So apparently, according to the marketing team at Lego, I should probably spend this afternoon hanging out at the “returns counter” of my local toy store. It seems the Lego hospital I’ve bought my daughter for Christmas isn’t quite pink and sparkly and girl-world enough to hold her attention.
In 2012 the international toy giant is bringing out a range of Lego just for girls. What does that mean exactly? Beauty salons! Cafes! And lots of pink and love hearts!
(Really the most disturbing part of the whole thing, in my opinion, is that the characters look like they’ve wandered out of 1986 … with those big hair bodywaves and ra-ra skirts, I feel like these Lego girls should come with a free Bananarama cassette. Actually I think I saw that little Lego girl on the left on Toddlers and Tiaras last week ….)
Lego has certainly been a total boys-domain in the past. We’re talking NO girl characters in the main sets for kids aged 6 and over. But instead of creating girl-friendly Lego (what does that even mean?), couldn’t Lego just introduce female characters into Lego’s existing sets? Am I missing something?
Anyway here’s what news.com.au has to say:
TOY giant Lego is introducing “girl friendly” female characters that look more like dolls than the tiny yellow construction figures we are used to.
The “Friends” range is aimed at girls aged five and up and features ready-made characters called Stephanie, Emma, Andrea, Olivia and Mia all with different personalities and interests who live in a fictional home town called Heartlake City.
Lego senior creative director Nanna Ulrich said the range was the culmination of years of research about what girls wanted from the product.
“What Lego Friends does differently is deliver the beauty, details, accessories, real world themes and need for strong interior play that research revealed would make all the difference,” Ms Ulrich said.
“We understand that girls really want a Lego offering that mirrors what the boys experience but in a way that fulfils their unique desire for remodelling and redesign, combined with realistic themes in community and friendship.”
The collection also showcases extra colours – two blues, a lavender, two greens and a purple – to suit the new look which includes buildings like a beauty salon and splash pool.
The Lego for girls is due for release in March 2012, the same year Lego celebrates 50 years in Australia.
As the mother of a three-year-old girl I just find it exhausting fighting the fight against all the pink, sparkly, love-hearty, princessy stuff that’s marketed at her. And it’s a vicious circle, in my mind. The more our girls think they need their toys to be pink and sparkly (because they’re being taught that’s what girls play with), the more they want it. Maybe I’ll go buy Ava a kite ….
Here are some images of the Lego ‘Friends’ range:
So what do you think? Did you play with Lego growing up? Did you feel excluded? Do girls need their own girl-friendly Lego in order to play with it?