There have been lots of words written about Lego and their marketing products to girls recently. I wrote some of them myself, here’s an article on The F-Word by Helen Lewis-Hasteley about the wider issue of toys for girls, and here’s a description of some of the feminist outcry about the new line.
For the most part, the commentary neglects a few pertinent facts. One is the Paradisa line which ran from 1992 to 1997, including pink bricks and themes such as stables and cafes. Then there was the Belville line released in 1994 with sets released every year until 2008. This line not only was fairly pink, it also moved away from the minifigure with the one shown below, which you may find a little familiar:
They also had another few other forays into the feminine such as the jewellery product, Clickits. I hope all this suggests to you that the statement in the F-Word article I linked to above about searching the Lego website for “lego for girls” serving up camper vans and zoos tells us two things:
1. The research was pretty half arsed.
2. Lego don’t bill things “for girls” very often, despite their attempts to appeal to a wider demographic.
I did enjoy reading some of the comments left on the Lego Facebook page though, about the countless daughters and nieces and sisters who love Lego just as it is thank you very much.
I think people need to remember that this is not Lego insisting that girls will only play with Barbie-esque figures in pink, drinking lattes in a cafe, but trying to widen their existing customer base. They already have plenty of girls playing with the existing sets, they’re looking to hook in the girls who only play with dolls. Remember these new sets are perfectly normal, constructor-type sets, with the buildings all made from proper Lego pieces. There’s still plenty of Lego fun to be had. Plus, I’m pretty certain the dominant colour is purple, not pink.