friends polybags.


Hmmm...it is hard to portray tone on here, but I am not trying to be arguementative but to understand.  Do you believe inventing robots and driving atv's to be stereotypical scenarios for girls?

Also there is a difference between "stereotypical" and typical. Stereotypical means an over simplified view.  Typical means common. Baking, hair, animals are typical interests for young girls, many many young girls.  Do you object to these typical activities. In other words do you prefer girls do not bake, do not do their hair, do not enjoy animals etc...?  I suppose if you find these activities somehow offensive, I would still disagree with you, but could see the logical progression of your opinion.  

However since the Friends theme also includes activities that truly aren't common among girls, like robot building. it does not seem that one could call it an oversimplified view - therefore stereotypical.

I do realize that some woman become upset because they might not like something that other woman commonly enjoy. But being unique is OK.  However i feel it is important to allow girls access to a varitety of interests, including baking etc...

And it is also important to realize that views vary and that is OK as well. Personally I will avoid exposing my children to moshi monsters. I dislike the premise of the toys. But just because I have issues with the toys doesn't mean I am going to say you shouldn't let your kids play with them.

Oh and I am impressed that you have so much Friends lego at your walmart. Polybags disappeared pretty quick here, and there is only ever one or 2 boxes on the shelf.  That beauty shop is rarely seen in my area.

#552 Faefrost

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:11 PM

View PostLegoMavrick, on 23 April 2012 - 10:53 AM, said:

Hi Folks,

As a parent, who loves LEGO and has two little girls who have taken to the new LEGO friends range like a duck to water, I was shocked and angered when a friend of mine in the States sent me the link clip below. Its got to be read to believe it but the lunatics have been let out of the looney bin I could hardly believe the level of lunacy the world has reached when I read this article.

SSpeaking on behalf of my wife and I we are absolutely thrilled with the new LEGO friends range and how our girls have taken to this new range. To call this a range and idea perfectly suited for girls is simply an understatement and I cannot put in words how much our girls enjoy LEGO friends. One of the chaps in the train section made a friends train of which my girls want me to get the pieces to build. Enough said there really.

Dont know what you folks out there think of this but for me I have some sane advice for The LEGO Group...Ignore these lunatic maniacs!!!! Lego friends is brilliant and hope the range expands big time.

http://www.foxnews.c...any-executives/

To be fair, like many controversies on US tv, it is completely manufactured by two professional "indignant" types. And in this case even Fox News seemed to be looking at them like they were idiots. There is no huge wave of outrage against Lego for girls. (Actually it seems to be pretty steadily flying off the shelves.)

I think you pegged it dead on. Yeah the friends sets are a bit "girly", but they are a gateway to getting girls playing with construction toys. Which in turn are pne of the best gateways to future artists, builders, engineers and scientists. How is this a bad thing just because it has pink in the color pallet?
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#553 ACWWgal2011

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:48 PM

View Postdaisy, on 24 April 2012 - 06:51 PM, said:

Hmmm...it is hard to portray tone on here, but I am not trying to be arguementative but to understand.  Do you believe inventing robots and driving atv's to be stereotypical scenarios for girls?

Also there is a difference between "stereotypical" and typical. Stereotypical means an over simplified view.  Typical means common. Baking, hair, animals are typical interests for young girls, many many young girls.  Do you object to these typical activities. In other words do you prefer girls do not bake, do not do their hair, do not enjoy animals etc...?  I suppose if you find these activities somehow offensive, I would still disagree with you, but could see the logical progression of your opinion.  

However since the Friends theme also includes activities that truly aren't common among girls, like robot building. it does not seem that one could call it an oversimplified view - therefore stereotypical.

I do realize that some woman become upset because they might not like something that other woman commonly enjoy. But being unique is OK.  However i feel it is important to allow girls access to a varitety of interests, including baking etc...

And it is also important to realize that views vary and that is OK as well. Personally I will avoid exposing my children to moshi monsters. I dislike the premise of the toys. But just because I have issues with the toys doesn't mean I am going to say you shouldn't let your kids play with them.

Oh and I am impressed that you have so much Friends lego at your walmart. Polybags disappeared pretty quick here, and there is only ever one or 2 boxes on the shelf.  That beauty shop is rarely seen in my area.

The one we go to seems to have less friends lego then other stores and unless that walmart is refilling the friends stuff(judging by the way they're treating lego, they AREN'T), it's not moving at all. And the main lego aisle hasn't had properly stocked shelves in months for the in () note. After the shelves were cleaned of all the non-lego + clone brand items in early january, it's been less then 75% full since then and that number was as of yesterday's trip something like 3+ months since the clean out. And it was at less then 50 up until about 2 months ago.

#554 lightningtiger

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:21 PM

Sounds like someone has some negative vibes for our minidoll Friend's, that's okay everyone has a right to their opinion and to voice it.
Though to say it doesn't sell, sorry the big sets have been selling quite well....bigger the set harder to find a store with them on the shelf. But I must say in Oz only the independents and Kmart display Friend's in the regular Lego section......I believe Target was ordered to display only in the girls section, BigW does the same. :hmpf_bad:
Anyway I feel also this problem will disappear as other things more important takeover. :wink:

#555 mrklaw

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:20 AM

It also seems a bit odd that you'd go down the girls toy aisle and be offended by Lego Friends, but seemingly fine with the acres of entirely pink, entirely stereotyped girls toys. You will have a pink baby or play with a doll with impossible vital statistics, but woe betide you if you want to build a tree house.

#556 ACWWgal2011

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:16 PM

View Postmrklaw, on 25 April 2012 - 08:20 AM, said:

It also seems a bit odd that you'd go down the girls toy aisle and be offended by Lego Friends, but seemingly fine with the acres of entirely pink, entirely stereotyped girls toys. You will have a pink baby or play with a doll with impossible vital statistics, but woe betide you if you want to build a tree house.

I really can't be accused of going down the girl aisle when i barely enter it at all. The moshi monsters are set up on a peg less then 3 feet from the entrance of the aisle.

#557 Ricecracker

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:41 PM

View PostACWWgal2011, on 25 April 2012 - 11:16 PM, said:

I really can't be accused of going down the girl aisle when i barely enter it at all. The moshi monsters are set up on a peg less then 3 feet from the entrance of the aisle.
Then maybe you shouldn't say things like...

View PostACWWgal2011, on 24 April 2012 - 03:17 PM, said:

I can't go into the girl isle looking for the moshi monsters anymore without those sets staring back at me.
:sceptic:

#558 ACWWgal2011

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:26 AM

View PostRicecracker, on 25 April 2012 - 11:41 PM, said:

Then maybe you shouldn't say things like...


:sceptic:

It was a slip of the tongue. Over the last couple days we've been doing a ton of stuff and didn't word it right out of exhaustion

#559 SheepEater

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 08:20 PM

Interesting article.

Lego Friends petition: why feminists should think twice before they sign
http://www.guardian....sts-think-twice

Edited by Rick, 22 September 2012 - 08:32 PM.
Moved from the 2012 Friends discussion thread


#560 Aanchir

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:32 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 22 September 2012 - 08:20 PM, said:

Interesting article.

Lego Friends petition: why feminists should think twice before they sign
http://www.guardian....sts-think-twice
Fairly nice opinion piece, but it really hurts to hear it repeating claims that Friends is "simple to construct and celebrating not architecture and action but beauty salons, cupcake bakeries and poodle parlours." This sort of claim makes it clear that while the author has an opinion on the ethics of gendered play, they lack background knowledge of the LEGO brand since they make the same off-beat comparisons as the theme's detractors.

Compare this theme to something it's on even footing with, like the LEGO City theme, and it becomes clear that there's no oversimplification in LEGO Friends, nor is the content of the Friends theme lacking in architectural details compared to other themes. If anything the LEGO Friends theme just has its detail organized differently, with more attention put towards making friendly, comfortable interiors with easy access for play and less attention put towards a set's external facade.

#561 Ferrik

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 11:51 PM

I think LEGO Friends isn't as bad as the reputation some people give these sets. It's nice to get new animals and the minidolls means that we can have fun swapping normal minifigure accesories.

Anyway, I found this article from the Sydney Morning Herald which discusses how controversial Friends is: http://www.dailylife...0913-25tnf.html
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#562 Aanchir

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 03:02 PM

View PostFerrik, on 22 September 2012 - 11:51 PM, said:

I think LEGO Friends isn't as bad as the reputation some people give these sets. It's nice to get new animals and the minidolls means that we can have fun swapping normal minifigure accesories.

Anyway, I found this article from the Sydney Morning Herald which discusses how controversial Friends is: http://www.dailylife...0913-25tnf.html
Wow. I'm amazed to see this particular statistic: "At the end of 2011 only nine per cent of LEGO sets purchased in the US were for girls. Now, 27 per cent of sets are purchased for girls." It really does show that LEGO Friends is doing its job!

The article is definitely a bit biased in that it seems to suggest that gender-neutral products and advertising are the way to go, not realizing that this could potentially damage the sales that result from TLG's boy-oriented products and marketing. A seven-year-old boy might be less likely to play with a LEGO Ninjago set if the ads show a girl playing with the toys, or if 50% of the characters are female, because they're likely still in the "girls are icky" phase. I agree it would be great to have a full spectrum of product design and advertising, varying between boy-oriented products and ads, gender-neutral products and ads, and girl-oriented products and ads.

I don't, however, think the proper solution to get to that point is to cut off both those more specific ends and squeeze the whole product line into that middle segment. Rather, I think TLG is going about this the right way by creating a polar opposite to the boy-oriented product design and marketing that has been the standard for so many years. At least, they're going about this the right way provided that they follow up on the success of the Friends theme by working to fill in that middle ground a bit more, which they seem to be moving towards with the increase in female minifigures across several themes.

#563 LegoPohm

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:49 PM

I have found the whole Friends theme controversy rather odd, the opinions raised where never anything I considered until I read them.

I have 3 daughters two of whom are very much into Lego, probably because their Dad is :). Whichever sets come out to be played with the result usually ends up the same: they use the minifigs to enact weddings and parties, decorating the buildings (the MMV is a favourite for this) they create and hunting ,firstly, for the brighter coloured bricks for their MOCs. On the flip side they also love to set up battles with Star Wars and Castle Lego and enjoy not letting Dad win. I enjoy getting involved with their play either with the Castle, Star Wars and City Themes and/or their Friends themes. I certainly do not see why Friends is re-enforcing a gender stereotype; when not playing Lego my girls run around outside digging holes in the garden, climbing trees and generally engaging in what could be regarded as male stereotype activities. Does it really hurt for boys and girls to retreat into these worlds every now and again whether it be a pink room filled with hairbrushes or a full on infantry engagement in front of a castle?

#564 def

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:12 PM

View PostLegoPohm, on 23 September 2012 - 10:49 PM, said:

Does it really hurt for boys and girls to retreat into these worlds every now and again whether it be a pink room filled with hairbrushes or a full on infantry engagement in front of a castle?
That was never the controversy.  You seem to have misunderstood something somewhere.  It's been explained ad nauseum in this thread, so if you skim through, you'll get a better idea  :classic:

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#565 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:52 AM

Today I purchased Lego Friends set 3933 which is the one for Olivia and her science lab and workshop.  I really am quite delighted by this set, - and yes I know I'm far too old to be considered a part of this set's target group, but if there had been Lego sets like this around when I was a girl I certainly would have bought them.  :wub:
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#566 nesquik

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:17 PM

The 'Friends' product line is, along with Ninjago, the highest number of units to leave our store. If anyone believes the theme is too effeminate, then clearly they are male and missing the point.

#567 Aanchir

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:48 PM

View Postnesquik, on 16 October 2012 - 02:17 PM, said:

The 'Friends' product line is, along with Ninjago, the highest number of units to leave our store. If anyone believes the theme is too effeminate, then clearly they are male and missing the point.
Well, not necessarily. There are probably plenty of well-intentioned mothers who try to steer their girls away from things they consider too stereotypically "girly". And truth be told, it's good for girls to have a voice telling them they don't have to like "girly" things when they will be inundated with messages to the contrary from advertising and from their peers.

At the same time, the idea that girls being conditioned to like "girly" products makes any such products harmful to girls' development is a bit of a stretch. After all, boys are conditioned with similar messages all the time, and few people object to that. Moreover, once you get past the colors and gender ratios, LEGO Friends really isn't very limiting in its message to girls, at least no more than other themes are limiting in their messages to kids in general.

#568 lightningtiger

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:26 PM

For what I have seen the Friend's line is a best seller.....just try and find the vet clinic set in Oz.....it's been sold out for months. Friend's sets have not effected the sales of city sets to girls, but has brought in girls who have not been interested in Lego before......remember we all started with one kind of Lego which led to experimenting with other Lego themes so I say.....Lego 1, Feminists 0. :rofl:

#569 korpen4444

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:49 PM

i would buy friends sets,and i'm a guy.
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#570 Lyichir

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:28 PM

So, seeing as this topic's still around... does the range of sets for 2013 change anyone's opinions of the theme? Personally, I think it's starting to branch out to feature even more non-stereotypical girls activities, what with the karate dojo and soccer practice sets. I know from experience that a great deal of girls participate in these activities (at least they did 15 or so years ago when I myself was involved with them!), but nonetheless they're not frequently seen in other toylines aimed at girls like Barbie.

#571 def

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:14 PM

View PostLyichir, on 07 November 2012 - 01:28 PM, said:

So, seeing as this topic's still around... does the range of sets for 2013 change anyone's opinions of the theme? Personally, I think it's starting to branch out to feature even more non-stereotypical girls activities, what with the karate dojo and soccer practice sets. I know from experience that a great deal of girls participate in these activities (at least they did 15 or so years ago when I myself was involved with them!), but nonetheless they're not frequently seen in other toylines aimed at girls like Barbie.
I haven't seen the 2013 sets yet, I'll need to.  To be honest, I was really turned off by the summer sets which had a lot of horses in it.  Or were those the 2013 sets?  I had too many flashbacks to my years working at Toys R Us, where the horse/pony aisle was next to the Barbie aisle.  

A soccer set and a karate set sounds a heck of a lot more interesting.

View Postlightningtiger, on 16 October 2012 - 10:26 PM, said:

For what I have seen the Friend's line is a best seller.....just try and find the vet clinic set in Oz.....it's been sold out for months. Friend's sets have not effected the sales of city sets to girls, but has brought in girls who have not been interested in Lego before......remember we all started with one kind of Lego which led to experimenting with other Lego themes so I say.....Lego 1, Feminists 0. :rofl:
It's remarkable, with all the posts in this thread, you think it all boiled down to units sold.  Not a single person (or feminist as you call them) argued they wouldn't sell.  Not one.  

With people who still think of the discussion merely in those terms, well, yes, "Feminists 0" indeed :hmpf:

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My daughter likes the Friends cafe set, mainly for the intricacy of it, but she's still way more into Cars, particularly the V8 Cafe.  That has to do with her being tempted by movies, which is another thing that needs to be considered when raising a kid.  All part of being a parent.  But I'm happy she's choosing what she likes from the Lego catalog and not simply what was in the girls section.  I don't think she knows she's a girl yet though, all her friends are boys.

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#572 Rick

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

View Postdef, on 07 November 2012 - 03:14 PM, said:

I haven't seen the 2013 sets yet, I'll need to.  To be honest, I was really turned off by the summer sets which had a lot of horses in it.  Or were those the 2013 sets?
There were quite a few sets with horses in the Summer 2012 wave. Pictures of the new sets can be found in Heartlake Park.

#573 fallentomato

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:18 PM

View PostLyichir, on 07 November 2012 - 01:28 PM, said:

So, seeing as this topic's still around... does the range of sets for 2013 change anyone's opinions of the theme? Personally, I think it's starting to branch out to feature even more non-stereotypical girls activities, what with the karate dojo and soccer practice sets. I know from experience that a great deal of girls participate in these activities (at least they did 15 or so years ago when I myself was involved with them!), but nonetheless they're not frequently seen in other toylines aimed at girls like Barbie.

Karate, magic show, and soccer, are all awesome. I like that they are showing how each of the characters has many interests and hobbies.


I really wish they'd put a few male figures in the sets (especially the larger ones). I get that LEGO is trying to balance out the low number of female minifigs in it's boy-marekted sets, but having an imbalance the other direction is not the way to fix that. Having a good mix of male/female figures in all themes is. Olivia's dad Peter is still the only one.

Even Belville had some male figures for us men who like pink to use as a gateway. :sceptic:
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#574 BrettBrick

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    Posts: 197
    Joined: 02-August 10
    Member: 12358

Posted 08 November 2012 - 12:33 AM

These friends sets are very detailed, especially the larger ones. The combi in the big horse riding school set is outstanding. It is not a simple build in itself. I've even bought a few of these sets for myself. My daughter has all the sets already do I pick and choose which will add to my city.

#575 Anticyclone

Anticyclone

    Posts: 109
    Joined: 21-July 12
    Member: 29814
    Country: United States

Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:48 PM

There seems to be a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to the Friends line and this whole debate was brought up again when I was scrolling through Yahoo news. The CCFC (The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood) has put together a list of the worst toys of the year with LEGO friends topping the list. They gave it the TOADY award or "Toys Oppressive And Destructive to Young Children."  Also a quote from the CCFC "so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush. Bye-bye square, androgynous figures; hello, curves 'n eyelashes!"

The full article can be found here: http://games.yahoo.c...-180502792.html

Now I couldn't help but laugh, then facepalm.  What do you guys think? Also this thread can be moved if it's in the wrong place. I couldn't find the Friends discussion thread.




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