What do you think of Lego for girls?

I’ve just been to London to  see the new Lego friends range and hear about the research behind it.

I am a feminist

I used to be a social worker.

I am PC and

I abhor stereotyoes.

However….

I know from working with hundreds  of parents and foster carers that gender influences how a child plays

I know from my own experience that my daughter and her friends like realistic elemnets to their play and they like to be social in their play. I know my son likes wild, imaginary scenrios and is not overly bothered  by realism.

Stephanie's Outdoor Bakery

I know play theory accepts gender difference and child development studies openly acknowldges this fact: Children do play differently according to gender (mostly.)

Lego is traditionally a toy associated with boys (80% of Lego is bought for boys.) Lego saw a big gap in the market where they weren’t meeting (most) girls interests and needs. So they did 4 years reseacrh to define what they would need to do to Lego for girls to be more intereste… Lego friends is the result.

It is a lot more ‘realism ‘ based than previous Lego sets, the characters have REAL names and normal ‘not bizarre and yellow’ faces.  They have settings, interests and jobs that are wider and more community based e.g a cafe, a designer workshop and an inventors studio. There is lots of attention to detail and a more traditionally ‘feminine’ colour palette has been introduced. Playmobil cottoned on to this years ago I think Lego are just playing catch up really by widening their range.

Stephanie's Pet Patrol

Some girls will of course always prefer Harry Potter lego sets, some boys may be intereted in dog shows, but thats great we have more options now. At least there are now some real Lego choices for girls who play in a more traditionally ‘female’ way

.Andrea's Stage

I know when my daughter plays with my son’s lego she puts the little men to bed and puts scraps of fabric over them, she has them talking to each other and she brings her little teacups too them to drink from. It’s fab there are now sets that she can truly appreciate and that will help her play in the way she likes.

Heartlake Dog Show

I know it has been controversial. I see it as an expansion and quite an enlightened one (I didn’t expect robots and an inventors studio and was pleasantly surprised by this!)

lego girls

It’s certainly more lilac than pink but yes it’s great to see it less primary coloured.

I think most boys are unlikely to buy it (but would they buy a girls world head or a barbie campervan or  a pink tutu – are we going to complain such toys are sexist becuase mainly girls like them? My daughter was never going to ask for Lego ninjagos but no one ever  mentioned sexism boys colours and boys interests then!!

This stuff is just as complex to put together, just as intricate and just as fun. I think it’s rather fab. It acknowledges a difference that is there but still encourages girls to constuct and to work with their hands which is always cool.

My daughter loved building and playing with ‘her own’ sets.

What do you think?

City Park Cafe

ShowOff Showcase

Follow:

11 Comments

  1. Jen Stanbrook
    February 22, 2012 / 9:35 am

    I wholeheartedly agree Becky. Lego have been missing a trick here for years! As mum to two girls who love lego but are despondent that it isn’t more ‘girl’ focused, I think this is a welcome addition to the range. Girls are surrounded by gender based toys, it’s hard to avoid, so maybe we should lighten up on Lego and give the new sets a go.

  2. February 22, 2012 / 10:54 pm

    Becky, I’m actually very interested by some of what you say here. I am one of the people who was (is?) up in arms about the Lego Friends range (wrote a post about not long ago – http://www.wahm-bam.org/2012/01/dont-girls-love-lego-already/), but I’m actually starting to come round a bit. The research they’ve undertaken does seem to be fairly substantial and the figure of 80% of Lego being bought for boys is shocking. And, even as I think about, I realise that I have bought Lego for two boys’ birthdays recently and, eeek, dolls for girls. So, I’m coming round to the idea that maybe the Lego Friends range is actually a good idea. If it gets more girls into Lego then that is surely good. I wish it could have been done in a less gender stereotyped manner, but I see that they could actually have gone much further down that route and am glad they didn’t.

    I do still strongly wish the gender stereotyping of toys could be tuned to down notch or ten. I have always made a point of ensuring that we have a mix of toys for our two girls – we have garages, cars and tools as well as babies, buggies and cooking toys. And I made a point of not dressing them only in pink and purple – though I didn’t ban those girls entirely as some friends have. I suppose I hope that the Lego will all get mixed up together, which surely it will, as it’s Lego, and that girls will get to build space rockets and transformers, as well as the Lego Friends range (which, to be fair, has some good positive roles in there – inventors and tree houses seem pretty cool).

    Anyway… I’ve been considering writing a follow-up to my Lego Friends rant to show my slowly changing opinion and, if I do, will make sure to link to this post.

  3. February 22, 2012 / 11:02 pm

    Do you know I think if the range had been quietly releaesed and not marketed at all I think it would have been happily bought with really hardly any fuss.

    I think it’s the saying something is for girls or boys that sets us off! I gave my daughter access to all my sons toys too, sometimes she plays with them but usully in a different way. It would be fab if the lego sets mix up.

    Quite feasibly a star wars monster could attack the cafe and everyone run to hide up the tree house where an escape rocket is stored having been built by Olivia nad a yellow man in the inventors studio!!!

  4. February 22, 2012 / 11:11 pm

    It’s fascinating what you say about the different way your children play, too. I wonder if I had a boy, I might see things differently. It really annoys me when people talk about their boys being ‘just like boys’ and not being able to sit still or something like that, because my girls can’t sit still either and I don’t think it’s a boy/girl thing. But… there are definitely differences – do we create those differences or are they there to start with? Nature or nurture – age-old debate.

    I love the idea of the Star Wars Lego and the Lego Friends stuff getting mixed up – that’s what Lego is all about, after all. RoRo and LaLa do a lot of putting the Lego toys to bed in the house or sending them shopping or to the doctor, and very little fighting. Though they do have superheros rescuing toys from evil people. It’s fascinating to watch, actually.

  5. Amanda @gidders1
    February 23, 2012 / 11:29 am

    Great post Becky!
    I have two girls, and after a trip to Legoland we bought a few sets of Lego. They were hardly played with…in fact I think I played with them more than the kids (I didn’t have Lego when I was growing up!)
    We saw this in store at the weekend, and both of my daughter loved the look of it. I think I am more inclined now I have read this post to buy it, to complement the sets that we have!

  6. February 23, 2012 / 1:16 pm

    OOh let me know if they like it Amanda

  7. April 1, 2012 / 12:16 pm

    I love it too!! I was a huge lego fan as a kid, but this would have been my favourite toy ever!!
    PS I popped over via TheBoyAndMe’s show off showcase xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge