Derek

Friends "Controversy"

Friends Controversy  

524 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like the LEGO Friends line?

    • Yes
      381
    • No
      140
  2. 2. Do you think the LEGO Friends line is too "effeminite" in appearance?

    • Yes
      194
    • No
      327
  3. 3. How could LEGO improve this "problem?"

    • I answered "No." I don't see any need for improvement.
      221
    • Make building more challenging
      68
    • Make monster trucks with female drivers
      34
    • Make monster trucks in pink
      25
    • Make houses in neutral colors
      107
    • Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors?
      83
    • The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different?
      189
    • Diversify other lines in theme
      78
    • Diversify other lines with more female characters
      163
    • Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls
      75
  4. 4. Which of the above issues affects your stance on this product the most?

    • I answered "No." I don't see any need for improvement.
      211
    • Make building more challenging
      23
    • Make monster trucks with female drivers
      3
    • Make monster trucks in pink
      6
    • Make houses in neutral colors
      27
    • Just let girls play with the other lines. Can't girls like construction without animals, lipstick and brighter colors?
      39
    • The sets are fine, but why are the minifigs different?
      126
    • Diversify other lines in theme
      21
    • Diversify other lines with more female characters
      53
    • Diversify other lines with brighter colors that appeal to boys and girls
      13
  5. 5. What is your expertise on the subject?

    • I have studied sociology
      62
    • I have studied child development
      54
    • I am just an opinionated AFOL with no credentials in marketing or child development
      334
    • I have studied consumer product research
      38
    • I have studied marketing
      55
    • I am a parent
      150
  6. 6. How do your children respond to the LEGO Friends line?

    • I do not have children
      343
    • I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets
      63
    • I have a daughter who doesn't like the Friends sets
      13
    • I have a daughter who likes the Friends sets and sets meant for boys
      60
    • I have a son who likes the Friends sets
      28
    • I have a son who doesn't like the Friends sets
      25
    • I have many children who all have different reactions to the Friends line
      24
  7. 7. Do you consider LEGO to be a unisex toy?

    • Yes
      348
    • No
      40
    • It used to be, it's not now
      52
    • It has always been a toy primarily for boys
      67
  8. 8. 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?

    • Yes
      312
    • No
      195
  9. 9. Do sets marketed specifically to girls enforce the idea that the other sets are meant only for boys?

    • Yes
      285
    • No
      222


Recommended Posts

Well, I couldn't resist, while standing in line with my reduced Mill Village Raid, Green Lantern figure, Ninjago booster Packs, Samurai X and 5 series 6 figures at the Lego Shop, I just had to pick up Olivia's Workshop. I will get together a review soon (Camera Battery issues, then babysitting duties :hmpf_bad: )with some opinions and suchlike.

I have to say, there was a positive reaction both in the Lego shop and John Lewis. Lots of small girls wanting the new City sets and the Friends sets in the Lego shop and at the John Lewis they were displayed next to Ninjago, with one small girl bewailing spending all her christmas money already ("But mummy! She has a puppy!!").

So yeah, I am going to review it soonishly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say, bite on that feminists, I've said it before....

I don't know if feminists or feminism is the enemy here...

Any kind of social change or progress takes time, but unfortunately some people take a 'things should be exactly perfect right now' attitude that causes antagonism without any actual progress.

There are many cogs in this system - parents who want their girls to play with pink dolls, children who want to play with pink dolls because that is what is advertised at them, toy companies who make pink dolls for girls because that is what parents and girls want, the media which encourages girls to want pink dolls, society which has a deeply ingrained idea that girls should play with pink dolls, etc.

To point at any one of those cogs and say 'what you are doing is wrong and must stop now' is missing the point that all of the cogs are turning together. It takes a slow gradual shift in all of the cogs for them to start turning in the opposite direction.

The best way to cause progress is by example. This is a slow and tedious way to cause progress, but much more effective than demanding things change to your satisfaction right away and that any parent who buys their daughter a pink dollhouse is an idiot. This is just going to cause resentment and can often delay actual progress from happening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again I witness another father and children shopping for Lego today, the boy got Ninjago and his sister got Belville, I think because of the puppy dogs on the box. :grin: Her brother had already told her about Friend's, so I guessed she wanted to start her Lego collection now.....gee they are going to be big puppy dogs in the Friend's world those Belville one's ! :laugh:

David, you make a valid point about parents and children...some parents do think oh, it's pink.....girl's only like pink because that is what I want my daughter to have. Many times I have written these words.....narrow minded parents, perhaps it's they who need Dr Phil and wake up eh ?

We shall wait for our own 'Peppermint' to do her review, so we can get an up close and personal with this theme. :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My ten-year-old is less than thrilled with the Friends line. Her first response was "why do they need a special theme for girls?", followed quickly by "why is it all pink?" She's not too impressed with the "minidolls", either. Lightning Dragon Battle is still the set she wants.

I think the Friends theme has come out much, much better than Belville, with a really nice building experience that actually integrates with standard themes, and less overly pink stuff than I had feared. But I still wonder what the real need for a "girls' theme" was - aside from the fact that TLG want to divert cash flow from Polly Pocket to their pockets, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I've read some of the comments here, but I haven't gone through 16 pages worth, so forgive me if my comments have already been said here.

Even though Lego are one of the most popular toys in the world, they are still somewhat constrained by the conventions of that industry, which largely divides toys into "boys" and "girls" aisles. In many toy shops Lego is positioned in the "boys" aisle, so is never seen by girls.

I have some reservations about the body image portrayed by the new mini-dolls. I think there's a danger that the figures being very skinny compared to regular minifigs will reinforce the message perpetuated by the fashion industry that girls should be super-skinny.

Despite these reservations, I do like the sets, and I feel that they portray women in non-stereotypical roles such as science, engineering and architecture, which is a positive thing.

And I would much rather see girls putting Lego Friends on their Santa list than Barbie.

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just did the poll and have skimmed at some of the responses. I can see both sides of the argument here. There are things I like and dislike about this line. I'm not entirely sure why so many people are up in arms about the whole theme though. Girls like pink, some boys like pink. It doesn't matter the coloring really. I can tell a lot of AFOLs are excited for this to incorporate new colors into our existing Lego palette.

If you look down a "girl" aisle at a store, it is filled with pinks and purples because for whatever reason that is what marketing has found a long time ago, and those dolls/colors have sold well. It makes sense TLG would do something similar and find similar results with their market research and offer those colors to the young girls. Most girls aren't walking down the Lego aisle because it has other action figures and "boy" toys that don't appeal to them. I would prefer Friends to be with the other Lego aisle so the parents and girls can see that there are other options available instead of ONLY pink and purple pieces.

I do agree about the change in figure may exacerbate the current social stigma of skinny is better and normal is fat (when that is not the case at all). I much prefer a healthier image for young girls since they are more susceptible to the media.

I am torn on this theme. I like the new pieces and colors, but I don't particularly care for the mini-dolls. Yes, I am a grown man so I'm not the target audience, but as an AFOL and purchaser for my daughter, I don't know if I want this to fail or succeed.

I do not, however, think the theme is any more or less sexist than any other toy ever made, so why the sudden surge of controversy is beyond me.

And to add to the discussion, we do buy Barbie for our daughter as well. But only the fully clothed, modest dolls, not the skank-style dolls that have no clothing. My wife was excited to see the new Rock Hudson doll because he had molded hair and a suit instead of the douche-y hair that the new Ken has. Anyway, that is for another time and place.

Edited by TheLegoDr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But I still wonder what the real need for a "girls' theme" was

Those of us like you & your family, who are already LEGO fans, parents of LEGO fans, friends of LEGO fans, etc., may not realize there are girls who don't currently build with LEGO bricks (other than, say, a table at a daycare or preschool setting) and so the goal is: to get more girls building.

The development of a "girls" theme in response to a call of, "we need more LEGO stuff for girls." So TLG spent 4 years researching and interacting with girls, and their parents. If this gets more girls who do like Polly Pockets, American Girl dolls, etc., playing and building their own playsets of LEGO bricks -- instead of being stuck with pre-fab scenarios, then great! This way, they too get to participate in spatial skills development -- just like girls & boys who already manipulate LEGO bricks with their imagination.

Maybe the mini-dolls aren't perfect for everyone, yet they aren't the first (or last) incarnation of a figure to go along with sets.

All the new bricks & elements add more color & build options to current builders as well. So, it's pretty much a win-win :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have some reservations about the body image portrayed by the new mini-dolls. I think there's a danger that the figures being very skinny compared to regular minifigs will reinforce the message perpetuated by the fashion industry that girls should be super-skinny.

This argument is one I've seen a couple places, and to be honest it doesn't make the most sense to me. After all, it's not like all regular figs are boys or all Friends figs are girls. There is a male Friends fig in the dollhouse with a similarly-thin build. Meanwhile, I think it's absurd to say that the squarish, chunky minifigure promotes a healthier body image than the Friends figs. While the Friends figs are perhaps a bit stylized with their thinnish bodies (and, as with the classic fig, all equally so), the main change they make from the traditional minifigure is to be more realistic in many respects

It should also be noted that female minifigures tend to be distinguished from male minifigures by an hourglass figure and a fuller bust printed on the torso. In comparison, the gender differences for the Friends figs are more subdued and realistic. So it's a bit absurd to suggest that traditional female minifigures, just by being disproportionately shorter and wider than the Friends figs, actually promote a healthy body image for girls. :sceptic:

Now, there are things I think the Friends theme could be doing to promote healthier attitudes and behaviors in their customers. I'd love to see a Friends set of a gym with treadmills, cycling machines, etc. There are few Friends sets that involve any kind of athletic activity, except of course the horseback riding sets we are expecting in the summer. And I feel that's perhaps a vacuum in the cast's diverse hobbies and interests that needs to be filled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/01/03/we-still-havent-explained-pink/

In other words, IF there are gender-based differences in color taste. It would mean that whilst most people (male or female) prefer blue, women prefer slightly more purple (Not pink).

So the whole "girls like pink, boys like blue" is yet another silly remain of baby boomer culture.

Edited by vexorian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/01/03/we-still-havent-explained-pink/

In other words, IF there are gender-based differences in color taste. It would mean that whilst most people (male or female) prefer blue, women prefer slightly more purple (Not pink).

So the whole "girls like pink, boys like blue" is yet another silly remain of baby boomer culture.

Well, LEGO coming up with similar data MIGHT be why they made the Friends boxes and instruction sheets purple, rather than pink and included more purple and light blue in the sets... Seriously, having had a close look at the friends sets, they look positively "boyish" compared to Disney Princesses and Barbie. :laugh:

But yeah, the pink for girls and blue for boys is only a fairly recent phenomenon, but unfortunately, one that has had huge amounts of propaganda (in the form of advertising) behind it, so it's unlikely to change quickly unless equal amounts of counter-propaganda are employed against it... Thankfully, LEGO seems to have done their research and have avoided falling into most of that trap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't get why the word pink is getting thrown around in this thread so much. After getting the catalog, I got a much better look at these. On one hand, the new colors are nowhere near being pink, they introduced some really great colors. The majority of each set isn't even pink... I guess cause I'm a guy, but I really don't see what all the fuss is about... It's not like they have pink dream houses and Corvettes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess cause I'm a guy, but I really don't see what all the fuss is about... It's not like they have pink dream houses and Corvettes...

It's important to keep in mind that the 'fuss' and 'controversy' is pretty much just a small number of people on the Internet (ie. the Facebook campaign) who haven't used LEGO in years and weren't going to start any time soon. On this site, I haven't seen people spouting hate about them, except some at the mini-figs. I still don't get why so many people here feel the need to defend the sets from these people who will never read EB anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Def... I hadn't seen the sets until the catalog, and except for the figures, they are sets I would buy for myself (given the money); I may buy some for my daughter. She seemed interested in the ones with animals. She's 10, for the record, and builds with me some times (we built a Ferris Wheel over Christmas break).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still don't get why so many people here feel the need to defend the sets from these people who will never read EB anyway.

Most of my discussion about 'Friends' hasn't been on EB at all, but with my girlfriend, who is convinced that I am so dedicated to Lego that I will blindly defend the 'Friends' theme just because Lego designed it. I think that's the problem - anyone outside of EB is going to disregard any opinion on this forum as being biased.

Of course, if I were 'blindly defending' the friends theme, I wouldn't criticise it for having no male friends in the group. Maybe they think people will assume that any male friends are necessarily a romantic interest (did Barbie have any platonic male friends?), but I'm quite sure that if I lived in Heartlake, I'd totally want to be freinds with Olivia because of all her cool stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another point to take into account is like boys....not all girls are the same....some are tom-boy's, other's real pink princesses and some are half-way between the two.....but might it be odd that some boy's might like playing with this girly themed stuff....remember their is a guy with a mo at a BBQ cooking away....missing his beer though. :cry_sad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

remember their is a guy with a mo at a BBQ cooking away....missing his beer though. :cry_sad:

I think Peter and Anna are supposed to be Olivia's parents, they have more grown-up clothing than anyone else. I think it will be a little weird if Olivia's dad hangs out with the rest of the group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Peter and Anna are supposed to be Olivia's parents, they have more grown-up clothing than anyone else. I think it will be a little weird if Olivia's dad hangs out with the rest of the group.

Hmmm, I guess you are right...older guy...with 5 mid to late teen girls....wife not around.....oh, behave ! :devil_laugh:

But lets keep it the level, no 4-Chan here ! :laugh_hard:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that I see how clogged up the first page is with this Friends stuff, the more I realize this should be it's own catagory. This is "Town". I came to this site as I am an avid fan of classic town. Now all I see is talk about these sets in the "Town" catagory when the minidolls don't even go in a "Town" setting.

My area must not have any AFOLs here as my Walmart STILL has not sold a set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, now 'romdam' the moderators decided to leave this here as many of the buildings could fit a town/city layout easy.....plus who really now cares about minidolls vs. minifigs because they are here now....so we all must live with it and are they really that bad. :wink:

Perhaps your local Walmart doesn't have many girls visit or parents/grand parents of said girls visit it eh ? :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that I see how clogged up the first page is with this Friends stuff, the more I realize this should be it's own catagory. This is "Town". I came to this site as I am an avid fan of classic town. Now all I see is talk about these sets in the "Town" catagory when the minidolls don't even go in a "Town" setting.

My area must not have any AFOLs here as my Walmart STILL has not sold a set.

It's a new line. The abundance of topics will die down and even out eventually. Try not to lose any sleep over it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Plans for girl-themed Lego sets that feature bosomy figurines, a hot tub, a beauty parlor and lots of pink are sparking a backlash.

Critics have flooded the toymaker’s Facebook page with complaints, and a girl-power group started an online petition that garnered more than 1,000 signatures overnight.

“The new line of Legos is focused on girls getting their hair done and sitting at a cafe and hanging out at the beach,” said Dana Edell of Brooklyn, executive director of the activist organization SPARK.

Bosomy? *huh* They're completely flat-chested.

I do love how she's completely ignoring the invention workshop and the female doctor at the vet. I hope people who think about signing her :hmpf: ... petition ... will actually look at the product before listening to this ill-informed activist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not completely flat chested. :sceptic::blush:

frnd018.jpg VS tn_sr013_jpg.jpg

But you're right I find that "extremist" tend to fixate on minor details. Lego is growing as company. This is still way better than the Belville minifigures:

belvFem13.jpg

You have to keep mind that females become more image focused than males at that age, and in general. My personal belief is that’s because what society/media shoves down our throats. :hmpf_bad:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think this the most important question:

Do you think keeping Friends promoted only among girls toys in store and not with LEGO will reinforce the impression that LEGO is a boys toy in general?

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

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

Edited by Rook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

belvFem13.jpg

I can even see her fallopian tubes! *huh*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bosomy? *huh* They're completely flat-chested.

I do love how she's completely ignoring the invention workshop and the female doctor at the vet. I hope people who think about signing her :hmpf: ... petition ... will actually look at the product before listening to this ill-informed activist.

The Friends figs do have actual depth to their chest, which ties in with the greater realism of the figs in general compared to the classic boxy minifigure. But that aspect is one reason I actually think the Friends figs promote a healthier body image than classic minifigures. In classic LEGO, the way female figs are identified usually involves a printed hourglass figure and printed chest. The figures for the Friends theme have more modest and reasonable physiques, even if they're stylistically thin compared to the chunkier classic minifigures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.