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Question for folks in the know about the Friends theme

PhonegalPhonegal Bagram, AfghanistanMember Posts: 22
I just started collecting the Friends theme minifigures and I noticed that some of the characters have differences from figure to figure. Some of the “Andrea” figures have green eyes and others with brown eyes. “Olivia” has glasses in some figures and none in others. Is this common within the theme that characters are changed along the line? Or am I missing something? I double checked in BrickLink and the figures are correct according to their parts lists and photos. 

Comments

  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,653
    Sometime in the last couple of years they refreshed the line and tweaked the characters a bit.
    Aanchirmak0137LyichirCM4S
  • PhonegalPhonegal Bagram, AfghanistanMember Posts: 22
    Thanks, that explains a lot. Threw me for a loop when I was looking at some side by side. 
    Aanchir
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,316
    Maybe Olivia wears glasses as a fashion statement rather than because she needs glasses?
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 781
    ^I hate those people! I've worn glasses since I was eleven... and lately they're bifocals.
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 287
    The old versions were much prettier than the recent ones. I was going to say especially Mia, but actually old Andrea and old Emma were also better, and Olivia simply is a different person (they could have created a new character). Stephanie remains the same.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,794
    jnscoelho said:
    The old versions were much prettier than the recent ones. I was going to say especially Mia, but actually old Andrea and old Emma were also better, and Olivia simply is a different person (they could have created a new character). Stephanie remains the same.
    I mean, obviously beauty is entirely subjective, but I hardly see how making Andrea and Emma's eyes more closely resemble real people of African, East Asian, and Celtic descent would make them "less pretty".
    Moreover, I'm not sure what you mean about Olivia being a "different person". She got a tan, glasses, and braided the front of her hair. It's kind of bewildering that this is the character you singled out as most changed when these are all changes in appearance that real-life people are much more likely to go through over the course of their childhood than dramatic changes in one's eye color or eye shape.
    I assume Olivia's skin tone is your primary concern? But just for comparison's sake:
    Completely different characters, am I right?
    All in all, I think LEGO made some good choices with these character design changes. Not only do Emma's eye shape, Olivia's skin tone and glasses, Mia's smirk, etc. make the characters look less "samey", but they have probably made it easier for a lot of kids around the world to find characters whose physical traits they relate to. And they did so without the need to weigh down the main cast with new token characters who don't fit with the carefully and purposefully planned variety of hobbies and interests as the original five.
    Lyichir
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,794
    @Aanchir - You need to relax a bit. @jnscoelho isn't disparaging any ethnic group. Just pointing out objectively that Olivia really does look like a completely different person. Which is fine.
    I apologize if anything about that post sounds like it's not "relaxed". I'm not angry or anything and didn't intend for any of my comment to sound like I was accusing @jnscoelho of any sort of prejudice. I was only bringing up the characters' apparent ethnicities to point out that there is some rhyme and reason to the redesigns, which IMO the designers achieved with fairly minimal changes.
    I was a little snarky with the comparisons to other LEGO characters with varying skin tones, but I meant that in good fun, and the main point I was making is just that skin tones as depicted in LEGO are pretty flexible even when depicting the same character.
    Overall, I'm mostly surprised that Olivia's redesign is the one that people find hardest to reconcile with her old design. If anything, I'd expect to hear people express that concern about Emma, since the actual shape and color of her eyes both changed, not just her skin tone or hairstyle.
    BrainsluggedBaby_Yoda
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,515

    And don't forget Luke's corrective eye surgery.

    jnscoelho560HeliportCM4S
  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged England (the grim North)Member Posts: 752
    Aanchir said:I apologize if anything about that post sounds like it's not "relaxed". I'm not angry or anything and didn't intend for any of my comment to sound like I was accusing @jnscoelho of any sort of prejudice.
    Thanks for clearing that up. I find a lot of your in-depth analysis enlightening, but just thought you'd missed the mark slightly here. I guess that's always going to be a problem with the written word - especially on a forum where people are writing off the cuff.
    jnscoelhodmcc0mustang69AanchirBaby_Yoda
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,794
    Aanchir said:I apologize if anything about that post sounds like it's not "relaxed". I'm not angry or anything and didn't intend for any of my comment to sound like I was accusing @jnscoelho of any sort of prejudice.
    Thanks for clearing that up. I find a lot of your in-depth analysis enlightening, but just thought you'd missed the mark slightly here. I guess that's always going to be a problem with the written word - especially on a forum where people are writing off the cuff.
    Yeah, no problem. I'm sure it doesn't help matters that I tend to have a hard time keeping my thoughts concise, considering that a lot of times people don't make posts as long as mine UNLESS it's an angry/emotional rant.
    It's something I'm trying to get better at, especially given how much TIME my longer posts take me to make. But it's tricky to find that balance between saying enough that people don't misunderstand my intent, and not rambling so much that I sound like a know-it-all or a crazy person. :P
    Baby_Yodadutchlegofan50
  • jnscoelhojnscoelho PortugalMember Posts: 287
    Just to make it clear @Aanchir, and in a sort of short reply, I was simply commenting from a personal (and shallow/superficial) perspective on the design and "looks" of those dolls.
    I don't really worry about how well toys represent real-life. It's a mini-doll, not a mini-person. Do classic space men represent correctly astronauts? No, but we still like them. Do mini-dolls represent correctly the anatomy of a person? No, but we still like them. And I could go on...

    I think the new Olivia is fine, I just don't accept it as an "evolution" or "growing-up" of the old Olivia. To me, they could have named it whatever and it would be perfect. Unlike Stephanie, it's a totally different character. Even by simply changing the eye color or shape, you get a different character. And that's fine, diversity is good. What I don't like is when they change established characters just for the sake of "diversity" - I could go into comics and name a bunch.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    Aanchir said:
    Overall, I'm mostly surprised that Olivia's redesign is the one that people find hardest to reconcile with her old design. If anything, I'd expect to hear people express that concern about Emma, since the actual shape and color of her eyes both changed, not just her skin tone or hairstyle.
    I would argue that Olivia's change is probably the most significant one.  Skin tone is a big difference.  It's immediately noticeable since it covers the most surface area on the figures, and it's suddenly distinct from the other characters' flesh tones, where before it was uniform with everyone except Andrea.  You could also argue that it makes switching outfits more difficult, too, since the arm color and leg color now have to be scrutinized more (although it does create a larger diversity in available body parts, which is better)

    The glasses are also a big difference-- immediately noticeable on the artwork, and pretty noticeable on the figures, too, since the glasses are very distinct from other faces (nobody's got beards, stubble, eye patches, cyborg implants, etc, like in various minifig lineups).  And since Olivia is "the nerd", I think a lot of people object to LEGO following the stereotype of making nerds wear glasses.  "You have glasses?  You must be smart!"  I honestly would've preferred to see glasses on anyone except Olivia.

    DaveE
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,316
    ^ Time for a cyborg Friend ;-)
    560Heliport
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 781
    Olivia is the "science"-y one, right? There we go!
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 2,807
    I like the fact that there's a friends girl with glasses. Nice for kids who wear them themselves.
    560HeliportAanchirBaby_Yoda
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,316
    Maybe a Friends girl with an eyepatch and a peg leg! Arrrrrrrr!
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    ^ Time for a cyborg Friend ;-)
    OMG, was Zobo once a human?  Olivia, WHAT DID YOU DO?

    DaveE
    560HeliportAanchirMeganL
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