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Friends "Controversy"


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Poll: Friends Controversy (519 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you like the LEGO Friends line?

  1. Yes (377 votes [73.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 73.06%

  2. No (139 votes [26.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.94%

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

  1. Yes (192 votes [37.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.21%

  2. No (324 votes [62.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.79%

How could LEGO improve this "problem?"

  1. I answered "No." I don't see any need for improvement. (219 votes [21.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.18%

  2. Make building more challenging (67 votes [6.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.48%

  3. Make monster trucks with female drivers (34 votes [3.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.29%

  4. Make monster trucks in pink (25 votes [2.42%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.42%

  5. Make houses in neutral colors (106 votes [10.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.25%

  6. Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors? (82 votes [7.93%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.93%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (187 votes [18.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.09%

  8. Diversify other lines in theme (78 votes [7.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.54%

  9. Diversify other lines with more female characters (162 votes [15.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.67%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (74 votes [7.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.16%

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. (210 votes [40.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.62%

  2. Make building more challenging (22 votes [4.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.26%

  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 [5.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.22%

  6. Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors? (38 votes [7.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.35%

  7. The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different? (125 votes [24.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.18%

  8. Diversify other lines in theme (21 votes [4.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.06%

  9. Diversify other lines with more female characters (53 votes [10.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.25%

  10. Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls (12 votes [2.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.32%

What is your expertise on the subject?

  1. I have studied sociology (61 votes [8.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.88%

  2. I have studied child development (52 votes [7.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.57%

  3. I am just an opinionated AFOL with no credentials in marketing or child development (334 votes [48.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.62%

  4. I have studied consumer product research (38 votes [5.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.53%

  5. I have studied marketing (54 votes [7.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.86%

  6. I am a parent (148 votes [21.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 21.54%

How do your children respond to the LEGO Friends line?

  1. I do not have children (341 votes [62.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.00%

  2. I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets (62 votes [11.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.27%

  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 (59 votes [10.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.73%

  5. I have a son who likes the Friends sets (27 votes [4.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.91%

  6. I have a son who doesn't like the Friends sets (24 votes [4.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.36%

  7. I have many children who all have different reactions to the Friends line (24 votes [4.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.36%

Do you consider LEGO to be a unisex toy?

  1. Yes (344 votes [68.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 68.53%

  2. No (40 votes [7.97%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.97%

  3. It used to be, it's not now (52 votes [10.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.36%

  4. It has always been a toy primarily for boys (66 votes [13.15%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.15%

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 (307 votes [61.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.16%

  2. No (195 votes [38.84%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.84%

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

  1. Yes (280 votes [55.78%])

    Percentage of vote: 55.78%

  2. No (222 votes [44.22%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.22%

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#601 Kristel

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:15 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:

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Hopefully this will go a little way to giving this blog post the attention it deserves.

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#602 fallentomato

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:49 AM

View PostAanchir, on 07 December 2012 - 11:05 PM, said:

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.

That's my hope too. I can't believe that there are people out there who are still saying with a straight face that LEGO Friends doesn't involve building and includes a lot of pre-fabricated parts: http://www.kcet.org/...r-children.html (Hat tip to LEGOMyMomma for her vigilance on tracking this type of stuff).
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#603 LegoMyMamma

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:26 PM

View Postfallentomato, on 08 December 2012 - 05:49 AM, said:

I can't believe that there are people out there who are still saying with a straight face that LEGO Friends doesn't involve building and includes a lot of pre-fabricated parts

The station says they are doing a follow-up.  I hope they get someone more informed about LEGO than Peggy O -- here is that original "not much building" comment interview on the YouTube channel of that KCET station https://www.youtube....nxYOoX&index=24
Where it's easier to access than the station's web site.

Also, it amazes me she doesn't seem to comprehend that if the study she cited about "girls without older brothers have less spatial skills" is true -- well, LEGO Friends is certainly going to close a healthy gap in that equation.  It's sad to think how she disses the girls who choose LEGO Friends because they relate to the theme.

I get it if some people don't like pink (which only comprises 10% of set pieces) or think some sets are too gender-pegging (even though loads of girls do like to go to salons), yet to ignore the benefit of spatial, technology, engineering & math skills gain by girls building these sets is just pure flippant ignorance.

#604 Electricsteam

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:49 AM

Barbie and MegaBloks are copying the lego Friends line with Megabloks barbie with roughly the same minifig design... :angry:
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#605 vynsane

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:04 AM

View PostElectricsteam, on 14 December 2012 - 03:49 AM, said:

Barbie and MegaBloks are copying the lego Friends line with Megabloks barbie with roughly the same minifig design... :angry:

Holy crap, you're right! The sets look almost like direct copies of all the most possibly stereotypical Friends sets - but basically all pink with maybe a little bit of light blue thrown in! It will be interesting to see if they receive the same attacks.

EDIT: Oh, but the figures have special stands because they can't stand up on their own, apparently. What is it with girl's toys not being able to stand up?

Edited by vynsane, 14 December 2012 - 06:05 AM.

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#606 Aanchir

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:12 PM

View PostElectricsteam, on 14 December 2012 - 03:49 AM, said:

Barbie and MegaBloks are copying the lego Friends line with Megabloks barbie with roughly the same minifig design... :angry:
"Roughly the same"? I'm going to have to stop you there. The Barbie figs seem to lack leg articulation entirely (except, of course, for Ken and one blue-jeans variant of the Barbie figurine who needs it to fit in her convertible). This blog post by fallentomato has a good comparison of the figs.

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#607 Electricsteam

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:48 AM

View PostAanchir, on 14 December 2012 - 06:12 PM, said:

"Roughly the same"? I'm going to have to stop you there. The Barbie figs seem to lack leg articulation entirely (except, of course, for Ken and one blue-jeans variant of the Barbie figurine who needs it to fit in her convertible). This blog post by fallentomato has a good comparison of the figs.

I only have seen one commercial.. they look roughly the same...
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#608 fallentomato

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

View PostAanchir, on 14 December 2012 - 06:12 PM, said:

"Roughly the same"? I'm going to have to stop you there. The Barbie figs seem to lack leg articulation entirely (except, of course, for Ken and one blue-jeans variant of the Barbie figurine who needs it to fit in her convertible). This blog post by fallentomato has a good comparison of the figs.

Actually, from what I've seen, all the Barbie figures have leg articulation. The way the skirts and dresses work is that they are a removable piece that gets added between the legs and torso. If you look at the alternate images for the sets, you can see the figurines have hip articulations beneath the skirts. For instance, check out hte third image on this set. My guess is that the legs can't bend when they have a dress/skirt on.

As you can tell, I spent a LOT of time looking at the Barbie Mega Bloks website in preparation for writing my article. :wacko:  I may even buy one of the small sets :sick:  so I can do an actual side by side comparison of the figurines and minidolls. The things I do for (social) science!
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#609 vexorian

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:48 PM

I just wrote this as a blog's reply, I feel the need to paste it here.
--
First of all, I must underline that a year ago, the only information most people had about LEGO friends was the business week article: http://www.businessw...s-12142011.html

It was ominous because if the research procedure that the article describes was true then indeed LEGO were being sexist and endorsing gender stereotypes. There is no way around it but their market research experiments were sexist by design.

Then we have the boxes. Although LEGO friends does not feature that much pink. The boxes of course have to be pink. I would like to apologize for holding LEGO to a larger standard than other toy companies, but that was not a nice move in anyway.

Finally, I think that overall friends sets are great* . But I think that LEGO fluked in here. At least that is the conclusion I am making after seeing the finished friends sets, the advertising and the business week article regarding the "thought" and studies put into this.

The success with LEGO friends was a fluke, because if TLG merely followed the sexist market research they conducted, the result would have still been another Belvile. TLG got lucky in that their designers actually know better than their stupid market researches. Whilst research was revealing a ton of gender stereotypes to make TLG make yet another mediocre girls theme. The designers knew the real answer to make friends a good girls theme : WELL DESIGNED SETS. That is the key difference between Belvile and friends. The sets actually have construction in them. The sets actually have innovative build techniques and are interesting to the eye.

The 80s comedian's stand up show-esque study "girls like beauty, boys like role play" was a big fail and it was completely fair that it was giving TLG such a bad reputation. I'd like to thank the sane minds in LEGO that figured out that in order to sell sets to both girls and boys, the sets have to have some good construction involved. Thank you LEGO designers, you did a good job and saved TLG from making another flop. It is time for TLG to stop making dumb market researches and focus on delivering an actual good construction toy product. That is their key for success.

*The segregation is minifigures for boys and girls is still bad.

#610 Faefrost

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 01:53 AM

View Postvexorian, on 19 December 2012 - 10:48 PM, said:

I just wrote this as a blog's reply, I feel the need to paste it here.

*The segregation is minifigures for boys and girls is still bad.

It always amazes me how people view obvious differences between the sexes as in some way sexist? That these perceived sexual stereotypes are simply the effect of outside influences, and that actual physical differences is senses and base human instinct play no role.

Yes Lego finally figured out that girls do in fact like well made construction sets, just like boys do. That does not mean that Lego's "market research" was in fact skewed in any way. Girls actually do like different colors than boys. Guess what, human females do in fact perceive the world slightly differently then males. Have you ever noticed that your wife or girlfriend can pick up and react to the slightest smell, that you would never notice? Or that they seem to be be able to hear a muttered comment or a child's cry over a great distance, but don't hear the sound of the cars breaks deteriorating (luv ya Hun). Or how about when you cannot get your wife to believe that a piece of furniture simply will not fit somewhere, just by looking at it? These all sound like stereotypes, right? They all also happen to be true. Over thousands of years men's and women's senses have become tuned for different purposes. While the base input may be the same, the brains flag on different things. Different color or frequency ranges. Different smells, etc. it's hard wired in. In the case of girls, flagging for bright colors such as pink is part of it. Barbie isn't in pink packaging because girls are trained to think pink is girls. Barbie is in pink packaging because girls heads turn to look at it when they see it in their peripheral vision.


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#611 def

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:32 AM

View PostFaefrost, on 20 December 2012 - 01:53 AM, said:

It always amazes me how people view obvious differences between the sexes as in some way sexist? That these perceived sexual stereotypes are simply the effect of outside influences, and that actual physical differences is senses and base human instinct play no role.

Yes Lego finally figured out that girls do in fact like well made construction sets, just like boys do. That does not mean that Lego's "market research" was in fact skewed in any way. Girls actually do like different colors than boys. Guess what, human females do in fact perceive the world slightly differently then males. Have you ever noticed that your wife or girlfriend can pick up and react to the slightest smell, that you would never notice? Or that they seem to be be able to hear a muttered comment or a child's cry over a great distance, but don't hear the sound of the cars breaks deteriorating (luv ya Hun). Or how about when you cannot get your wife to believe that a piece of furniture simply will not fit somewhere, just by looking at it? These all sound like stereotypes, right? They all also happen to be true. Over thousands of years men's and women's senses have become tuned for different purposes. While the base input may be the same, the brains flag on different things. Different color or frequency ranges. Different smells, etc. it's hard wired in. In the case of girls, flagging for bright colors such as pink is part of it. Barbie isn't in pink packaging because girls are trained to think pink is girls. Barbie is in pink packaging because girls heads turn to look at it when they see it in their peripheral vision.
You just made a lot of that up.  

There is evidence that men have a tendency for spatial estimation, which makes them often better at video games, while women have a better nuance for patterns, which make them faster at language acquisition, but stuff like the pink thing is just untrue.  Pink was a boys colour 100 years ago.  It's a social thing, and not part of genetics.  

It's very hard to separate nature vs. nurture, since boys and girls are treated like boys and girls from birth, according to that society's values.  They reinforce each other.

View Postvexorian, on 19 December 2012 - 10:48 PM, said:

Thank you LEGO designers, you did a good job and saved TLG from making another flop. It is time for TLG to stop making dumb market researches and focus on delivering an actual good construction toy product. That is their key for success.
This is a very interesting point!  I don't know that it's true, but the quality of the sets shouldn't have been part of the debate.  I think the sets were all well-made.

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#612 Aanchir

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:09 AM

View Postvexorian, on 19 December 2012 - 10:48 PM, said:

I just wrote this as a blog's reply, I feel the need to paste it here.
--
First of all, I must underline that a year ago, the only information most people had about LEGO friends was the business week article: http://www.businessw...s-12142011.html

It was ominous because if the research procedure that the article describes was true then indeed LEGO were being sexist and endorsing gender stereotypes. There is no way around it but their market research experiments were sexist by design.

Then we have the boxes. Although LEGO friends does not feature that much pink. The boxes of course have to be pink. I would like to apologize for holding LEGO to a larger standard than other toy companies, but that was not a nice move in anyway.

Finally, I think that overall friends sets are great* . But I think that LEGO fluked in here. At least that is the conclusion I am making after seeing the finished friends sets, the advertising and the business week article regarding the "thought" and studies put into this.

The success with LEGO friends was a fluke, because if TLG merely followed the sexist market research they conducted, the result would have still been another Belvile. TLG got lucky in that their designers actually know better than their stupid market researches. Whilst research was revealing a ton of gender stereotypes to make TLG make yet another mediocre girls theme. The designers knew the real answer to make friends a good girls theme : WELL DESIGNED SETS. That is the key difference between Belvile and friends. The sets actually have construction in them. The sets actually have innovative build techniques and are interesting to the eye.

The 80s comedian's stand up show-esque study "girls like beauty, boys like role play" was a big fail and it was completely fair that it was giving TLG such a bad reputation. I'd like to thank the sane minds in LEGO that figured out that in order to sell sets to both girls and boys, the sets have to have some good construction involved. Thank you LEGO designers, you did a good job and saved TLG from making another flop. It is time for TLG to stop making dumb market researches and focus on delivering an actual good construction toy product. That is their key for success.

*The segregation is minifigures for boys and girls is still bad.
I don't have much time to go over this silly comment in-depth, so let me just give you the short response: You're wrong. Astrid Graabaek and Fenella Holden, two designers for LEGO Friends, spoke about the theme at length during this year's BrickFair, and they described the years of research that went into the theme as invaluable. Perhaps it'd make you happy to imagine that the world is shaped around your personal beliefs, but that's not true. Whether by nature or nurture, boys and girls tend to have different ways of thinking, and that doesn't have to be a bad thing.

For the record, the market research that went into LEGO Friends NEVER suggested that girls didn't want construction at all-- however, it did make it clear that they wanted something different out of it than boys did. The Businessweek article perhaps exaggerates the findings, but more or less how Astrid and Fenella described it was that boys like to see a structure go together, girls like to see a scene go together. Thus, LEGO Friends construction focuses on creating harmonious spaces. Just as a point of reference, compare the typical heavily-furnished Friends set with the bare-bones buildings typical of LEGO City. For the boys LEGO City targets, the structure is the focus; for the girls LEGO Friends targets, it's the space and how it is furnished.

Additionally, there was no part of the research that suggested that girls didn't like role-play, either. Girls just preferred to role-play in different ways. Rather than just role-playing as a way of telling stories with made-up characters, girls made their own personalities a big part of their role-play. This is why it was important for LEGO Friends figures to be characters girls could easily identify with, rather than heavily abstracted characters like the traditional minifigure.

To be honest, it's sad how high a pedestal you tend to put yourself on compared to the great minds at TLG, who have real research backing up many of their decisions instead of just their own ramblings. It seems like any time you post something about TLG, it's about what bad moves they've been making... as if somehow, you  feel "enlightened" enough to know the best path for them better than they do.

Edited by Aanchir, 20 December 2012 - 04:11 AM.

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#613 def

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:20 AM

View PostAanchir, on 20 December 2012 - 04:09 AM, said:

For the record, the market research that went into LEGO Friends NEVER suggested that girls didn't want construction at all-- however, it did make it clear that they wanted something different out of it than boys did. The Businessweek article perhaps exaggerates the findings, but more or less how Astrid and Fenella described it was that boys like to see a structure go together, girls like to see a scene go together. Thus, LEGO Friends construction focuses on creating harmonious spaces. Just as a point of reference, compare the typical heavily-furnished Friends set with the bare-bones buildings typical of LEGO City. For the boys LEGO City targets, the structure is the focus; for the girls LEGO Friends targets, it's the space and how it is furnished.
There is a question of why it is that all the (mostly male) AFOLs go crazy for furnished sets, like the modulars, and yes, Friends sets.  Is that them out-growing their boyishness?  At what age do boys learn to appreciate such things in their toys?

There was a large overlap between Friends and Belleville conceptually, so I think it's fair to give a lot of credit to the designers for not dumbing down sets.  Maybe market research was not collected on that point, or they found girls enjoying the assembly.

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#614 Aanchir

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

View Postdef, on 20 December 2012 - 04:20 AM, said:

There is a question of why it is that all the (mostly male) AFOLs go crazy for furnished sets, like the modulars, and yes, Friends sets.  Is that them out-growing their boyishness?  At what age do boys learn to appreciate such things in their toys?
Good question. I think part of it might be a matter of AFOLs appreciating more diverse detail in general than kids of either gender, though. Kids will look at a set for something that grabs their interest and decide immediately that it's a good set. AFOLs, on the other hand, have more discerning tastes, and want their sets to be well-rounded. AFOLs don't tend to be too happy about the somewhat bare-bones sets of LEGO City, but likewise I've seen AFOLs express criticism of many of the smaller LEGO Friends sets, which have enough furniture to fill a space but no walls or floor to define that space. And AFOLs go even further a lot of the time by preferring that spaces be fully enclosed, so that they look complete both inside and out from all angles.

Quote

There was a large overlap between Friends and Belleville conceptually, so I think it's fair to give a lot of credit to the designers for not dumbing down sets.  Maybe market research was not collected on that point, or they found girls enjoying the assembly.
While obviously Belville did hold true to some of the findings of the market research, I think that's merely a measure of how conventional wisdom regarding girls' toys had gotten some things right simply through decades of trial and error. Belville, like the Homemaker sets of decades past, was a "dollhouse" theme, because it didn't take any kind of research to tell that dollhouses were popular among young girls. As such, some things like the emphasis on creating harmonious, well-furnished spaces and on creating figures girls could identify with on a personal level came naturally.

I think what the market research for LEGO Friends sought to find was what it was about these taken-for-granted tenets that really made girls like this type of play, and how this could be applied to LEGO without diluting the building experience or brand image. In other words it was trying to find a way to create a toy that kids and gift-givers would recognize as "for girls" while still being unrepentantly a building toy in line with the LEGO brand image.

LEGO's research that began four years in advance didn't consist of "market research experiments" like Vexorian suggested above. It was anthropological (i.e. non-experimental) research, observing how girls played when left to their own devices. And what it showed was that whether by nature or nurture, girls began to express distinctive play patterns in early childhood. As such, LEGO Friends was based on these play patterns. This isn't to say focus group testing and other traditional market research techniques weren't used, but those came later, and it's probably those that inspired some of the more "stereotypical" aspects of the Friends theme (such as the color palette, which reassured girls and parents of girls that the toy was "for them").

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#615 Teh Stud

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:34 PM

I took flight lessons years ago. Did you know that men and women have a different percentage of rods and cones in their eyes?  Flight instructors train men and women differently on how to scan the sky for other planes!

Check out this article on other differences. Women have more connections between the two brain halves!  I'm not telling my wife that one.

http://www.lifescrip...perception.aspx

#616 Gondorian

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 01:46 PM

Am I allowed to necro a thread?

Just wanted to say I am a big fan of Lego Friends - as is my 7-year-old daughter, 5-year-old son and my wife.  My only two complaints are that there are a few too many stickers in the sets (but that's likely to keep costs down yet still allow nice aesthetics) and that you don't get that many bricks for your money (although they do tend to come with quite specialist parts - e.g. new colours and accessories).

#617 fallentomato

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:39 AM

View PostGondorian, on 24 June 2013 - 01:46 PM, said:

Am I allowed to necro a thread?

Always happy to see this thread come back to life :wink:
I was planning to resurrect it later this week, because an interview I did with NPR about LEGO Friends is supposed to be airing this week. Hopefully I didn't make a total fool of myself :tongue:
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#618 Kristel

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 06:06 AM

View Postfallentomato, on 25 June 2013 - 05:39 AM, said:



Always happy to see this thread come back to life :wink:
I was planning to resurrect it later this week, because an interview I did with NPR about LEGO Friends is supposed to be airing this week. Hopefully I didn't make a total fool of myself :tongue:
Would love to see that.  Hopefully you can post a link to the video or transcript afterwards?

The interview bit, not the bit about you making a fool of yourself.

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#619 LegoMyMamma

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 04:03 PM

The petitioning RadFems posted their "one year later" article on their site -- it's full of erroneous data (no surprise).  They attempt to back-track on how they loathe & attacked LEGO Friends; now they have twisted information about "Legends of Chima" with regard to characters.  They've also high-jacked that Cuusoo project and use it along with inaccurate data too.  Quite pathetic.

Let's hope NPR does better on your piece that the last one lumping LEGO bricks with wooden blocks -- good grief!

#620 TheLegoDr

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 05:23 PM

That was an interesting read. I don't recall them specifically talking about collectible minifigures for the 5 females we receive there in every series amounting to 15 a year. Yes, the numbers are not 50/50, but it is changing.

Series One had 2 females, Two had 3, Three had 2, Four had 3, Five had 4, Six had 5, Seven had 5, Eight had 5, Team GB had 3 (1/3 of the total since they only did 9), Nine had 5, Ten had 5 also. So basically since 2010 when they first came out, the numbers have increased (almost double) consistently, so that is definitely a major change. And the numbers are hitting 1/3 total sets, so above the 25% SPARK was claiming is necessary.

Plus, I know tons of AFOLs who love the Friends line. New colors, new accessories, useful pieces. It is selling well because fans of LEGO want to buy it, female and male.
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#621 Aanchir

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 07:49 PM

View PostLegoMyMamma, on 25 June 2013 - 04:03 PM, said:

The petitioning RadFems posted their "one year later" article on their site -- it's full of erroneous data (no surprise).  They attempt to back-track on how they loathe & attacked LEGO Friends; now they have twisted information about "Legends of Chima" with regard to characters.  They've also high-jacked that Cuusoo project and use it along with inaccurate data too.  Quite pathetic.

Let's hope NPR does better on your piece that the last one lumping LEGO bricks with wooden blocks -- good grief!
Not sure what info they're "twisting" about Legends of Chima. They get the number of female characters wrong (there are four; they originally said one and later corrected that to two), but that sounds like obliviousness and poor research, not abject deceitfulness or denial.

Overall, I think the "one year later" post is still getting the wrong idea about LEGO Friends in a lot of ways, but at the same time they bring up some very valid concerns about how LEGO Friends is marketed differently than some other themes.

I myself was disappointed not to actually get to hear from the designers in the LEGO Friends designer videos. Ideally, every LEGO theme's website would have more direct updates from the designers, including things like detailed designer videos or a designer blog. It was kind of a disappointment that the LEGO Friends site didn't really go farther with this kind of thing, and it's worth asking why.

There's probably a reason for it — perhaps the designers want to make things very simple and visually-oriented since LEGO Friends may be many girls' first LEGO theme, or perhaps they found non-English-speaking girls responded better to clear visual demonstrations than to subtitles, or perhaps they found that parents of girls were uneasy about toymakers speaking directly to their daughters. But it doesn't make me any happier with this decision. I find LEGO designers to be excellent role models, and girls need creative role models just as badly as boys do.

Overall, it's good to have watchdogs, even if they're watching for the wrong reasons.

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#622 Pandora

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 08:44 PM

It was an interesting read, indeed. It's unfortunate that they don't seem (from what I've seen) to know all that much about LEGO as a whole.

The advert they posted, which they describe as LEGO "moving in the right direction, finally" and "a pat on the head", is an obvious re-invention of a classic LEGO advert from a loooong time ago. Way, way, way before Friends, or even Belville or Paradisa.

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Perhaps if the authors had seen this advert, they'd understand that LEGO has always been aimed at both girls and boys, and at developing the creativity of both, since its inception as a company. A quick trip around the museum at Billund also illustrates this nicely.
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#623 Haltiamieli

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:45 AM

View PostPandora, on 25 June 2013 - 08:44 PM, said:

Perhaps if the authors had seen this advert, they'd understand that LEGO has always been aimed at both girls and boys, and at developing the creativity of both, since its inception as a company.
She has seen it – it was one of the centerpieces of anti-Friends campaigning (cf. for example this by same author). While Lego is and has always been by default unisex toy, SPARK's point that the company hasn't been very good at marketing these possibilities for girls and has drifted – compared to something like the early 80s of that advert – towards more gendered/boy-oriented themes is (I think) quite valid in itself.

Edited by Haltiamieli, 26 June 2013 - 05:46 AM.

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#624 Blondie-Wan

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 12:17 PM

View PostAanchir, on 25 June 2013 - 07:49 PM, said:

Not sure what info they're "twisting" about Legends of Chima. They get the number of female characters wrong (there are four; they originally said one and later corrected that to two), but that sounds like obliviousness and poor research, not abject deceitfulness or denial.

Overall, I think the "one year later" post is still getting the wrong idea about LEGO Friends in a lot of ways, but at the same time they bring up some very valid concerns about how LEGO Friends is marketed differently than some other themes.

I myself was disappointed not to actually get to hear from the designers in the LEGO Friends designer videos. Ideally, every LEGO theme's website would have more direct updates from the designers, including things like detailed designer videos or a designer blog. It was kind of a disappointment that the LEGO Friends site didn't really go farther with this kind of thing, and it's worth asking why.

There's probably a reason for it — perhaps the designers want to make things very simple and visually-oriented since LEGO Friends may be many girls' first LEGO theme, or perhaps they found non-English-speaking girls responded better to clear visual demonstrations than to subtitles, or perhaps they found that parents of girls were uneasy about toymakers speaking directly to their daughters. But it doesn't make me any happier with this decision. I find LEGO designers to be excellent role models, and girls need creative role models just as badly as boys do.

Overall, it's good to have watchdogs, even if they're watching for the wrong reasons.

Your points are mirrored by the "Scott" who posted a reply to the article yesterday (comment 43066). Was that you?

#625 Aanchir

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:57 PM

View PostBlondie-Wan, on 26 June 2013 - 12:17 PM, said:

Your points are mirrored by the "Scott" who posted a reply to the article yesterday (comment 43066). Was that you?
Yessiree! I figured I might as well post if only to make the correction regarding the gender ratios in Legends of Chima.

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