I don't particularly like the idea of Lego falling into gender categories as it's a toy for creative minds, but if the market wants something then the market wants something.
It's evident once you have some kids. I truly wanted that not to be the case, but reality bites.
For the PC crowd: This of course doesn't mean that girls will never play with robots or cars or that boys won't play with nurseries or tea parties. Of course a mix is healthy and should be encouraged. But the stereotypical preferences are truly marked in most cases, before parental intervention.
However I think the 'Friends' thing could have been better handled with modest tweaks. Why aren't there any boys/men in 'Friends'? What if boys want to play nurseries or tea parties.
When I was young the lego characters were mostly gender free but it seems increasingly that the 'boys' lego increasingly has male characters (even outside the branded Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings stuff). All the Firefighters and Police seem to be men when they could have been much more gender neutral (or mixed genders) without loss of fun to boys or girls.
You might think your child had no parental intervention, but parents are only one factor in enforcing gender roles. Are you sure you've kept them from watching TV, reading, and playing with other kids whose parents are not like you?
That's the key point. I've observed that ones tend to want one things and the others tend to want other things.
Of course there's cultural intervention, people do not live in bubbles, but it's much more subtle and, I believe, innate than what you think before having children (one data point: my daughter that I swore would never wear pink, actively prefers pink clothes, she wears other colors as well, but given a choice, usually chooses pink and from a really early age)
I meant kids will play with anything. Dolls, trucks, anything their hands can get ahold of. It's only once their parents or society starts subtly and not-so-subtly telling them they should be playing with these toys and not those toys do they start having a noticeable preference. Boys aren't hard-wired to like trucks and girls aren't hard-wired to like EZ Bake Ovens. That's all society.
My daughter preferred cars and trucks while young (under 4 years). She would cover the garage with blanket for the night, put her small truck to swing etc. The style of play was very different from the way that I saw boys playing with similar toys.
That said, I am still of the opinion that it is indeed mainly social, but that it is less social than one thinks it is, before.
I'd love to see some actual science about this, got any?
It's the best in-road they've made into "Legos for Girls" ever. I can finally buy my nieces sets that they're interested in.
If your nieces weren't interested in the sets Lego should have focused on better sets that were still gender-neutral. That doesn't exclude zoos, camping, or pet orientation.
What it does exclude is antics like cancelling my friend's "tomboy"ish daughter's subscription to Lego magazine and sending her Lego For Girls Magazine instead, to her great upset.
Toy gendering is stupid and inane. Lego should have nothing to do with it.
With my son, it was all about the construction. He didn't play with sets much once they were built. My daughter liked the construction, but got more out of playing with the sets and the figures once it was built.
Other parents are entitled to their views, but I think my daughter fits the behavior Lego was going for with Friends.
How would we react here if somebody said "yeah, Vim is for women only", made a pink version of Vim and marketed it solely at women, in women's magazines? That's what Lego is doing.
Gendering toys is as stupid as gendering software. Sure, some toys may appeal to one gender more than the other, just like some software might. But that's no excuse for ever being exclusionary about it.
Is the fact that there's an aisle at Target full of pink stuff and dolls exclusionary, or simply grouping by appeal? If my niece wants to go down the Hotwheels aisle, she's certainly not going to be kept away.
And if the daughter I'm going to have here in a couple months wants to play with "boy" LEGOs, great! But I'm also grateful that if she doesn't, LEGO is trying to help me out in my quest to get her interested in their wonderful toys by making sets that appeal to typically more "girl'ish" sensibilities.
The results last lifetimes. It results in adults unable to even see the exclusion as anything more than "grouping by appeal to typical girlish sensibilities". Which views they in turn pass on to their children, continuing the cycle.
Think about the world you want your daughter to live in. Do you want her to be told that "hacking is for boys" because tech appeals to more "typically boyish sensibilities"? No? Then look for the fundamental gender discriminations bullshit like that rests upon.
She is, by other kids and Hotwheels marketing.
Luckily, once the initial model is built and destroyed, all your son/daughter has is a pile of random bricks with which to build whatever he/she wants.
Thank you, I was trying to come up with that phrase.
Near as I can tell, the pet shop is gender neutral, and the "Lego Friends" sets don't appear particularly gendered:
Similarly, Farnsworth House (http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Farnsworth-House-21009), the 4x4 crawler (http://technic.lego.com/en-us/Products/default.aspx#9398) and mindstorms (http://mindstorms.lego.com/en-us/products/default.aspx).
The fundamental difference between Friends and the rest of lego seems to be that Friends is about people, whereas the rest of lego is about building stuff.
> The fundamental difference between Friends and the rest of lego seems to be that Friends is about people, whereas the rest of lego is about building stuff.
You can't say that Lego Friends marketing isn't seriously targeted at girls.
I have no trouble accepting the belief that boys and girls are different, and that building products which disproportionately provide utility to girls is beneficial. But if you disagree with this latter claim (as bonaldi seems to), then Lego is not actually targeting girls - they are merely targeting people who like friendship more than building stuff.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that friendship is for girl and construction is for boys.
I'm just saying that Lego Friends universe use some stereotype marketing
I would have been much less negative, if they included boys, girls, because, boys likes animals friends, pink as well as girl likes blue.
Lego: Please skip the stereotypes
Lego may have a perception problem that it is "for boys" as mentioned upthread, but this is the worst way to redress that.
If I google "McDonalds communities" I get a corporate site that highlights to good McDonalds does for communities. Should I then conclude the chain is a community outreach program?
See the comments in this very thread about boys bullied for playing with "girl" toys. That's the awful consequence of stupid and inane gendering.
The problem is that Lego can't just market to kids, who have no innate idea of what's "supposed to be for boys" or what's "meant for girls" -- Lego has to market to 30+year old parents who have gender stereotypes embedded in their mindset, even some of the most progressive ones.
I think a slow transition is good, and having more toys for girls that involve building and creating is a good step forward, even if they're still a bit gendered.
It seems like, and forgive me if I inferred the wrong thing from your comment, that you are implying that some of the toys aren't gender neutral. I don't have a problem with they beauty bar and things like that. Some girls like those things. So do some boys.
The marketing side I totally agree with though. For whatever reason when I was around 8 I wanted a Barbie. I can't tell you how much I got made fun of and picked on for that. I remember hiding it when friends came over so I wouldn't get made fun of. To my mother's credit though, she didn't really even bat an eye at the thought of me playing with a girl toy.
I see a few vehicles and an inventing workshop so it doesn't seem too patronising now.
My friends, science, school, drawing, inventing things, nature, hiking, photography, history.
I ’m also good at:
Reading maps, navigation by the stars, building things, computers.
I want to be:
A scientist or an engineer.
Millinium Falcon meets Friends:
Jack Sparrow kisses before he enters the Beauty Salon
And just like many girls wants it, accessories in every shape and color: