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Castle Theme Women Mini-Figs

aplbomr79aplbomr79 Member Posts: 159
edited February 2012 in Collecting
Seeing as how the Female Minifigs fetch a good price aftermarket, why do we not see more? There is no reason that a female MiniFig would detract from a set (many times it makes it so desirable). What is the reason?

What are your thoughts? Would this help to bolster the Castle Theme sets of the future?

Comments

  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    Without reviewing the database, I think the last couple of years of Castle sets have seen the most Female figs ever. Since MMV there have been several sets with women in them, and very few (from memory) in previous years. I think Lego have realised that fans want more than just knights in these sets (although they are of course very important), which is why there has been the handful of civilian sets released.

    To answer your question - Yes, having more females would help bolster the sets in the future. But more importantly for me is having more civilians, both male, female and children to create medieval villages for knights to protect :)
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Nicely said @StuBoy :)
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,007
    Seeing as how the Female Minifigs fetch a good price aftermarket, why do we not see more?
    How things sell in the secondary market does not inherently translate over to the primary market and is probably not a big factor in what TLG does. Additionally and as @StuBoy has stated, this change is already starting to occur. Thirdly, I would guess that most young LEGO fans are boys and probably prefer to play with male figures. Lastly, I would assume that most knights, etc. were male and thus the opportunities to include female figures were few and far between.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 814
    edited February 2012
    Supposedly, the target market (young boys) doesn't want a lot of female figures in their sets. They DO want females to be included-- but they only really want them in there to be "rescued". By and large, the boys simply do NOT want to role-play as female characters. So that means there are very few female characters actually represented. Every female minifig that they put in a set is one fewer MALE minifig that they can put in the set, so we get a very imbalanced ratio.

    (FWIW, that's info from Jamie Berard regarding the results of their product testing)

    The AFOL-targetted sets are another matter, though. Things like the MMV and the Kingdoms Joust aren't aimed at young boys. They're aimed at adults, who DO want more female minifigures, which is why we get more in those sets.

    DaveE
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ exactly. And that is likely why the "we don't need Friends, just make other themes ~50% female minifigs" idea that I have heard regurgitated so many times the last few months was a complete non-starter with LEGO.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,977
    edited February 2012
    Girls don't want all boy minifigs in a set either. There is this chicken/egg phenomenon that happens to some degree.

    It isn't just AFOL as the reason sets like MMV and Joust have female characters. It is also that those particular lines do appeal a bit more to girls.

    I did the analysis on the friends thread, but if you look at the number of sets in a line that have female minifigs the ratio is really poor.

    What is interesting, though, is that often if there is a chance females may be a bit more interested, they 'may' put a few more females in that line. They do not put many in, though.

    Lines like Ninjago, Alien Conquest and Dino have basically next to no sets with female. City is not quite as good a ratio as one would expect. If I recall it was 8 out of 38 sets with female minifigs.
    Super Hero and Prince of Persia had a bit better ratio.

    Lego has managed to do lines that have a high ratio of females when looking at the number of sets per line with females, but the lines are few and far between.

    Harry Potter is a good example of a line that manages to interest boys and girls, and manages to have 7/10 sets with female minifigs. That is an amazingly high ratio. It is possible for Lego to have these sorts of lines with the right sets.

    From what I have read, Ho is often a success when it first comes out, but right now, only has about a shelf life of 1-2 years. I think, though, it is an example of how Lego can create lines that can have a number of female minifigs and still appeal to both genders.

    Tammy
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ I think you hit the nail on the head. LEGO will put more females in sets that have more mixed girl/boy appeal. Right now, with HP gone, that basically means City, and more specifically, the city sets that are less action-oriented.
  • DaddyDeuceDaddyDeuce Member Posts: 272
    It would cost LEGO next to nothing to either do some dual-sided male/female heads, or for figs where the hair won't cover the back of the head just include some female heads as spares in the box.

    Why on earth can't there just be two female heads in all the big fire and police sets?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ that's actually not a bad idea. allow each buyer to pick their choice of head.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 814
    It isn't just AFOL as the reason sets like MMV and Joust have female characters. It is also that those particular lines do appeal a bit more to girls.
    Are you suggesting that there was a conscious decision on LEGO's part to appeal to child-age girls with the MMV set? Because from what I've heard, that's not true. From what I know, LEGO basically looked at what AFOLs wanted from castle sets, and tried to incorporate that into a set. And what to AFOL castle fans want? More day-in-the-life things like peasants, females, farm animals, pitchforks, houses, etc.

    The fact that these are ALSO what girls find appealing is coincidental. Same with the modular town buildings-- they're what AFOLs want, which just-so-happens to be more gender neutral and day-in-the-life buildings.
    What is interesting, though, is that often if there is a chance females may be a bit more interested, they 'may' put a few more females in that line. They do not put many in, though.
    Yeah, that's been true for a while. They put in a "token" female here and there, like "Princess Storm" (the female knight from KK1), "Jet" (the Rock Raiders pilot), "Agent Trace" (from the Agents line), or "Sam Rhodes" (Atlantis), etc. And *that* I think is to appeal to the small group of girls who ARE interested in these lines. But because the line is usually still targeted at boys, there are only a scant few females (usually just 1 per theme, but sometimes more).
    Harry Potter is a good example of a line that manages to interest boys and girls, and manages to have 7/10 sets with female minifigs.
    I think that's because:

    (1) Harry Potter is a licensed theme, so LEGO simply HAS to include the major characters from the movie, many of whom are female. Star Wars (by comparison) has virtually zilch for female characters. For the original trilogy, you've got what? Princess Leia, and that's about it. Sure, you've got Mon Mothma, Aunt Beru, and some token aliens, but even if LEGO wanted to, they're pretty much stuck with ONE female character.

    (2) Harry Potter is typically more gender neutral in terms of subject matter. Prince of Persia is pretty much a boy/action movie, as is Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, etc. So I'd expect them to lean a little more on female characters in Harry Potter than I would in other licensed themes.

    DaveE
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,007
    Nabii posted a really interesting comment some months back about Friends that seems relevant here...
    *********************************************
    LEGO_Nabii December 2011 Quote Edit

    Just as a small insight there was worry of a double impact to keeping the minifigure for the girls line, not only did girls consider the traditional minifigure to be ugly and a boys toy (identifying it with Star Wars and Power Miners and the like) but there was concern that if girls started to play with minifigures in large numbers some of the more insecure boys might reclassify the minifigure as a doll and stop desiring it. If this line does not work then I have no idea what will, the sets are great fun to build, look fantastic and every girl I've ever seen play with them in tested was devestated to not be able to take the characters home. I think this could be it. Now, to convince the team they need the Buffy the Vampire Slayer license...
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    ^ And I'll say it again, BtVS Lego would rock! As would an entire Whedon-verse range actually - Buffy, Angel (including Pylea sets which would be kind of Castle-y - see how I snuck in that pathetic attempt at on-topicness?) and Firefly. There'd be a good ratio of male to female figs too if this range ever happened. I'm all a-quiver with MoC ideas now ...

    Grrr. Aaarggh. Ok, I'm done now :)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,829
    edited February 2012
    It would cost LEGO next to nothing to either do some dual-sided male/female heads, or for figs where the hair won't cover the back of the head just include some female heads as spares in the box.

    Why on earth can't there just be two female heads in all the big fire and police sets?
    I kind of agree, but then it would only work where the character was in a unisex uniform that we use now in modern day. Can you imagine a bearded minifig head on top of a body wearing a dress in MMV or Joust? I can't imagine TLG wishing to promote crossdressing! The barmaid character from Shrek 2 comes to mind. :oD

    I'm not sure it would work particularly well in Castle or other historic themes.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Nabii posted a really interesting comment
    Thats the best argument Ive read for the new minifigs. Still make me grit my teeth, but I can see the logic of the psychology behind it.
  • NeilJamNeilJam USAMember Posts: 272
    What is interesting, though, is that often if there is a chance females may be a bit more interested, they 'may' put a few more females in that line. They do not put many in, though.
    Yeah, that's been true for a while. They put in a "token" female here and there, like "Princess Storm" (the female knight from KK1), "Jet" (the Rock Raiders pilot), "Agent Trace" (from the Agents line), or "Sam Rhodes" (Atlantis), etc. And *that* I think is to appeal to the small group of girls who ARE interested in these lines. But because the line is usually still targeted at boys, there are only a scant few females (usually just 1 per theme, but sometimes more).
    LEGO will sometimes include one or two female minifigs in a given theme. However, I've noticed that when they do, those minifigs are often only included in one of the larger sets (i.e. Alien Conquest, Kingdoms, City Police, and past themes like Ice Planet 2002).
    I'm glad you mentioned this Princess Storm figure. I didn't know about her as I wasn't collecting castle sets at that time. Now I want to get this minifig (or at least the torso).
    Harry Potter is a good example of a line that manages to interest boys and girls, and manages to have 7/10 sets with female minifigs.
    I think that's because:

    (1) Harry Potter is a licensed theme, so LEGO simply HAS to include the major characters from the movie, many of whom are female. Star Wars (by comparison) has virtually zilch for female characters. For the original trilogy, you've got what? Princess Leia, and that's about it. Sure, you've got Mon Mothma, Aunt Beru, and some token aliens, but even if LEGO wanted to, they're pretty much stuck with ONE female character.

    (2) Harry Potter is typically more gender neutral in terms of subject matter. Prince of Persia is pretty much a boy/action movie, as is Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, etc. So I'd expect them to lean a little more on female characters in Harry Potter than I would in other licensed themes.

    DaveE
    Yeah, the numbers are skewed some for HP because there are so many females, including one of the three main characters that were included in many, many sets. LEGO didn't have many characters to choose from for Star Wars, but it still took them 12 years to make a proper Amidala minifig. They have a few more options for LOTR depending how long the theme goes and how varied the sets are. I think it is also another license that, like Harry Potter, already has a larger percentage of female fans.

  • aplbomr79aplbomr79 Member Posts: 159
    Great discussion thus far. I appreciate the info and facts.

    One area that I don't really agree with is the 'boys like all-male minifigs' in the set. When I go out shopping with my 4 and 5 yo boys, they never comment on the minifigs; it is all about the build itself. The love Castle sets, City Sets (trucks are big, as are cranes), Alien COnquest (because it has guns and shoots stuff). Never has sex been involved in any equation. Maybe they are just too young, but in my opinion - it is all about the final product for my boys - not the sex of the minifigs.

    Case in point: my youngest (4yo) wanted the new Garbage Truck - not because of the minifigs, but because it was a Garbage Truck. For him, the garbage truck is big, powerful, and noisy. An easy win. I don't think that he even noticed the Minifigs when we were looking - and after he opened it up on Christmas Day, he never even stated any preference in regards with the minifigs. It was all about the Truck and making noises and collecting garbage.

    I have many Steriline containers that hold/separate different themes and sets for all of my boys' LEGO. One large Steriline container is full of their Minifigs. For them, sex is of no consequence as long as they have some minifig to do the job.

    They both understand the traditional roles of men and women - and know what aisles are dedicated to 'girls' and 'boys' alike. But female minifigs don't matter to them.

    I am not sure that I answered anything with this post - or if I confused myself further. Anyway, I am certain that the LEGO brand will not be hurt by increasing the amount of female minifigs in their final count.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    It would cost LEGO next to nothing to either do some dual-sided male/female heads, or for figs where the hair won't cover the back of the head just include some female heads as spares in the box.

    Why on earth can't there just be two female heads in all the big fire and police sets?
    I kind of agree, but then it would only work where the character was in a unisex uniform that we use now in modern day. Can you imagine a bearded minifig head on top of a body wearing a dress in MMV or Joust? I can't imagine TLG wishing to promote crossdressing! The barmaid character from Shrek 2 comes to mind. :oD

    I think your missing the point flump. Adding just a couple of female heads and hair would cost pennies and make a big difference. Especially to girls who like to play with dolls, swapping the bits around would be part of the fun. In the Fire Brigade there's a figure that I consider female (with the tan hair with the middle parting). I know that hair piece is unisex, and the outfit certainly is. With the creator houses and sets where figs wear uniforms all it would take would be a couple of heads and hair bits to increase the appeal to girls.I gave my niece a much of girl parts so she can decide her figs for her self. But not everyone knows about bricklink or replacement parts.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 502
    This is why I often visit the online Lego Store PAB area, to see what female heads are available. I order 15-20 of them at a time, when they appear. Reason, my nieces want female firepeople and police people. These outfits, when compared to what I see in public, are gender neutral.

    I also order female hair pieces, too. My nieces get really excited, and skype me thank you messages, whenever I send them some new female faces and hair pieces. Btw, they love the collectible minifigs, and series 6 has already seen them reform the mechanic, sleeping boy, butcher, and western bandit into female versions of these characters.

    In short, they love the ability to bring more females into their male-dominated minifigure world. They just needed me to locate the heads for them.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 814
    One area that I don't really agree with is the 'boys like all-male minifigs' in the set.
    Supposedly, the research shows *not* that they like to have 100% male minifigs in a set, but rather that they do not want to "be" the female minifigs. If there are 2 minifigs in a set (one male, one female), and he's playing with someone else, he will give the female figure to the other player so that he doesn't have to "be" the female. Many boys would rather not play at all than "be" a girl figure.

    So, essentially, the bare minimum requirement for boys is that there MUST be at least one male figure in each set. And because boys often play with other boys, 2 or 3 male minifigs are a pretty good necessity, although not as important as that 1st one. Hence, you typically only see female figures added in once the set has 2 or more male minifigs-- which means that females are usually in larger sets, and not in smaller ones.

    DaveE
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