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The Figures Of Female Minifigures

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  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,549
    edited May 2015
    The fact that Lego did market research doesn't prove that Minidolls are more girl-friendly than minifigs. That's one possible explanation. Another is that girls have already been socialized to believe that their toys should be a certain way, and they reject the minifig due to inherent prejudice, which Lego could address by better marketing. Or it could be due to chance; what was the p-value of their psychological experiments? Also, to what degree was the mini-doll's figure determined by how girls played with it, vs how adults (who make purchasing decisions) perceived the product?


    It doesn't matter whether the research found that minidolls are more girl friendly or not. Some girls like minifigures. Some girls don't. Reaching out to the girls that don't like minifigures with minidolls will mean more sales. It doesn't matter whether this sub-group of girls have been socialized to think that their toys should look like more like humans than a minifig or whether it was their natural instinct. I also believe they have better marketed their range to girls, by including figures in the form that these girls wanted. Also including new colours helps too, although (some) boys like the newer colours too. (Some) boys even like the minidoll forms, especially when they are male characters including the new elves.
    Until Lego publishes details about how they determined that minidolls were better than minifigs for girls, the simplest explanation that I see is that the toy market is sexist, and Lego just wanted to cash in on the female half of that sexist market, because they'd managed to fail to do that properly for 20-30 years due to factors both in and out of their control.


    They don't need to publish the results, or even find that minidolls are better than minifigs for (all) girls. Their sales have shown that (some) girls want to buy sets with (i) minidolls and (ii) more pastel and bright colours than the primary colours that they were previously using in the majority of sets. The toy market is sexist, in that it talks to consumers in different ways depending on their gender. As are most markets. Clothes, cars, food, cosmetics, books, movies, ... they are all marketed differently to both genders.

    And it is not suprising that advertising even breaks down gender groups. Not all girls are the same. Neither are all boys. All girls should not be expected or forced to like the same thing, same for boys.
    Market research doesn't absolve you of sexism or racism. It's not a magic bullet. In fact it only works if you first acknowledge that we live in a sexist, racist society, and set a goal to do better than the status quo, and then conduct your research appropriately. Otherwise, you're at best perpetuating the current level of racism and sexism. And if you don't think we live in a racist, sexist society... well, I don't have time to explain why you're wrong.

    I think lego does fairly well on the racism front. They remove race from City by having figures of no identifiable race. In minidolls, they have two main skin colours based on their target Western markets. As to sexism, again I think they do well. Nowhere do they say on,for example, SW boxes that these toys are for boys. Same on City. Same on Creator. If girls want to play with them, then they are able to and nothing is stopping them. However, some girls don't, some girls tend to be more "girly" girls and don't like them. Should those girls be ignored and either have to play with the existing toys or should they get a choice of lego sets in the colours they like, with figures they like? If making the sets that they like is sexist, surely an alternative point of view is that not making the sets they like is just as sexist. The latter is saying that "girly" girls cannot play with lego, unless they change their ways and act more boyish. Lego are just as sexist on the other side as they do not cater to more "boyish" boys, ones that like more aggressive scenarios. They don't cater at all well for boys (or indeed a smaller proportion of girls) that like military games. Similar gore and horror and not well catered for, something that tends to be more male associated. Yet here, the argument is clear. Lego don't want to do it in their range, so they don't. It doesn't mean they are sexist for not catering for that audience. Just as if they did cater for it, it wouldn't mean they are sexist for providing something that more males like than females.
    SumoLegopharmjodBumblepantsdougtsMODVLEXJenni
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 506
    What is the ratio of MALE figures in Friends/Princess?
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,852
    edited May 2015
    I think there are just three. Flynn Rider, Prince Charming and Prince Eric.

    And given that there are dozens of Stephanies and Olivias wandering about my house, the Friends gender ratio is probably much more skewed.

    I was shocked that there were as many female minifigs as reported above.
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 858
    @MrShinyAndNew you definitely feel guilty for some reason about it all.

    Statistics for last year show that more whites were killed than black. There is, however, a number of UI race killed (CNN study).

    Studies also show that when applying for job, men tend to sell themselves better than women and aren't afraid to ask for more money.

    What the hell is a "white name?" That's racist.

    A lot of Orchestras do blind auditions where the auditioned I behind a curtain and the identities are hidden. Go to PASIC one year. There are practice auditions you can go to.

    Sounds like you are judging our society based on a hand full of events... Such a shame. Get off the bandwagon. You are like those white people at the protest on tv that wear "black lives matter" shirts. ALL LIVES MATTER. I understand the meaning behind the statement, but if you are trying to tell me I love under a rock when I never said racism and sexism don't exist, you must live in a far left heaven to say that its everywhere the "white man" is. Grow up
  • SolariousSolarious Kalamazoo, MI, USAMember Posts: 317
    ^I honestly don't want to get into the middle of this direct argument but you for sure said that you don't believe society as a whole was racist or sexist. He was just pointing out how that is a pretty naive statement- which I happen to agree with. He used real world examples.
    Stopping a list after 3-4 examples isn't judging on a handful of events- besides, you did the same thing.

    Oh- And of course there are "white sounding names". John sure as hell sounds a lot more Anglo than Juan. George and Jorge. Andrew over Andre. I could go on all day and I only did "boy" names. I had a friend in school named Tashena- you can't tell me you would have guessed she is white if you saw her name on a resume.
    tamamahm
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,549
    Solarious said:

    Oh- And of course there are "white sounding names". John sure as hell sounds a lot more Anglo than Juan. George and Jorge. Andrew over Andre. I could go on all day and I only did "boy" names. I had a friend in school named Tashena- you can't tell me you would have guessed she is white if you saw her name on a resume.
    I know a Juan and an Andre, they are both white. The former is Spanish, the latter French. But then I also know two Johns, an Andrew and a George that are all British-born black. You cannot tell that much from names. Although if you tell me someone's name is Cherry, I'll guess they are a Chinese female.

    I would have guessed Tashena was white ... if she was in the UK. It sounds like a fairly modernised middle class name that are becoming more popular here.


    Drmnez
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 858
    @Solarious Again, I'm not saying there aren't racist or sexist ppl, but saying our society is inherently discriminatory is false. I don't see segregated bathrooms or water fountains. Women are allowed and encouraged to vote. Can you give societal examples?

    My examples were in response.

    So names like William, Aaron, Vanessa are white names? While I understand what you are saying to suggest that names are race specific is ignorant. Esp with the increase in interracial couples, there are plenty of names that aren't stereotyped to their culture
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 858
    To steer this back to Lego, if you are unhappy with TLG creations please write them and post their response in the forum. I'd like to know what they say (I'm not asking cuz I don't see an issue).
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    icey117 said:
    What is the ratio of MALE figures in Friends/Princess?
    Based on the numbers in the Brickset database, Friends has 9 of 106 and Princesses has 3 of 16. 8.5% and 18.8%, or 9.8% combined.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,549
    And 2 out of 6 (or 7 if you include the flower attachment) for Elves, so as high as 33% there.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    After posting that, I realized it's probably more useful to know the gender distribution in sets, not just the total number of minifigures. For "normal" sets (i.e. polybags, advent calendars, etc., not included) that have been released, the percentages of males are:

    Friends: 9/96 (9%)
    Princesses: 3/15 (20%)
    Elves: 3/10 (30%)
    Total: 15/121 (12%)

    It looks like Elves will go down to 20% after the summer sets, while Friends will remain about the same.

  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,852
    Equity in inequality between minifig vs. minidoll sets with respect to gender... based upon market research and market demand.

    I'm sure someone has written a paper with regard to these circumstances.
  • chuxtoyboxchuxtoybox Member Posts: 711
    Not being that familiar with the LEGO SPACE theme, I thought I would have one over on LEGO for not having female minifigures in a theme. Apparently, I was wrong. :blush: 

    This time I'm also giving  a bit of information on the other figures in the sets these female minifigures are in.
    (I'm using BRICKSET's data base for this information just so ya know) 

    1993 ICE PLANET BABE (I am not making this up and I don't think BRICKSET did either,         that's what she is called.) (Is this figure wearing earrings?)

            She's in two sets: 6973 DEEP FREEZE DEFENDER ( 2 males also included)
                                      6983 ICE STATION ODYSSEY   (2 males also included)

                                      
    1998 INSECTOIDS-FEMALE, BLUE DIAMOND UNDER CIRCUITS DARK, GRAY ARMOR
            She's in three sets: 2965 HORNET SCOUT (1 droid minifigure also)
                                         6907 SONIC STINGER 
                                         6909 SONIC STINGER (PROMOTIONAL PACK)

    (Technically she's really in only 2 sets because 6907 and 6909 are really the same set)

    1999 INSECTOIDS- FEMALE, BLUE DIAMOND UNDER CIRCUITS
            She's in one set: 3073 KANA BOOSTER (POLYBAG)

    (This is basically the same mini as 1998's INSECTOIDS but without shoulder pads)

    2002 ASTROBOT FEMALE SANDY MOONDUST
            She is a promotional mini (POLYBAG) given away at WORLD SPACE CONGRESS'               HOUSTON, TX, USA

    2009 SPACE POLICE 3 OFFICER 9-FEMALE
             She's in one set: 5974 GALACTIC ENFORCER (2 human males, 2 alien males, 1                                                                                 statue and 1 droid also included)

    2011 ALIEN CONQUEST REPORTER
            She's in one set: 7065 ALIEN MOTHERSHIP (1 male alien also included)

    (This is the only female in the SPACE theme that actually has a female torso)

            ALIEN DEFENSE UNIT SOLDIER 5,FEMALE 
            She's in one set: 7066 EARTH DEFENSE HQ (2 male aliens, 2 human males also                                                                              included)

    2013 ASHLEE STARSTRIDER 
             She's in one set: 70705 BUG OBLITERATOR (1 male alien, 1 robot, and 1 human                                                                            male also included)

    So there you have it. It's interesting to note that the only female figure with a female torso is the reporter in 7065. All of these other females are only distinguishable by their "eyelashes" and lipstick. 
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 858
    Is the standard smiley face minifigure a man? Not all women wear makeup and frown... Just saying
    MODVLEXdougts
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,549
    ^ in Lego world, they do all seem to wear make-up. Which I think is part of the problem. It would be good if they did more female minifigs with no make-up or without significant curves on torsos. Although kids don't seem to care. Mine think nothing of putting female hair on a male minifig turning it into a woman.

    It's really only an AFOL problem.

    I'd still like them to put both male and female hairpieces into their sets, such as the creator ones like small cottage. It would be a cheap way to make the set more appealing to girls.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,852
    Belleville much? (Or maybe Paradisa?)

    I think the difference is the quality of the sets and more aggressive advertising.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,861
    CCC said:
    ^ in Lego world, they do all seem to wear make-up. Which I think is part of the problem. It would be good if they did more female minifigs with no make-up or without significant curves on torsos. Although kids don't seem to care. Mine think nothing of putting female hair on a male minifig turning it into a woman.
    I personally think there's nearly as much wrong with using hair as a gender identifier as with using eyelashes and lipstick as a gender identifier... I mean, there's no reason men can't have long hair and women can't have short hair. The idea of having multiple hair options is not a bad one, especially for a theme like Creator where the general idea is that you're rebuilding the set into different models anyway, but if LEGO does that I'd rather it not be strictly in the name of gender identification.

    It is worth noting that there have been SOME female minifigures without makeup. In a bit of an odd case, the 2012 Samurai X/Nya minifigure had eye makeup and lipstick on her default neutral expression (just as the 2011 Nya minifigure had worn) but no makeup on her new scowling expression. Child minifigures like the Grandma Visitor also generally do not wear makeup. And there are definitely some other faces that are generally treated as gender-neutral which lack lipstick or eyelashes.

    But also, I do not always think of the lip printing of minifigures as lipstick/makeup at all. When it's in a subtler color like nougat or medium nougat (i.e. the types of colors that might be used to represent facial lines on figures of both genders), I think it can just as easily represent the lips themselves. And yes, I know having lips a different color from the rest of one's face is not a uniquely female trait, but neither is having eyelashes. I think both are fairly harmless as symbolic gender identifiers as long as they're not played to extremes (in other words, not all eyelashes on female figs should be so long and full that it can only be interpreted as mascara, and not all lip printing on female figs should be so brightly colored that it can only be interpreted as lipstick).
    DrmnezMODVLEX
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 858
    What would a female minifig with makeup look like? A smiley face??
  • MrShinyAndNewMrShinyAndNew Member Posts: 268
    Drmnez said:
    @MrShinyAndNew you definitely feel guilty for some reason about it all.

    What the hell is a "white name?" That's racist.
    Just because I point out problems doesn't mean I feel guilty about things. But how I feel isn't relevant. And a "white-sounding name" is a name that people associate with a white person. Yes, it's racist. Did you miss the part where I said society is racist? The racism is subtle. But it's a plain fact that people are primed to think of certain things when they are presented with certain stimuli, to make certain assumptions. Most of it is unconscious and most people are unaware of their bias. I linked to a study that showed that people were judging applicants based on their names, even if they were unaware of it.
    Drmnez said:
    A lot of Orchestras do blind auditions where the auditioned I behind a curtain and the identities are hidden. Go to PASIC one year. There are practice auditions you can go to.
    The blind auditions were instituted specifically to counter unconscious bias.

    Not all racism or sexism is overt discrimination. I am not accusing you or society in general of being equivalent to the KKK. But just because the laws officially prohibit discrimination doesn't mean people aren't still prejudiced and biased. Even good, honest people who think they know better.

    The Friends Lego line is a perfect example of good honest people not combating the inherent sexism in society. I'm not convinced that intrinsic differences in girls make them (in general) want to play with minidolls vs minifigs. Yet Lego's market research supposedly "proves" that. Well, nothing is proven. All we have is a product line that in some ways competes with its regular product line. Yes there are lots of good aspects to the Friends line: the models are nice, nothing is dumbed down (build wise, anyway), and the colour palette is great (but sexist - it's a nice complement to the existing colours though). But just look at the gender ratios between the various themes. Friends and other minidoll themes skew heavily to female, and minifig themes skew heavily to males. That seems like a less-than-ideal situation to me.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,444
    it seems everything has to be sexist these days...
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 858
    @MrShinyAndNew Biases and racism/sexism are two different things.
    You still don't get that society isn't racist it people.

    Any its not apparent through text, but I'm not angry/trying to be mean with this debate, but its a discussion that will never end and never resolve cuz people will feel the way they feel regardless. Lets just try keep discussion about Lego.
  • chuxtoyboxchuxtoybox Member Posts: 711
    Drmnez said:
    Is the standard smiley face minifigure a man? Not all women wear makeup and frown... Just saying
    I knew someone would say this. :smile:  If you look at the evolution of the minifigure you can see that in the beginning  LEGO tried to distinguish males from females using hats for the males and pigtails for the females. This is before they even had faces. (Look for yourself in the BRICKSET data base. BRICKSET is AWESOME!)

    Then you can see in the next years when they made the smiley face they still tried to define the sexes with the same headwear.

    Then they made the female face more distinguishable by adding "eylashes" and "lips". 


    I'm in no way saying that this is a bad thing or a good thing. I think it shows that LEGO has always been trying to appeal to boys and girls from the  beginning.


  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,961
    Drmnez said:

    @MrShinyAndNew please o please o please tell me why the world is racist and sexist? I have yet to see that our laws, policies, and behavior as the populous at large

    And 

    @Solarious Again, I'm not saying there aren't racist or sexist ppl, but saying our society is inherently discriminatory is false. I don't see segregated bathrooms or water fountains. Women are allowed and encouraged to vote. Can you give societal examples?

    And
    Are you not aware that study after study shows that at a young age kids dont see sexism or racism, real or fabricated until someone puts it in there face? 
    The  world is a very large place, and yes, there are places in this world where there is overt sexism and racism. 

    Racism/Sexism is not simply about overt laws.
    Institutional racism is still racism. 

    There is relatively recent research that dismisses the concept that kids can not express racial prejudice unless overtly taught. That can begin around 3. 

    https://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/africology/faculty/upload/children_colorblind.pdf



  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,549
    edited May 2015
    Aanchir said:
    CCC said:
    ^ in Lego world, they do all seem to wear make-up. Which I think is part of the problem. It would be good if they did more female minifigs with no make-up or without significant curves on torsos. Although kids don't seem to care. Mine think nothing of putting female hair on a male minifig turning it into a woman.
    I personally think there's nearly as much wrong with using hair as a gender identifier as with using eyelashes and lipstick as a gender identifier... I mean, there's no reason men can't have long hair and women can't have short hair. The idea of having multiple hair options is not a bad one, especially for a theme like Creator where the general idea is that you're rebuilding the set into different models anyway, but if LEGO does that I'd rather it not be strictly in the name of gender identification.

    I agree. Which is why I think they should do some like that, not all. Not all women have large visible cleavage, hugely curved hips, and make-up. Which is why if some of the official female minifigures have plainer faces, some of the official female torsos are not curved, etc then it becomes more acceptable to mix and match male and female parts.

    It's quite rare for an adult female torso to not have curves. This one would normally be considered male:



    It makes me wonder if it was designed as a male, then changed to female later in the process.
    Drmnez
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 858
    Ugh... There are also studies that contradict that. Alas, the soft sciences... Why can't you provide a definite answer. 

    Another problem with the study is only white and black children were studied. Sample size was really small at approx 200. Not saying that all the things I've read are more reliable, but again soft sciences. 



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