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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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#576 Marko

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:12 AM

Regarding the article -  

I find these toys hilarious and would definitely buy one of these for my kids :D



#577 Front

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:34 AM

Actually it's really funny to read some of the many comments on the yahoo-site. Generally people are very excited about LEGO making these toys targeted at girls.

#578 Ricecracker

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

Merged into the Friends "Controversy" thread.

#579 Anticyclone

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:47 AM

View PostRicecracker, on 02 December 2012 - 12:43 AM, said:

Merged into the Friends "Controversy" thread.
Thanks, Ricecracker :classic:

#580 Vindicare

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 12:57 AM

It's funny that a big part of every lame attempt at discrediting Friends make it obvious that the writers of said articles never even held, much less built, a Friends set. "pink blocks" "no building" are a few tired complaints. Which both are obviously false. Yes, there's pink bricks, like it's some big shock that girls like pink. No building? Yeah...those 221 pieces are going to come pre attached in the box.

Then theres the 'stereotypical' girl yawn of a complaint. Again, it's no surprise girls like shopping and nails/hair, but as we all know, there is plenty of other themes. Inventor, pilot, boating, I think next year even has a karate themed set, and many more. It's pretty clear all theses non supporters of this theme clearly don't do much research before writing these 'articles'
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#581 Anticyclone

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:24 AM

Most people I've met are glad LEGO is making sets for girls as demonstrated in the yahoo comments. It's the comments on the CCFC page that make me sad. Lot of people blaming TLC as being "sexist"... *sigh*

#582 Laura Takayama

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:18 AM

View PostLegocrazy81, on 02 December 2012 - 12:57 AM, said:

It's funny that a big part of every lame attempt at discrediting Friends make it obvious that the writers of said articles never even held, much less built, a Friends set. "pink blocks" "no building" are a few tired complaints. Which both are obviously false. Yes, there's pink bricks, like it's some big shock that girls like pink. No building? Yeah...those 221 pieces are going to come pre attached in the box.

Maybe they're confusing LEGO Friends with the upcoming Megabloks Barbie sets? :tongue:

Seriously, though, most of the naysayers seem to fall into the category of "critical research failure" when it comes to their "complaints" about this theme....
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#583 def

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:12 AM

Having just read the article, I think the members here are the ones not doing research.  They didn't nominate the friends line, but actually just a single set from it: the beauty salon.  Will that change opinions here?  Likely not.

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#584 Lyichir

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:31 PM

View Postdef, on 02 December 2012 - 11:12 AM, said:

Having just read the article, I think the members here are the ones not doing research.  They didn't nominate the friends line, but actually just a single set from it: the beauty salon.  Will that change opinions here?  Likely not.
That's still a ridiculous complaint. Surprisingly, there are girls who LIKE fashion and beauty. Should these girls get ignored by Lego simply because their interests are "stereotypical"? The characters of Friends seem to have well-rounded lifestyles, so what's wrong with them treating themselves to makeovers once in a while?

Moreover, you can't just argue that they're only talking about the one set. Their complaints about the minidolls and the color scheme can apply to most Friends sets. Who cares if Lego found that those aspects were what the girls they were targeting wanted? It's obviously sexist to cater to the whims of young girls who can't think for themselves! :ugh:

#585 Jimidimi

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 03:55 PM

I really like the Friends line, but some more action in it, would be nice

#586 def

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:12 PM

View PostLyichir, on 02 December 2012 - 02:31 PM, said:

That's still a ridiculous complaint. Surprisingly, there are girls who LIKE fashion and beauty. Should these girls get ignored by Lego simply because their interests are "stereotypical"? The characters of Friends seem to have well-rounded lifestyles, so what's wrong with them treating themselves to makeovers once in a while?

Moreover, you can't just argue that they're only talking about the one set. Their complaints about the minidolls and the color scheme can apply to most Friends sets. Who cares if Lego found that those aspects were what the girls they were targeting wanted? It's obviously sexist to cater to the whims of young girls who can't think for themselves! :ugh:
People bitching about an article they didn't actually read is not something worth commenting on?  I wouldn't call it a complaint, really.  But if others are complaining, they should at least get it right, and much of the time here, the defenses of the Friends line are just knee-jerk Lego fanboy ones.  I realise girls toys are not as important to the world of Lego fanboys as something like Chinese plastic, but it seems like the fanboys have a desire to smush all criticism, whether they are accurate about their argument, or, as often as not, wrong.

There are girls who like fashion and beauty.  And there is something questionable about foisting it upon a 6 year old.  Seriously.  I'm a teacher, and I've taught six-year olds.  And I've never seen one with an interest in getting their hair and nails done, except possibly to imitate mom (though I've never actually seen that).  It seems like they are placing very stereo-typical "girl" activities and making them for very young girls.  Not kids in general.  Girls.   I would have zero problem with the concept of a salon in the city line as part of a natural town.  But, it's part of the "girl" line, and I definitely wouldn't buy that for my daughter. (I did buy the Friends airplane for my daughter for Christmas yesterday, since I'm not a one-sided evil villain of Lego... I actually try discerning the value of each set before passing judgement.)

I'm sure the organisation was very careful in choosing the salon, because the laboratory wouldn't get that point across.  There is something depressing about getting a beauty salon as a present for a six-year old girl, which is likely to happen this Christmas, all around the world.  Regardless of the building involved (which that organization didn't comprehend, and is legitimate complaint about the article), getting a very young girl a present that lets them know girls like to make them selves pretty is questionable.  Salons are great places for grown-ups, but carry questionable meanings for young girls, who are already bombarded with media and toys telling them to be pretty.  Seriously.  There are a lot of women who base their self-worth on being pretty.  Maybe they chose it, or maybe that was a message they've consistently heard their whole lives.  A toy reinforcing that concept may not be good for them.

You know what really makes me want to use the :ugh: emoticon?  Lego fanboys who have zero ability to comprehend why there was ever an issue with these toys, and why the fuss was made.  Most countries have guidelines about how things are sold to children, or it's recommended they should (ie. http://www.ftc.gov/s...02adstokids.pdf).  Six years old is still a formative time, and when you surround a girl with Barbie, Disney princesses, and now many Lego Friends sets, you're giving them very limited options to view themselves in the world.  Twelve-years old, they're pretty well defined and locked in place.  But not six.  If there was only one toy to get your young daughter, the salon isn't it.  If you're getting 20 well-rounded toys, this as one of them, well, it's so-so.

All the same, for your vitriol and faux-feminism, and general immaturity of thought, I give you two of these :ugh: :ugh:  and one of these :enough:

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#587 Aanchir

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:02 PM

View Postdef, on 02 December 2012 - 05:12 PM, said:


People bitching about an article they didn't actually read is not something worth commenting on?  I wouldn't call it a complaint, really.  But if others are complaining, they should at least get it right, and much of the time here, the defenses of the Friends line are just knee-jerk Lego fanboy ones.  I realise girls toys are not as important to the world of Lego fanboys as something like Chinese plastic, but it seems like the fanboys have a desire to smush all criticism, whether they are accurate about their argument, or, as often as not, wrong.

There are girls who like fashion and beauty.  And there is something questionable about foisting it upon a 6 year old.  Seriously.  I'm a teacher, and I've taught six-year olds.  And I've never seen one with an interest in getting their hair and nails done, except possibly to imitate mom (though I've never actually seen that).  It seems like they are placing very stereo-typical "girl" activities and making them for very young girls.  Not kids in general.  Girls.   I would have zero problem with the concept of a salon in the city line as part of a natural town.  But, it's part of the "girl" line, and I definitely wouldn't buy that for my daughter. (I did buy the Friends airplane for my daughter for Christmas yesterday, since I'm not a one-sided evil villain of Lego... I actually try discerning the value of each set before passing judgement.)

I'm sure the organisation was very careful in choosing the salon, because the laboratory wouldn't get that point across.  There is something depressing about getting a beauty salon as a present for a six-year old girl, which is likely to happen this Christmas, all around the world.  Regardless of the building involved (which that organization didn't comprehend, and is legitimate complaint about the article), getting a very young girl a present that lets them know girls like to make them selves pretty is questionable.  Salons are great places for grown-ups, but carry questionable meanings for young girls, who are already bombarded with media and toys telling them to be pretty.  Seriously.  There are a lot of women who base their self-worth on being pretty.  Maybe they chose it, or maybe that was a message they've consistently heard their whole lives.  A toy reinforcing that concept may not be good for them.

You know what really makes me want to use the :ugh: emoticon?  Lego fanboys who have zero ability to comprehend why there was ever an issue with these toys, and why the fuss was made.  Most countries have guidelines about how things are sold to children, or it's recommended they should (ie. http://www.ftc.gov/s...02adstokids.pdf).  Six years old is still a formative time, and when you surround a girl with Barbie, Disney princesses, and now many Lego Friends sets, you're giving them very limited options to view themselves in the world.  Twelve-years old, they're pretty well defined and locked in place.  But not six.  If there was only one toy to get your young daughter, the salon isn't it.  If you're getting 20 well-rounded toys, this as one of them, well, it's so-so.

All the same, for your vitriol and faux-feminism, and general immaturity of thought, I give you two of these :ugh: :ugh:  and one of these :enough:
The point he made still kind of stands. Yes, it might be a bit better if TLG released a beauty salon in a theme not targeted at girls, if TLG wanted to create a toy guaranteed for failure. Frankly, a big reason LEGO Friends exists is that a lot of parents, gift-givers, and even young girls won't buy non-girl-oriented LEGO. And young boys, naturally, won't buy things that they consider "girly". It's a lose-lose situation.

So there are two options: release a beauty salon as part of the LEGO Friends theme, or not release a beauty salon at all. I agree that bombarding girls with messages that they have to look pretty is a bad thing, but at the same time there are a lot of girls in the target audience who already think makeovers are fun, and for many of them this is a harmless interest rather than an obsession. Should TLG just ignore those girls because they're interested in "the wrong things"?

Not to mention that while the Yahoo article does seem to consider the counter-argument (it is, after all, just reporting on a list made by another organization), the original "awards" site did hugely misrepresent the set and the theme as a whole by saying that "at the LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop, your little princess won’t need to worry her pretty little head about icky boy things like building." As if it is any less of a building toy than any other set aimed at the same age range. Some of the comments there contest this, while others echo the same stereotypes, talking about "prefab parts" like the makeup stands (which, incidentally, are made almost entirely from basic parts).

Overall, I don't think the beauty shop set is a particularly egregious toy in any regard, certainly not compared to a lot of the other girl-oriented toys on the market. It is probably the most girly of the LEGO Friends sets, though. And that, together with your comment that "the organisation was very careful in choosing the salon, because the laboratory wouldn't get that point across" makes it seem like what the CCFC did was look for a toy that was a subject of recent controversy and cherry-pick an example that they felt strengthened their argument. And I don't consider that a particularly honest way of compiling a list like this-- not when there are probably dozens of toys worse for girls' self-image than this, but which lack the same "shock value". The real evidence for whether this is true will be if the organization expresses the same outrage about the Mega Bloks Barbie sets debuting next year. I'm honestly not expecting that, though.

Is LEGO Friends flawless? Of course not! It's got a painfully-imbalanced gender ratio, a severe lack of diversity of subject matter compared to the huge range of imaginative boy-oriented LEGO themes, and figures who aren't without problems of their own (though the real problem IMO isn't their physiques or tertiary sexual characteristics, but rather the fact that their legs can't move independently).

Overall, while I'm sure a lot of LEGO fans quite naturally have a knee-jerk reaction to ignorant criticism of the company coming from outside the fan community, their overreaction doesn't make the criticisms any less ignorant, and it's become a bit tiresome to hear criticisms of LEGO Friends, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Star Wars, or really any "trendy" LEGO themes trot out the same tired argument that they're full of prefabricated parts and short on creativity. It's an argument that's usually evidence that "LEGO" to these people means "a bucket of basic bricks, nothing more, nothing less". And yes, I HAVE seen this same sort of argument about Ninjago as I'm seeing here, albeit without the bit about gender stereotypes.

Edited by Aanchir, 02 December 2012 - 08:05 PM.


#588 SheepEater

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:18 PM

View PostAanchir, on 02 December 2012 - 08:02 PM, said:

it's become a bit tiresome to hear criticisms of LEGO Friends, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Star Wars, or really any "trendy" LEGO themes trot out the same tired argument that they're full of prefabricated parts and short on creativity. It's an argument that's usually evidence that "LEGO" to these people means "a bucket of basic bricks, nothing more, nothing less".

Right on. I have been an AFOL since 2002 and I have listened to this criticism (online and in person) for an entire decade, usually from adults a 5-10 years older than me (I'm 37) who, in their childhood missed out on the start of the dominance of themed Lego. There have been a plethora of special (note: special != over-specialized) parts in Lego sets since the mid 80s, some would argue earlier with classic space.

My answer now to this is:
(Person in his/her mid 40s, usually a parent):
"I wish there wasn't so many over-specialized parts in Lego sets today. It seem it's more like a jigsaw puzzle than a building set. When I was a kid we would build whatever we want with tons of basic bricks"
My answer:
"Yes, there are a lot more special parts today, but they aren't single purpose. The more your collection grows, the more use you find for them. With modern Lego sets what you can build grows exponentially once you collect 3 or 4 sets and then you start to crave special parts and the increased possibilities they offer you that basic bricks don't."

Edited by SheepEater, 02 December 2012 - 10:28 PM.


#589 def

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:40 PM

View PostAanchir, on 02 December 2012 - 08:02 PM, said:

The point he made still kind of stands. Yes, it might be a bit better if TLG released a beauty salon in a theme not targeted at girls, if TLG wanted to create a toy guaranteed for failure. Frankly, a big reason LEGO Friends exists is that a lot of parents, gift-givers, and even young girls won't buy non-girl-oriented LEGO. And young boys, naturally, won't buy things that they consider "girly". It's a lose-lose situation.
Again, the complaints wasn't related to sales figures.  It was connected to buying a beauty salon for little girls.  If parents are likely to do so, or if girls feel the desire to buy "girl" Lego, and they buy a beauty salon, the group was arguing that's a bad message.  It's poorly stated, since it doesn't give any credit to what the line does that's fine.  The group wasn't stating that sales would be fine as part of City (that wasn't what I was saying either, but that was just me saying I'd have no problem with it as part of a general line).

Let's look at was written in the actual TOADY award (a dumb title), and my two-cents:

How do you turn one of the all-time great toys into a TOADY contender? Give it a makeover! Introducing LEGO Friends, just for girls and so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush.

(The stereo-types seems to be their key point)

  Bye-bye square, androgynous figures; hello, curves ‘n  eyelashes!

(Yes, this is across Friends lines)

And at the LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop, your little princess won’t need to worry her pretty little head about icky boy things like building.

(Not true, very misleading.  I suppose they're getting at the roleplay aspect, but that holds for all of the lines Lego now sells)

   Instead, she can “get primped and pretty and have some serious salon fun,” “shop for makeup and hair accessories,” or “gossip out on the bench by the scenic fountain.”

(quotes from the Lego company themselves, sounds like a very crappy thing to sell to a six year old.)



So, it's up to you as to whether Lyichir had a valid point in saying young girls love getting makeovers (and by extension, gossiping and getting primped) and as to whether it's an appropriate toy for a girl making her way in the world.  These groups are guilty of a black-white mentality which undercuts their point by making them seem ill-informed, but I'd argue the members here who simply :laugh:[font='Helvetica Neue', ', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif} '] and [/font] :ugh:[font='Helvetica Neue', ', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif} '] suffer the same kind of black-white mentality.[/font]


I think that article is suffers from hyperbole though.  Is that the worst toy of the year?  Unlikely.  Is it a highly visible toy that might lend itself to articles?  Yup.  All the same, I think there are valid criticisms there.

[font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Parents are out there to guide their kids.  Companies are out there to make a buck off of them.  Parents should think about what they buy.[/font]


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#590 Aanchir

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:25 AM

View Postdef, on 02 December 2012 - 11:40 PM, said:


Again, the complaints wasn't related to sales figures.  It was connected to buying a beauty salon for little girls.  If parents are likely to do so, or if girls feel the desire to buy "girl" Lego, and they buy a beauty salon, the group was arguing that's a bad message.  It's poorly stated, since it doesn't give any credit to what the line does that's fine.  The group wasn't stating that sales would be fine as part of City (that wasn't what I was saying either, but that was just me saying I'd have no problem with it as part of a general line).
I wasn't trying to say sales figures justify a bad toy-- just that your alternative example (TLG releasing a salon outside the Friends theme) was not a real option at all, so the choices were really between releasing a salon in the Friends theme and releasing no salon.

Quote

Let's look at was written in the actual TOADY award (a dumb title), and my two-cents:

How do you turn one of the all-time great toys into a TOADY contender? Give it a makeover! Introducing LEGO Friends, just for girls and so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush.

(The stereo-types seems to be their key point)

  Bye-bye square, androgynous figures; hello, curves ‘n  eyelashes!

(Yes, this is across Friends lines)

And at the LEGO Friends Butterfly Beauty Shop, your little princess won’t need to worry her pretty little head about icky boy things like building.

(Not true, very misleading.  I suppose they're getting at the roleplay aspect, but that holds for all of the lines Lego now sells)

   Instead, she can “get primped and pretty and have some serious salon fun,” “shop for makeup and hair accessories,” or “gossip out on the bench by the scenic fountain.”

(quotes from the Lego company themselves, sounds like a very crappy thing to sell to a six year old.)


Those quotes may sound shallow, but the same thing could be said about many of the "action features" and play scenarios TLG advertises in their boy-oriented themes. And I don't see how it really makes the set itself a negative influence on girls, as I can't imagine any girl (or for that matter, any kid) who shapes their play based strictly on what is written about the set in physical and online catalogs. These are just expressing the kinds of things a girl might do with the set.

Also, I'm really, really sick of some criticisms of the mini-doll. Calling the classic minifigure "androgynous" is laughable when the vast majority of female minifigures have had printed curves and eyelashes for decades now. And how does the Friends figure tell kids that they have to have a certain body image any more than the classic minifigure tells them they have to have sharp corners and facial deformities (no ears or noses)? LEGO Friends is less stylized in general than classic LEGO, but it's not as though the figures are unnaturally skinny or busty as so many criticisms seem to suggest. They look like typical preteen/"tween" girls of healthy weight, unlike the hourglass figures of female minifigures in most other themes.

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So, it's up to you as to whether Lyichir had a valid point in saying young girls love getting makeovers (and by extension, gossiping and getting primped) and as to whether it's an appropriate toy for a girl making her way in the world.  These groups are guilty of a black-white mentality which undercuts their point by making them seem ill-informed, but I'd argue the members here who simply :laugh:[font='Helvetica Neue', ', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif} '] and [/font] :ugh:[font='Helvetica Neue', ', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif} '] suffer the same kind of black-white mentality.[/font]

Before we go any further, neither Lyi nor myself was saying young girls in general love these things. It's just a thing that young girls (at least here in the US; draw your own conclusions) often like and that retailers tend to capitalize on. I don't necessarily think these have to be unhealthy habits (nothing wrong with wanting to look your best; I wish more boys cared about this myself), though if I were writing the set descriptions I'd have traded the word "gossip" for "socialize" since "gossip" has negative connotations (often involving the spreading of rumors rather than just small-talk) and "socialize" has positive connotations.

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I think that article is suffers from hyperbole though.  Is that the worst toy of the year?  Unlikely.  Is it a highly visible toy that might lend itself to articles?  Yup.  All the same, I think there are valid criticisms there.

[font=Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif]Parents are out there to guide their kids.  Companies are out there to make a buck off of them.  Parents should think about what they buy.[/font]

While this is true, I think this particular organization comes uncomfortably close to "moral guardian" mentality-- the idea that certain ideas are "dangerous" and should be kept away from kids. If they were merely offering advice to parents, that would be OK, but it seems almost like they're instead trying to send a message to industry that they are failing at what they do, as if it were industry's place to take care of kids rather than parents'.

#591 Lyichir

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:32 AM

View Postdef, on 02 December 2012 - 05:12 PM, said:

People bitching about an article they didn't actually read is not something worth commenting on?  I wouldn't call it a complaint, really.  But if others are complaining, they should at least get it right, and much of the time here, the defenses of the Friends line are just knee-jerk Lego fanboy ones.  I realise girls toys are not as important to the world of Lego fanboys as something like Chinese plastic, but it seems like the fanboys have a desire to smush all criticism, whether they are accurate about their argument, or, as often as not, wrong.

There are girls who like fashion and beauty.  And there is something questionable about foisting it upon a 6 year old.  Seriously.  I'm a teacher, and I've taught six-year olds.  And I've never seen one with an interest in getting their hair and nails done, except possibly to imitate mom (though I've never actually seen that).  It seems like they are placing very stereo-typical "girl" activities and making them for very young girls.  Not kids in general.  Girls.   I would have zero problem with the concept of a salon in the city line as part of a natural town.  But, it's part of the "girl" line, and I definitely wouldn't buy that for my daughter. (I did buy the Friends airplane for my daughter for Christmas yesterday, since I'm not a one-sided evil villain of Lego... I actually try discerning the value of each set before passing judgement.)

I'm sure the organisation was very careful in choosing the salon, because the laboratory wouldn't get that point across.  There is something depressing about getting a beauty salon as a present for a six-year old girl, which is likely to happen this Christmas, all around the world.  Regardless of the building involved (which that organization didn't comprehend, and is legitimate complaint about the article), getting a very young girl a present that lets them know girls like to make them selves pretty is questionable.  Salons are great places for grown-ups, but carry questionable meanings for young girls, who are already bombarded with media and toys telling them to be pretty.  Seriously.  There are a lot of women who base their self-worth on being pretty.  Maybe they chose it, or maybe that was a message they've consistently heard their whole lives.  A toy reinforcing that concept may not be good for them.

You know what really makes me want to use the :ugh: emoticon?  Lego fanboys who have zero ability to comprehend why there was ever an issue with these toys, and why the fuss was made.  Most countries have guidelines about how things are sold to children, or it's recommended they should (ie. http://www.ftc.gov/s...02adstokids.pdf).  Six years old is still a formative time, and when you surround a girl with Barbie, Disney princesses, and now many Lego Friends sets, you're giving them very limited options to view themselves in the world.  Twelve-years old, they're pretty well defined and locked in place.  But not six.  If there was only one toy to get your young daughter, the salon isn't it.  If you're getting 20 well-rounded toys, this as one of them, well, it's so-so.

All the same, for your vitriol and faux-feminism, and general immaturity of thought, I give you two of these :ugh: :ugh:  and one of these :enough:

Whoa, back off! I wasn't at all attacking your comment, or your argument. I was talking about that organization's complaints about the line. I agree that people should read the actual site instead of just basing their arguments on the description. I was just trying to point out the obvious ignorance of their assessment of the set. Attacking me for that is totally out of line. Yeah, I am a fanboy, as charged, as are the majority of members on this site. Is that any reason to start hurling insults at me? Maybe I could have used a different emoticon; but unfortunately Eurobricks doesn't have any sort of facepalm or headdesk or similar emoticon to express exhaustion at having to repeat the same argument all over again. I haven't done anything to you, so for god's sake, take a chill pill.

I could agree that fashion and makeup and things, taken too far by kids, is a bad thing. But there are a lot of girls who have that interest nonetheless. And faced with the choice of reframing their view of those interests or sticking with them, they're going to stick with them, and if it means buying Bratz or Disney Princess toys instead of Lego, well, that's what they're going to do. I personally think, as a Lego fan, that giving those girls a creative outlet in the form of Lego is a small step in the right direction. Compared to the alternatives the girls who are drawn to makeup and fashion will have (Bratz, Barbie, Disney Princesses, etc.), the Friends beauty salon is liable to have the greatest positive effect on a young girl's mind. And it could easily serve as the "gateway drug" to less stereotypical sets like the robot lab or the karate dojo.

This "award" ignores those positive attributes of the theme, and repeats the same slanders against it that originated at the beginning of next year. It doesn't involve building! Well, yes it does, especially compared to Belville, Clikits, and Scala before it. The minidolls are sexualized! No they're not, these people are seeing boobs and hips where the minidolls really just have more human proportions than the classic minifig. They may have a point about the issues with the Beauty Salon in particular presenting beauty as the feminine ideal. But that point is buried under so many misrepresentations and outright lies about the theme as a whole that it's hard to take anything they say seriously.

P.S.: The chinese plastic is as overblown a manufactured scandal as the Friends theme. I have been hugely supportive of Lego's efforts to reach young girls, realizing that that's probably the best chance the AFOL community has of someday being less of a sausage-fest. I don't think Friends is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a step in the right direction for Lego and, I believe, for society at large. Lego has already succeeded at teaching backwards-thinking retailers that girls can enjoy building toys too, which is a huge leap forward from the days of Belville and Scala, which could hardly be found anywhere besides Lego Shop at Home catalog.

Edited by Lyichir, 03 December 2012 - 12:36 AM.


#592 SheepEater

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:47 AM

The City Park cafe wins best toy award in La Presse newspaper (Quebec province, canada)

http://www.lapresse....1#Slide-0-box-0

#593 Aanchir

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

View PostSheepEater, on 07 December 2012 - 06:47 AM, said:

The City Park cafe wins best toy award in La Presse newspaper (Quebec province, canada)

http://www.lapresse....1#Slide-0-box-0
Very neat to hear, but since this article really doesn't touch on the controversy surrounding the theme it might have been better to post in the Friends 2012 discussion topic. It is neat to see LEGO Friends on a "best toys of 2012" list, not just a "best toys for girls" list.

#594 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

View PostAanchir, on 07 December 2012 - 12:46 PM, said:

Very neat to hear, but since this article really doesn't touch on the controversy surrounding the theme it might have been better to post in the Friends 2012 discussion topic. It is neat to see LEGO Friends on a "best toys of 2012" list, not just a "best toys for girls" list.

It is, and I'd agree it should be noted in the general Friends 2012 discussion topic, but the distinction you note ("best toy," not just "best toy for girls") probably also warrants a mention in this thread as well. Of course, it's been mentioned now, so... all's well, I guess!
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#595 def

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:38 PM

The cafe was an exceptional set :thumbup:

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#596 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

It was (er, and still is)! It's one of the two largest Friends sets I've gotten myself (the other being this year's limited-production Advent Calendar), and it's a delight. If I had more funds I'd get a second copy (and a lot more of the other Friends sets, and more LEGO in general, of course, but anyway...). It's a well-designed little cafe / malt shop, and can go nicely into any LEGO City, not just a Friends layout.
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#597 fallentomato

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 07:53 PM

So I felt that the TOADY nomination and the impending launch of Mega Bloks Barbie warranted another lengthy blog post that uses math to combat persistent false rumors about Friends: http://thinkingbrick...rst-toy-of.html
It's not as ridiculously lengthy as my last one, but it's still a sizable read. I'm eager to hear what y'all think of it. I've very much enjoyed our conversation in this thread over the past year :classic:
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#598 Aanchir

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:05 PM

View Postfallentomato, on 07 December 2012 - 07:53 PM, said:

So I felt that the TOADY nomination and the impending launch of Mega Bloks Barbie warranted another lengthy blog post that uses math to combat persistent false rumors about Friends: http://thinkingbrick...rst-toy-of.html
It's not as ridiculously lengthy as my last one, but it's still a sizable read. I'm eager to hear what y'all think of it. I've very much enjoyed our conversation in this thread over the past year :classic:
Amazing blog entry. I've shared it on Facebook. It was pretty clear that CCFC was sensationalizing things a bit and not really being objective in their choice of LEGO Friends for a TOADY award, but you've gone ahead and done the research that they clearly either didn't do or completely ignored.

I can only hope that this blog post circulates the internet and finds its way to the people who still are believing all the anti-Friends hype. Obviously Friends isn't flawless, but to imagine it's some kind of travesty ignores its context, both within LEGO themes as a whole and within girls' toys as a whole, almost entirely.

Edited by Aanchir, 07 December 2012 - 11:06 PM.


#599 Kristel

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

View Postfallentomato, on 07 December 2012 - 07:53 PM, said:

So I felt that the TOADY nomination and the impending launch of Mega Bloks Barbie warranted another lengthy blog post that uses math to combat persistent false rumors about Friends: http://thinkingbrick...rst-toy-of.html
It's not as ridiculously lengthy as my last one, but it's still a sizable read. I'm eager to hear what y'all think of it. I've very much enjoyed our conversation in this thread over the past year :classic:

Great blog entry.  It was particularly interesting to see how the Friends set compared to the other Lego themes.

I often feel that those who criticise the Friends line haven't really taken the time to fully appreciate it for what it is - a great new line that has introduced new colours, new accessories and introduced Lego to a market that might otherwise not even consider it as a toy for girls.  

I will do my bit to try and give this blog post more exposure.

Edited by Kristel, 08 December 2012 - 12:43 AM.

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#600 lightningtiger

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:16 AM

Okay, seeing what MB is offering over Lego.....Friend's totally ROCK and MB dare I say have copied the minidolls plus created a mini version of Belville !
I must ask this important question where is the originality in toys these days.....or I'm I being too picky in my old age ? :laugh:




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