How LEGO’s New Girl Line Has Inspired Activism and Optimism

I have been ranting about LEGO’s gender bias on and off since March, and it gives me great satisfaction to see so much talk about the company this week, in response to the company’s announcement of a new toy line for girls. People are really, really ticked off and they are finding some very creative ways to tell LEGO about it.

There have been plenty of blog posts written, a few of which were collected into a tweet by Erin at Marketing, Media and Childhood. Erin listed a post from Pigtail Pals, Jezebel, and her own post. Since then, at least one other person I know has weighed in: Dr. Jen Shewmaker on her Don’t Conform Transform blog.

There has also been activity on Twitter, under the hashtag LegoFAIL. (#LegoFAIL)

Just now I noticed another interesting form of protest from SheHeroes, who suggested that people “like” LEGO on Facebook and then post the picture above with the comment “”Forget the pink aisles and new girl figures with breasts, bring back beautiful!” And people have responded. If you’re on Facebook, check out the LEGO page to see what’s happening.

As I have said before, I am not anti-LEGO. We have tons of the stuff in our house. But I am troubled by the increasing gender bias in their toys. Boys get extreme violence in the marketing and the toys. (See the images in this post.) Girls get pink and purple mini-figures with professions like beautician and socialite. Seriously.

Add to all of this LEGO action the news that a department store in the UK changed the pink and blue layout of its toy department, and I’d say things are looking up for those of us working to change the gendered way that toys are marketed. These may be baby steps,  but they are going in the right direction.

 

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5 thoughts on “How LEGO’s New Girl Line Has Inspired Activism and Optimism

  1. Crystal, you have done a great job leading the charge on Lego’s gender exclusivity. They are listening and responding both on Facebook and Twitter. I’m not convinced it will change their plans, but hopefully we’ve raised their awareness.

    • Thanks Jennifer. I’ve seen the reaction on Facebook and it’s very encouraging. As you said, it won’t change their plans for this new pink and purple girls’ line–too much is invested in it I’m sure–but I don’t think they can ignore what’s happening.

  2. Amazingly, the firestorm is still growing a week later. It’s been raising awareness not only at the company, but among customers. I will be interested to see if the protest against this new low ends up being the force that makes Lego turn itself around. Besides the gender stratification, stereotyping and violence, the sets and models do not encourage creativity, are too closely linked to movie marketing, and the parts are too limiting – architectural parts have just about disappeared. Legos has benefited children’s development for years and has so much potential for kids going forward. Let’s hope for a change!

  3. Pingback: LEGO Loses Girls

  4. Pingback: It’s the Lego Friends roundup – Marketing, Media and Childhood

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