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Number – 41006 Name – Downtown Bakery Theme – Friends Year – 2013 Minidolls – 2 Pieces – No available piece count Price – price not yet known Links: Brickset, Bricklink, Peeron (not yet listed). LEGO shop@home Well, here we are for another review of a LEGO Friends set. The LEGO Group has graciously sent us this set for a preview review of the newest sets in this very popular new LEGO line of toys. So, why is LEGO Friends so successful? And what has happened with all of the controversy that The LEGO Group dumbs the sets down to girls and uses too many cliche feminine colors? Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know where the controversy sits and I truly hope it has subsided. My niece loves the Friends line and oftentimes calls me to tell me The LEGO Group should make more clothes for the characters. I try to explain to her that I don't work for The LEGO Group, but she knows I do something with LEGO, therefore I'll let them know. Well, here we are. LEGO Group, please make more outfits for the mini-dolls. As for the colors, I can't ever complain about The LEGO Group producing new colors. Yes, they're brighter and have more pinks and purples than the original LEGO palette. They must've done some research or something into what is aesthetically pleasing to females. As far as dumbing down the build, I don't agree with this. I do wish this building had a roof and I do wish Heartlake City had some men in it, but I think the buildings themselves are of the same caliber of a normal City set. The huge difference I see is how much detail is added. As an avid FABULAND builder, who loves to add fun little details, like cakes and ice cream in a bakery or many different types of bottles in an apothecary, I love how much detail The LEGO Group puts into the Friends sets. I think this is the big difference with the line and what really appeals to females. I think girls have a sharper mind at that age and it takes more mental stimulation to get them interested in the toy. The LEGO Group seems to know this and gives them plenty of extra detail to build and really spark their imagination. Let's compare this set to one that appears to be geared more towards boys, "Museum Break-in". This is generous considering the other two sets in the City line that I checked contained buildings that were completely empty. In the Museum there are four items for the robbers to steal. There's a plate, a sword, a jewel and a painting. An entire museum has four things in it and the detail is focused on the Action of the robbers stealing and the police catching them. There's a SWAT van and a getaway van and every figure has an accessory to aid in the Action of the theft and pursuit: crowbar, flashlight, handcuffs, walky-talky. As you'll see in this set, and every Friends set I've purchased, the detail is the set. Children who purchase this set can really immerse themselves in making and playing with all the little details. There are bakery cases filled with brick-built cakes and pastries, cabinets that contain silverware and pans and utensils, a telephone, pumps with sweet toppings, an oven, etc. The reason, I believe, this works for girls is because that is how girls naturally tend to play and think. Their minds and imaginations are stimulated more by detail and these sets give them endless possibilities to play and exercise their brains as well as their creativity. The packaging Here we have the usual, patented Friends smooshed curved box with bright graphics and a picture of the whole set. In my last review, I commented that it looked like the box was being hugged. Thus, the HIP, or Hug in Progress, box. It is very purple, very bright and very inviting. It shows a world that transcends the ordinary and invites the consumer to join a world of bright happy people who bake pastries all day... and eat them yet still have a twig figure to show off their bikinis in. I like that The LEGO Group has added the vector background of a mall to show that this is the corner shop of a larger shopping center, subtly encouraging kids to make this the corner and buy other shops to put around it, so that the LEGO friends have a whole outlet mall to hang out in. The makeup store, pet salon and even the vet's office would all snuggle up to each other to make a nice shopping center. Don't forget that City Park Cafe set too. Maybe this is because the set came direct from The LEGO Group, but there's no other info on the front besides the set number. Isn't that weird? No piece count, set name, nothing. Maybe someone can shed some light on this? I don't recall seeing this before. The box has a small inset in the lower right corner that indicates which Friends come in the set. This set comes with Mia and Danielle. Then there's a circular inset off to the left that indicates their relationship and how the Friends are intended to interact. Danielle is the customer and Mia is the Bakery Owner. I thought Danielle might own the place and Mia was a customer who also happened to be a chef or a jockey or a bellhop or something, so the picture helped me clear up that confusion. The large purple portion at the top is the smooshy section. It is concave and achieves that HIP (Hug in Progress) shape that we are so used to in the Friends line. On the top of the box we get a 1:1 scale picture of Mia, so that consumer will know the size of the thing. This was helpful to me as I was expecting a life-size Mia to come out of the box that would show me how to bake a cake and maybe even operate a business. This helped clear up that confusion for me. On the opposite side of the box is the advertisement for the LEGO Club Friends. I wonder if boys are allowed. According to the picture, it's just for red-headed girls and blue butterflies...and a cookie or button or whatever that other thing is. On the bottom is the choking hazard in many different languages, the recycling symbol, the UPC and the warning that the toy is not intended for 0-3 year old sad children with cowlicks. Whee!! The back of the box has a ton of information for you! There's another picture of the set from the back, showing it's full interior and lack of roof...and no umbrellas. Someone left their cake out in the rain! There's a closeup of the brick built cakes which are really cool and creative. There's a diagram for how the set is built in stages. First bag one, then bag two. The LEGO Group tries to give as many warnings about this as possible. They've split the process up into two steps, so help them help you by only opening one bag at a time! We have a diagram of Mia to show that all the pieces are interchangeable, so if Mia wants to go out in black pants and Danielle's shirt...and arms, she can! Then there's some action shots to show you all the things Mia can do in her bakery. There's a nice detailed inset of all the great accessories that come with the set. Finally, there's a group shot of the core group of Friends. I notice Danielle is not in it. I hope they don't shun her for not being part of the popular crowd. That might be why she's spending $100 at the bakery. Burying her troubles and feelings of inadequacy in sweets. This makes me think that Danielle is not as important as Mia, and I guess she wouldn't be since she is only the customer and Mia is the Bakery Owner. Still, this can't be helping Danielle's self-esteem. One more cupcake for Danielle, please. My niece will probably be very happy to see that Mia has a new outfit, even if it is just a work uniform. I do have to admit, and this is only my opinion and not meant to spark huge controversy, that I do not like the ultra skinny girl, with the unattainable figure. The minidoll itself may be attainable, albeit with gigantism of the hands and feet, but the cartoon is creepy to me. Even creepier is when LEGO stores have Friends events and there are women dressed like these characters that look... wrong. Here are four of the many exciting things Mia can do at the bakery: 1. Answer a vibrating phone, mix some batter, put a cupcake in the oven and put out a fire. A little closeup of the best part of the Friends line, in my opinion, the accessories! I know this will sound a little effeminate of me, but I just love to accessorize! I could've worded that better, but I'm going for comedy. Minifigs and minidolls need more and more and more realistic little doo-dads and foods to add awesome detail to all creations, masculine and feminine and all of those in between. Please, LEGO Group, please make many more of these and keep the new colors coming! I love that the interior is shown in such detail. When I was a kid, the interior of the set was only revealed when you bought the set. The catalogs never showed anything but the front of a set and there was no such thing as a website. My family had an Apple II E. It had Flight Simulator and Mad Libs and you couldn't play for more than 20 minutes because black and green was bad for your eyesight. My friend had Oregon Trail but I didn't. And we lived in caves and clubbed our dinner to death with whatever blunt instrument we could find. Anyway, I very much prefer to see alternate builds on the back of boxes. I really miss that. I liked that The LEGO Group would encourage creativity and show how many possibilities there were with just one set to create and invent and imagine! But, if we can't have that, I love being able to see what's inside the store. Especially with a set like this where most of the fun is playing inside. Perhaps this is a reason that there is no roof. It makes it easier to play the game and have fun inside. The closeups of the cakes are a really great idea since I didn't even realize they were brick built until I saw that inset. I was instantly left curious as to how that 2 x 2 round brick was attached to the goblet. The instructions Hey look, and instruction booklet! There is only one book with this set. The picture on the front is the same as the picture on the front of the box. I'm glad The LEGO Group started doing this as I used to try to save all the set boxes. Now, I don't need to since the instructions look the same as the box anyway. Anyway, now that I rarely buy sets to build them anymore, I should consider selling off my instructions... that go all the way back to 1979. I have that survey memorized and haven't won a free set yet. Oh, but The LEGO Group did send me this one so I shouldn't complain. Anyway, this is true and for real. I know somebody who knows someone that got a free set for filling out the survey. I'm glad this girl isn't also wearing purple. She seems to have a healthy self image despite looking a lot like poor Danielle. Heartlake City is getting so much bigger! I love that you can find each creation on the map and speculate about which little vector objects will become real sets in the future. I use to stare at the back of FABULAND instructions for hours. They had a similar map with drawings of all the current sets and the characters interacting. The very cartoony and fun nature of it filled me with inspiration and joy. I wanted a happy and adorable little village just like the one on the map! Sure, it's only product placement and somewhat of a marketing ploy, but it creates such a new and exciting environment that little builders can't help but be inspired by it. Hopefully they are imaging places they can design and build as well as future products! Here is a checklist of sorts for all five main Friends characters. Danielle doesn't have her own picture, does she? Keep those $100 bills handy, girl. Instead of creating a checklist for the sets, a checklist has been created for the Friends characters that come in each set. So, the focus is much more on the characters and minidolls. I find that interesting because it encourages kids to focus on the people and parts of the story that come with each set and not the sets themselves. The Parts (Bag 1) On to the parts! As previously mentioned, all of the parts are separated into two bags to easily guide a young builder through construction of the set. There's also the DSS (Dreaded Sticker Sheet) and a 16 x 16 plate in 226 Cool Yellow (Bright Light Yellow). Here is the aforementioned DSS. It immediately bugged me that the pretzel is upside down. But, the design is nice and the pretzel as part of the curly-dos is a nice effect. I usually don't apply stickers to elements unless I'm making a MOC that really requires it. I'm applying them to this set since it was sent to me by The LEGO Group for the purpose of reviewing and the set should be represented as intended. I do prefer printed elements to stickers but I fully understand that a sign for a Friends Bakery has limited use and wouldn't be cost-effective to produce these as printed elements. That being said, I prefer applying a sticker created by The LEGO Group over a third party sticker. And for all intents and purposes, these are very nice and well-designed. This set also comes with a handful of parts in 124 Bright Reddish Yellow (Magenta), including the very cool 3 x 3 Quarter Dome Top piece. This set comes with a good number of tan elements. But those aren't girly colors! . Just kidding. I appreciate the amount of tan and brown parts in this set. I use these colors a lot and appreciate any set that increases my quantity of elements in these colors. There are also 4 1 x 3 x 2 Arches with Rounded Top, one of my favorite pieces, in 191 Flame Yellowish Orange (Bright Light Orange). I can see those making their way into a FABULAND MOC in the near future. A handful of pieces come in the cool newer color of 322 Medium Azure. Why? Why aren't the Technic elements Magenta or Medium Azur or one of the girly colors? That would be so cool! And girls aren't going to be interested in simple machines unless they're pink or some bright color! Again, that's a joke. It is worth noting that these sets do come with features that require click hinges and Technic elements: more proof that The LEGO Group isn't trying to dumb the set down to girls. And look, there's a croissant in 038 Dark Orange! The LEGO Group has gone to great lengths to explain to its consumer that they should open the bags separately, building the contents of bag one before even thinking about opening the contents of bag two. Look how excited that girl is as she opens the box and dumps out the bags. And how pleased she is with herself for understanding that she should only open the bag marked with the big number "1". Then she builds the contents of the first bag, very pensive and involved, clearly using her brain, and then by the time she's ready to build the contents of the bag marked with a big number "2", she's supremely confident in her cognitive reasoning abilities and matrix reasoning. Good job, LEGO Group, I get it! Open the bags one at a time and build the contents of each before opening the next bag. But, for the purpose of this review, I throw all of your efforts out the window and open the second bag, dumping its contents onto my photography table to keep the Parts section of the review all organized at the beginning. (Truth be told, I did it right, but re-organized the pictures. I would never defy The LEGO Group...) The Parts (Bag 2) Oooh! Bread in a new color! I love when elements come in new colors but especially when those elements originated in the FABULAND line. There are a lot of good parts in this bag. I love elements like crates and cabinets and drawers, especially drawers in fun new colors like 222 Light Purple (Bright Pink). Here are our favorite new accessories in 191 Flame Yellowish Orange (Bright Light Orange). This set includes 3 plates, one frying pan, three cupcakes, one mixer, one baking pan, one spatula, one measuring cup, three forks and three knives. Look! A star-shaped piece in 038 Dark Orange! This is the first one of these I have in my collection, so I haven't seen it before. It's a pretty cool piece. It has a tube on the back so it can stud onto another element and has a hole that a number of elements fit into. And the rest of the small elements from bag #2. There are plenty of 1 x 1 rounds in pink and purple, some thick flower pieces in red and a phone in 221 Bright Purple! The Mini-Dolls I'll start by saying that Heartlake City needs some boys. I have to imagine they test marketed these sets with male characters and the males didn't fare well. Perhaps they were a little pile of boy dolls in the corner or the girls just didn't like them. Did Ken have these problems? Is that why Barbie divorced him? Molded plastic underwear is freaky. Maybe it's the age range of these sets. Maybe the girls they are being targeted towards just aren't into boys yet. There must be a reason that we have a whopping one male figure available in the product line. Well, as long as they keep making new outfits for the girls instead of the male mini-dolls, my niece will certainly be happy. Mia and Danielle, of course, come apart and their legs, torso, hair and heads are all interchangeable. Maybe you can give Danielle some self-esteem and have her own the bakery. I think Danielle would appreciate that. Here are the completed mini-dolls. These hair molds have been seen before, as well as Danielle's outfit. "I have to wear hand-me-downs on top of it all? " Danielle cries as she eyes another cake in the display case. These girls are thin as rails, but they have enormous feet and hands! Just like real girls. Both girls have brown eyes, but don't put the freckles on the non-red-head, OK? The freckles are for Mia. "Don't I get anything?" Danielle cries as she scarfs down an eclair. The girls from behind. These soft plastic hair molds, in my opinion, are pretty cool in their cartoony sculpt and ability to fit regular minifig heads. Although, a majority of these hair molds when put on a minifig makes that minifig look overweight. Just something I've noticed. My minifigs are pretty self conscious and they don't like the Friends wigs. I'd show you the wigs on some minifigs, but since I'm packing for Brickworld, I'm short on time. "I'm in a Hinckley review and I don't get to dress up? Will anything ever go right for me?" Danielle sobs. "Oh Deana," Mia sighs, "Give it a rest. Eat a pretzel or something." "My name is Danielle! Do you people even notice me? What's the point of living? I may as well just die!" All right, all right Danielle. Yeesht! Here's a little fashion show just for Danielle. This fashion show contains pieces that are not available in the 41006 Downtown Bakery set. These elements are from other LEGO Friends and LEGO City and Collectible Minifigure sets. "A fashion show with me as the star? Look out main Friends clique! It's Danielle's turn to shine! You better work! Cover girl! Work! Turn to the left! New hair, new skirt, new shoes!" "I have a new bow in my hair! I'm so popular. I have puppy pawprints and butterflies on my shirt! Yes, it looks like a print, but I've just been running through the forest and I tripped and fell and smashed these butterflies and then my puppy walked on me... Now it's in style!" "I can even dye my hair Mia! We Friends sure do love puppy paws and butterflies!" "Out for a day of trendy horseback standing with my besties!" "I'm a brunette! Fun in any color. That's what they'll say about Danielle!" "I can even die my hair to clash with my clothes. It's rebellious Danielle! With 80's sensibility and Collectible Minifig cave woman hair." "Look at me with long brown hair flowing over my shoulders. Well...flowing over invisible shoulders, but flowing nonetheless." "Hey, everyone! It's the new Danielle! Nobody's paying attention to Marcia anymore, right? Marcia Marcia Marcia!" "What the hell?" "And suddenly, I'm a professional, sensible woman of the World. You may have been popular, Friends main clique girls, but Danielle got an education and is a success!" "I'm vacationing in exotic location! ... or working in a rice field." "This is my favorite outfit. A cute little light aqua sundress..." "...but it has a slight problem." "Silly LEGO girl! Our hair makes you look fat!" "That looks OK, but you still look a little chunky." "Fat and awkward!" "Even my hair makes you look fat. Fat!! I look great in your hair, but my hair makes you a fatass." "Black is slimming but you're a fatty LEGO Minifig girl." "At least I can ride a horse normally..." The Build (Part I) As indicated in the instructions, we will start by building the contents of bag #1 into the structure shown in the little inset picture. Whee, fun! We're building a pastry case! This is a simple, yet effective build... and very colorful! 124 Bright Reddish Violet (Magenta) and 322 Medium Azure are used to great effect as a highlight color for the natural colors of the outside case. Here is our first brick-built confection! It's a ... Neopolitan Ice Cream Sandwich? An Eclair? A gooey cake? I don't know, but it's cool and it makes me hungry. The baked goods sit on the beautiful and apparently appetizing 322 Medium Azure surface ... ...and are covered, responsibly with a LEGO sneeze-guard. Go sanity! I mean... sanitation. Hooray! We're building the bakery now. I love little detail like a classic 50's-style black and white checkered tiled entryway. There's more words in that description than there are bricks in the feature! So, again, it's simple yet effective and adds a little bit of character and detail to the set. The first sticker! Oh, the horror! It's fitting for the set, of course, and very prominent. The feel and style of the bakery depends a bit on the menu outside. It's a nicely designed sticker and compliments the set well. However, if I was going to build a bakery MOC, I might use it behind the counter on the inside. Still, it serves it's purpose here and adds a nice fleur-du-pretzel decor to the set's aesthetic. Another sticker! Show's the times the bakery opens and closes. Apparently, it opens at 8:00 PM and closes at 4:00 AM. And there's another upside-down pretzel. An in-progress build shot of the bakery. It's coming along nicely. It doesn't take long for the bakery walls to go up. Simple elements are used to facilitate a faster build as in most CITY sets. I'd prefer 5 1 x 2 tan bricks, but that's because I build everything in 1 x 2s. Time to add some TECHNIC action! The sign above the door will apparently be using some TECHNIC pieces to achieve the angle of the sign. When I was building this, I thought the awning would cover the arch, which I thought would be very cool to have Magenta arches inside, making a unique and cool interior as well as exterior. However, the awnings hang above the arches. Here is an in-progress shot of the build of the awnings. I really like these awnings and think they add a really unique feel to the set. They're bright with soft curves and really appealing to a sense of fun and creativity. Here are the completed awnings, one shown from the back to demonstrate how it will fit into the current facade. The awnings stud on... ...right where the gap was left in the facade. Now, how annoying is it that a tan brick wasn't used to connect them? Why wouldn't it have been tan instead of white? How many interior walls have random white bricks stuck in them? I could've just grabbed a couple of tan 1 x 3 bricks, but I used all of mine for this year's Brickworld Collaborative Display (coming soon to a Sci-Fi Forum near you. ). And here is how the TECHNIC pieces are used. As previously mentioned, they are positioned to achieve the 45° angle of the sign. The sign is very detailed and uses some nice techniques and pieces to achieve its shape. First, you create the main sign. A sticker is used here to indicate, universally, that this place sells cakes, strawberries and upside-down pretzels. The hinge plates sticking out at the bottom attach the awning to the sign. The awning is built using alternating 322 Medium Azure and 191 Flame Yellowish Orange (Bright Light Orange) 1 x 4 curved slopes over hinge plates. Then, the two pieces are attached. The sign receives a modified plate with pin connector to attach to the pin on the angled entrance to the bakery. The hinges are clicked to achieve the angle... ... and, voila! The bakery has its sign and entrance awning, completing the facade! Here is a close-up of how the sign connects to the pin. I wasn't too crazy about the gray plate sticking out past the wall of the building, non-symmetrically over the 2 x 5 tan bricks that form the walls. Couldn't the wedge plate have been white? The Build (Part II) Welcome to the inside of the Bakery! It's time to build the contents of bag #2 which, of course, we don't open until we're done building the contents of bag #1. Do you get that yet? It's very important. Don't forget. Anyway, using the very cool 1 x 2 log (or palisade) brick in 312 Medium Nougat, we create two more bakery cases. Next, the counter is built... ...and to foreshadow, this element makes me believe that something, at some point, will be spinning... but what? This is where Mia keeps all of the $100 bills that Danielle spends there. Hooray, Magenta phone! The bakery counter is very colorful with a 322 Medium Azure counter surface a 222 Light Purple (Pink) drawer and a 124 Bright Reddish Violet (Magenta) phone. The cash register is realistic, with a pink cash drawer underneath. What other color cash drawer would girls have? And why isn't the register purple? Brick built cake are my new favorite this year from The LEGO Group. Can we have more please? The 2 x 2 Reddish Brown brick studs directly onto the goblet piece. I never knew that. Here is another brick-built cake! It's so pretty and smooth. The new 1 x 1 round tiles are very effective as icing here as well as the 2 x 2 round profile brick. It's a very creative use of pieces and will hopefully spark children's imaginations as to what other confections they can build, using their LEGO collection and their imagination. Won't Danielle be excited to see Mia baking new and wondrous things? This cake is built onto a 4 x 4 round turntable piece. I bet I know where this goes! Oh, the cake turns! Like it's on a display stand. That's very clever. According to the instructions, you must shove all of the silverware into this cabinet. That's where it goes. Don't put it anywhere else. These hedge features work surprisingly well. With the overly curvy awnings of the outside, a nice square hedge compliments that nicely. It's a far stretch from what a real hedge looks like, but stylistically it fits very well into Heartlake City and the Friends world. And luckily, there's a fire hydrant right outside in case Mia ever leaves the oven on or has some baking accident that sets the place on fire. Let's hope that never happens, because what will Danielle do without her crutch of over-eating sweets to compensate for her feelings of inadequacy. Poor Danielle. And check it out, the bakery is now complete! There's a loaf of bread in a crate as well...for some reason. I love that bread mold. Go FABULAND parts! Soon, enough we'll return and our numbers will grow and we can reveal that we've been here all along and will soon take over the consumer LEGO world. The triumphant return of FABULAND! Once the building is complete, there's just the oven left to build. There's no room inside for it, so it sits outside along with the first pastry case built. It's only a few parts, but it's a good representation of a bakery oven. Now that it's all complete, pull yourself up to the counter and order a star-shaped cookie. Then pump some...jelly? ... icing? ketchup and marmalade? onto it. What are these? Maybe I don't go to bakeries enough. Can anyone enlighten me? The Completed Model The Spare Parts Conclusion Design: 9/10 The building is rather basic with some cool awnings and a very nice little build of a sign. The strength of the sets detail is in the interior and all the brick-built pastries and other details like the counter, oven and pastry cases. I know it's open on two sides and the ceiling so it's easier to play with all of that detail, but I would like to see a complete building. Since these are meant for kids to play with and not just sit on a shelf, the designed lack of roof is actually a benefit for the target audience. Parts: 10/10 I can't complain about the parts selection here. There are a lot of great parts in all sizes and a varied palette of colors. As with most bigger Friends sets, it comes with many of the new elements like plates, cupcakes, mixers, bowls, etc. The pretzel makes a triumphant appearance as well as the FABULAND bread mold in a new color. Well, new to me. And for adult fans who are sick of overly-specific molds, there are plenty of creative brick-built pastries as well. It also has windows, doors, arches, etc in a variety of bright colors. Minifigs: 8/10 Step it up, please, LEGO Group. Let's have some more outfits come with each set and let's have some boys in Heartlake City. Build: 9/10 A good set for any age range, challenging yet easy enough to be built quickly. There's so much function in the set, the build is almost a secondary focus. But as a LEGO set, the Friends line hasn't detracted from that main goal of building and creativity. Playability: 10/10 I can't help but give this a 10 because I can see the endless possibilities of playing with this set. It encourages positive roleplay and creativity. With brick-built cakes, The LEGO Group is inviting children to come up with their own brick-built confections. They might not show alternate builds on the back of the box anymore, but they're certainly still encouraging the creativity to happen and for children to use these parts to build original toys. Price: 8/10 It's priced well within the range of the rest of the line. I rate this a bit low because it's a bit unsettling how expensive our favorite toy has become. Still, considering how much learning, fun and creative stimulation the toy provides, it's worth it. Overall 90% Another set in the line that was intended to introduce girls to the LEGO market. I believe they're succeeding and they continue to produce quality sets to create the fun and creative world of Heartlake City. This set is no exception and adds another layer to the world of LEGO Friends. Mia owns a bakery and is very successful. The set uses some challenging building techniques, but mostly relies on a simple design with lots of detail added for play and creativity. The brick-built awnings, oven, pastry cases and bakery items themselves stimulates a child's creativity and fascination with details for positive play and challenging and rewarding creative environment. LEGO sets are pricey and Heartlake City needs some boys. But, The LEGO Group has proven that they know what girls want with this line. These sets appear to be giving young girls what they want in a play environment but also challenge their matrix reasoning and stimulate creativity. It's great that this proven educational toy is now as accessible to girls as it has been to boys for years.