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Why LEGO Is Considered "Gender-Specific"

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Postby Karalora » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:32 pm

timber_wolf899 wrote: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.


You could just as easily turn that around and say that if LEGO were more girl-oriented, more girls would get into it and buy it.

As for me, i want to keep PC out of my kingdom.


It's not about "PC," it's about scenarios that allow anyone to enjoy the vicarious adventure. I like LEGO, and I like imagining myself (<--woman) as an adventurer, and it's very difficult to do that when all the adventure-ready minifigs are male, and the female ones are all damsels in distress.
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Postby timber_wolf899 » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:38 pm

I think the point though when you get down to it is that lego is a building toy. It is primarilly about construction as opposed to scanerios. For whatever reason girls just do not seem to be as into this, hence lego will likely always be largely a boys toy. IMHO

Is there a way to interest girls in building? that i don't know. If there were it'd be a good thing and make lots of cash!
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Postby Bruce N H » Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:15 am

timber_wolf899 wrote:I think the point though when you get down to it is that lego is a building toy. It is primarilly about construction as opposed to scanerios. For whatever reason girls just do not seem to be as into this, hence lego will likely always be largely a boys toy. IMHO


I think your analysis here has a fatal flaw. Sets that are more about construction, such as the Medieval Market Street, or the Cafe Corner series, are usually lauded as gender neutral. The 'problem' in this regard is more the attitude we hear from LEGO:

Play Themes are sets involving characters and stories, where the minifigre always plays a key role. ... Usually the stories are conflict-based (good vs. bad) and revolve around treasures or missions. The stories that accompany Play Theme sets help spark the imagination of our target group: boys aged 7-9.


The issue there is all about the "scenarios," not the "construction."

timber_wolf899 wrote:Guys lets remember lego is a business not a political statment.
If more girls purchased lego it would be more girl oriented.
...
As for me, i want to keep PC out of my kingdom...


I think the tenor of the posts in this thread is not that we think LEGO should do certain things to fulfill a political notion of gender equity, but rather that LEGO is missing the boat by not reaching half of their potential market share. As in the above quote, at least some sections of LEGO are not even trying to attract girls to the hobby. If they did so it would be good for girls (at least to the extent that we all believe LEGO is a great toy), good for LEGO (double their potential customers) and good for the AFOL community (I think most of us would love some of the set ideas discussed in this thread).

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Postby Username » Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:24 pm

Bruce N H wrote:
I think the tenor of the posts in this thread is not that we think LEGO should do certain things to fulfill a political notion of gender equity, but rather that LEGO is missing the boat by not reaching half of their potential market share. As in the above quote, at least some sections of LEGO are not even trying to attract girls to the hobby. If they did so it would be good for girls (at least to the extent that we all believe LEGO is a great toy), good for LEGO (double their potential customers) and good for the AFOL community (I think most of us would love some of the set ideas discussed in this thread).

Bruce


And I'll say this again: I am willing to bet Lego has spent MILLIONS of dollars on R&D that tells them more little boys are interested than little girls. If there was a profitable Lego girl market for minifig scale sets, I bet Lego would already be producing them. We can armchair quarterback all we want on how Lego should run their business, but I bet they are doing the best job they can to make the most profit they can.
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Postby Karalora » Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:29 am

Sorry, I don't put much stock in that kind of market research. Mattel's market research indicated that there wasn't any interest in action figures of the female characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Their market research was dead wrong.
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Postby Username » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:45 am

Karalora wrote:Sorry, I don't put much stock in that kind of market research. Mattel's market research indicated that there wasn't any interest in action figures of the female characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Their market research was dead wrong.


Do you have facts and figures to back that statement up (personally, I would have loved to see some Avatar female figures)?
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Postby Karalora » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:52 am

When I wrote to the company to complain about the lack of female characters in the line, the reply letter cited market research as the reason. I'd consider that pretty authoritative.
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Postby timber_wolf899 » Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:57 pm

While bruce's post is well thought out, and makes some good points i have to go with username here.

Along those lines, is there any clone brand to produce a girls 'minifig' scale line? I could see one marketing department misisng the boat, but all of them?
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Postby Bluesecrets » Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:17 pm

I come back to this thread, once again, as one of the females at CC.

Businesses do not just make decisions based on a whim. They have many research studies done. They have to. Putting millions of dollars into a product that was not adequately researched to see if it would be successful or not is just foolish and the business will fail. When a new business wants to open, part of the business plan is a whole large amount of surveys about location, need, and then they survey potential customers.

But having said that, the reality you can not ever have an argument with the words "all" or "every." You will fail. LEGO themselves is constantly trying to get little girls lines.

Gender has very little to do with who builds or not in my opinion. Rather it is the attitudes that females encounter when they decide they want to build. They are told "No you can not, that is a boy’s toy". Guess what? That is not LEGO Corporation saying that. That is most of the people in this thread who keep demanding it is gender-based. The next issue is, when a female does decide to enter the LEGO world, they either hear "Oh! You are a female; you can't build." or "Oh! You are a female; let’s put her in an article just because you are a female." or she gets "OH! A female, lets get unnatural interest in her, maybe she is hot and available." And the third issue is she may encounter the feminist female builder who rambles on and on and on about inequality. Oh yes, that is going to make a lot of females really feel comfortable and want to step foot into the LEGO world, now isn't it?

Stereotyping is something most people are guilty of. I just did it with the paragraph above, but ironically I have encountered all of those statements during my five years here at Classic-Castle.

I've posted my ideas in this thread of how to get girls to build before. Just let people build.
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Postby Username » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:43 am

Karalora wrote:When I wrote to the company to complain about the lack of female characters in the line, the reply letter cited market research as the reason. I'd consider that pretty authoritative.


No, I meant what facts and figures back up you saying the Avatar toy makers and research was wrong?
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Postby Username » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:46 am

Bluesecrets wrote:Just let people build.


My two-year-old daughter got Lego(style) toys for Christmas last year and this year (the big Megabloks, because, let's face it, 2-yr-olds don't care), and I wholeheartedly encourage her to play with Lego!

:D

(BTW - she asked Santa for Lego, Pirates and Star Wars)
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Postby Karalora » Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:29 am

Username wrote:No, I meant what facts and figures back up you saying the Avatar toy makers and research was wrong?


The fact that as soon as the fans realized Mattel wasn't planning to produce figures of the female characters, there was a huge outcry and letter-writing campaign. Every fan I spoke to, male and female, regardless of age, agreed that it was a bad move for them to ignore the female characters. A friend of mine said that her sons (aged 4 to 13) were resorting to using Barbie dolls to represent the female characters in their games. It's enough to make me wonder who they were talking to when they did this initial "research." (Frankly I would not put it past them to assume that there was no market for the female figures, since "everyone knows" girls don't play with action figures, and boys don't play with girl action figures.)

Even you agree that they should have included the female characters. Do you think you're atypical?
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Postby Bruce N H » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:17 am

Hey Blue,

Are you hot and available? ;P

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Postby JoshWedin » Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:01 pm

Bruce N H wrote:Hey Blue,

Are you hot and available? ;P

Bruce


I think the better question is whether or not you are, Bruce. ;)
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Postby ottoatm » Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:27 pm

I think this comes down to numbers and dollars. I don't know why, but when they have tried to sell female-linked lines, they didn't sell well enough to warrant a continuing line.

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.

Which is fine, because in my experience, many girls like LEGO "boy" themes very much - during my time in China, I've built LEGO MOCs with several girls - and had a lot of fun doing it too.
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