Pink is not the problem

Oh Lego! Why hast thou forsaken decades of good toymaking to shit in your loyal fans’ eyes with the monstrosity that is Lego Friends? What has possessed you to manufacture something so far removed from the unisex wonder of your original brick based play sets?

When I was little I played with Lego. My brother and I amassed a huge collection of it, comprising various sets and types. Everything from what would now be called Lego City, through Robin Hood, space, and pirates. My younger sister inherited this collection and enjoyed it as much as us boys had.

My wife and her sister had a large collection between them too. The most fondly remembered part of theirs was a formula one style racing car that my wife received as a gift when her sister was born.

My stepfather, his brothers and his sister all used to play with Lego together; a toy that spanned the genders and the ten years that separated them.

My father in law and his brother and sisters played together with Lego.

None of these people ever said or thought that it was only a boys toy. So why have Lego themselves suddenly decided it is? Why the need for a girl specific version? Who knows. Maybe it’s purely a profit driven thing. Maybe some misguided executive had it in their head that girls couldn’t play with Lego because it’s a construction toy. Whatever the reason, it’s pissing me off!

I want to be able to share my love of Lego with both of my children; my son and my daughter. I don’t want to have to play Lego with my boy and Lego Friends with my girl. I want to play Lego with both of them. Why would anyone want to allow a gender divide in their play?

Now the problem I have with Lego Friends isn’t that it’s very pink heavy. To be perfectly honest I don’t really care what colour Lego is! It’s the idea that girls need their own different Lego, that they’ll only play with Lego if it’s pink, that the figures need to be changed from the interchangeable, asexual props to play, into fashionable teens with an obsession with cute fluffy animals. Even the soccer practice set comes with a kitten.

Do we really need another toy manufacturer pushing our daughters towards this image of how girls should be? That their highest aspiration should be to bake cakes, wear pretty clothes and take a fluffy animal with them everywhere? Really?

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6 thoughts on “Pink is not the problem

  1. Yes!!!!! I am so angry about their stupid pink Lego – I’m all for the full rainbow of colours in Lego bricks, just against the removal of bricks and building which is the whole point of the toy. My daughter loves Lego just like I did and I was gutted to sign her up for the Lego Club only to receive a vacuous magazine about shopping and cleaning, with no building instructions whatsoever. I complained and we now receive the “boys” magazine, which has projects and puzzles and everything you’d hope for. At a time when you hope that girls have more choices than ever before it’s madness that one of the best unisex toys ever made has decided to go in the other direction (and don’t get me started on “girls toys” and “boys toys” sections in toy shops like The Entertainer…. because girls will never drive cars or go on trains, and boys will never care for babies or cook!?!!!) Ugh!

  2. I grew up with Lego. I had little white bricks, green roof tiles, red window frames and I loved it. Nobody told me girls shouldn’t build so I just got on with it.
    My daughter had Lego, the chunky one, she had bricks and she built, constructed, created and expanded her imagination. She learned about physics by accident and we had amazing tours of her creations. This was aged 3 to 6 I guess. Recently in the R’us shop she’s asked why Lego now tell you what to make.
    It saddens me, what is going on?????

  3. Really?! I don’t spend much time looking at children’s toys so REALLY?!! What happens in the queue at Legoland – will everyone be segregated so they can play with the ‘right’ lego?! Obviously their marketing people have said there’s a niche to be exploited for more money, and perhaps it’s the ‘natural’ progression after the Technik series, but it’s a sad way for this toy to go.

  4. Here here! Totally agree with you. Lego used to be a pile of bricks and you made it what you made it.

    However what I have noticed via my friends who have toddlers the same age as my daughter, the boys do tend to act more “boyish” than the girls. They have no interest in dolls or stuffed kittens. They want to climb and jump and break things. My daughter wants to do those things too, but has extra, girl instincts too. None of these have been forced on her – she is with me most of the time and I build and jump and run and paint and about with her, but her own natural instincts tend towards cute and caring.

    So it’s possible that Lego are trying to capitalise on a natural attraction to cute or action, before their real imaginations kick into gear. But at the same time it will most likely stifle their imagination and creativity.

    So they should stop it and go back to generic kits that made a train. Or a zoo. Or a building. Or spaceship. Let the kids decide.

  5. i really detest the idea that girls need to have their own lego, i had lego my friends daughters have lego and when la is old enough she will have lego. lego friends will not enter my house!

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