Dear girls of the world: You can finally enjoy Legos.
Those might not be the exact words Lego is using to promote their new Lego Friends line, but the message seems to be there. After studying the market and playtesting several options, they’ve decided to launch a new product aimed at girls aged five and above. The new sets include new figures designed specifically to appeal to girls. They’re a bit taller and curvier. Apparently, real Lego have curves.
Read more and see a minifig to ladyfig comparison photo after the break.
From Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
Then there are the lady figures. Twenty-nine mini-doll figures will be introduced in 2012, all 5 millimeters taller and curvier than the standard dwarf minifig. There are five main characters. Like American Girl Dolls, which are sold with their own book-length biographies, these five come with names and backstories. Their adventures have a backdrop: Heartlake City, which has a salon, a horse academy, a veterinary clinic, and a cafe. “We had nine nationalities on the team to make certain the underlying experience would work in many cultures,” says Nanna Ulrich Gudum, senior creative director.
The key difference between girls and the ladyfig and boys and the minifig was that many more girls projected themselves onto the ladyfig — she became an avatar. Boys tend to play with minifigs in the third person. “The girls needed a figure they could identify with, that looks like them,” says Rosario Costa, a Lego design director. The Lego team knew they were on to something when girls told them, “I want to shrink down and be there.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against getting more girls playing with Lego. It’s one of the most interactive toys available. Simply put, Lego is good for the brain. I know that some girls will be drawn in by the different style figures and colors, and that’s okay. They remind me of the hugely popular Polly Pocket toys. What I don’t understand is why Lego is changing its basic formula. To me, it feels like pandering (yeah, I went there) and I think it encourages separation of genders (and this is coming from a woman that’s a hopeless Lego addict).
There were Lego for girls before there were Lego friends; they were called just plain “Lego.” I didn’t play with sets growing up, but I had endless fun with just the bricks and a large baseplate to build my farms and cities upon. Even though I now have Star Wars and Harry Potter sets, but my stash is still mostly bricks. I adore Lego. I’ve converted my coffee table to a Lego surface. However, I have zero interest in these figures. I realize I’m hardly the target demographic age, but I think Lego should be square and clunky. Adding curves is a pat on the head that says, “here, we’ve made these pretty so that you, little girl, will finally like them.”
Check out the Brick Blogger to see pictures of many of the new sets and lady figs.
(via The Mary Sue)