Can We Talk About “Girl Legos?”

About a year ago Lego introduced it’s Lego Friends line of products. Pink and purple bricks, flowers, fashionable mini figures, and sets that included themes like ‘City Park Cafe’ and the ‘Butterfly Beauty Shop.’ My first reaction when I saw them was, “You’ve GOT to be kidding me! There’s no reason girls need special Legos. PINK..seriously?” Of course, my daughter was drawn to them. Whenever we went to Target she was like a magnet to the “girl Legos.” I tried for months to deter her, saying she could just play with her brothers’ Legos. I tried and tried to sneak her into their rooms while they were at school to build with me. But she just wasn’t interested.

Then came the incident that changed my thinking. While at her preschool screening this winter, Anna did great…except when it came to the small motor segment. Really? My boys both thrived in this area! The screener told me (unfortunately) it’s often a gender thing. That day I was back at Target (my second home) and saw a tub of 400 pretty pastel Lego Friends pieces on clearance. I contemplated for a moment…then put them in my cart. Who cares if she wants to play with pink Legos? As long as she wants to build! It’s obviously something she needed practice with. And what do you know? I set them down in front of her and off she went. For an hour she sat and built with them. Lost in her own little world of towers and stairs and windows and doors. You go girl! These “girl Legos” have become her favorite go-to toy. They keep her busy and engaged every single day.

The Lego company has been flooded with complaints from people complaining that the Lego Friends line is selling out girls. There’s even a  popular petition out there asking Lego to stop painting girls into a gender corner. I get it. I really do. But Lego put in years of research on this subject…and the truth is (whether we like it or not) that girls play differently than boys.  Did Lego know exactly what they were doing when they introduced this line? Obviously they did. The company has more than doubled their expected sales of Lego Friends for 2012 and the “girl Legos” have already won several “Toy of the Year” awards.

Here’s the thing: for parents (or little girls) who don’t like what Lego friends has to offer, there’s no law saying they can’t head to the next aisle over and choose a ‘Star Wars A-Wing Starfighter’ set or ‘Lego City Fire Emergency’ set.  But when my daughter says she’s not interested in a ‘Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle’ set, I honestly don’t blame her. So I’ll be happy to direct her to ‘Olivia’s Invention Workshop’ or ‘Emma’s Karate Class.’

Just so long as she’s building and creating and developing her small motor skills, I’ll be satisfied. 
One concern I do have, though?
Yet another child’s bedroom floor
 is now littered with Legos…for me to step on…OUCH! 

Comments

  1. Some things you just can’t help! They like what they like!

    I’d like the pink ones more, too.

  2. Very well thought out. The kid loves pink. That’s that. I did too! My mom came to visit last week and brought my daughter a Cinderella’s Castle from Lego. It even had beds for Prince Charming and Cinderella – separate beds, of course! And wouldn’t you know – my daughter sat down to build it with my mom. It took HOURS. Concentration and nice bonding time.

    • That’s exactly what I mean…keeping girls engaged for that long with building and creating! It’s awesome. (Even if it IS a prince and princess with separate beds. How very PC? Haha!)

  3. Yes! At first I was like, really? Pink Legos? But my daughter LOVES them! And she builds with them all the time. And I have to say, I like how the people look better.

    Stopping in from SITS.

    • Oh, I like the people better too. They’re much more realistic…with MUCH better hair. Fashion first! Haha. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. My daughter is a LEGO fanatic, and I don’t think she has seen these yet, but I would be interested to see what she thought if she did. Well said. Stopping from SITS Sharefest on Twitter.

    • It would be interesting to see what she thinks of them. I have to say it IS kind of refreshing to see Lego sets with no weapons or ugly “bad guys” for a change. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. My daughter was just like this with puzzles. Her older brother started very early liking puzzles, but girlfriend just wasn’t into it. Until I found a princess puzzle at a garage sale, that is. She sat at the table for an hour putting the puzzle together, taking it apart, and putting it back together over and over again.

    Found you at SITS, and now I’m a follower. Have a great weekend!

    Jenny
    http://www.creativelyblooming.com

    • Isn’t that crazy? They really are just wired how they are wired. No sense fighting it, really. Thanks so much for stopping by and for following too! Now I’m YOUR newest follower. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy your weekend!

  6. I totally agree! I resisted everything pink thinking it was feeding a sexist stereotype until I had a daughter and she just naturally gravitated to pink practically against my will. I get why Lego makes them and think it’s crazy people are protesting them but no one has a petition to stop all the Barbie stuff. And no one protests the boys super hero type legos for feeding a sexist male stereotype!

    • I agree with your point about the “boy legos”…nobody seems to be protesting those. And the spaceships, ninjas, superheroes are all that have been offered for the longest time. I think the Lego Friends line was just an answer to that. Something for everybody! Thanks for reading!

  7. I have to admit, I am one of the people who signed this petition because I LOVE Legos. I grew up playing with Legos 30+ years ago, when Legos were just Legos (there was no gender identity attached to them). Now Legos has decided that girls need their own “special” line. Of course, this means that their previously regular line is now their “boys only” line. Ok, this is fine, even though this special “gils only” line is all pink and cute, etc. But, what is disturbing about it is that this new girls line is going the way of Bratz dolls and so many other toys that aim to focus little girls’ attentions towards “girly” things that are vanity related. Girls get enough of these messages everywhere else.
    BTW Happy Sharefest!!!

    • Thanks for stopping by…and thanks for adding to the conversation! I actually do get your point about the aim towards vanity and beauty in the girl’s line of Legos. That bothers me to the same extent as the weapons and violence in the “boys Lego” sets bothers me. I do think they are making a push towards making things a little less vanity-based for some of the newer Lego Friends sets. There are animal stables, tree houses, magic shows, karate classes, soccer practice and even the aforementioned invention workshop set (which I think is kind of corny). Those don’t bother me as much as the kitchen/beauty parlor type sets. (Some of them even sound like fun for boys too, if you ask me.) Maybe one great fix would be to make one great big Lego aisle that included Star Wars, Harry Potter, Ninjago, Lego City, AND Lego friends….without separating the sets by gender. That way kids could pick what appeals to them, without worrying about gender assignments. And also, it would be great to see more of a focus on JUST PLAIN LEGOS…not sets. Just buckets of bricks and figures, pink, red, blue, green, white, lavender, etc.

  8. Saw this on the sharefest and was afraid it would be another anti-pink Lego rant. I loved what you wrote. I have boys, we’ve been drowning in Legos for years. They’ve lost their appeal(to me, not the boys!) When I saw Lego market these, I wanted to play with them! I am so jealous of my sister’s because they all have girls and these Legos have appeared in each of their household and have been a huge hit. It is so true that girls play differently than boys. I think the sets truly lend to imaginative play. It would be cool to get the girl characters and accessories in primary colors, or like you suggested, buckets with every color. Great post.
    Rebecca
    http://myblogalphabetsoup.blogspot.com/

    • Yes, I think imaginative play is the key with these sets. And you’d be surprised how often I find my boys playing with the Lego Friends in my daughter’s room. (Sometimes a break from Storm Troopers and Ninjas is a good thing.)Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. I think people make too much out of EVERYTHING!! Children do play differently and are attracted to different colors. If the pink gets her to play and build, then so be it. Gosh!

    xoxo,
    Khloe
    http://www.kgstyleblogs.com

  10. We love the Lego friends here, I do my best to I steer them towards the animal hospital and the science workshop over the beauty salon. I was a bit outraged at first but Lego has done a good job of offering a range of interests. My girls are also big fans of the Harry Potter Lego sets, which are sadly discontinued.

    • I LOVE the Harry Potter sets! Thankfully I was able to find a few of them for my 9 year old son for Christmas. He’s obsessed! I hope my daughter will enjoy playing with them someday too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I think it’s great that they’re encouraging girls into Lego – I loved the original, growing up, but I still basically built houses for my lego-dolls. Also, the fact that there’s a karate class and an invention centre is cool ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It is pretty cool, right? They have a Lego Friends house set too…it’s huge and fabulous. Your lego-dolls really missed out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I came across a project on kickstarter not to long ago that was on the same lines. A woman in an engineering program was discouraged by how few women were in here program. She decided she was going to figure out why. It came down to toys. Seriously. There all dozens of building toys, legos, blocks, lincoln logs, etc., out there aimed at boys and hardly any aimed at girls. So, she decided to make some. They are of course, pink and purple, but the way she has designed them, there is a goal in mind. Rather than building a pet shop or something, each set comes with a book. The princess has to build her tower and save someone. It’s an interactive story. And I loved it. I think these legos are right along the same lines, and totally necessary. I may not love all the sets, i.e. the Bratz inspired ones, but I think it’s just so important for girls to be developing these skill sets. So thanks for bringing attention to it!

    • That sounds really cool! There’s definitely a social component to the way a lot of us ladies learn, isn’t there? Some things never change. My cousin told me about Nancy B’s Science Club (nancybscienceclub.com) It’s a line of science products aimed at the way girls learn. It’s pretty awesome!

      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation!

  13. I like that there are more options. I wish they’d done it years ago. And it’s up to us as parents to allow them to find what they like instead of being told these pink ones are for you. Nothing says boys can’t spend some time learning to create a nurturing home with legos.

    Happy Sharefest. I hope you have a great weekend.

  14. I had not seen those two sets! My daughters love Legos and have several of the Friends sets. I played with Legos for hours with my brothers growing up. When we lived in Germany in the 1970’s my parents found some more girl type sets of a hospital and a house. Can’t find those anymore. Wish they would bring them back. My son likes the house building sets they have now.

  15. ๐Ÿ˜€ Mickey toys liztoys is my favorite,so I bought a lot toys
    from there.http://www.liztoys.com

  16. Hi – I found you through the Martinis & Minivans post and am so glad I did – love your stuff & will be following!

    The ‘tampons’ post suggested I might like this one, and I sure did! My daughter loves those darn ‘girlie’ Legos too. I did a post last month about trying to get Legos to represent the little girls of the world with short, sassy hair. Thought you might enjoy since you have a Lego Friends fan in the house too. Have a great day!

    http://thedustyparachute.com/lego-zoe-loves-short-sassy-hair/
    The Dusty Parachute recently posted…My Pumpkin Text FailMy Profile

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