No seriously, LEGO is making building sets for girls…again. Wait, they stopped? Um, I thought all LEGO was unisex. I mean, anyone can build it, right? Okay, sure the Ninjago sets are based on ninjas, but there are
some one girl ninja among the masters of spinjitsu (no, that’s seriously the name of their LEGO kung-fu, you place the mini-figure on a top and spin it into another…you can’t make this stuff up, folks). Besides, I’m fairly certain that only boys watch the cartoon on Cartoon Network.
But the Cars sets have got to be pretty gender neutral, right? Who doesn’t love Disney/Pixar’s Cars? Or Harry Potter? (Don’t worry fantasy fans, the Harry Potter line might be coming to an end, but Lord of the Rings is just around the corner.) Or Star Wars…okay, Star Wars might be geared more toward boys. As are the alien invasion and castle sets. Also, do girls read
comic books graphic novels? (I hope so, that’s the only way I’m going to meet a girl: at Comic-Con; but I still won’t be able to talk to her) Because LEGO is coming out with two new lines, one based on the DC Universe and one based on the Marvel Universe. But everyone loves dinosaurs. Maybe not dinosaur hunting… The city sets are pretty ambivalent: police stations, fire houses, cars, trucks, boats, airplanes, buses, etc.
But these new sets, launched as LEGO Friends are specifically for girls. All the mini-figures are girls, though not the same classic look. And you can switch out their hair, dresses, faces, and even bows, just like the classic figures. They even fit where most regular mini-figures will.
Okay, if you need to clarify between regular mini-figures and these new ones, you’re just going to segregate the LEGO population. Soon the new neighborhoods will have “girls only” signs.
Wait, that’s okay. No boys want to live in pink and purple houses anyway. Those are girl colors. Let’s get this straight. There are only three colors we can wear, blue, red, and white. But we can only wear white if it’s underneath another layer or a dress shirt. Oh! and sometimes green. But everything else is out. Pink, too girly. Purple, same. Yellow, too bright (also the second girl Power Ranger wore it). Orange, too pumpkin head. Black, too emo/goth (dang it! it’s so slimming). Grey, too much like silver which is too sparkly (and also why we have to hate vampires now).
LEGO’s newest approach to cater to a broader audience is very similar to its last approach, Belleville. Which suffers from the same problem: the different mini-figures (as a colleague/friend/girl who likes LEGO reminded me). It’s a flaw, LEGO can’t seem to see past. Or, it’s a trend they want to start: dolls you can dress up and accessorize. Hmm…it might catch on.
I’m hopeful. After all, girls like to build, too. I think. If nothing else, it’ll be a nice way for dad’s to spend time with their daughters and not get made fun of for playing with dolls or having a tea party. Instead, they can just say, “I’m building LEGO with my daughter”). Clearly, we just need more reasons to buy LEGO.
This could also help facilitate better boy-girl interactions around the LEGO table. And, since we learn all our life lessons around tables, it could influence better communication and relationships…hmm, I think LEGO may be on to something here. If boys learn at a younger age to talk to girls and hang out with them, will that help them later in life? Will that give them the courage to ask a girl out? Only time will tell. (It’s too late for me, but, now, I can have hope for future generations.)