Lego Drama: Am I Missing Something?

The last month or so, my facebook and blogging friends have been all outraged about Lego’s new products geared toward girls. There are petitions circulating trying to get them to stop because (allegedly) when we were kids legos were strictly unisex and somehow encouraged us to build and play tough.

That’s not what I remember. I specifically remember having a Lego set that contained flower pots with which to decorate the house I built and a little girl figurine in a riding habit with a horse. She was a little butch because she was a block figurine, but she was definitely a girl. Who liked horses.

I’m guessing those flowers and the girl horse enthusiast weren’t blocks designed specifically for boys. Sure, they weren’t pink, but they also probably came in a special girl-geared Lego set.

The other day I was in the Walmart toy aisle and noticed some of the new “offensive” pink blocks. Right next to the pink blocks were a regular old unisex Lego kit.

When I saw this, I was further confused. If you don’t want your daughter to have pink blocks, buy the regular Lego set. There are slight differences between the two kits and I know some of the other kits are even more girly, but besides the color what is the big difference here? Why is this such a big deal that it deserves a petition?

If you walk down the Lego aisle, even before these pink sets came out, the Lego sets were full of scenes to recreate that boys would probably prefer and girls might not want. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Now there will be sets that girls might like more than the boys do. And there will be the old unisex sets. Or the girls could go after the boy-themed sets. Or the boys could go after the girl-themed sets.

Does it really matter? I personally like the variety. We may very well end up with pink Legos over here. It’s up to my girls. I encourage them to play with all sorts of toys, but they like pink girly things and why shouldn’t they build with pink blocks if that’s what they want?

I don’t get the protest and boycotts. If you don’t want pink Legos, get the regular kind and be done with it.

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7 Responses to Lego Drama: Am I Missing Something?

  1. Not THAT cruel

    It’s more because it just adds to the pile of things that girls are interested in, but they have to have it in pink and purple. Girls like dinosaurs too, and while they may want a dinosaur on their clothing, if someone’s going to make it it’s probably going to come in purple or pink.

    In the Lego Friends, the girls get to…make cupcakes and take care of pets, and build hot tubs and serve drinks. In the other Legos, they get to have conquests and combat and build cars and boats and things from popular TV/Movies. If it were just a tub of mixed blocks in the “girl” colors, that would be one thing. But all the “girly” activities are in “girly” colors, and in real life boys and men regularly bake and take care of pets and women go into combat, and it really limits the choices for girls. Also, the “boys” sets are hyped up fighting/aggression, which equally limits them.

    At the bottom of the huff post article it shows how girls’ toys have changed over the last 30 years.

    http://www.huffingtonhpost.com/2012/01/15/lego-friends-girls-gender-toy-marketing_n_1206293.html

    http://www.genderremixer.com/

    I’m deaf so I couldn’t listen to these but I’ve been told they are decent:
    http://www.themarysue.com/great-lego-friends-videos/

    So, in short, it’s not about the colors.

    • I’ve read a lot of arguments against it, but I still don’t have a problem with the toys they created. The truth is, some girls would really love to build with a Lego set with a kitchen etc. No one is saying they have to do this though. And no one is saying the boys can not buy the very same cupcake set. The girls AND boys can play with either set of toys are stick with unisex Legos. It’s not as if baking and pet toys didn’t already exist. Lego saw another area to make money and they went for it. The unisex and “boy” Legos are still there for any girl to use. If you look at most of their sets, stuff girls would be interested in is really lacking. They are marketed more for boys. Maybe they shouldn’t have used pink and purple for Lego Friends, but what’s done is done. I do not have a problem with these toys. If there’s really a problem with baking and pet toys marketed for girls, we need to get petitions ready for Littlest Pet Shop and the Easy Bake Oven.

      I’m all for more variety in all toys and you can’t convince me a toy company is somehow warping kids’ minds by making some pink products.

  2. Brittney

    Really? This is for real? Until coming here and then seeing the links in the above comment, I never even knew there was such an outrage. Though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I don’t think these activists realize how hypocritical they’re being- in putting up such a fight over such trivial matters (like pink legos), they’re making it out to be a BAD thing for some girls to WANT to be girly-girls. I don’t think LEGO is saying ONLY girls can play with these box sets, or that girls can ONLY play with these box sets. They’re just offering something different for those who enjoy it. Including little boys who happen to like the color pink & making cupcakes! The marketing isn’t about ostracizing either gender- it’s about appealing to even broader horizons and making more money. Isn’t that what businesses are SUPPOSED to do?

    • I completely agree with you. More products = more appeal and why shouldn’t Lego expand its horizons? Maybe they shouldn’t have made all the blocks/Lego Friends pink, but I know my girls LOVE pink and would probably go for these toys… and then be building more than they might otherwise– which means they’d be learning more about how things fit together etc. I’m 100% ok with that.

  3. Maurina

    I recently saw somewhere (which I remembered where….) “We don’t need to get rid of Pink and Princesses. We need to get rid of stereotypes.”

  4. My youngest son’s favorite gift from last Christmas is Fisher Price’s Laugh and Learn Tea Set… it is pink and purple and marketed to girl’s, but he doesn’t know (or doesn’t care). He plays with it every day, laughing as it glug-glug-glugs when he pour imaginary coffee from the tea pot (he knows that mommy drinks coffee, not tea). Who cares what color the sets are or who they are marketed to? Let your kid decide if it is a toy worth buying, not the activists! PS – after refreshments he always returns to being a Power Ranger so he can blow up the bad guys…

  5. Pingback: Lego Friend Invasion | Creative Kids Play

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