Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gender Oriented Toys..Good or Bad? I Say...So-So.

No food here folks, if that's what you're looking for then scroll on down.  

Recently on Facebook there was a discussion about gender oriented toys, stemming from this article.

It specifically talks about Lego for Girls, which happens to be a product that Bellamy and I got to have fun with and evaluate through Buzzador.  Buzzador is a company that sends you products, toys, food etc to get market opinions.  You don't pay for anything and keep whatever you get, you are just required to submit opinion reports and pictures if possible, as well as spread the word.  Not a bad deal for free stuff I would say!  If anyone is interested in joining up with them, go for it!  Just remember to tell them Creuxx sent you ;)

Now, on to the topic of discussion.  Lego for Girls.

There have been 'girly' Lego for some time, but those are mainly marketed for the 2-5 age group.  I personally think it is both great and somewhat sad that they have come out with this product.  On one hand, it is great to see a Lego set that my daughter is interested in and appeals to her.  I mean seriously, 99.9 percent of Lego is Harry Potter, Robots, Star Wars, Animals etc.  All well and good and of course girls can play with them, but are they at all interesting to girls?  No, not really.

There is an argument from some parents saying 'Well why should girls have special Lego, that just says to boys that 'These are yours, and those are for the girls''.  Um, no it doesn't.  It says 'Here, you have 4 million choices, plus one more in case you want a pink house for Harry Potter!'.

There is one argument in the article that I completely agree with.  The figures are NOT Lego!  They are practically Barbie dolls.  They have breasts!  They are dressed like teenage girls, not girls in the 6-12 yr age bracket it is marketed to.  I hate that the mascots are designed like real girls and not little brick girls.  I hate that they have perfect hair and makeup.  I hate that because it is girls, they have to look that way.  There is not one single Lego product that is marketed towards boys that has anything remotely close to a human boy on it.  They are all little brick people, they all have brick hair.  I find it sickening that Lego has fed in to the fad that girls HAVE to look pretty, they have to be thin and perfect.  Lego girls should be bricks too!  So shame on you Lego for falling into a trend trap.  

Now, having said my piece about that, I will move on to the toy itself.  What Bellamy received is this:

It is very cute, and it comes with tons of things to put together.  Unfortunately, 85% is accessory pieces i.e: flowers, animals, bugs, etc.  The actual amount of Lego is lacking quite a bit.  Because of this, Bellamy got bored very quickly as there wasn't so much 'building' as 'decorating'.

But, we pressed on and got it done. We buildorated that thing.

She did the majority of the building herself.

The directions were clear and simple to understand with picture examples.  Like an Ikea manual.

She probably could have been done here, once she had the doll together that was much more interesting than anything else.  I really have a problem with her tits and stylish hair cut.

Getting there!

Had to encourage her to finish at this point, she was getting tired of the million little pieces.


We're done! Finally.

Final verdict:

Pros: Cute, girl friendly, something to do together that interests them.

Cons: Overly sexualized characters, too many accessories and not enough actual Lego, not 'Lego'.  

It's a playset with the Lego name on it.  If you put this next to the Harry Potter or Star Wars set it's a very, very big shame.  This is very much a marketing ploy and a sad one at that.  They can do much better than this.

While it was fun to put together with Bellamy and we did enjoy it, she has not really paid much attention to it since, and I believe the age range should be adjusted.  I can't imagine a 12 year old playing with this, nor can I imagine a 6 year old sitting still long enough to put it together.  

Nice try Lego, but you kind of missed the mark on this one.
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tease-spoon of sugar said...

It's so funny that you posted this today, the very morning after I spent 5 hours (with breaks) building 'Olivia's House' with my 6 year old daughter. My husband spent an equal amount of time building a different lego structure with my 4 year old son yesterday (a way cooler dinosaur defence headquarters). I agree with you that Lego has, until now, completely forgotten about the girls (beyond the toddler age) out there. The selection of legos for my son was ridiculous, while my daughter had a small shelf of choices. I was so excited when we found the girly lego, but the choices are few. The house was definitely more lego than decorations (we've also made the tree house and I agree that those smaller ones have an awful lot of non-lego decorations.) My daughter really liked it though, and I honestly didn't notice that the figures had boobs! I'm going to have to go check them out - how did I miss that??! My only complaint is that there isn't more out there for the girls. This line was WAY over due. Why shouldn't the girls have as much selection as the boys? And I could care less about gender specific toys. The fact is most girls aren't interested in building helicopters, fire engines, space ships etc. They're attracted to "pretty", not "cool". Why fight it? Good post!

momto8 said...

my girls would take their brothers legos and make barbie houses for them.
kids will figure out what they like to play with and modify what they have to fit what they want if they are left to figure it out themselves.
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

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