It already IS a girl’s toy

Years ago, my mother made one of the best toy-purchasing decisions ever: she bought myself and my brother and sister three hundred-brick boxes of Legos.

And for years afterward, we got extension kits. I still remember a Lego car I got for Christmas which I put together carefully that afternoon: a Lego ship that really floated (and provided a convenient platform for bathtime engineering experiments: how high a tower could I build on the Lego ship before it overturned?) and a Lego family, the classic heterosexist yellow-faced Mum, Dad, Girl, and Boy. (Their hair was detachable and interchangeable, so I used to give the Girl the Boy’s hair. On him it was trite, on her it looked cool. I would have said dykely if I’d had that word in my vocabulary at ten.)

Our Lego set built bridges, houses, towers, walls: giant multi-wheeled vehicles: staircases and pyramids: and it was a convenient source of tokens for Murder in the Dark. (We had white, red, blue, green, and black bricks, as I remember: if you drew the black lego brick you were the Murderer.)

When Lego markets kits “to girls” what does this say about all the years of Lego before now?

If parents haven’t been buying Lego kits for girls is this because girls don’t like toys unless they’re pink and purple, or because Lego has been marketing their kits as “boy’s toys”?

Agree with this (Twin Coach on Facebook):

We KNOW you aren’t replacing the old LEGOs, the point everyone is TRYING to make is that you say the reason you created LEGO Friends is to capture the market you were missing & that only 10% of your customers are female. But if you look at the hundreds & hundreds & hundreds of comments people have left you can see that GIRLS LOVE LEGOS JUST AS THEY ARE. There is no need to create a glossy, pink, fluffy version of it that caters to gender stereotypes. Just bring back your awesome old ad that shows a REAL girl having fun with LEGOS. Remind parents why LEGOS are awesome for their daughters because they inspire creativity and build brain power.

From a community called Bricks of Truth

Olivia’s Inventor Workshop: This is just one of the new sets – after research feedback from real girls, TLG has built a bridge to brick creations for girls who like American Girls dolls, yet want to build their playsets based on their own imaginations! Of course anyone can buy Friends sets – boys like the new elements too!

I guess I was never one of the “real girls” that Lego would have taken “research feedback” from. I never played with anything like “American Dolls”.

I played with Lego.

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Filed under Childhood, Women

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