Before I start, can I just say that I am a BIG fan of Lego. Way back in the 70’s when I was a child I spent hours playing with Lego, and I didn’t stop until I was in at least double figures. Then I continued to play with it when I started working with children and now with my own children. But I have to say I am pretty cross about this new Lego Friends range!
My first objection is probably the most obvious one……why has Lego Friends been made ‘pastel’ and pink’?! This is my number 1 gripe in the toy world. Things do not have to be colour coded for boys and girls – things do not need to be blue or pink. What is wrong with the normal range of bright colours? The Early Learning Centre is one of the biggest culprits of this – suddenly there were ‘girl’ versions of things; for example the gardening set. What is wrong with the original green mini gardening set – it’s functional, bright and designed for children! Lego is bright and comes in many colours – you don’t need to alter that – or make exclusive ‘pastel/girl sets’. Why not just introduce new colours generally across the range, or as somebody said on a feture I read, just include ponytail hair options for the characters, so that any of them could be girls .
The second objection – and probably the main one – the kit has been ‘dumbed down’ so it is much simpler to put together than other constructions. Hello – what message does this give to girls…….you can’t build as well, you can’t follow instructions as well as boys, it needs to be simple or you’ll get bored?
Now I am not anti ‘girl’ toys and I do think that there are somethings which will be played with by one gender more than another – and that is fine. I don’t object to pink as a colour. What I really object to is this colour biased streaming of toys into sections – most of which are completely unnecessary – keyboards, cameras – which send some very strange messages to children which reflect adult bias and expectations.
By all means have Lego girl characters, have pink Lego bricks, have new locations to attract a wider audience and to keep new products flowing – just stop packaging and presenting them in these nauseating and stereo typical ways!!
What do you think about colour coding of girls and boys toys? We’d love to hear you views.