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Legos For Boys: Be a Hero! Legos For Girls: Bake…

By mikeadamick |

So yeah, I’m going to keep kicking this dead Lego mini-fig horse. But Lego is really beginning to annoy me, and not just because its 1950s version seems far more progressive than its 2012 version. (Take a look.)

I just find this Lego Friends controversy so sad, considering how much I actually love Lego, and how much my daughter and I play with them every week (bridge replicas anyone?), and how much I guess I feel, I don’t know, betrayed? Every other toy in the world has gone blue action figure “heros” for boys, and pink “sweet” crap for girls.

Et tu, Lego?

Here’s what I’m talking about.

Watch these two current commercials for “regular” Legos. Because the company went and split the blocks up in official boy and girl categories now — regular for boys, Friends for girls — I’m working under the assumption that these commercials are aimed squarely at boys. Check them out.


Pretty cool, huh? Kind of awesome, actually. Something bad is happening in Lego town, and it’s up to the boys to save the day. That must give those boys a pretty cool feeling — to not only construct some big and bad ass towns and structures, but then to save everything from burglars or dinosaurs. I love it.

Now let’s take a look at the Lego Friends commercial, which is aimed squarely at girls.

http://youtu.be/ZEbJQmiZlEk

Wait. What? Seriously? Boys get to save the day and be the heroes and girls can … bake cupcakes? Go to the beauty salon?

Am I the only one who thinks: “Lego, what is wrong with you?”

Look, I get annoyed. I do. I can’t help it. As the father of a young girl, I’m trying to do the best I can to let her know she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. And I think these Lego Friends — especially their advertising — send a message that girls shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about that type of thing. Chill out, decorate, bake! Lego can do better. Society can, and should, do better.

The bottom line, it seems, is that Lego Friends is here to stay. The company spent too much time and money and brain power (Ha! Just kidding on that one) to come up with this crap, and it’s not just going to disappear. Fine. But I think it’s worth repeating: Lego should stop looking at girls today in a way that even its 1950s former self never did.

Follow Mike Adamick at his blog, Cry It Out!, or on Facebook.

Previously:

Lego Got It Right. In the 1950s

Top 7 Dad Tools Not Found at Home Depot

Photo: Morguefile

More on Babble

About mikeadamick

mikeadamick

mikeadamick

As the “Daddy Issues” columnist for Jezebel.com and a prime mover at “The Poop,” the parenting blog of the San Francisco Chronicle, Mike Adamick is no stranger to writing about modern fatherhood with wit and wisdom. He blogs at Cry It Out! Read bio and latest posts → Read mikeadamick's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Legos For Boys: Be a Hero! Legos For Girls: Bake…

  1. Tommy says:

    I’ve read a few articles about the “time, money and brain power” spent on this product initiative. Rest assured, your objections were raised internally long before the launch. Lego has tried for 30 years to sell action figure Legos (cops, doctors, pirates, etc), to girls and have failed – over and over.

    The truth of the matter is that we don’t pick what boys or girls like. I have two little girls. Both play with dolls and wear princess dresses and pretend to be ballerinas. Try as I may, I’ve had little impact in what they like. The cars and soccer balls and such sit, for the most part, at the bottom on the toy chest.

    If Lego put no thought into it and said, “girls like pink and making pies and doing the dishes” and launched the line, I would agree with you. But they didn’t. They put 100s of choices in front of 100s of girls and went with what the girls liked best. Who are YOU to tell girls what they should like…any more than you say Lego is doing? Now at least girls, and boys, have options. Pink girlie toys if they want. Star Wars and Pirates if they don’t.

  2. mikeadamick says:

    If you don’t look at those two commercials side by side and think there is something seriously wrong with how Lego views boys and girls — and the “slow drip” of messaging girls receive from this kind of sexist bullshit — then in the end, I think we’ll have to agree to agree that you’re wrong.

  3. Julia says:

    I can’t say I agree with this article. While I’m sure there are little girls who love playing with action figures, most of them prefer Easy Bake Ovens and Polly Pockets. I certainly did, even though my parents pushed me more towards model trains and hot wheels. The girls I babysit gravitate toward girlier toys too. I think the real problem here is you’re saying that it’s okay for boys to enjoy playing with more masculine toys but it’s not okay for girls to enjoy playing with feminine ones. To me, that’s sexist.

  4. Mandy says:

    I have to go with Tommy on this one. IF you could effect change in every OTHER toy company you might be onto something, but as a mother of three girls who actually tried pretty hard to keep my girls from thinking they had to bake over pretend to blow things up, they choose to bake anyway. For my middle daughter, whom just “discovered” the awesomeness of Legos this year there was a simple solution. She got money for Christmas specifically to buy the Legos she asked for. There were just too many to choose from so I took her to the store and stood her in the Lego aisle. She walked right past the girly stuff and got a basic set and a Harry Potter set. Then she used the rest of her money for two new Barbie dolls. Go figure.

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