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Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

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Postby Peppermint Pig » Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:34 pm

Karalora, better yet, for every non-franchise System scale theme that Lego produces (and every season that theme is released), have one of those sets dedicated towards girls.

It would be like subliminally inserting Belleville into each of those themes. XD
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Postby Karalora » Mon Nov 17, 2008 10:47 pm

I assume that by "non-franchise" you mean non-licensed, in which case I agree completely. Certainly a move like that would reduce the perception that there are "girl toys" and "boy toys" and never the twain shall meet. It would be hard to maintain that idea in the face of two LEGO boxes with identical Castle logos, one of which had male knights fighting with (presumed) male orcs and the other of which had (for example) a princess and her lady-in-waiting meeting some elves in a flowery forest. Especially if there were also a third set in which the knights were teaching the princess how to fence.
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Postby Username » Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:13 pm

Karalora wrote:I haven't picked up any of the Agents sets, but from what I can tell there is one female "good guy" and one female "bad guy," and the "good gal," Agent Trace, is a damsel in distress.


In this set, she sure looks far from distressed charging the hidden volcano base, guns blazing (to save a male agent):

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Postby Karalora » Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:52 pm

Okay, I hadn't seen that set, only the "Speedboat Rescue" wherein she is a frightened captive.
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Postby Mog » Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:54 am

Apparently LEGO is making a larger (400p/$25-ish) pink set for 2009.

It's a start.

But it really just confirms what many of us knew all along - there are girls who want to play with LEGO products. After all, why would they make another pink brick set if the first one didn't sell? I think the first one is selling quite well.

I don't think there's anything inside of a girl that makes them innately less interested in LEGO bricks than a boy would be - it's all in marketing and peer/parental pressure. I think it's that way with basically every toy and every child, for that matter, but I know that's sort of a "radical" idea.

I didn't really play with action figures when I was growing up - LEGO was about the closest I got. (That's not necessarily because I didn't want to - my mom was really big on educational toys, and she severely limited the television I could watch, so I guess I was never really aware of most of the TV tie-in toys in the first place.) I did play with my sister's dollhouse and wanted one of my own. I guess I was never really indoctrinated into that sort of "culture," where you could only play with certain toys. It's not like it ever occurred to me that playing with dolls wasn't a very boy-ish thing to do, or that other kids would make fun of me if they saw me, or that all that playing with "girl's toys" would turn me Teh Ghey or anything. I just played with them because they were there.

So no, I really don't think there's any sort of innate sense in a child of what toys are appropriate for their gender. I certainly didn't have one. I think gender roles are taught, and in this case they're taught through advertising and peer pressure to conform to social expectations. I shudder when I hear parents telling their daughers/sons that they "can't play with that...that's a boy/girl toy." Really, the terms ("boy toy" and "girl toy") themselves should make us cringe. Why can't there just be toys?
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Postby MoonCheese » Wed Nov 19, 2008 3:35 pm

Yeah, I don't like gender roles in general...my dad wanted me to be a hypermasculine tough soldier, but I think I'm more feminine than masculine to begin with. I wanted dolls and such as a kid, but I was an only child so I didn't even have any sisters to steal toys from...

I don't like when people say that only boys can play with Lego. Why should some chromosome and/or insignificant body parts, etc., affect what you can be interested in? It's silly.

Speaking of Lego and gender, what's with Lego insisting that female minifigs have long hair regardless of species? It's extremely silly for many non-human figs like the skellie queen. Skeletons don't have any hair! However, the great thing about Lego minifigs is that parts can be interchanged, so I can use the hairpiece on another fig. It reminds me of when they put some Yoda-looking character with a curly wig in one of the SW prequels...

On the subject of Lego sets, I think they should (eventually):
- Put more female characters, or at least not obviously male characters, in sets in all non-licenced themes (for licenced themes, the gender proportion should be based on the actual characters in the licence). What's so wrong with female knights or pirates, anyway? I'd allow them in my Legoverse...
- More civilian-based sets in non-City themes. Lego is starting to do this with Castle, so hopefully it continues.
- Revive Paradisa
- Change Belville to minifig scale and give it minifigs. I'd probably buy some Belville sets if I could use the figs, and some of the other elements weren't so horribly scaled...
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Postby Karalora » Wed Nov 19, 2008 6:40 pm

MoonCheese wrote:Skeletons don't have any hair!


It depends on the conditions under which they decayed. Mummified skeletons very often still have desiccated skin, including scalp, clinging to the bones. But that's probably more than you needed to know, and annyway your point stands.

(for licenced themes, the gender proportion should be based on the actual characters in the licence).


Agreed. In that light, it's a terrible pity that the Avatar line didn't succeed, because by about a third of the way through the second season, the regular cast was evenly divided between male and female characters, both heroes and villains. That would have been a great draw for girls to get interested in LEGO. (It also happens to be my favorite TV show of all time, so I have other reasons for wishing the LEGO license had done better.)

Change Belville to minifig scale and give it minifigs. I'd probably buy some Belville sets if I could use the figs, and some of the other elements weren't so horribly scaled...


This would be a good way to do the "Fairy Tale" adjunct to Castle that was mentioned earlier. For heaven's sake, girls love princesses and castles, as long as they're pretty and showy.

How's this for a "girl's" set in the Castle line? The Princess's Birthday Party. The scene would be the banquet hall in the palace, with a long table and lots of ornamentation. Some knights would be present as an honor guard, as well as the King, Queen, and at least one troubadour to entertain them all. And the gifts would be things like jewels and a horse with an ornate harness. Even I think the concept is mushy, but I bet most girls would love it, and it would add some more of the much-needed "day-to-day" vibe to the Castle line.
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Postby MoonCheese » Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:16 pm

The Princess's Birthday Party is an excellent idea, especially if it had a unique princess fig. Even people who scoff at the girliness can still use the parts in the Castle setting. A whole line could be made around it. Maybe have more sets for the princess's room, a castle garden, etc.

I think one problem with Lego and genders is that the "girly" sets don't integrate well with other sets. Belville has fairies, and I'd like to have a fairy faction in my Legoverse, but the figs are too incongruous, like my +4 Pirates figs. Belville could easily be made into additions to Castle and City if it was in the same scale and used the same figs.
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Postby Count Blacktron » Thu Nov 20, 2008 1:44 am

I've said it before and I'll say it again; LEGO needs to release a minifigure scale classic Wizard of Oz series of sets. The broad appeal and universal lub for the film & books would certainly spell cross gender interest. I know I'd buy it hook line and sinker for my own collection, and my three daughters would LOVE it. I know it's a licensed theme, but with today's set designers and the awesome minifigure potential, how could it go wrong? :?: :idea:
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Postby Bruce N H » Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:05 am

Janey Red Brick has some good Oz stuff here and here.

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Gender specific

Postby annie2200 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:54 am

I have loved Lego ever since I was 5 (1994) and I received the old school version of set 7635. When people ask for my hobby, I say lego. Yes, I am a 19 year old female. It's my passion. I love collecting all the guns and swords (especially from Orient) and I have abit of a war going on between the Orcs and Knights as you can see.
I am not a very boyish girl. But I love my lego.


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Postby Tower of Iron Will » Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:37 pm

MoonCheese wrote:The Princess's Birthday Party is an excellent idea, especially if it had a unique princess fig. Even people who scoff at the girliness can still use the parts in the Castle setting. A whole line could be made around it. Maybe have more sets for the princess's room, a castle garden, etc.


Even for those of us that may not like this idea there are a good portion of us here that would support this as these figures could be used for more civilian castle MOCs. Some other ideas could be a medieval version of a ballroom dance, or a throne room with a king, queen, prince, princess, nobles (male/female), royal guards and the new jester. Another idea could be a royal wedding. It's easy to think up ideas, the hard part is getting LEGO to listen. We all need to support the market village when it comes out such that LEGO is motivated by high sales numbers to continue.
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Postby Username » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:16 pm

MoonCheese wrote:The Princess's Birthday Party is an excellent idea, especially if it had a unique princess fig. Even people who scoff at the girliness can still use the parts in the Castle setting. A whole line could be made around it. Maybe have more sets for the princess's room, a castle garden, etc.


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Postby Velliscig » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:36 am

The lack of female Mini figures and accessories bothers me quite a bit. I have an abundance of Knights and Peasant males roaming my lands farming, but only a few wives -- and they certainly aren't flattering. If Lego doesn't make more, I may be forced to create excessive amounts of custom items, although I personally shy away from doing so.
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Postby timber_wolf899 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 12:58 pm

Guys lets remember lego is a business not a political statment.

If more girls purchased lego it would be more girl oriented.

Or, if girls were more into lego, more of them would buy it. However you like.

As for me, i want to keep PC out of my kingdom. My knights rescue maidens and battle dragons and 'that' is how its gonna be! : ) (i've got female wizards but thats a long story.)
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