As I have posted up thread I am a big fan of Lego Friends, it is how I discovered the joy of Lego. I tend to be annoyed when people are intolerant of "girly" toys. I have 2 daughters a "princess" and an "adventurer", and I don't consider my girly princessy daughter's preferences to be less valid than her tomboyish sister.
I wanted to note some observations about crossover into other lego lines for those of us who were brought into lego through lego friends.
The minidoll/mini figure compatibility is a non-issue. They all live together in harmony in our heartlake city. Both girls like CMF's. But not the scary mean ones. We also have mini figs from some bricks and more sets.
As far as crossover, I have 3 sides, my adventurer, my princess, and myself as an AFFOL.
1. First of all my adventurer is a bit young for much of lego. But she is fairly advanced for her age (4). The sets she asks for tend to be vehicles, Stephanie's car and airplane, and the pet patrol ATV. The big sets she was most excited about this year are the pool and the boat. She loves Pixar Cars, so she has 2 of those sets. She also has the bricks and more Safari set. She has always been fine with shopping in the "boy aisle". We don't call it that, it is just the aisle where the cars and Buzz Lightyear are. This is speculation, but I don't think she would have gotten into Lego without the influence of her sister and I, it is a bit quiet for her.
2. My princess (almost 6 y/o and advanced in math) is the bigger lego fan and more vocal about her opinions. While she definitely has preferences for pink, rainbows, and glitter; she is also very mathy and also loves the outdoors. Lego friends hits all these sweet spots for her. She has also been asking me to build a castle for her. But when I showed her the new Lego castles she was not impressed. First she stated they were all boys. (That one locked up princess is barely visible). Second she was disappointed with the lack of interior. "There is nothing to do inside". When we walked passed the boxes in the store she told me she didn't like it because they were fighting and I should just build her one. Today we visited the lego aisles at Walmart and target. In the regular lego aisle they took an interest in the city sets. The discussion was interesting. My younger one was interested in the police sets because "they are stealing jewelry". My older one however pointed out that there were bad guys and we don't need bad guys in our city. So the cops and robbers sets were dismissed. However my older girly daughter fell in love with the garbage truck. "We need that to clean up our city." They also were enamored with the coast guard rescue helicopter.
So now we come to my princess's dilemma. There are so many awesome friends sets she can't decide which ones to ask for for her birthday. Now she wants the garbage truck too. She has to weigh the merits of the garbage truck verses the cupcake bakery, its a tough decision. The garbage truck does seem to be winning. But the helicopter will definitely lose out to the adventure camper.
3. I became an AFOL when I started to play with my daughters with Lego Friends. My definite preference is MOC's. I am more inclined to make purchasing decisions based on a combination of price per piece, and desirable pieces. I do also have a strong weakness for CMF's and poly bags (from any theme) since I can just throw them into my grocery cart as an impulse purchase. While I do like the Lego friends sets, I tend to find creator sets to be a better value for what I am looking for. Oh and the PAB wall is heaven on the rare chance I have to visit a lego store. :D
so, to draw some conclusions from my very unscientific observations of a set of 3:
-We have had some theme crossover: CMF's, bricks and more, CARS, creator, and now possibly city.
-crossover is somewhat limited by the high number of great friends sets. Most people are not going to buy that many sets a year, so they are not going to need to search out other sets. In our case if friends sets disappeared we would still buy lego, but not nearly as much.
-the violence/bad guys depicted on some traditional lego sets is a turn off for some girls.
- the lack of interiors and space inside is also a turn off for some girls. (Even my adventurer prefers an interior in a building)
By the way, I do question the idea that crossover is a goal. As if non-friends lego sets have some higher merit. Friends is a hit in own right, and I think it somewhat diminishes its well deserved accolades when we focus on it as a gateway. If someone only purchases friends sets, they still will have a pretty great lego collection.