Legos is trying something new. They have changed up their brand to include more girly Legos rather than the gender neutral (changed with a hairstyle) Legos they already had.
It's not like Legos have suffered from play from both genders in the past. However, the model kits they create are generally marketed to boys than to girls - Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, spaceships, etc. "Girl" Legos were designated as boxes of pink colored blocks. Lame.
Lego just launched their new line of Legos - Lego Friends. It features 29 different female characters, and a storyline. And because boys and girls build differently (boys tend to build till they have finished the model, girls like to build a little and then jump right into roleplay with the characters), these models are configured so they can just be partially built and can be played with right away.
Question is, is Lego being sexist?
Several commenters in a Bloomberg News article took issue with the Legos transformation:
"My kids (Boy & Girl 11) have played with Lego for years. My son took his cues from my daughter who loved it really early on. She makes houses, gardens, dens, vehicles and star wars lego (which they also both love). They mix it up with other toys too like playmobile or polly pockets. Although I welcome girl figures - I am apalled that the one above has a pink micro skirt and handbag!? My daughter wears jeans and t-shirts and is thankfully not footbound in high heels or concerned with a superficial external appearance at this time so I would appreciated her not getting bombarded with this gender specific nonsense from dear old lego..... " maketimemelisa
"Why isn't the entire store just general neutral? I grew up playing with Lego and Linkin Logs and never thought they were for boys or girls. It would seem *most* toys would be gender neutral by default - but particularly Lego and any sort of building toy. Are they fun to play with or not? Just show boys and girls playing together with all the toys and then individual children will feel free to play with what most interests them.
It makes me sad to think that somewhere along the line Lego became "boy" toys." anon
And some were all for the change:
"My daughter has been asking for more "girl" legos. She is tired of playing with trucks and aliens. We have only found a few stes that are pink and girly. She loves the horse set and doggie set we got because it came with a girl lego person and cute animals that she likes. Not to mention the pink, white and purple flowers. I love being a girl. Embrace it women, I love dollies, dresses, make up and jewlery. I wanted to be a mommy and have babies. I want the same for my little girl. I would go (buy) these legos for her without any issue from me or my husband." Buggy
"I'm not quite sure what the negative reaction is all about with Lego Friends or why it's surprising that Lego is making a set marketed specifically at girls, since girls are a largely untapped area of sales for them. If you look at the
sales of the existing themed Lego sets (e.g., Star Wars, City, Ninjago, Hero
Factory, Pharoah's Quest, Harry Potter, Prince of Persia, Alien Conquest,
Kingdoms, Heroica, Atlantis, Pirates of the Caribbean), guess who buys the
majority of them? Boys, not little girls. So Lego, which is a for-profit company the last time I checked, saw an area where they can increase
sales and went to work addressing it. They spent 4+ years researching what little girls would buy by interviewing little girls. Lego Friends is the result, because that is what the little girls told them they want." Markj42
What's your take? Are you excited that Legos has created something directed specifically towards the female gender? Or do you find this to be unnecessary, or even offensive?
We as a culture need to distingish between a stereotype and a generalization. Generally speaking, right from birth boys and girls behavior and learning styles are indeed different, including the toys they gravitate toward and how they play with them, as Crissi pointed out: "(boys tend to build [Legos] till they have finished the model, girls like to build a little and then jump right into roleplay with the characters).