Legos For Boys: Be a Hero! Legos For Girls: Bake…Mike Adamick
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.
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.