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Postby architect » Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:39 pm

Damien wrote: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).


I was not arguing that specific printed female figures were used frequently since 1989. My point was that once Pirates came out in 1989, printed decoration in general increased in figures. Figures suddenly had faces which were not smilies and more detailed torsos. This is why we started to see detailed women minifigures.

Prior to 1989 all figures had smilies and it was easy to change headgear. Today kids want more options including detailed figures and even fleshie figs :shock: .

Several improvements including new female hairstyles have been added in the past couple of years. Now we can even purchase the Cafe Corner female figures from Shop at Home pick a brick.

A note about Belville: This line actually sells extremely well in certain countries. Most North American stores do not stock the line so it is hard to judge how it would do in the retail environment unless they tried it.

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Postby Chrislad77 » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:07 pm

It's not really the inside scoop , but at my visit to the lego store today I asked this same question and they told most of what Damien has been saying. 6-11 year old boys (Legos target market) if presented with a pile of minifigures will almost all the time pick till only the female figures arre left. Lego produces what is best for there consumer, and sets with females tend to sell despite having a girl.

When I was like 10, I disliked getting a female figure, I wanted someone action/violence designed.

men's fantasy girls (princesses)


I've met plenty of little girls who wished that they were a princess. I wouldn't call that a mans fantasy.
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Postby Damien » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:08 pm

Damien has made many good points about how unlikely it is, but I still would like at least a few more female figs


Oh, me too. I think LEGO could stand at least a couple more per year per theme. I don't even think it so much needs to be torsos with extremely feminine prints - but even just female faces (lipstick and what-have-you) and feminine hair-pieces would be nice. LEGO can't go too crazy with it for fear of alienating their target audience, but that certainly isn't meant to imply there can't be a little more here and there.

A fantasy theme, like the new Crown Knights, is a great opportunity for this because you can throw in female warriors of whatever type you like (as opposed to the more classic folklore and history styled factions where women were subjected more to being damsels in distress as part and parcel to the concept of the theme).


My point was that once Pirates came out in 1989, printed decoration in general increased in figures. Figures suddenly had faces which were not smilies and more detailed torsos. This is why we started to see detailed women minifigures.


Quite true. That was definitely the benchmark point for an overall less 'basic' LEGO universe.


and even fleshie figs


Haha. You know it's funny - my nephew puts fleshie figs right in with his classic yellow ones. He doesn't even seem to really mark any difference. Although once he lost his .. uhm.. can't remember who it was now - just a normal fig, maybe a Luke Skywalker, fleshie and he kept saying "hey, where's my ugly guy. ."


Several improvements including new female hairstyles have been added in the past couple of years. Now we can even purchase the Cafe Corner female figures from Shop at Home pick a brick.


Definitely. And I think that's the direction LEGO is probably most comfortable continuing in -- more face and hair options rather than a limitless supply of variant 'full-figured' torso prints. Not that they'll avoid the latter, but the former is likely always going to be more LEGO's style. I can't really see LEGO ever dismissing the 'generic/unisex' torsos.

Not to say that you were implying they would -- I'm just musing, really.


A note about Belville: This line actually sells extremely well in certain countries. Most North American stores do not stock the line so it is hard to judge how it would do in the retail environment unless they tried it.


Thanks for the info. Whereabouts does it get better press? I've only ever lived in the US and Canada, and I don't think I've ever seen a Belville set in a store. As you say, doesn't get the high praise in North America, it would seem. That led me to believe it's not an overly successful line.
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Postby Blue Head » Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:59 pm

I agree with damien that there should be a few more females in lego. I certainly need females for my city stuff, but none the less, like it has been said a hundred times now, lego is more of a boy's toy, and while a boy is still younge they think of a girl as an opposite species. That is also why we develop the "boy colors", and "girl colors".
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Postby Blue Monarch » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:05 am

Lego has always "strategically" placed the women throughout the course of castle. The chess sets are a nice way to guaruntee the continuace of additional women.

On a different note... what if all Legos are really dwarves (hey, they are minifigs) and the women look like men??? Then they can be what you want them to be.
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Postby smcginnis » Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:30 am

Blue Monarch wrote:On a different note... what if all Legos are really dwarves (hey, they are minifigs) and the women look like men??? Then they can be what you want them to be.

Well, they are rather stocky.... ;)

I just remembered something. In both Café Corner and the new Market Street, there are two women and one man. The woman with dark tan hair in the second has this head, as far as I can tell, so it could be a guy with long hair; but I think this might be LEGO's answer to the 'more women' calls.

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Postby Chrislad77 » Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:23 am

Damien wrote: [
Thanks for the info. Whereabouts does it get better press?


Northern Europe is where is it most sucessful.
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Postby Emperor James » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:27 am

i agree wholeheartedly that they should have women in the castle sets, after all, there were just as many women as men in the middle ages! to start, they should release a bordello set (no serious) (no inapropriate)
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Postby Donut » Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:15 am

Good point Emperor James.
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Postby Maedhros » Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:20 am

I agree with Damien that calling for more "feminine" torso designs would be more insulting to women than using generic parts since they just go too well with todays twisted ideals.

Anyway, I don't really see a problem. Call me old-fashioned but I think that smilies and such faces work very well for females, Jayko's face for example has always looked more like a woman than a man to me. I mostly go by the rule that if I think it is a woman, it is a woman, almost all heads except the beardy ones work for both sexes. How many women in the medieval would have used lipstick anyway?

Actually I think that our true problem is that we view the generic minifig as a male. And therefore we need lipstick, huge amounts of mascara and bizarre bodily shapes, features that most women don't even have, to make females. I think Jojo hit the head on the nail when he said that LEGO was like a 3D comic...
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Postby LORD DOOM » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:09 am

Yup, LORD DOOM's harem could use a few fresh faces.
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Postby Blue Head » Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:44 pm

Emperor James wrote:i agree wholeheartedly that they should have women in the castle sets, after all, there were just as many women as men in the middle ages! to start, they should release a bordello set (no serious) (no inapropriate)

Well, unfortunatly all the little 3 year olds will go to their mom asking what a bordello is. That would seem a little... odd. To me mabey lego could release a gender minifig pack. Then you could choose if you want a female pack, or male pack.
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Postby Spongey » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:08 pm

DARKspawn wrote:
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 :)


This is a valid point. However, take a castle set for example. You want about 10-12 figs. At least 5 or 6 soldiers (male,) should be defending the castle, plus 5 or 6 attackers. Evening it out with females drastically reduces the amount of warfare you can have, unless you start going into female soldiers, which detracts from authenticity.
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Postby SavaTheAggie » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:15 pm

Let's all just admit that minifigs are all smurfs, living in a patriarchal society, and the women are outnumbered 100 to one simply because they were created in a devious scheme by an evil wizard to capture the minifigs and turn them all to gold.

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Postby Damien » Mon Jun 11, 2007 10:24 pm

fter all, there were just as many women as men in the middle ages!


I don't think it's a matter of how many there were, but rather their role in society, and more importantly their presumed role in the mind of children. The few women who were truly capable leaders and warriors in the medieval era (such as Sichelgaita - Robert Guiscard's second wife) are not heavily publicized to a youth audience. Young boys equate Castles and Medieval with knights and warriors, even dragons, before equating them with strong female characters and the peasantry. Kids want knights fighting, I'd bet, far more than they want women with looms (that would be a cool little set, though -- maybe someone should bring that up as part of a Castle-theme uh. . those Christmas calendar things. .)

I'm sure there are kids that would like civilians and warrior-women. But it obviously isn't wanted widely enough, or LEGO would likely be doing it (market research and all that). Civilian sets of that nature would be really cool as Shop-At-Home exclusives. Sate the AFOLs without taking up shelf space at actual stores for things most kids won't buy.
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