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Dear Lego: More Ads Like This Please

By Sunny Chanel |

When Lego Ads Were Awesome

Via Facebook:”This is how they advertised Lego with girls in 1981.
Wouldn’t it be nice if companies still marketed to girls like this?
Dear Lego: More Ads Like This Please… (Share if you agree)”

There is a movement afoot – a movement that is gaining momentum, a movement that affects our children. This grass roots movement is aiming it’s disdain towards a beloved toy company that has never (to my knowledge at least) been the target of the disapproval of parents. And that company is none other than Lego.

The issue at hand? The brand recently launched their line Friends. A collection of mostly pink and purple hued blocks featuring, busty attractive Lego figures with names like Olivia, Stephanie & Emma, puppies, and their own hot tub, a bakery, and “Butterfly Beauty Shop.”  And this very pink, very “girly –girl” aesthetic hit a nerve with parents, especially those trying to not inundate their children with “girl” toys. Until now, Lego has mostly been a gender free zone (although they have done more girly type items in the past that didn’t meet with as much controversy).

But once Lego embraced the gender neutrality of their product, especially in the ad above. An ad that has become a rally cry for those upset with the new “girly” sets. On “Tell LEGO to stop selling out girls! #LiberateLEGOs” movement are collecting signatures – so far about 2000. They reference this ad saying:

“In 1981, LEGO’s campaign, “What it is, is beautiful,” invited girls to play with LEGOs in a way that didn’t appeal to this lowest common denominator version of girlhood, but gave girls credit for being creative, smart, and imaginative.” They continued saying, “this has always been LEGO’s strength. It’s why they are parents’ go-to toy. They’ve never sold our kids out—until now.”

Their plea? “As parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, sisters, and friends of girls, we want the LEGOs we know and trust back. Don’t sell girls out, LEGOs. Give them dreams that take them beyond shopping malls, beauty salons and hot tubs!”

And they have a list of demands.

“LEGO, we are asking you to:
1. Bring back your “beautiful” campaign;
2. Include girls in your advertising for all LEGOs sets;
3. Include more girl characters in your regular LEGO sets;
4. Market regular LEGOs in the “so-called” girl aisles of toy stores.
5. Release a public statement committing to the above actions and to practices that won’t sell girls out.”

Do you think this is much ado about nothing, do you see nothing wrong with their “girly” line, or does this new marketing strategy make you mad too?


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About Sunny Chanel


Sunny Chanel

Since 2007 Sunny Chanel has written thousands of pieces for Babble. She currently writes for Babble's celebrity, moms, and Disney voices sections and has her own blog aptly named Sunny Chanel. You can find Sunny on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Read bio and latest posts → Read Sunny's latest posts →

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11 thoughts on “Dear Lego: More Ads Like This Please

  1. Dustin says:

    This is just stupid. What the hell is wrong with the girls?

  2. Suzie says:

    What do you mean, Dustin? Your comment is not clear.
    I have to say, AT FIRST I was like WTF about the Friends line, but after actually SEEING the sets, I like them. Maybe I am just too girly? (Not)
    I think that incorporating a couple Friends set with regular Lego sets would be fine, and that’s probably what we will do. It’s true the original Legos are gender-neutral, but if they want to expand their market share by making products that appeal to girlier girls, can you blame them? Their job as a company is to make money not to be an arbiter of gender equality or make butchy little girls (I say that affectionately) feel good about themselves. That said, I think the five points listed are OK to ask for, from, just don’t ask them to kill the Friends sets.

  3. Suzie says:

    Also, what’s this about “we want the LEGOs we know and trust back”?…uhm, they still have those blocks on the market. You want them? Buy them! Nobody is stopping you!

  4. Suzie says:

    And “Give them dreams that take them beyond shopping malls, beauty salons and hot tubs!” They are just conveniently ignoring the treehouse and the vet hospital, etc….

  5. the original Sarah says:

    My friend commented on that that she also wishes Lego would sell more PLAIN sets again. She says it’s very hard to find Legos that are not themed for Harry Potter, Pirates, Knights, etc. As for the girly sets, I don’t find anything offensive about them or anything, I just think it’s a little asinine that we need to genderize everything.

  6. LanieRulzs says:

    I have no problem with Lego doing a more line aimed at girls, my daughter has a box of misc pink Legos that she loves, but she also loves building stuff with more generic Legos also. My biggest problem with it is that the sets look to easy to put together, they look easier than the Lego City line which is made for 5-12 year olds (I am looking at a Lego City box now) and I showed them to my daughter who thought they were cool until she saw the girls and then lost complete interest because they didn’t look like Lego people. I would probably have bought a couple sets for my daughter if they used more of the traditional Lego blocks and real Lego mini figures.

  7. Suzie says:

    @Lanierrulzs…I had the same thought about them being easier to put together, which is cool b/c I am transitioning my young one from Duplos to Legos and sometimes the Legos are complicated for a 4yo…so I like these as a bridge and when she’s older she can build Fallingwater…

  8. goddess says:

    All Legos are lame now compared to 15-20 years ago. We kept our 21 yr old son’s Legos and the City lines are so freaking lame now!

  9. Leanne says:

    The problem with the friends line: all the hair is over-coifed, all the characters wear make-up, they all wear skirts or girlified clothes, the packaging is lavender… Just so much more gender homogeneity. Thank goodness I don’t have girls.

  10. B says:

    In a world that is hung up on gender reveal parties and all the pink and blueing we do before birth, am I really surprised? No.

    More ads like this? Absolutely!

  11. Terek says:

    This ad would mean more if Lego were truly unisex in 1981. I remember girls playing with their brothers Lego, but very few girls OWNED Lego. Then — as now — Lego was a boy-toy. It’s a positive step that they’ve made a product line, not simply devised a feel-good-but-inaccurate ad campaign. As for the colour scheme, Lego is only following the marketing techniques perfected by Barbies. Why didn’t anyone complain this vehemently a few years ago when Playmobil started their own line of pink-packaged, princess and bride themed sets?

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