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 .
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.