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Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

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Postby Karalora » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:10 pm

There is some wisdom to the above post. It's not that lines like Castle and Pirates are inherently masculine; most girls do in fact enjoy playing make-believe in such settings. It's more that these lines are marketed in such a way that shuts girls out more than it needs to, by having very few of the characters be female, and most of those few be presented as damsels in distress rather than active participants in the scenario. What could easily be a gender-neutral toy comes across as gender-specific.
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Postby ottoatm » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:28 pm

It's more that these lines are marketed in such a way that shuts girls out more than it needs to, by having very few of the characters be female, and most of those few be presented as damsels in distress rather than active participants in the scenario. What could easily be a gender-neutral toy comes across as gender-specific.

This is a very good point - and one that I hardily agree with.

Actually, I would argue that having more women (such as Storm in the Leo set) would also be gender-neutral, as all my toys when I was a kid (He-Man, GI Joe) had strong woman fighters.

So I do agree with you - more women, LEGO! 8)
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Postby Draykov » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:41 pm

Tower of Iron Will wrote:It's easy to think up ideas, the hard part is getting LEGO to listen.

Actually, I think LEGO makes a more honest and deliberate effort to listen to its fan-base than most toy companies. The hard part is incorporating things like this into a set that's a guaranteed seller that retailers will want to stock.

ottoatm wrote:My guess would be something like this: boys don't like girl-linked lines that much to buy them, but girls like "boy" lines like Knights and Pirates and Cowboys - maximize your profits by having less lines that all people will buy, not more lines that only some (probably a smaller demographic, but maybe not) will buy.

I'd say that's a pretty fair assessment. It might even be that LEGO doesn't want to alienate it's target market by pinking it up. It's easier in today's society for a girl to wear pants than it is for a boy to wear a dress.
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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby Bruce N H » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:17 pm

Hey all,

Dragging this topic out of the dust-bin of history, I ran across this recent article: Pink building sets for girls – Mega Bloks and LEGO® Pink Brick Boxes. A key quote was:
Do girls think so differently from boys that they must have plastic brick building sets made of predominantly pink pieces? A little variety in color and the inclusion of pink pieces is good for creativity, but when does it go too far?

BTW, confession time here, we have the big pink Mega Block Imagination Bag. Before anyone gets all upset on me:
-It was 80 giant blocks for something like $15
-At the time our daughter wasn't quite able to handle Duplos - they just were a little too tight and she'd get mad at them
-About 6 months later she's transitioned completely to Duplo and ignores the larger Mega Blocks
-If LEGO still marketed the Quatro blocks I'd have gotten them
Now I'm just frustrated that we have the all-pink set. I'd much rather have the "boy" set that comes in primary colors.

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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby Blue Moon Knight » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:35 pm

So many posts...can't read them time....

I think we do need more gender-neutral sets. My little sisters enjoy playing with Legos, even making the figs fight each other. (Though I like to think that comes from watching their big brothers play with Lego...this big brother in particular. :D )

Other than city, I can't think of very many themes that could be gender-neutral. (Besides fairy-kingdom which was mentioned earlier.)

Maybe Lego could work on some Runescape-castle-civilian-city-sets. Maybe with a suspicious looking troll hanging around, just to give boys something to work with... I hope so.
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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby Karalora » Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:44 am

Pretty much any theme can be gender neutral; they just have to include a fair number of female minifigs and give them decent roles in the activity(ies) of the theme.
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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby DraconisTerrena » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:38 am

My 5-year-old stepdaughter loves my castle Legos. And while she does tend to use the princess as her avatar/protagonist, she definitely includes the male characters and frequently has brutal battles with them. ;-)
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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby Maedhros » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:41 am

I fear my speaking on this issue would probably only lead us down the dark and foreboding spiral to the realm of all things MegaBloks and Shifty... so, I'll be brief and concise ;)

I think the problem lies in the fact that we expect (and urge) girls to like cute, shiny little stuff while pushing war and big vehicles in the direction of boys. I'm with Karalora here, just include some more female figs in existing themes.
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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby Kevin1990 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:22 am

I think lego isn't really Gender-Specific, I mean I have alots friends (Who are girls) who play with the lego, so I dont really think lego is JUST for boys, and that boys only like it, it just depens on wich girl you ask :D
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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby Merlin of Lego » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:06 pm

I have four kids, two boys and two girls.
7 year old Boy
5 year old Girl
2 year old Girl
3 month old Boy

I will start with the boys. The 3 month old doesn’t play much but there are about 10-15 Primo figs and several of the rattles around the family room for him (I start them young.)

The 7 year old has his own collection. He has most of the Duplo Castle line (non pink) and likes the System; Star Wars, Agents, and Castle Dwarves and trolls. We tried to get him into the city line and he has no interest. Most of the city stuff he has was traded to Dad for cool stuff.

The girls share the Pink Duplo princess line while the 5 year old can claim ownership.

The two year old loves the Duplo trains (would love the system trains if she was allowed to play with them.) When the family gets out my stuff she is content to have 5 horses and a rider for each.

The 5 year old has some of her own system stuff. She likes pink bricks from the pick a brick wall. She loves the Café Corner and related buildings but is sometimes overwhelmed by the size of them. In the Café Corner is were all of my princesses, bar maids, Mary Jane, Professor McGonagall, and any other female fig that has migrated to this collection. There are several “boy” figs there too but they are outnumbered 2-1. When she uses her bricks she gets one of my base plates and makes gardens from all of the flowers that she has (once again from the pick a brick wall.) She really wants the SUV with the horse trailer and is saving up to get it.

When it’s all said and done she wants Horses, Female figs, simpler versions of the Café Corner buildings, and flowers. She would like pink but has never asked why my buildings are not pink.
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Re: Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

Postby Blaze Ryder » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:42 am

Just my two cents

Recently, I haven't found Lego too boy-oriented. Allow me to use my sister as an example. She LOVES the Creator houses, usually selling at 35-50$ Cdn. Meaning I usually get her one for her birthday. Recently, we also saved up for and bought/split the Medieval Marketplace, as she loves the new Castle line (due to the princesses... and maybe some brotherly influence :halo: ). There are also the City sets, specifically the street corner and SUV/Horse trailer ones that have caught her eye. Oh, and how can I forget her love for some of the Indy Jones sets (the one with the tent she has a few of to go "camping").

My point over all is that while Lego is traditionally "boy-oriented" it is rather simple to make it girl oriented by buying the sets on what the person wants, while moderately ignoring the "theme/purpose". After all, I have a few female friends who bought Fort Legorado. On a side note, if Lego wants to orient castle more "neutrally" they should release female soldiers, the two female hair pieces from Medieval Marketplace fit over breastplate accessories.

P.S. If Lego released an Amazon Warrior line I would buy it up in a second, the army builder sets could net you enough girlfigs to have a realistic ratio! :D
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