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Prelim 2013 female minifig count...

tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
edited October 2012 in Collecting
I have girls that enjoy Lego, but generally we struggle finding sets for them. A while ago, I started tracking female minifig counts. I generally do it via number of sets/line that have a female minifig. This really gives me a good perspective of how skewed the marketing of a particular line is towards a gender.
What I generally see is that there are almost never any neutral lines. Most lines are highly skewed towards boys, with a few that have less skew. HP is my golden example of a line that was skewed to appeal to everyone. 7/10 sets included female minfigs. The line also had a variety of females.

Obviously, these numbers will change once better pictures come in, more pictures set come in, and as I can count minifigs better. ;-)

In particular, I'm looking at new sets that contain minifigs. Even if we had pics of the new Friends sets, I would not be including them, because my goal is to look at what Lego offers besides Friends. The statement over and over is that Friends is to get kids interested in Lego that have not typically been interest. That is great, so I like to see what is available for those girls that have been interested and want something more. (Or in my case....for my girls that already have interest, and want sets that interest them)

I counted 51 new non-Friend Lego sets that contain minifigs. Out of those sets only 7 contain female minfigs.
Right now, I can find....

2 in Arkham
2 in Horizon Express

1 in the fire station
1 in fire chief car
1 in flatbed truck
1 in a star wars heavy cannon
1 in Mirkwood

Looking at preliminary ratios, this would be
Hobbit 1/6 sets with a female minfig (I did include this for 2013)
Star Wars 1/8 boxed sets with a female minifig
City 3-?/13 sets with a females minifig (Missing the tanker truck picture)
Chima 0-?/17 sets with a female minfig (At this point, I really can't tell if there are any female.)
Ninjago 0/6 sets with a female minfig
TMNT 0-2/5 sets with a female minifig (2 sets are still unknown)
Super Hero 1/5 sets with female minfigs

Looking at the number of female minifigs versus the total number of minifigs, I'm coming up with about
9/166

Overall, these prelim numbers for 2013 are fairly poor.

One may say that, well, of course they are. One can see that most of the above are highly traditional 'boy sets', have fewer female minfigs. Sets that girls may play with such as city, have female minfigis there.
True, but it also shows, that pretty much everything that is coming right now for 2013 almost all targeted towards boys, without any attempt of a line that is a bit more neutral. While city seems to have 23% of the boxes with a female minifig, at first glance it seems there is less than 10% female City minifigs out of all the new City minifigs.

With future lines this year being Lone Ranger, 'Space Insects" and a few more Super Hero and probably city sets, at this time the rest of 2013 is looking grim for anything not highly skewed towards boys.

I know some may not think this matters, but for a female interested in Lego, I find this a far bigger issue than the Friends uproar.

I know folks have stated that these sets can be supplemented with female minfigs, so low numbers of female minifigs are fine. I've seen time and again, that the minifigs in a set HIGHLY impact my kids' interest in a set and a line. This applies just as much to my son as it does my girls. My son had negative interest in Ninjago until those snakes appeared. My son wanted every Alien Conquest set for the aliens. His top Christmas wish is the Epic Dragon Battle, especially because it contains the green ninja.

For my girls it has just as big of an impact on what they pick, and they end up with very limited choices.
At this time, I have one daughter that wants new HP sets for Christmas (I've had to explain several times that there are not any new sets, and will not be.), and Friends. She has no interest in any of the horse sets, though, and between both girls, those are the only sets we don't have. Despite having no interest in Super Heroes (never has), she has looked at the Bat Cave. Why? Because of Poison Ivy. Female minifigs absolutely impact the ability of Lego to 'sell' a kit to my girls, and the lack of such female minifigs often results in my money going elsewhere.
I have very, very few options for her.

Anyway, outside of my editorializing on this particular topic, I thought the above prelim data was pertinent and interesting.
mandm51brickmatic
«13

Comments

  • TheCableGuyTheCableGuy Member Posts: 115
    Interesting data no doubt but I feel that there may be a variable or bias that you are over-looking here.

    Take Star Wars for example, the subject material itself is overwhelmingly focussed or biased, especially the original trilogy. This has been redressed with the PT and Clone Wars to an extent, however the fact remains that most of the characters are male. For the sets to feature more females are we to suggest that positive discrimination take place? I'm not sure that solves anything.

    I'm sure the same argument could be made for other themes too so perhaps it would be more accurate to express this figure as ratio taking into account the subject material or gender split of your typical hobbity construction working ninja?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    Of course it is a biased view. Exclude the sets that are designed for girls, and the others are skewed in favour of boys. It's the same with any toy. They are very few toys depicting characters that are designed for both sexes. I don't recall many women in the action man range when I was growing up, and my cousin had a lot of Barbie, but only one Ken.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    It is also biased in a way that seems to fault LEGO when a lot of the bias is the content that the license and not always their designs. Yes they could license more neutral stuff but like it was mentioned things like Star Wars is already heavily boy targeted. The Hobbit as another example had no defining female characters and they actually added one for the movies to help balance that. That balance of male to female was Tolken not LEGO.

    Not saying that if you just take the LEGO themed stuff that the balance isn't off as well, but if you exclude Friends as the girl line you need to exclude Ninjago/Chima since they could easily be called the boy only line. There may be girls that like that stuff.. and there could be boys that like Friends. But target is the goal so those should be eliminated from the count together.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    edited October 2012
    I agree with @TheCableGuy on the uneven ratio originating from source material lacking female characters to begin with. Obvious for SW and LotR. TMNT only had 1 female, April O'Neil. Ninjago only has 1 too, Nya.

    Leaving Superheroes as the only license that does better in this aspect with Catwoman, Wonderwoman, Harley Quinn, Ivy, Black Widow, Phoenix. But even if you expanded into the universe to add more female characters, how many can you include? If you chose the top 100 of DC/Marvel characters to make into figs, you'll be hard pressed to get 25 chosen over the many male characters.

    Which leaves City and Creator as the most hopeful themes for a change in male/female fig ratio that Lego can actually do something about.
  • beabea Member Posts: 227
    It's those darned more expressive faces. When I was a child and everything was just the generic smiley face, any/all of the figures in my space/castle/police/whatever sets could be "boys" or "girls" as the mood suited me.

    I suppose this works better for unlicensed sets that don't have pre-established genders from the source material but in the end they can build whatever world they want. Maybe batman isn't the hero. Maybe batman is really batwoman.
    brickmatic
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    edited October 2012
    Thanks, I love stats! Sparked a few thoughts.

    Indeed LEGO can't be expected to gratuitously add female figs to a licensed theme originally lacking women. And for the "boys" sets, I imagine the last thing LEGO want to do is risk turning off the target audience by adding female figs, although they did it in Ninjago to a degree.

    I think CMF is the fairest gauge - it's surely aimed at everyone, and equally appealing to girls, so it should be a 50/50 split?

    What reeeeally irritated me though was getting #4635 and finding two men. It's a vehicle repair shop aimed at 4 year olds, surely at this age it would not turn off boys to find a male and a female who are capable of fixing cars?

    Another thought - Creator never used to have figs, precisely because of the gender issue, but have now started. It'll be very interesting to review those.
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,188
    I, for one, will not stand for it and demand Lego make more Lego female minifigs,

    They can start with Marvel woman
    - Invisible Woman
    - Storm
    - Ms Marvel
    - Scarlett Witch
    - Rogue
    - Spider Woman
    - Elektra
    - Emma Frost
    - She-Hulk
    - Pepper Potts
    - Mary Jane Watson
    - Maria Hill
    Bumblepantsmandm51brickmatic
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 2,152
    edited October 2012
    I thought they did Mary Jane with the first round of Spider-Man sets?
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,188
    ^ They did, but that was 8 years ago and that was during my Dark Ages, but that's beside the point. :)

    Also redo Aunt May. Thanks.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    edited October 2012
    ^Mary Jane and Aunt May were indeed in the first (yellow face) and second (flesh face) Spider-man waves (we're now on our 3rd Spidey wave).

    ^^You can add Psylocke, Jubilee and Mystique to that Marvel list too. Not to mention another whole list for the ladies of DC.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    A few thoughts...
    @TheCableGuy- I'm guessing I wasn't clear hear. I am not overlooking the variable you mentioned. If anything I'm far, far too aware of it. I'm not saying make up characters and add them into a line, although Peter Jackson did for the Hobbit, and thus the Mirkwood set.

    The themes Lego chooses reflects the sort of minifigs they use, and the minifigs used reflects the sort of theme they have choosen. The two are tied.

    My interpretation of the data actually is that, it is more of a clear data point for a particular line that shows how far it swings to a particular gender focus, which to me actually ends up pointing back to theme and implementation of those themes. So, yes, the 1/6 ratio in Star Wars to me is an indication that it is very much a line they have geared towards boys.

    My issue is really what CCC mentions. Lego is a boy toy. It is geared towards boys. If you are a girl that already likes Lego, you are pretty much hosed.
    My problem is that I have always viewed Lego as a gender-neutral toy. My girls view it as a gender neutral toy. Lego's Vision and Mission statement are gender neutral. At the end of the day, though, toy marketing is not.

    I am fine with lines of Lego that is heavily geared towards boys. I'm fine with lines that have fewer female minfigs. I actually don't even expect at 50-50 split on the gender of female minifigs, or even the CMFs. I just want Lego to occasionally throw more than just a bone out there for girls interested in Lego. This go around, with an exception or two, there really is nothing outside of Friends.
    With LOTR, Star Wars, Super Heroes, Lone Ranger, Crazy Space bugs, Chima, Ninjago, City.... couldn't they have come up with one line that was focused on something a bit more neutral. I've mentioned it before, but my son would have gone nuts over an adventure theme with caves, secret passages, trap doors, etc, instead of yet another vehicle line or fighting line. Add in some girls, details, a few sets that weren't simply vehicles, and you have come up with something at least a bit different and thrown a bone out there....
    Even with the City sets... why not a park? A school?

    herekittykittymandm51brickmatic
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    Ach. That's what happens when I'm in a hurry....
    Here. Not hear.
    I'm afraid to see what else I messed up
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    tamamahm said:


    Even with the City sets... why not a park? A school?

    Gotta agree with you on that, I'd be very keen for more buildings for the City line, but Legos market research obviously tells them that vehicles are what sells, and boys want Lego men in their sets. As an AFOL though, I would prefer more girls in regular themes, but, I'm not the target consumer.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    Yeah...my son would throw their market research off. He does not want Lego men in his sets. He wants cute aliens, monsters, critters ... ;-)
    If I look at what CMF's he wants, though, he generally requests about 6, and usually 1/2 of them are female minifigs. This go around, it was the
    Bat, pirate, diver and robot
    Alien queen, cowgirl and skier
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    tamamahm said:


    My issue is really what CCC mentions. Lego is a boy toy. It is geared towards boys. If you are a girl that already likes Lego, you are pretty much hosed.
    My problem is that I have always viewed Lego as a gender-neutral toy. My girls view it as a gender neutral toy. Lego's Vision and Mission statement are gender neutral. At the end of the day, though, toy marketing is not.

    I am fine with lines of Lego that is heavily geared towards boys. I'm fine with lines that have fewer female minfigs. I actually don't even expect at 50-50 split on the gender of female minifigs, or even the CMFs. I just want Lego to occasionally throw more than just a bone out there for girls interested in Lego. This go around, with an exception or two, there really is nothing outside of Friends.

    I agree here - Lego is a boys toy, primarily aimed at boys. Can girls play with it? Of course. Much like boys can play with (girls') dollies if they like. My little girl plays with lego. I found it easy to get her stuff she likes. I bought about 40 female torsos and heads on bricklink and so she has more than enough females. We don't really do sets either. If our kids get new sets, they have them as sets for a few months, but they eventually get mixed in. If she wants a school, she can build it. Supermarkets are her thing at the moment though. Lego is a building toy, kids can build what they like, etc etc etc.
    cheshirecatTheBigLegoski
  • gifinimgifinim UKMember Posts: 174
    I agree that next years City lineup seems very biased at the moment. Nearly all the female figures I can make out in the current pictures are civilian - the fire department seems especially male oriented, even the otherwise-fantastic firestation. It would have been nice to have a female thief in the Museum Break-in set too as my daughter always complains there isn't one. (Have Lego never seen Thelma and Louise??) The Creator train certainly balances out well though with 3 of each, with the driver as one of the ladies.

    The other thing I havn't seen yet is any short legged figures - where have all the children gone?
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    Even with the City sets... why not a park? A school?
    Comes in with the whole gender sterotyping fiasco. Lego doesn't think about what both boys and girls would like in city sets outside of sterotyped walls, it's what boys typically like and the girls get icky friends instead of being invited into the lego club.

    People have been saying for.. what is it? YEARS? that the city needs stuff like schools, places to eat(friends don't count!), and other things. Yet city is getting nothing but more fire, more police, and WAY more vehicles. I am so sick of the vehicle overkill in the line.

    On the 16th, i went to the store to snag a few things for my b-day and i wanted a new lego set. Pretty much everything that was at a good price was another vehicle(4 wheeled like cars or atvs). Luckily i found a cool ninjago on sale for 20 bucks or 2 kreo sets on sale(2.38 a piece) and a lego poly bag would of been my only buys.

    And the whole animal mystery bag series with friends actually could be counted towards the sterotyping fiasco. Apparently lego doesn't think that boys could actually want animals and instead stick them as a friends item where most boys wouldn't touch the line with a 30 foot pole. As far as would i get the animals? Been debating on that for a couple days now.

    On one hand i'm desperate for new animals but on the other hand, why would i support a line i've hated from day one?
    mandm51
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841


    On one hand i'm desperate for new animals but on the other hand, why would i support a line i've hated from day one?

    So buy the animals on bricklink.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    See, that is where my view differs, @CCC. I just do not consider Lego by default a boys' toy, but a generic toy that at some point has fallen in line with the same annoying marketing and design that many other companies do. I get why companies do it, but it feels like somewhere along the line Legi threw out girls.

    That may not be accurate history, though. Was it always exclusively marketed to boys, or was it more generic?? I just remember growing up in the 70s and considering it a generic toy marketed to boys/girls. Of course childhood memories are not only always accurate. Perhaps Lego was always marketed just towards boys.


    Yes, the animal thing bugs me. The animal issue is seen in many, many toy lines. Goodness forbid that a boy likes animals. :-/ Luckily my son is young enough that he will not care about packaging. He will so want that turtle.

    As others have mentioned elsewhere, the lack of male minifig characters in the Friends line is also frustrating.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    tamamahm said:


    That may not be accurate history, though. Was it always exclusively marketed to boys, or was it more generic?? I just remember growing up in the 70s and considering it a generic toy marketed to boys/girls. Of course childhood memories are not only always accurate. Perhaps Lego was always marketed just towards boys.

    I cannot remember the marketing, but sets were aimed at girls in the 1970s.

    For example ...

    image

    I don't know how well they sold, or when and why lego chose to market the range more towards boys.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    tamamahm said:

    See, that is where my view differs, @CCC. I just do not consider Lego by default a boys' toy, but a generic toy that at some point has fallen in line with the same annoying marketing and design that many other companies do. I get why companies do it, but it feels like somewhere along the line Legi threw out girls.

    That may not be accurate history, though. Was it always exclusively marketed to boys, or was it more generic?? I just remember growing up in the 70s and considering it a generic toy marketed to boys/girls. Of course childhood memories are not only always accurate. Perhaps Lego was always marketed just towards boys.


    Yes, the animal thing bugs me. The animal issue is seen in many, many toy lines. Goodness forbid that a boy likes animals. :-/ Luckily my son is young enough that he will not care about packaging. He will so want that turtle.

    As others have mentioned elsewhere, the lack of male minifig characters in the Friends line is also frustrating.

    Up until about the 80's, it was pretty gender neutral then the 80's sets came and girls pretty much got booted out of the club.

    And it's not just a "goodness forbid that a boy likes animals" problem, it's also a "goodness forbid that a tomboy like animals" problem.
    mandm51
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    Up until about the 80's, it was pretty gender neutral then the 80's sets came and girls pretty much got booted out of the club.

    This is the feeling that I have had, but I don't have the history/info to back me up on it.

    I do understand why they have lines that are VERY exclusively focused on boys. I understand why they have vehicle focus, and fighting focus. I understand the entire genderization thing that has frustratingly swept through toyland (Yes, @ACWWGal2011, it also impacts tomboys as well with the animals).
    It is just that statement from ACWWGAL2011, I feel girls we suddenly booted out of the club at some point.

    Anyway, the numbers/data ends up being pertinent to me, and hopefully to some others, because I do think it is a way to see how much a particular line does or doesn't focus on females.

    Part of why I'm more interested in tracking now, is that my BIG fear with Friends is that Lego will not see it as this 'entry' set to entice girls that have not shown interest in Legos into Lego.... but will see it instead as, "THE girls line" and that "This is the girls line, so we no longer have to add in a female minfig or two to our other lines. Now we can focus even that much more on boy-centric themes." It is why I'm very curious if Chima has a female minfig at all....Ninjago at least had Nya, which all my kids loved. I'm trying to keep an open mind here, but I see a bit of this in this release already, and what has been potentially identified for the rest of the year.

    If Lego ends up down this route, to me would end up being a disservice to all involved...





  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129

    Up until about the 80's, it was pretty gender neutral then the 80's sets came and girls pretty much got booted out of the club.

    Did they get booted, or did girls just not buy (or stopped buying) LEGO, forcing LEGO to gear more and more of their sets towards boys?

    This isn't just a LEGO thing, most toys since that time have been highly gender-specific. It's tough to try and skew down the middle, as you risk appealing to no one (or too few anyway). Like it or not, LEGO's approach of separate themes for boys and girls is almost certainly the best one from a bottom line perspective.

    cheshirecatStuBoy
  • citruscaesarcitruscaesar Member Posts: 16
    edited October 2012
    @ACWWGal2011 I know what you mean about the City sets! I would really love to buy things like restaurants and cafes and other civilian buildings. It seems that recent lines always focus on the emergency services and other vehicles, which doesn't appeal to me.

    It's an interesting point that people have raised about Lego having become marketed primarily at boys. From what I've seen of Lego's products from decades ago, it used to be a lot more neutral. I think it would be great to have more females in lines.

    I bought the Pharaoh's Quest 7325 set recently primarily for the female explorer (I was thrilled as I thought there were no women in that theme!)
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    Did they get booted, or did girls just not buy (or stopped buying) LEGO, forcing LEGO to gear more and more of their sets towards boys?
    Taking into account what i'm seeing, i'd say girls got the boot. Lego went from a lot of gender neutral sets to all the space and stuff in the 80's(mostly late 80's according to the lego book) and it's been all down hill ever since.
    I know what you mean about the City sets! I would really love to buy things like restaurants and cafes and other civilian buildings. It seems that recent lines always focus on the emergency services and other vehicles, which doesn't appeal to me.
    I used to love the vehicles so much but i've gotten really burnt out on the sheer number of the things.

    And the building problem is really annoying. The only buildings that are in the city line are 49.99 or higher and they are either police or fire related.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841

    Lego went from a lot of gender neutral sets to all the space and stuff in the 80's(mostly late 80's according to the lego book) and it's been all down hill ever since.

    Downhill is rather subjective. It may have gotten more masculine, that is not the same as downhill. The variety has gone up in my opinion (so uphill), since there are so many themes out now, and change frequently. Similarly quality of what is on offer has gone up too.


    I used to love the vehicles so much but i've gotten really burnt out on the sheer number of the things.

    You have to remember who buys most of the lego sold, and for who. Kids often play with a toy for a year or two and that is it. They bring out countless vehicles since they know they sell well to the crowd that want them. Then another theme comes along, and so they have a truck in it. City is repetitive, possibly too repetitive, but again they are aiming at kids that may not have been playing with lego last time a police truck was released, and may have moved on to other themes in three years time.

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129

    Taking into account what i'm seeing, i'd say girls got the boot. Lego went from a lot of gender neutral sets to all the space and stuff in the 80's(mostly late 80's according to the lego book) and it's been all down hill ever since.

    My point was that we don't know if girls stopped buying before the changeover, leading LEGO to specialize in boy-centric themes, or if the change pushed the girls away. chicken/egg.

    My own personal anecdote as a kid buying sets in the late 70s/early 80s is that pretty much every boy I knew had LEGO, but not a single girl. not one. in 1980. so were they really forced out, or had they already long since moved on to Barbies, etc?
    And the building problem is really annoying. The only buildings that are in the city line are 49.99 or higher and they are either police or fire related.
    Hard to make much of a building for under that price-point though, isn't it? I'll agree with you on the other point however. All I can think of is that some market research and sales results of past sets must be telling LEGO that these non-police/fire sets don't see as well. Heck, look back to last years Marina theme - sales duds for the most part, and the Marina set itself is exactly the style of set this thread is clamoring for - multi-gendered, non-conflict, shops/stores, etc. Same thing with the city house a couple years back. both city campers. City Corner was a great set along these lines as well, but it hung around a long time - which either meant it sold great or not well at all.
    cheshirecat
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    My 4 year old son loves his Lego and he always gravitates towards the Emergence services sets.

    Police, Fire and Ambulance are the ones he plays with the most, followed closely by the Trucks. As far as I can see Lego's city series is targeted directly at my son, he even love's the fact that there is now a City Police station and a Forest Police station, even at 4 years old he differentiates between the two and wants both of them. If my son is somewhat representative of the targeted market then Lego has done a great job with it.

    Saying that, as an AFOL I would love to see more variety in the City sets, would love shops, schools Museums etc. They should have a park set, I would think that a 32x32 green plate with some trees and swing set, a few Minifigures and even a dog or two would be awesome, it would be relatively inexpensive and very gender neutral as well.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    Hard to make much of a building for under that price-point though, isn't it? I'll agree with you on the other point however.
    Not really. Friends buildings seem to be a decent size and they aren't that bad of a price tag. If they'd take something like that size, put in in more neutral colors for the main color such as tan, and have a variety of different themes(cafe, animals, toy store, lego store and movie theater come to mind), that would be a pretty big invite from both genders.

  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    The problem with Marina and camper, both are items still very focused on vehicles. By default they really are still targeting both items towards boys. I do like the number of female minifigs in the Marina, though.
    dougts said:

    Taking into account what i'm seeing, i'd say girls got the boot. Lego went from a lot of gender neutral sets to all the space and stuff in the 80's(mostly late 80's according to the lego book) and it's been all down hill ever since.

    My point was that we don't know if girls stopped buying before the changeover, leading LEGO to specialize in boy-centric themes, or if the change pushed the girls away. chicken/egg.

    My own personal anecdote as a kid buying sets in the late 70s/early 80s is that pretty much every boy I knew had LEGO, but not a single girl. not one. in 1980. so were they really forced out, or had they already long since moved on to Barbies, etc?


    Did girls stop buying, though, because even if generic were they already too focused on boys? How many of the builds back then were very focused on boys interests, such as vehicles. What builds do I remember in the directions of my generic Lego set? Vehicles.

    I see similar questions when we look at girls in math/science. What is the reason for fewer and fewer girls going into those fields as they move into high school. Is is because they lose interest in math? Is it because of societal factors? Is it because of teachers unconsciously believing that boys are better in math? Is it because of how math is taught?


    dougts said:


    Heck, look back to last years Marina theme - sales duds for the most part, and the Marina set itself is exactly the style of set this thread is clamoring for - multi-gendered, non-conflict, shops/stores, etc. Same thing with the city house a couple years back. both city campers. City Corner was a great set along these lines as well, but it hung around a long time - which either meant it sold great or not well at all.

    Nope. This is exactly what I'm not clamoring for. These I consider to be more examples of what doesn't work. (Although, I do see, that with the Marina, they were trying to go 'generic', since they have female minifigs.) Both of these sets I consider to be very vehicle focused still. (The same issue I have with the hospitals) I had somebody attempt to show me the camper at the Lego store when I was looking for a set for my girls. Really? That is it?

    Perhaps part of the issue, is they truly aren't able to make good lines that appeal to both. Although HP is a huge exception, and if one notices, Monster Fighters is HP redo.... a castle, a train, a tree, female minifigs... I do think this is one of their attempts to bridge that gender gap. It had the highest ratio in any of the lines last year for female minifigs in a set per sets in a line. I have to suspect that while Monster Fighters is around, they aren't going to try another high female minifig line that isn't friends.

    I've always felt Playmobil has a good knack down. All three of my kids have loved the Christmas line they have. All three of them loved the Egyptian line.
    I think a good line that appeals to both is possible, but I am not sure if Lego just doesn't know how to do it, or just aren't. I look at the Winter Village sets, and see a great line that could appeal to everyone. All three of my kids love that line. (If adventure needs to be added, a cool abominable snow creature coming to attack the village... again all my kids would love that. :-) )

    That is also a case where good buildings are done well, with a ton of playability, a mix of minifig characters, and the vehicle thrown in. They obviously know how to do it, but they don't. The Egyptian line would have been great for either gender if they actually would have made it more of an exciting adventure line focused on passages, hidden passages, exploration, a few cool mummy's and some female minifigs. It is my standard example. I knew many girls that loved the Playmobil Egyptian line, including mine. My girls wouldn't even look at Lego's Pharoah's Quest.


    Tammy
  • GeddesGeddes Member Posts: 574
    Just thought I would chuck in my two cents :) I believe if Lego are to introduce more female minifigures, the lines that would be easiest and most successful are the superheroes especially marvel.
    vwong19
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    Geddes said:

    Just thought I would chuck in my two cents :) I believe if Lego are to introduce more female minifigures, the lines that would be easiest and most successful are the superheroes especially marvel.

    Is that appealing to girls though? My daughter isn't old enough for superheroes so I don't know. Her brothers have superheroes lego and some comics, but she takes no interest in them. Increasing the number of female minifigs is one thing, making them appealing to girls is another.
  • GeddesGeddes Member Posts: 574
    ^ fair point :)
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    CCC said:

    Geddes said:

    Just thought I would chuck in my two cents :) I believe if Lego are to introduce more female minifigures, the lines that would be easiest and most successful are the superheroes especially marvel.

    Is that appealing to girls though? My daughter isn't old enough for superheroes so I don't know. Her brothers have superheroes lego and some comics, but she takes no interest in them. Increasing the number of female minifigs is one thing, making them appealing to girls is another.
    Ditto CCC.

    It isn't as simple as throwing a few female minifigs into a line, although, yes, the inclusion of a female minifig is a big factor in my girls spending time looking at a box set. Theme is important as well. In my opinion, what is often important for girls in liking a line is that it contains female minifigs, that the theme is not all vehicle based, that the theme is not all fighting based, and that the theme has details and looks fun for story-telling. Obviously there are exceptions, but this has been my personal experience. Friends achieves this. Harry Potter achieved this. I feel Monster Fighters, despite the name fighters, actually achieves this. Winter Village, MMV....these are other examples. I have known other girls besides my own take the most interest in these lines/items.

    There are girls that like Super Heroes, though. I was one. My girls loved the Avenger cartoon. I do think Lego gave a nod to girls with this line. It was one of the lines this year that had more female minifigs. Both my girls looked desperately for Black Widow, but neither was impressed with the box art of the Quinjet and her hiding in the cockpit of the plane. I think if she would have been in Hulk breakout or in a non-vehicle set, they would have wanted that. Bat Cave caused some interest, with Poison Ivy, and the type of set it was. Oddly enough, my older daughter spent more time looking at this line to see if there was anything appealing for her, while my son has absolutely ignored and dismissed this entire line. So, big fail for my son, but the inclusion of female minifigs was enough to cause my kids to look to see if it really fit the other aspects I mentioned above. (it isn't like they mark those items off, but it comes down to seeing if a set would be 'fun' for them to play with...and the items I mention above feed into that for them.)
    I am curious to see how they respond to the Asylum....a large set with female minifigs, that isn't simply fighting, and vehicles and has details for play value...
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    My impression is that the medieval theme in general appeals to girls. Even my super-girly little sister loved the castle-related sets when she was a child. There are bad guys, there can be monsters, and so on, but it can be fairy-tale just as easily as anything else.
  • SapmiSatanSapmiSatan Member Posts: 106
    It's good to see that someone else brings up this important issue!
    I think Super Heroes will deliver even more girls in 2013. After seeing the new trailer for "Iron Man 3", I'm sure we'll see Pepper Pots in one of the sets based on that film. Also, they can't possibly do three Superman sets without including Lois Lane! If we see more X-Men sets, there should be minifigures of Storm, Mystique, and Rogue.
    "The Lone Ranger" will include at least one Helena Bonham Carter figure, for sure.
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,188
    Geddes said:

    Just thought I would chuck in my two cents :) I believe if Lego are to introduce more female minifigures, the lines that would be easiest and most successful are the superheroes especially marvel.

    It's good to see that someone else brings up this important issue!
    I think Super Heroes will deliver even more girls in 2013. After seeing the new trailer for "Iron Man 3", I'm sure we'll see Pepper Pots in one of the sets based on that film. Also, they can't possibly do three Superman sets without including Lois Lane! If we see more X-Men sets, there should be minifigures of Storm, Mystique, and Rogue.

    Yes. I like the way you guys think! If girls like them great, if not, at least we will.

    Lego really took a step back in the Super Hero line with female minifigs... no new ones?! They better have some in the later wave (i.e. Iron Man 3 and Superman) to make up for this inequality.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    edited October 2012

    "The Lone Ranger" will include at least one Helena Bonham Carter figure, for sure.

    I believe this will also make Helena Bonham Carter the first female to join the 'multiple minifigs' club.
  • citruscaesarcitruscaesar Member Posts: 16
    edited October 2012
    I'm not 100% sure, but I think Keira Knightley is already a member... as Elizabeth Swann and also decoy Queen Amidala? (from the updated Gungan Sub set)

    I can't wait for a Lone Ranger Helena Bonham Carter figure! *sigh*

    *steering towards topic* I bought the Hawaii beach CMF pack and it was great, with a BBQ and 2 female minifigs and 1 male. It sort of has the gentle civilian City feel to it, without it being Friends. I want more sets like this!
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think Keira Knightley is already a member... as Elizabeth Swann and also decoy Queen Amidala? (from the updated Gungan Sub set)

    Sabé never wore that particular outfit, plus I think we can only count Keira Knightley if an actual Sabé minifig is released. Though I'd forgotten about Natalie Portman and her potential to be added to the group if a Jane Foster minifig shows up to coincide with Thor 2.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    http://abcnews.go.com/business/t/blogEntry?id=17143098

    Has anyone seen this article? I must have missed it.
    What is fascinating is that on page 2 it mentions how Lego plans on increasing the number of female minifigs in OTHER Lego lines, and adding in additional males in the Friends line. Furthermore it states how the 2013 lines will reflect how much this was already in progress.

    If this is truly the case, this is wonderful news. Of course, as the data above shows, this is obviously very much NOT the case for these initial sets for 2013.

    It will be interesting to see if and by how much the data changes over the course of the year.

    The other fascinating aspect is that they jumped from 9% to 27% of their sales coming from girls. That is huge! I knew I read articles on this forum that Friends did really well, but did I really miss a post that discussed a triple increase??
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    tamamahm said:


    The other fascinating aspect is that they jumped from 9% to 27% of their sales coming from girls.

    It is actually for girls, not from girls. The difference is subtle but it may be that parents of girls are driving purchases rather than the girls themselves, realising that their girls can now play with lego too. A change in mindset of parents may get them to purchase other items from the range. I somehow doubt Friends will appeal to boys, even if male figures are included in the range.
  • mechteachmechteach Member Posts: 19
    tamamahm said:


    The other fascinating aspect is that they jumped from 9% to 27% of their sales coming from girls. That is huge! I knew I read articles on this forum that Friends did really well, but did I really miss a post that discussed a triple increase??

    Whether for girls or from girls, I'm rather curious about the source of that data. The only thing I could find was a video from the Lego CEO, talking about how their profits have risen thanks to the Friends line (a Guardian article about it is here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/aug/31/lego-friends-profit-rise).

    How do they determine that gendered sales data? Focus groups? Surveys of customers? Classifications of certain toys as for boys or girls? Anecdotally, my 9yo daughter loves the HP, PoC, and Star Wars sets - are those sales captured as for a boy or a girl? (Also, brag time, she just finished the Tower Bridge on her own - she also likes the sets without any minifigs.) I'm not surprised that they had a sales boost from friends - it's been said many times that the sets skew younger than the recommended age of 5/6-12 (like most lego sets), so they could be seeing growth from a new set of purchases for younger children.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    edited October 2012
    The other fascinating aspect is that they jumped from 9% to 27% of their sales coming from girls. That is huge! I knew I read articles on this forum that Friends did really well, but did I really miss a post that discussed a triple increase??
    I think no one said anything since the data isn't telling the whole truth. How many of the girls actually want the sets and how many were bought by people thinking the girls would want them. Combined with how many were just after the sets as part packs. A part pack sale doesn't count.

    It'd be like trying to say PoP was a super popular theme or lego games are super popular as a whole product when in reality is that the popular part comes from using them as part packs.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841


    Combined with how many were just after the sets as part packs. A part pack sale doesn't count.

    It'd be like trying to say PoP was a super popular theme or lego games are super popular as a whole product when in reality is that the popular part comes from using them as part packs.

    Then you are getting into definitions of what popular means. A purchase is a purchase. If a girl buys a friends set but decides to use the minidolls in a police car, and uses the friends bricks as parts to build something different does that mean Friends is not popular?

    Some people may want Friends to exist simply for the colour bricks, some may want the minidolls and some may want both. What ever the reason, if they are purchased, then they are popular. Lego is a building toy, and at least for me, the point of it is that you can make anything your imagination can come up with. If they are used for different uses to that specified in the official instructions that does not make them any less popular.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    CCC said:

    tamamahm said:


    The other fascinating aspect is that they jumped from 9% to 27% of their sales coming from girls.

    It is actually for girls, not from girls. The difference is subtle but it may be that parents of girls are driving purchases rather than the girls themselves, realising that their girls can now play with lego too. A change in mindset of parents may get them to purchase other items from the range. I somehow doubt Friends will appeal to boys, even if male figures are included in the range.

    The point isn't that Friends will appeal to boys, even if male figures are added. The issue is the problem I have with the initial data I posted, but in reverse. There is a single male minifig in all of Friends. While I understand having more females in this line, just like I understand more males in a Ninjago line, I am not a fan of making a line with a single token gender, whether male or female. Both of my girls have asked why there aren't any more boys in Friends. Like I've mentioned above, I'm not looking at 50/50 for lines, but I sure want to see Friends do much better than 1 male minifig, just as I want to see other Lego lines do better than 1 female minifig.


    I do agree that there is a question of what is driving the Friends purchases, is this a short term or long term blip, will interest continue, etc. Those are important questions, which will take time to determine. It is also a pertinent question as to what is the data of 'triple' derived from. Even with these questions, though, the aspects of the article are still quite valid to discuss, for some of the very discussion items people have mentioned. It's why I was wondering if this article had been already discussed. It is really the first source I've seen that has had an actual number. Considering it is from a fairly big news company, I doubt they just pulled it out of thin air....


    I think mindset change, that CCC mentions above is actually highly critical. I was reading a review online that mentioned a Grandma buying these, and how much fun she thought they were and how she never had played or bought Lego before. Sometimes the issue isn't whether a child finds a toy interesting, but whether a parent feels a toy hits the appropriate gender stereotypes for a child. (i.e. pink Barbie Camper might be fun for a boy, but parent is unwilling to buy for their son because it is pink. A boy likes Little Pet Shops, but they are packaged for a girl, so forget buying it. Lego might be fun to do, but it is packaged for a boy, so forget about buying it... I actually witnessed a parent telling that to a girl once. :-( )

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    edited October 2012
    tamamahm said:



    The point isn't that Friends will appeal to boys, even if male figures are added. The issue is the problem I have with the initial data I posted, but in reverse. There is a single male minifig in all of Friends.

    :
    :
    And mindsets, etc.

    There is the problem that if Friends - the girls' range - does not appeal to boys (or more importantly the people buying lego for boys), even with 50:50 male:female figures, then why make "normal" / boys lego appeal more to girls (or again, the people buying lego for girls). I agree they could add more female minifigs but that seems to be not enough. From the views here, it is also the action / fighting / conflict / vehicles that makes these sets boyish. Would they damage sales of their boys range to make them more appealing to girls, especially if girls have their own range?

    Would I as a parent buy a school house lego set for my boys? Probably not. They prefer the action side. I don't think they would want to role play being at school in their free time.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    Then you are getting into definitions of what popular means
    To me, popular means that it's enjoyed as a whole set and not just for the parts.
  • gharper2gharper2 Member Posts: 5
    For what it is worth, my daughter has loved having the Friends figures being attacked by the Monsters from the MF series. So she starts with the Friends sets and then adds other elements into them. My son has joined in as well, but he would never play with a Friends set stand alone.

    Not sure how long it will be until we see the friends head into space with a SW lego set, but I am sure if will happen soon.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    I wasn't actually saying that Friends wouldn't appeal to boys. I was rephrasing your previous point where you had stated " I somehow doubt Friends will appeal to boys, even if male figures are included in the range." .

    Now, would Friends appeal to boys? I'm sure some sets would.
    Boys, though, are even more thrown by 'girl' marketing, than girls are by 'boy' marketing.
    As had been mentioned the animal packs are items that could actually appeal to anybody. There was no reason they had to Friendify those. Now that they are Friendified, and are in a pink/purple girlie pack, what 6-8 year old boy is going to buy them, even if they like animals?
    That little karate set, sure would be great as a set for any kid.

    I'm sure my son would love the upcoming Friends swimming pool/water park. All of my kids adore the one playmobil has.
    http://store.playmobilusa.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-US-Site/en_US/Product-Show?pid=4858&cgid=Freizeit-Ferienhaus

    As I've said, I'm actually fine with there being some lines that are very 'girl' specific and some line being very boy 'specific'. Playmobil does the same thing. The difference is that I do not feel that Lego is exclusively a toy for boys, and as such, every single line they have available beyond Friends, shouldn't be utterly geared only boys to the absolute exclusion of girls. As we've discussed already, I think this is a fundamental difference in our views. You've stated earlier that Lego is a toy for boys, and I disagree. I think it is a generic toy that somehow has become marketed as a boy's toy. I think this is the crux of our different views.

    As a female that spent 11+ years in the tech/engineering/science field, I have a big issue with a company having as their fundamental mission
    "Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow."
    if they are exclusively marketing their product only for boys.


    From the views here, it is also the action / fighting / conflict / vehicles that makes these sets boyish. Would they damage sales of their boys range to make them more appealing to girls, especially if girls have their own range?

    I am pretty sure that I have not expressed that action makes a set more boyish. I have stated the utter focus on vehicles in an entire line, and the complete focus on only fighting in an entire line... that can impact the generic girls interests.
    Action can appeal to anyone.
    HP, Monster Fighters both do action well.
    Were Harry Potter sales damaged by making the line appeal to multiple genders? I assume not, especially considering the line was brought back. I don't have data, but I think Monster Fighters has done well, and sales weren't damaged. Monster Fighters was the only line this past year that my son had ANY interest in outside of Ninjago. He really hated all the other 2012 lines.

    There are ways to make lines appeal to both genders, without sacrificing the sales to boys. I think these are two cases where Lego has successfully done that. Made enough changes and tweaks where I know girls interested in both these lines, but still made it appealing to boys as well.

    It isn't like I or anyone else is talking about chucking Ninjago to replace it with The Old MacDonald's farm line with a 50/50 gender split.

    With the City line, yes, I have mentioned some non-action sets like schools and parks in the City line, but I personally think it is hard to have a City line without bothering to have key aspects of a city. If Lego is so worried about it, then throw in the yellow bus to a school set to give it a vehicle. Yes, I would have bought my son a school set, especially before he had started Kindergarten.


    Would they damage sales of their boys range to make them appealing to girls, especially if girls have their own range?


    Girls do not have their own range. They have one line. That is it. One line. Before this year, they had nothing, and no I'm not counting Belleville which was an utter joke.


    herekittykittybrickmaticdino_girl
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