As of this posting, just over 35,000 people have signed the petition on Change.org asking Lego to stop selling girls out.
After 4 years of marketing research, LEGO has come to the conclusion that girls want LadyFigs, a pink Barbielicious product line for girls, so 5 year-olds can imagine themselves at the café, lounging at the poolwith drinks, brushing their hair in front of a vanity mirror, singing in a club, or shopping with their girlfriends. As LEGO CEO Jorgan Vig Knudstorp puts it, “We want to reach the other 50% of the world’s population.”
As representatives of that 50%, we aren’t buying it! Marketers, ad execs, Hollywood and just about everyone else in the media are busy these days insisting that girls are not interested in their products unless they’re pink, cute, or romantic. They’ve come to this conclusion even though they’ve refused to market their products to the girls they are so certain will not like them. Who populates commercials for LEGO? Boys! Where in the toy store can you find original, creative, construction-focused LEGO? The boy aisle! So it’s no wonder LEGO’s market research showed girls want pink, already-assembled toys that don’t do anything. It’s the environment and the message marketers have bombarded girls with for over a decade because, of course, stereotypes make marketing products so much easier. But we remember playing with and loving LEGO when we were little girls.
If you’re not familiar with these new Lego sets, check out this ad. It is not a SNL spoof.
If you haven’t yet signed the petition yet and would like to, please visit Change.org.
Though the petition has received an enormous amount of support, here’s a summary of some responses I’ve gotten in defense of the dumbed-down Lego sets:
Girls don’t have to buy this set; they can buy any set they want. These new sets are just for girls who aren’t buying Lego yet to turn them on to the product.
Lego Friends are aggressively marketed to girls in a 40 million dollar media roll out. All kids see and get influenced by these ridiculous commercials that welcome them to “beautiful Heartlake City” where Stephanie goes to a party at the new cafe to “chill with the girls” or the “beauty shop where Emma gets styled and ready to go.” If Lego wants to attract girls to its product, why doesn’t it aggressively market its other sets to them? Why does Lego show boys on most of its packages, boys in its commercials, boys on its Facebook Welcome page, and sell mostly male figs? Obviously, this is a much bigger issue than just Lego. I recently posted When Hollywood excludes girls, how can Lego market to them? The solution to this sexism marketed to little kids is not for another company to cave into it, turning its once creative toy into Disney princess clones.
The new Legos aren’t as bad as Monster High or Barbie.
Is that the bar we want to measure against? Really? Monster High?
What’s wrong with dolls or “girly” things?
It’s the dominance of this type of toy and how aggressively and relentlessly it’s marketed to girls that is the problem. Girls are taught literally from birth by toys, games, and media aimed at them that first and foremost, what is most important is how they look.
Lego, are you listening to us now? 35,000 customers hope that you are.