22 thoughts on “Lego Friends ad is on TV. Gross.

  1. I don’t care so much for the advert. I just like the music in the background, as I am 14 and not yet even old enough to have a baby daughter, I can assure you that is a reason.

  2. I have been disappointed for years in Lego, because it’s become incresingly difficult to find sets of their basic building blocks – most Legos now come in kits that can only be built one way. As an early childhood specialist, I find this so disturbing. The best toys for children, male or female, are open-ended toys which support imaginative play, creativity and problem solving.

    When I taught kindergarten at a nationally-ranked early childhood program, we did find that the boys tended to free play in the large block area, and the girls in the dramatic play area (where props were rotated throughout the year to suggest an office, a restaurant, a home, an airplane, etc.) However, when we moved the dramatic play next to the big blocks, we found that both boys and girls tended to incorporate pieces from both areas into their play.

    As one reader suggested, Lego Friends are not really “building” blocks, but dolls with themed settings, none of which encourage the kind of play that helps children develop critical thinking skills. Rather, the settings suggest that girls’ lives are limited to shopping, the cafe, the salon, etc. Is this what we really want for our daughters? I have a daughter, and she always played with the basic, primary-colored Lego blocks, perhaps because I often played with her.

    As parents, we owe it to our children to do a bit of research on the best toys for children at every developmental stage. Lego Friends will not be found on any best toys list.

    Glad I saved my daughter’s Legos for my grandchildren.

    ps to jheronimus: Trains are a great toy for boys and girls! Brio and other wooden train sets are a great creativity/imagination builder. What I’ve always liked about toys such as Legos, construction sets, wooden trains, basic building blocks, etc. is that additional pieces can be added at gift-giving times. Friends and family won’t be at a loss for an appropriate gift.

  3. This is ridiculous. They should spin this off and call it a doll line rather than a Lego line. Both my boys make Legos and love them, and so does my 12-year-old niece, who builds sets that are not in pink. I sort of hate that they felt they had to do this.

  4. Having worked in a toy store I know it isn’t just marketers who are to blame. Parents insist their son cannot have a wooden car with a purple roof. See that video of the girl rebelling. Girls should not be forced to like pink…marketing actually shows girls perfer purple. And in the 1400’s pink was a boy’s version of red. Blue was for girls.

    I too resent type casting girls’ interest in hairplay business and shopping, but the set, an obvious attempt to compete with Playmobile also has a vet and the kids can help in the store. But both lines are NOT building toys. Lego is supposed to be a building toys. I not only resent the old flatter building items, but sets that force kids to build within a set theme to create only one kind of structure. I too am against the stress on hair, fashion and cosmetics. So Parents should seek support of toys that do not focus on this. Yet those more innovative toys don’t seem to sell. That could be the parents’ fault as they already sit on the toy store shelves.

    Yet the truth is, the new girls “colored” Legos Bricks are exactly like the old primary colored bricks. Find them in the Lego area of the store which is not “boy” or “girl” restricted. Parents would do well to mix the two and give them to boys and girls.

    Yet, interesting studies do show boys do build more up-right structures and girls do seem to build flatter for open structures. But styles should be encouraged by Parents, teachers and retailers.

    • Leslie,

      I agree that parents have a great deal to do with this. Many parents get v. uncomfortable when kids start from gender norms. It’s also the parents who need to take the initiative in building Lego sets with their kids, reading books to their sons about girls etc.

      Margot

  5. Girls are individuals who like a whole range of colors. When I was a girl, I hated pink. I didn’t want to do the ballerina, fairy princess, doll route. And I didn’t want to grow up or think about becoming a woman. I never would have played with a pink and purple booby bikini Lego set. Legos company should treat girls like human beings. Girls like to build, to create, to use their imaginations, just like boys! Girls enjoy all kinds of subjects, just like boys. Stop the stereotyping, Legos!

  6. Have any of you actually built a friends set? My mom bought three sets for my daughter who had never been interested in her brothers legos. We spent two hours building the tree house yesterday, Honestly, building it wasn’t much different than building a comparable $20 lego city set with my 6 year old except for the colors and cute pets.

    • I’m with you Christine. We got my daughter the tree house. She and her older brother built it together. She loves having the extra little animals in the set, and I give them 2 weeks before the two of them build a flower train mixup.

      I wouldn’t want to live in the all pink & purple world where there’s a hair salon and no trucks, but the pieces will add some much needed variety to our existing Lego world which is bizarrely truck-tastic.

      It would be cool if the little girls were the same height as the Lego guys. Their heads will be popping out of the firetrucks when it’s their turn to drive.

  7. Truly, I do not see ANY problem with this set…no different than My Little Pony or any other girl-geared toy. No one “forces” any one to purchase any toy. If parents take issue and child voices desire, then the parent explains why they don’t agree, will not purchase it, and move on.

    Absolutely find the outrage a colossal waste of time and energy that might be better spent protesting Bratz dolls and stopping human trafficking.

  8. My girls love the Lego town series the most, and that is by choice of their own. If you want a great set that can be enjoyed by anyone visiting the house with kids that’s one they all love to put together, same with a big bucket of random duplos. I was hoping Lego would have not pursued this after the belville line, but I guess not. We protest with our cash and choice will not buy this line, but will continue to buy the others. Poor sales mean dead product.

    To answer a few other posters asking what Toys, let the kids choose, but keep in mind that it’s your wallet.

    You don’t have to buy this line of Lego’s, there are plenty of other that are very gender neutral sets out there. Playmobil has great quality toys as well. We have both, mostly because both products are well built and stand up to long hours of play without breaking. There are bikes, scooters, basketballs and tennis rackets laying all over to boot as well, as well as a good old fashioned tree house. You want fun, sidewalk chalk or water colors and a plain piece of paper.

    Dolls are allowed in our house, but again there are choices out there instead of just barbies or bratz. Our girls each have American Girl dolls, they love them. i like them because of the quality of the product, they don’t fall apart. If you look at the historical lines there is usually a book that accompanies each doll that discusses issues of that time. Some have movies, Kitt Kitredge for example. They have an entire line that is custom order as well, you choose skin color, eye and hair colors. There’s lot’s choices out there, you just have to look and take time shopping.

  9. Having read more posts on this blog, I now might realise why the author might find dolls to be sexist. So, I’d like to paraphrase my original question – what is a non-sexist toy for a girl?

    Say, if, when I become a father, I have a daughter, I’d be forced to choose something between two extremes: girly pinky crappy toys or things that were clearly built with boys in mind. I can’t choose “stuff from the pink part of the store” – I won’t buy my child anything I personally don’t like. But I can’t choose a freaking railroad, too – I’ll feel like a father that always wanted a son, but got a daughter and can’t deal with that – and I wouldn’t want to opress my own child like that. What do I do?

    • Hi jheronimus,

      The options suck, don’t they? I don’t think you should worry about “feeling like a father who always wanted a son” if you buy your daughter a train. When you have kids, you’ll find all of them love to push things on wheels. Most people buy girls toy strollers. Kids want attention from their parents. If you get on the floor and work on a Lego set with your kid, she’ll be into it. It would help if TV and movies marketed the set to her instead of to boys.

      MM

  10. Hey, guys, you’re clearly overstating things. Lego had a girls-oriented series for AGES. Think Belville that existed at least 15 years ago. So it’s really not about Lego going down some “sexist horrible whatever” road all of a sudden.

    Second – can anybody tell me, why selling dolls, fairy tale creatures and animals to girls is *sexist*? I really can’t get it. When I was a boy, I played with cars, guns, monsters, etc, – rather than dolls. Was that sexist, too?

  11. This whole Heartland thing is such a disappointment. I’ve been reading and talking about this line for what seems like weeks. I saw it in the stores for the first time this weekend, but that was the first I’ve seen an actual commercial. I felt like I was watching Saturday Night Live. What a crazy caricature – so over the top (and such a BUMMER!)
    Thanks for posting.

  12. I went to buy some real Lego today and thought I’d seek out the Friends Lego to … well, just to see. And, it wasn’t even in the Lego section. I had to wade into the pink part of the store to see it. Awful – it just looked like any other dolly play set – already put together and ready to act out the predetermined story lines. My daughter was much happier with her real Lego – she spent every minute until bedtime playing with it. What a shame that Lego has taken this route.

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