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LEGOLAND needs women!

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LEGOLAND needs women!

Postby chaotic-nipple » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:08 pm

Lego sets have a deplorable lack of female mini-figures. Exo-Force has 1 girl to 6 guys, Batman has 2 to 11, and Alpha Team has 2 to 8. Knight's Kingdom and Dino 2010 didn't have any female characters at all. Even in the themes that only have generic, non-named figures, the ones that are identifiably male (with facial hair, that is) vastly outnumber the ones that are identifiably female (pouty lipstick and big eyelashes, mostly).

There ought to be more girls in Legoland, I say. So, my demands are simple: For every 'named' character who's male, there should be one who is female; every generic mini-fig that is identifiably masculine should have a feminine counterpart as well. Gender neutral figures don't count, though.

So, all Right Thinking People should Sign my petition: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/lego ... index.html and let the Lego Group know that you agree with me. And then forward the link. :-)
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Postby Blue Head » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:21 pm

ummm, I don't know... it seems okay to me that there are fewer girls than boys. I mean, just try to colect more girls, then you personaly will have fewer boys than girls in your personal lego colection. To me this isn't a very big issue. :?
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Postby Spongey » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:27 pm

I think that for certain themes like Castle, this is very difficult. Historically, knights and soldiers were male. You can't have a princess, maiden, or female peasant for every male soldier, since this would throw the whole balance of the theme. Also, some copyrighted themes, like Batman or Star Wars, have more specific male figs than female, so you encounter another problem there. I echo what Blue Head says: if you personally want more female figs, go collect them.
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Postby Bluesecrets » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:56 pm

I'm sorry but the philosophy of just collect more girls isn't exactly a great one. Collect more females, when they are all the same? I collect the females. Compared to the males, I'd say it is about 100 males for each female. Reality is the females are lacking a ton and in more than one way. You have the old ladies from HP and you have the men's fantasy girls (princesses, Leia, even Catwoman), you have the Paradisa girls and that is about all. Yes there are some exceptions, but the range of women in the world is far more vast.

In terms of castle, I would like to see more than princesses. How many princesses really existed verses the number of female peasants in the world? Sure they didn't really have all the cool jobs, but they existed.

Therefore, yes it is lacking, but in the LEGO world which predominately male it is understandable why the girls are lacking. But that doesn't mean it has to be accepted to be that way, or even liked.
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Postby JPinoy » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:57 pm

This type of thing would be good for City/Town, but not so much the other themes like Castle. Castle is mainly oriented towards medieval warfare, while Town/City should have more modern sensibilities and ideals so they should the be the theme with more females.

Personally while it's very cool to see female Knights like Princess Storm, and Pirate Wenches, and Forestwomen... it's not plausible to add to many female minifigs to an action oriented theme like Castle.

Now IF they changed things a little and finally placed a "Medieval Village" (non-combat) line or something, then it would make sense to have more female minifigs in the Castle genre.

I support the idea of more female minifigs, but you need to look at it in a more plausible manner, such as what marketable, and what would make sense with regard to the sets and themes.
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Postby Blue Head » Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:03 pm

I agree that they should have a few (2-3) female pesants, but they have a load more women for city etc. Not to mention they didn't have ANY peasants in the last castle line (KK 1, 2, and 3). Not only that, but can't you make your own? I mean, just buy a few heads from bricklink and a few bodies and then put'em together! In other words, you don't have to have the figs that lego makes directly, build a few of your own costom versions with what used to be a man's body. Improvise.
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Postby Bluesecrets » Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:07 pm

you don't have to have the figs that lego makes directly, build a few of your own costom versions with what used to be a man's body


A woman's body is a very special thing. Our clothes can't just be man's that are altered. And it is sort of offensive to be the reject who gets to be made from a man.

That being said, you can't just make a realistic female from male parts. There are curves that are lacking that makes it look like all you have is a guy with a ponytail or long hair.

How would you like it if they made a guy out of female pieces? Would that be acceptable?
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Postby Blue Head » Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:13 pm

Looks at the classics, and even the stuff right after the classic lego, they didn't have the curves needed. The point of lego is to use your imagination, so in this case I would. The classics also didn't have the womans mouth. They just had a smily face like the men had. I always use a man's body for a womans head (mainly because that's all I have for them), and for me is's okay.
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Postby Damien » Sun Jun 10, 2007 7:34 pm

A rough estimate (very rough) of LEGO's history shows numbers about like this - taking into account only in-house themes and licenses, and ignoring Duplo, Jack Stone, and all of that kind of stuff, as well as minifigs that aren't like the others (skeletons, ghosts, droids, etc - as well as flesh versions of previously yellow figs):

In the first 50 pages (there are 72) of Bricklink's Minifigs section, there is a total number of 1292 minifigs, discounting the ones mentioned above and the basketball figures with those funky arms and legs. OF the 1292, there are 183 distinctly female 'figs.

That's just a hair short of being one female for every 7 males.



In my opinion, that's an excellent breakdown, and I'll tell you why:


LEGO is geared towards kids. And it is considered more of a 'boy' toy than a 'girl' toy. Hence LEGO's attempts to attract a female consumer base with lines like Paradisia and Belville. For a business model, you do not want to be politcally correct. Little boys don't want toys of girls. That's why the action figure market is mostly male characters only punctuated by females (this is even true of collectors' lines like Marvel Legends, which are geared towards an older, primarily male, audience).

It may seem unfair to our female compatriots, and perhaps it is a little unfair. But LEGO is playing to their target audience and listening to things like market research. LEGO Castle is a great example of this -- with a minute few exceptions, females are damsels in distress and knights are courageous heroes. Why? That's the kind of simplistic fantasy we have as young boys.

All that considered, though - a 1:7 ratio (again, a very rough estimate, may prove to be more of less if I bothered to go through the other 22 pages) is REALLY good for what is primarily a toy for boys. And that doesn't take into account smiley-faced figures just wearing hats or whatever, which can be taken as female or male.




Our clothes can't just be man's that are altered. And it is sort of offensive to be the reject who gets to be made from a man.


I think being offended by LEGO choosing not to give females 'curves' throughout much of LEGO's history is a little grandiose. It's only been very recently that female figures have had things like cleavage or gradient-colour at the sides to show a narrowing of the waist and a widening at the hip. That's very recent -- and following modern trends where that sort of thing is more acceptable to show on a children's toy.

It's also a bit silly to consider the females to be created using 'male parts.' There is no such thing. With a few exceptions (hairy chests, cleavage, etc), no LEGO torso is intrinsically male or female. It is whatever you make of it.

And before you complain that the 'Octan' white torso doesn't show curves for breasts or waistline, I'll point out that neither does it show shadowing for pecs, or abs. And I've never seen a LEGO hip piece with a 'package.'

LEGO is simplified form. For years and years no LEGO torso even had clothing wrinkles anywhere on them. Very 'flat' designs. And even today that trend continues to a lesser extent. No use complaining about it unless you're prepared to complain that the males aren't designed properly either. As a matter of fact, the Aunt May dark tan torso doesn't have any 'female markings' and it was actually designed solely for a female character. That's check and mate.




More on topic: As an adult, I'd like to see a few more females here and there in the Castle line. Females are far more prevalent (by comparison) in other lines, but Castle does lack them somewhat. But as an adult, I also understand why such a move is unlikely. And as a customizer, I can make whatever I need anyway, so I don't care very much.
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Postby Blue Head » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:30 pm

Damien wrote: That's check and mate.

Your telling me :shock: ! KO. Wow, now that is a lot of research and information! Thanks Damien. :D
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Postby reepblue » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:59 pm

And as a customizer, I can make whatever I need anyway


Duh. Thats what you do when you need more female minifigs.

But in my belief, Female minifigs don't show if they are not needed. In the Town theme, They can have a very different amount. Perhaps what about the "Spa" kind of sets that most of the bricks were pink? I saw lots of women minifigs there, and I always thought that was a set designed towards girls. But as we entered the 2000's, we started to see less Female minifigs. If there was a Female minifig, It would have came with a unisex body. (Which means it can fit ether a Male or a Female body. Two years a go, I got a Town Minifigers Set which came with 32 minifigs. A lot of the Women torsos fat in the unisex section.

So, Should they make more Female minifigs with Female only torsos?
Yes. It saves up time where a builder wants to place a Women in their MOC.
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Postby architect » Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:13 pm

Damien wrote:It's only been very recently that female figures have had things like cleavage or gradient-colour at the sides to show a narrowing of the waist and a widening at the hip. That's very recent -- and following modern trends where that sort of thing is more acceptable to show on a children's toy.


Actually, these types of torsos were first introduced in 1989 with Pirates. In 1990 there was the Princess figure in 6081 and the Forest woman in 6071. So we have actually had these figures for 18 years (1989-present) and figures without more definition for only 11 years (1978-1988).

I agree that there should be more diversity in the LEGO figure world. This includes more women, children, and civilians. It is hard to convince LEGO to do this, especially in action oriented themes. Much more should be done with minifigs to market the product to girls.

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Postby Damien » Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:01 pm

Wow, now that is a lot of research and information!


Don't praise too highly. All I did was look over on Bricklink's catalog. Nothing anyone else can't do if they felt like wasting the time, haha.


So, Should they make more Female minifigs with Female only torsos?
Yes. It saves up time where a builder wants to place a Women in their MOC.


Why would it save time? Because you want -specific- female torsos? You can make as many females as you want in your MOCs without any special parts. It's not a matter of needing them for MOCs, it's a matter of the personal preference of having torsos that look more feminine than 'stock' torsos.

But by that same logic, I could argue that LEGO doesn't make enough distinctly male torsos. If we can make a case for needing more feminine torsos, we can equally make a case for needing more masculine ones. Shadowing where the pecs are outlined, open collars with hairy chests (ala some of the Johnny Thunder and Western theme torsos). If female characters are being done wrong by generic torsos, then we must say that male characters are done an equal wrong by them.


Actually, these types of torsos were first introduced in 1989 with Pirates. In 1990 there was the Princess figure in 6081 and the Forest woman in 6071. So we have actually had these figures for 18 years (1989-present) and figures without more definition for only 11 years (1978-1988).


Right you are. But the majority of this style would not really come to the fore until years later. The torsos you mentioned amount to a whopping 4 figures (2 Pirate, one Forestmen, one Princess - if I recall correctly) from the beginning of LEGO right up until recent memory.

I think it's a bit misleading to say 18 years for one, and 11 years for the other. Generic torsos have existed since the beginning of LEGO (30 years now, right?). They existed first and continued to be used consistently until this very day. More stylistic feminine torsos existed afterwards, and in only specific circumstances until recently. So we didn't really have them ongoing for 18 years, but rather had them a few times over a course of about 12 years (and then they became more prominent after that timeframe, I think about the time LEGO started making Star Wars sets).

So LEGO adopting their usage more widely is a recent thing (which is what I meant earlier - but phrased poorly). And even with their more widespread adoption, generic torsos are still found quite frequently.

Personally, I think that's a good thing for kids. It allows more creativity when LEGO isn't telling you 'you can't use this torso for a female figure, because it doesn't have breasts -- use this one instead.' I remember as a kid making Valkyries using the old printed breastplate design. I didn't ever make the distinction that a feminine breastplate would look any different. She was female because she had female hair and I chose that the minifig was intended to be female. That's good enough for most kids.

And like I said - young boys generally don't care that much about female minifigs. LEGO is just going by the market research*. So generic is a better way to go for the company, as it allows for female characters without pushing their gender on young boys that don't want a lot of female characters in their toys. What's better for AFOLs isn't always what's better for the company to actually do. I can definitely see a case for the more advanced sets geared towards adults including a higher ratio of distinctly female torsos (and distinctly male ones, to be fair) - but for the generic in-house themes aimed at kids it's better to have a higher instance of generic torsos that can be used however the kid wants.


(*The market research that says boys age 5-15 are more prone to buying and playing with male characters than female ones -- as attested to by Jesse Falcon of ToyBiz/Marvel Toys when commenting on the MUCH higher ratio of male characters to female ones in the Marvel Legends line and its sister lines.)


This includeds more women, children, and civilians.


I honestly think the latter two are more important. Since my position is such that most of the time generic torsos are perfectly suitable for female characters. But in order to make proper children you need stunty legs, and in order to make civilians you need proper torsos (especially in the Castle line -- Town has plenty of civilians available).

But as you say - many sets are action-oriented and AFOLs are probably far more interested (in general) in taverns and farms than kids are, who would rather have catapults and citadels. Perhaps Castle '07 will strike some sort of balance in upcoming sets toward the end of the year or early next year. The Crown Knight Blacksmith or the Guarded Crown Inn.


Much more should be done with minifigs to market the product to girls.


Maybe. But I think the quick downfall of Paradisia marks that there's less interest among young girls in LEGO than in other toys. Even Bellville never seemed to gain nearly the popularity of boy-oriented lines like Castle and even Town (cars, trucks, construction equipment, Town is definitely geared more towards boys).

I'd love to see it, but I do wonder if a more young girl-friendly approach would be more of a loss for LEGO than what they're losing by not having it in the first place. It's times like this that I wish I were a LEGO insider and had all the necessary information - because of course all I'm saying is largely speculation. I would -love- to have the facts, but I doubt a LEGO representative is going to come over here and tell us, haha.
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Postby DARKspawn » Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:29 pm

Spongey wrote:You can't have a princess, maiden, or female peasant for every male soldier


That's a bit harsh ;) It's not like they're smurfs or anything. If I was a LEGO guy I would want better chances of scoring a date.

We need more female figs in more diversity. I liked the warrior knight / princess fig from KK1, I think more females in stronger roles would bring more girls to the market while not detering boys.

Personally I'd like to see more female civillians for the castle line :)
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Postby smcginnis » Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:33 pm

Damien has made many good points about how unlikely it is, but I still would like at least a few more female figs; or at least the return of classic smilies to castle. Hey, with enough hairpieces, I might have an entire army of female knights/soldiers!

;)

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