Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Prelim 2013 female minifig count...

2

Comments

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    They tried Paradisa back in the mid 90's and it was a complete and utter failure.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I don't know how the Creator House Series can't be for boys and girls? Until recently, they didn't come with minifigures. Just a house. How are these sets skewed toward boys?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    My 3 year old girl loves Legos. She enjoys the new Friends line, but she loves Star Wars better. In fact, she wants to be Darth Vader for Halloween. I don't see why any Lego set can't be anything you want it to be. Lego is all about creativity. Why do we need a gender specific set in this case. I think the Pet Shop from the Modular building line is NOT a gender specific set and I can't see why that set wouldn't be appealing to both sexes. Other than the Fire Brigade, the Modular Building line in my opinion is not gender specific.
    StuBoyCCC
  • SpiderManSpiderMan Member Posts: 47
    edited October 2012
    Being a current business major I will try to toss a little more into this conversation. Our professor always tells us that the buyers set the market, and from that businesses decide what they need to change, or keep doing to stay productive. Therefore, with how well LEGO has been selling, why would they totally shake up their model? Sales have been doing increasingly better, if they were going down and LEGO was losing money I would say yes it is probably time to try something different and market all products to a wider range of consumers, but as of now, what they are doing is seemingly working.
    StuBoyandhe
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,822

    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.

    So lego is not a popular toy unless people keep sets as sets? Any child (or AFOL) that uses their imagination to build something not in the instructions is excluded?
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    CCC said:

    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.
    So lego is not a popular toy unless people keep sets as sets? Any child (or AFOL) that uses their imagination to build something not in the instructions is excluded?


    I didn't mean keep it together forever.
  • mandm51mandm51 Member Posts: 16
    edited October 2012
    Sorry if you've seen this, but it talks a lot about what is being discussed, including the history of LEGO. Especially after minute four. I have a lot of these frustrations as a female with daughters.

    http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/01/lego-gender-part-1-lego-friends/

    I like the second video even more.

    http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/02/lego-gender-part-2-the-boys-club/
  • mandm51mandm51 Member Posts: 16
    Being a current business major I will try to toss a little more into this conversation. Our professor always tells us that the buyers set the market, and from that businesses decide what they need to change, or keep doing to stay productive. Therefore, with how well LEGO has been selling, why would they totally shake up their model? Sales have been doing increasingly better, if they were going down and LEGO was losing money I would say yes it is probably time to try something different and market all products to a wider range of consumers, but as of now, what they are doing is seemingly working.
    Yes, this is totally true except for a number of things. First, marketing works and the gender segregating of toys has had tons of money put into. I am not blaming LEGO entirely. The toy industry has made a point of defining what boys and girls are supposed to do. Second, LEGO clearer identified that there was a large segment of the market that they were missing out on when they came up with the Friends line. There is a market out there that they could better tap into. I know I will buy more LEGOs if there are more sets with female minifigs. Third, there are consumers myself included who will buy LEGO because we love it despite our disappointment with the lack of female minifigs. You are right that because we still buy there is no financial incentive on LEGOs part to make a change, but that doesn't mean we can't voice our disappointment.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,822
    edited October 2012
    mandm51 said:

    Being a current business major I will try to toss a little more into this conversation. Our professor always tells us that the buyers set the market, and from that businesses decide what they need to change, or keep doing to stay productive. Therefore, with how well LEGO has been selling, why would they totally shake up their model? Sales have been doing increasingly better, if they were going down and LEGO was losing money I would say yes it is probably time to try something different and market all products to a wider range of consumers, but as of now, what they are doing is seemingly working.
    Yes, this is totally true except for a number of things. First, marketing works and the gender segregating of toys has had tons of money put into. I am not blaming LEGO entirely. The toy industry has made a point of defining what boys and girls are supposed to do. Second, LEGO clearer identified that there was a large segment of the market that they were missing out on when they came up with the Friends line. There is a market out there that they could better tap into. I know I will buy more LEGOs if there are more sets with female minifigs. Third, there are consumers myself included who will buy LEGO because we love it despite our disappointment with the lack of female minifigs. You are right that because we still buy there is no financial incentive on LEGOs part to make a change, but that doesn't mean we can't voice our disappointment.

    If it is just down to the number of minifigs then why not just buy a load of female heads? Replace the male head with a female one and you are done. So from this ... to this ...
    image

    image


    Most city sets are police / fire / construction, etc in which the characters all wear a uniform, so there is no real difference in torso between male and female.

    No doubt the feminist website would complain that women should not be portrayed wearing make-up especially in official roles such as police, so remove that. Remove the hair and let them wear the correct headgear for their uniform. Then how do you tell the difference between a male and a female minifig? Women can do a crooked smile like the "male" face above, so why is that face male? Why is it not a female with no make-up?

    Mind you, I saw a fire crew earlier, all six were male. So should a set be politically correct and include three male and three female, or should it reflect reality?
    StuBoyMaskieBoyFurrysaurus
  • mandm51mandm51 Member Posts: 16
    ^^That's my plan for my kids (changing faces) if Lego doesn't add more female minifigs and I still want a set. However, kids aren't stupid. I hate going to the toy store in general and finding that mostly anything having that doesn't involve cupcakes or the color pink has a picture of a boy on the box. Again, not just a LEGO problem. It does matter to kids. They search for something to identify with. I would tell my kids the minifig on top is a girl. I have done this before, but again, someday they will realize that the minfig was never ever meant to be a girl and was made for a boy to play with. The LEGO commercials confirm this all the time. I'm not saying I won't tell them they can make the toy out to be what they want, but it bothers me. I don't think a fire crew needs to be half and half. There are definitely more male firefighters than females. Although, a record number of women have signed up to be firefighters in New York this year (nearly three times more than 2007). Which makes me realize this is a chicken and egg question. Are there more men firefighters because we tell little boys that it is a male occupation? I don't think there is a coincidence that it is hard to get girls interested into science when things like rocket ships are marketed exclusively to boys. Something that again frustrates me with toys in general, but I am voicing here to make my point that marketing matters and LEGO has turned their back to girls in the last couple of decades. I was happy that a female astronaut was included the big space shuttle set. I would like LEGO to make more sets that include roles that can definitely have a significant amount of females (e.g., doctors). They do a better job with Duplo. Friends is nice, but I don't like that the girls hang out in a magical place where everything is pink and there are no police stations or fire stations. Why not just make City a place where both genders can live and work. If I don't respond to any posts in a while its because I'm working. Thanks for letting me voice my opinion.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,822
    mandm51 said:

    However, kids aren't stupid. I hate going to the toy store in general and finding that mostly anything having that doesn't involve cupcakes or the color pink has a picture of a boy on the box. Again, not just a LEGO problem. It does matter to kids.

    LEGO doesn't have pictures of boys on the box. There is the occasional hand, but otherwise I cannot think of pictures of boys on the box, at least on modern sets.
    mandm51 said:


    They search for something to identify with. I would tell my kids the minifig on top is a girl. I have done this before, but again, someday they will realize that the minfig was never ever meant to be a girl and was made for a boy to play with.

    I really don't understand that. Are you saying that only boys can play with male figures and only girls can play with female ones? If not, why was the male figure made to be played with by a boy?

    Many of the faces are ambiguous. Some have beards and moustaches - these are clearly meant to be males. Some have lipstick / red lips - these are clearly meant to be females. But many, such as the one above, can be either sex. A facial expression doesn't have a sex. It is down to interpretation.
    mandm51 said:


    The LEGO commercials confirm this all the time.

    This modern commercial says otherwise. Where does it say boys only? There are arms in the commercial and they could easily be a girl's arms.

    mandm51 said:


    I don't think there is a coincidence that it is hard to get girls interested into science when things like rocket ships are marketed exclusively to boys.

    I don't think they are. They are marketed to children and boys tend to be more interested than girls.

    image

    Is this figure male or female? How would you tell? Does the figure need make up to make it a girl?
    mandm51 said:


    Something that again frustrates me with toys in general, but I am voicing here to make my point that marketing matters and LEGO has turned their back to girls in the last couple of decades.

    Or girls turned their back on lego, and lego concentrated on their core sales to boys. Paradisa was quite similar to friends but with "real" minifigs. Presumably it didn't work too well, and lego research pointed at girls wanted more doll-like figures.
    mandm51 said:


    I was happy that a female astronaut was included the big space shuttle set. I would like LEGO to make more sets that include roles that can definitely have a significant amount of females (e.g., doctors).

    They are changing, you just need to see how many female figures there are in the CMF series, and the driver in the new train set. In my view it is better to do that slowly, while doing research on whether it damages overall sales, rather than change completely in one step and screw up sales.
  • mandm51mandm51 Member Posts: 16
    edited November 2012
    LEGO doesn't have pictures of boys on the box. There is the occasional hand, but otherwise I cannot think of pictures of boys on the box, at least on modern sets.
    You're right no boys are pictured on the box. I was talking about toys in general, but yes, in Lego city LEGO does not show a boy playing with the sets.
    I really don't understand that. Are you saying that only boys can play with male figures and only girls can play with female ones? If not, why was the male figure made to be played with by a boy?
    No I am not saying girls can only play with girls and boys can play with boys. I am saying that kids identify with their gender.
    This modern commercial says otherwise. Where does it say boys only? There are arms in the commercial and they could easily be a girl's arms.
    You're right those could be girl's arms. Yes, any one of those characters could be girl, but going through the CITY commercials it seems like a pretty male dominated world to me (see links below). I feel like I have to do some mental gymnastics to squeeze a female presence in any of the commercials. But you're right things are ambiguous enough that I could possibly convince my daughters the CITY has girls too. I am being a little sarcastic here.



    I don't think they are. They are marketed to children and boys tend to be more interested than girls. Is this figure male or female? How would you tell? Does the figure need make up to make it a girl?
    Okay, how old is the minfig you showed? I just saw this minfig being advertised on ebay as vintage. I have the modern minifigs, and yes the boy astronaunt could pass as a girl because just he doesn't have eyelashes and lips.
    Or girls turned their back on lego, and lego concentrated on their core sales to boys. Paradisa was quite similar to friends but with "real" minifigs. Presumably it didn't work too well, and lego research pointed at girls wanted more doll-like figures.
    LEGO turned to boys in the 80s. Paradisa came out in the 90s. I am not being sarcastic when I say that I am really interested in how you know girls turned their back on LEGO.
    They are changing, you just need to see how many female figures there are in the CMF series, and the driver in the new train set. In my view it is better to do that slowly, while doing research on whether it damages overall sales, rather than change completely in one step and screw up sales.
    I agree LEGO is doing better. I also understand LEGO is having to deal with making money in a larger problematic toy industry. I actually appreciate some of the things LEGO has done and I am a big fan. However, this tread was started because there was someone like me, a frustrated parent of girls. I can coincide that I am complaining about what is wrong with entire toy stores on a LEGO board, but I had to put my 2 cents in. I hope as time goes on things will get better. :)

    One last thing, what would be the best way to acquire generic heads for my sets, so my girls can pretend there are more girls?

    Sorry I didn't make the quotes grey. How do you do that?
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    edited November 2012
    Pitfall, yes, Lego tried Paradisa. That was obviously a line targeted at girls. Obviously, if it failed and at first appearance Friends seems to be doing well, the obvious question is what was the difference?

    I do agree. The modulars are generic. I did just purchase the Pet Shop for my 8 year old's upcoming bday. It is one of the few choices of products I have.

    Of course, the modulars
    - are labeled as hard to find or exclusive
    - are $150-$200 each
    - There are only 4 available at this time. (or three from lego.com)
    - Has a targeted age of 16+

    This is not a standard line, though. It isn't a line kids can go out and buy on their own. They aren't going to find it at Target, have the allowance to pay for it, generally see it unless they love near a store, etc.

    In general, while my girls struggle to find sets from any standard line out there, I will state the sets that are labelled "Hard to Find" or "Exclusive" are my girls best chances of finding sets with reasonable female minifigs that they would enjoy playing with.
    Modular, Winter Village, MMV, Diagon Alley, Joust, Arkham, Haunted House, etc.

    Basically if I go to sets that are skewed to adults, and have the money to spend, I have my best shot. If I go to lines/themes on the toy aisle, not so much.

    On the Creator house, yes, those are generic. A few can at least can be found at the toy aisle, although I don't consider the "Creator House theme" as a theme, just like I don't consider Maersk to be put of the Lego Train Theme. I also really appreciate the way Lego included female minifigs, in the four generic houses they currently have available. Uh, wait, how many female minfigs do they contain?

    So, it sounds like that I should be happy because girls have many solid generic options beyond the purchase of Friends, such as a few generic houses without female minifigs, or hard-priced, hard to find sets that are targeted at adults.

    In my view it is better to do that slowly, while doing research on whether it damages overall sales, rather than change completely in one step and screw up sales.

    Again, I'm pretty sure nobody in this thread is saying throw the baby out with the bath water, scratch everything, and change everything completely and screw up sales and business.

    In fact, I'm quite sure I've gone out of my way twice now to state I'm not saying anything remotely near that. One can, though, create an occasional theme, or make some small modification to a line.

    Let's throw out girls for a moment, since they are obviously quite insignificant, and unimportant.

    If I look at my son, HE wasn't happy with many of the lines this past year for many of the exact same issues I'm giving for my girls.

    He wants lines with HIGH playability, with details and functions and lots of cool hidden features. He wants variations in his minifigs. In general, he doesn't want lines that only focus on vehicles and fighting. (I will come back to this in a moment) For him it comes back to playability and minifigs.

    His favorite set this year has been sets 7-9 of MasterBuilder. Why? Because of it's focus on story-telling. Because it wasn't simply about fighting. It wasn't simply about the next vehicle. It was action. It was adventure. There was hidden treasure. There were secret passage, and hidden features. By goodness, he loved those hidden features so much it inspired him to create his own models with hidden features, villian details, etc.

    The reality is that the lines that Lego has right now generally do not reflect what he most desires in a product. At almost 6, he IS the Lego consumer and their market.

    I look at the lines next year, and most items are not going to interest him. I'm doing my best to hold off on the Vampire Castle, because I could potentially save that for next year, in case my suspicions on Chima don't hold. (More in a moment.)

    It isn't just my girls that need lines that aren't just vehicles and aren't just fighting. It is my son. Throw that out there, throw in a few female minifigs, and you capture not just a corner of the boy market that is not getting focus, but also have the potential to pull in girls.

    Being a current business major I will try to toss a little more into this conversation. Our professor always tells us that the buyers set the market, and from that businesses decide what they need to change, or keep doing to stay productive. Therefore, with how well LEGO has been selling, why would they totally shake up their model? Sales have been doing increasingly better, if they were going down and LEGO was losing money I would say yes it is probably time to try something different and market all products to a wider range of consumers, but as of now, what they are doing is seemingly working.

    a) First... nobody has said "totally shake up their model".

    b) For a business to stay current and competitive, they often need to make changes.

    c) Why would they shake up their model?? Have you been watching the past year or two??? Lego is making change all over the place in order to grow.

    - Ninjago. To me this was, and I forget the term I want, a major shake-up to their business model. Think about it. They created a line that combined
    - a 'hot' toy
    - a building system
    - a tv show

    Goodness, that is a huge, HUGE change from many past models they have done, and the result was incredible. Whoever came up with this marketing strategy sure had better have gotten a raise, promotion, whatever.

    My son, who does not focus on vehicle Lego sets, was absolutely pulled in via Ninjago, once they hit the snakes, and TV show this year. Their disruptive (that is what I was trying to think of) marketing strategy, really just broke the norm, and as such they pulled in consumers like my son.

    They are now trying to do similar with Chima, beyblade knock-offs, and I'm assuming there has to be a tv show in there as well.... It is why despite this being all vehicles, and not the sort of thing my son would generally like... I believe I have refrained from commenting on the Chima thread, because of this sort of disruptive marketing technique they have used.

    - Friends. I can't call it a disruptive technology or marketing, but let's call it a disruptive toy. It shook things up. We can argue about the numbers and the meaning of numbers, but Lego spent 4 years researching this, because they felt the importance for their future growth and bottom line to somehow reach that girl market. It shook things up enough that Megabloks/Barbie feel threatened enough by this that they are putting out their own version, I believe on 12/12/12. The fact that they are still attempting to get this in for this holiday season, despite that late date, says a ton about how they view this as a potential business threat to them.

    The area I give Lego props in, is that they are smart enough to recognize that they can not sit on their laurels and hail the all saving grace of Star Wars forever. They have tried Lego games, online game, a new marketing model with Ninjago, trying to capture the girl market. If anything, Lego is doing the complete opposite of what you said.. they ARE trying to do things differently, they are attempting to market to girls with Friends. They are finally at least paying lip service to potentially adding in more female minifigs, although, as I've said, I don't think that is quite enough.

    As stated, no, I'm not looking for wholesale destruction of their lines, but honestly have enough 'flops' with the lines they do put out, that I really see no issue with having a line or two that attempts something a bit different. Continue to go down the HP/Monster fighter route, with some fun and funky action/adventure lines that include female minifigs... lines that I mention above that my son desperately wants, and my girls would continue to enjoy. Then add in some addiitonal females in some other areas.
    mandm51
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,973
    I found this browsing Cuusoo and found it interesting.

    http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/15401

    I would certainly buy the mini sets if they came out. But does the demand for these sets actually raise a bigger question than just a lack of females. But is there a lack of job diversity in a lot of the lines. All the city themes seem to have just police and firemen putting out the normal stereotype for blokes that you have to be a hero and strong etc to be anything. As a science nerd where are the labs and as a history buff the museums. Yes I know they have one coming but from the pictures its just a front.

    If they expanded what they offered it will give a much wider chance to put female and other males in sets. Without having to pander to one or the other.
    mandm51Roseherekittykitty
  • mandm51mandm51 Member Posts: 16
    ^Thanks for sharing.
  • mandm51mandm51 Member Posts: 16
    ^Thanks for sharing.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    Ooh. I really do like that. Thanks for the link.

    Yes, I was disappointed in the museum. Yes, I agree with more variety. My son really does ignore most of the City line.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    If it is just down to the number of minifigs then why not just buy a load of female heads? Replace the male head with a female one and you are done
    Problem is that not everyone is into customizing figures from sets. I like keeping mine as is when i get them.
    Is this figure male or female? How would you tell? Does the figure need make up to make it a girl?
    Thing is that those are from an era when smiley faces were the norm(meaning lots of potential gender neutral figure) and not from the era(looks like 90's on) where, outside of modular buldings, the more detailed faces are the norm.
    It shook things up enough that Megabloks/Barbie feel threatened enough by this that they are putting out their own version, I believe on 12/12/12. The fact that they are still attempting to get this in for this holiday season, despite that late date, says a ton about how they view this as a potential business threat to them.
    I saw that line. It actually makes friends look GOOD in comparision. Barbie mb's is mega pink overkill.

  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    I want to point out one more thing on the boys side of this thread as well. There are many parents of boys who do not want their toys to be violent. They would rather not have sets that feature a lot of fighting. Consequently, emphasizing adventure, discovery, and storytelling are more attractive to them.
    Mandarine
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited October 2012
    Someone mentioned how firefighters are a male dominated field, and I have to say I was kind of surprised that the 2013 fire station includes a female firefighter. Is this the first time there has ever been a female LEGO firefighter? I think it is a step forward.

    People have mentioned they are disappointed with the 2013 museum set. However, I think it also is a step forward in the right direction. This is the first time there is a museum in a play set. Sure, it was tied to police action, but perhaps this is a step towards adding more variety to the selection of buildings for a city.

    People hark back to the days of gender neutral LEGO, but things have gotten a lot more detailed over time. Before a classic smiley face would be used with both male and female figs. The hair would make the difference. Now detailed printing gives a lot more character to each fig, including the gender roles. I'm curious how the gender distinctions came about. I do know that when TLG was at the brink of failure around 2005, they started to use careful market research to figure out what worked best. It was at that time that they decided to specifically market to boys. Here is a great article that speaks about the market research behind the marketing towards boys as well as the more recent marketing towards girls: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/lego-is-for-girls-12142011.html

    One thing to note is that LEGO is very careful about how all the little details effect the product. They are very aware that everything from the complexity of pieces, the colors, the packaging, build process, etc. effect how desirable their product is. They take their time to introduce changes after lots of play testing. I think they are trying to increase inclusion of female figs, but it will happen slowly. Also, I think they are concerned about how more female figs might erode the current popularity of city sets, which would be terrible if the sets simultaneously failed to gain other market shares. Look at this insight from inside the company: http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/35494/#Comment_35494
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^There's a female firefighter in Fire Brigade.
  • gifinimgifinim UKMember Posts: 174
    ^ True, but what about next years 60004 Fire Station? I've not seen a clear pic yet but all 5 figures look male :(
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,822
    edited October 2012



    Is this figure male or female? How would you tell? Does the figure need make up to make it a girl?
    Thing is that those are from an era when smiley faces were the norm(meaning lots of potential gender neutral figure) and not from the era(looks like 90's on) where, outside of modular buldings, the more detailed faces are the norm.




    So what about these ones?

    imageimageimageimage

    They could equally well be male or female.

    So what makes these male in many peoples' eyes? Prejudice. Can a woman be a helicopter pilot, etc. If so, what would they look like once they have their uniform and glasses and helmet on? So I ask again, do female police, fire brigade, etc. have to wear make up to be seen as female?
  • gifinimgifinim UKMember Posts: 174
    I asked my 6 year old daughter about this. The female figures are very obviously female, but the ones above and the traditional smiley face ones aren't, so they must be male.

    Things are so much simpler when you're 6!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,822
    ^ So girls need girls to look like girls before girls can identify with them and see them as girls.

    If a female is a police helicopter pilot, wearing a helmet, uniform and glasses, then chances are you would not spot the difference between her and a male pilot from a distance in real life. Then convert them to minifig form losing more detail, they will look identical. So they need to wear lipstick or have curly eyelashes (like the CMF S6 surgeon) to show they are female, otherwise they are assumed to be male.

    What message is that sending out? Women can do "male" jobs if they make sure they wear enough make up so that people know they are a woman.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    To be honest, all of this is crazy. What ever happened to parents letting children be children? I don't push anything on my daughter. One second she is picking up a football and then drops that to play with her princess castle. She puts on her princess clothes, then strips them off and puts on a Darth Vader mask, picks up a light saber and starts whacking at things. I mentioned before that the Fire Brigade is the only Modular that leans toward boys, yet that is the only building she plays with out of the whole street (yes, I let her play with my Modulars) *and a few people in the forum pass out :) She loves opening up the garage door and putting things into the Fire Station. Again, Lego is supposed to be about building and creativity in my opinion. Who cares how many male or female minifigures there are?
    brickmaticRedbullgivesuwind
  • gifinimgifinim UKMember Posts: 174
    I'm not saying I aree with it, just reporting a 6 year old girls view of LEGO minifigures!
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,188
    gifinim said:

    I asked my 6 year old daughter about this. The female figures are very obviously female, but the ones above and the traditional smiley face ones aren't, so they must be male.

    Things are so much simpler when you're 6!

    Throw her a curveball and put a female head on a minifig wearing a business suite, but keep the short hair... or put a male head on female torso or dress. I wonder which component is the determining factor for children... hair, makeup, breasts, clothes, color, eft.

    It doesn't really matter for most people, but in order to achieve gender equality does LEGO need to go further than simply providing more female hair styles (whatever that means) or providing a two sided gender option head (male and female combo), or creating more female specific torsos with breasts (not all females have visible breasts) and/or female clothes.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    @brickmatic
    A huge thanks for that article. It was very good, and contained info I had been trying to find in this. I think it really captures both the issue that many of us encounter when we walk into a Lego store for the first time looking for a Set for our daughters, or for them looking for a set for themselves. It also delves into the history, and It seems to pinpoint when this transition to focus on boys happened, but further explains how Lego being a toy for boys AND girls was really part of Lego's mission from the start. It does sound like they did refocus on boys and how they play and what they need when they were close to going under, and that was the why of it.
    gifinim said:

    ^ True, but what about next years 60004 Fire Station? I've not seen a clear pic yet but all 5 figures look male :(

    If you note in the first post on the thread, I actually have stated the fire station is one of the sets with a female. If you pull up the link to the pictures on this thread, and then pull up the picture of the minifigs working on the fire truck, she has the longer eyelashes that Lego typically uses on a female minifig as opposed to a male minifig.
    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/7049/ninjago-city-and-hero-factory-2013-pictures#latest

  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    Pitfall69 said:

    To be honest, all of this is crazy. What ever happened to parents letting children be children? I don't push anything on my daughter. One second she is picking up a football and then drops that to play with her princess castle. She puts on her princess clothes, then strips them off and puts on a Darth Vader mask, picks up a light saber and starts whacking at things. I mentioned before that the Fire Brigade is the only Modular that leans toward boys, yet that is the only building she plays with out of the whole street (yes, I let her play with my Modulars) *and a few people in the forum pass out :) She loves opening up the garage door and putting things into the Fire Station. Again, Lego is supposed to be about building and creativity in my opinion. Who cares how many male or female minifigures there are?


    Pitfall, has anyone on this thread stated anything about pushing items on their kids??
    Who cares how many male/female minifigs there are? My kids do. Not in a sheer statistical format, but in what is available for them.

    I have stated before, and I do not recall at this point whether I have mentioned it or not in this thread, but female minifigs highly impact whether my girls choose a set. When there is a complete lack of female minifigs in a line or set, they aVoid those lines or sets. If they are not finding sets, or are having difficulty finding sets because of the lack of female minifigs, then we can not even get to the building and creativity part. (yes, I recognize we can just buy buckets of blocks or stuff from the PAB wall' but that requires a certain threshold of block and block types to really build what they want.)
    Also note... It is not just girls impacted by what minifigs are in a set. I see plenty of boys that are influenced as well, and we have seen Lego recognize the power of what minifigs are in what set.

    If you look at that article that brickmatic posted, there really is a key element that Lego has observed. That is the difference of how boys and girls play with minifigs. They see that boys use it as a 3rd figure, and for girls the minifigs can be an extension of themselves or an avatar...it is the character they become.

    My girls will play Ninjago with their brother, but they want to choose Nya.
    My daughter likes the set in the Dino line that has a female minifig...
    My daughter picked the one set with the female, out of the new Hobbit sets...
    I have a child that wants to play touch football, Loved The books Lord of the rings, enjoys electronics.... Nobody is pushing anything.

    But...
    I see my girls play via story-telling, which is what Lego has also seen, and they want characters they can become....which means they look explicitly for sets that have girls.

    Flip it around, Pitfall. lf this is crazy and we do not care about the number of what gender of minifigs are in a set, then let's simply flip the ratios and turn all the male minifigs into females, and the female minifigs into males. How many sets will a boy now pick, when they only include all female minifigs? Will they be interested in Chima if all the characters were female? Would they be interested in Ninjago if every single Ninja was now female? Keira, Jenni, Leila, Candance, and Zara for the Ninjas and Ned for the Samurai?

    If there is anything I do agree with on this thread is that, yes, Lego has to be careful with what the ratio they use is, to avoid scaring away boy customers, but there is a huge variation between the flip I just mentioned, and the small ratio they have now. We have seen that lines like HP and monster fighters still work, with an elevated female set.
    mandm51
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Yes, we could flip it around. If my aunt had a beard she would be my uncle. What is the ratio of boys to girls that play with Lego? It doesn't make sense for Lego to market equally to boys and girls. Your kids care, my child does not. I bought the Haunted House specifically because my daughter loved it in the pictures. She loves the male minifigures more than the lone female. Is my daughter less of a girl than your daughter(s) because she likes male minifigures? Does her demographic not count? Again, and I can't stress this enough, Lego is about creativity. It's not like any generic toy. You buy a Barbie, you are stuck with a Barbie. You buy Batman, you are stuck with Batman. You buy a Lego Fire Station, you replace all the male heads with female heads and you now you have an All-Female Fire Station. You buy a Haunted House and clean it up and replace the sand green with pink and now you have a classic Victorian Home that's appeals to girls. Why are people stuck on black and white when there is plenty of grey? Imagination people. Lego is can be anything you want it to be.

    I'm not angry or mad or frustrated, although it may sound like it. That is the downside to text versus speech. I'm just voicing an opinion just like everyone else. I love this forum and all it has to offer. No matter how crazy you people get...lol j/k :)

    Peace
    StuBoy
  • mechteachmechteach Member Posts: 19
    edited November 2012
    CCC said:

    So what about these ones?

    They could equally well be male or female.

    Actually, when I look at the two right-hand figures from your post, they do look female to me. I think that is because Lego seems to have female-identified minifigs show their teeth when they smile, but not the male ones. (Of course, that is not 100% the case.)
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    vwong19 said:

    providing a two sided gender option head (male and female combo)

    This is actually a great idea.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,822
    edited October 2012
    vwong19 said:


    It doesn't really matter for most people, but in order to achieve gender equality does LEGO need to go further than simply providing more female hair styles (whatever that means) or providing a two sided gender option head (male and female combo), or creating more female specific torsos with breasts (not all females have visible breasts) and/or female clothes.

    That's why I chose figures wearing helmets / hats and uniforms. There is / should be no difference between the male and female figures then.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    @gifinim http://www.ibrickcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Lego-60004-City-Fire-Headquarters-ibrickcity-8.jpg

    @CCC I agree, there are lot of figures that should be considered gender neutral, but because of societal and cultural influences are subconsciously interpreted to be gendered. It's not quite prejudice because you can only judge their gender prima facie on looks, but it's interesting and revealing as to what cues are used to judge gender. It tells us a lot about our society and its norms. The examples you posted are great.


    Although.... tell me, what are the genders of the following minifigs?
    image
    One reason why "female figures are very obviously female, but the ones above and the traditional smiley face ones aren't, so they must be male" might be quite reasonable is that the figure form is decidedly male and you need female cues to interpret it as female.

    @vwong19 "...put a male head on female..." bearded lady! Carnival MOC anyone?

    @Pitfall69 You make a point that the adaptability of the LEGO product lets you be creative about how you use it, so you're not restricted in what you can do with LEGO. This is valid, but you're using this argument from the viewpoint of a consumer. Imagine you're an executive at TLG or a designer. Now you're in the position of making design and marketing choices about LEGO which will influence how your product is viewed, played with, and sold. You made another point: that it doesn't make sense for TLG to market equally to boys and girls because of the ratio of boys to girls that play with LEGO. How can you make this point in the same breath that you say LEGO can be anything you want it to be? That LEGO is about creativity? You can't have it both ways. If LEGO is not intrinsically tied to one gender, then you should be able to sell the product to both genders. You want as many sales as possible, right? That means the product should be marketed to both genders.
    CCCvwong19herekittykittymandm51murphquake
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    all of this is a symptom of the change of focus from LEGO being about bricks and creativity to LEGO being driven by minifigures.

    When they first came about, minifigures were accessories to the actual bricks and set design - now the minifigures are what drives the appeal, and the bricks/set are just the backdrop.

    To me, that is the change in LEGO that should be decried more than minifigure population distribution.
    CCCy2joshRedbullgivesuwindMiles
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    CCC- It is a good question as to what make a minfig male or female.
    When drawing, facial shape is a large part of it. In a minifig, the head shape is the same. I would say the first big indicator can be hair. Hair is often very gendered. There are exception, such as the Shakespearean actor in the latest CMFs. We currently have a fairy with lovely short, bottom-flipped hair. ;-)
    Obviously, though, one can't always go by hair.

    That leaves the face. When drawing, it comes down to difference in 'eyes' (which I'm including everything around the eyes), nose, mouth. With Lego, the eyelashes are usually the key element, followed by the mouth. For the mouth, it isn't just lipstick, but is often the smile aspect.

    So what makes these male in many peoples' eyes? Prejudice. Can a woman be a helicopter pilot, etc. If so, what would they look like once they have their uniform and glasses and helmet on? So I ask again, do female police, fire brigade, etc. have to wear make up to be seen as female?

    In 3 out of 4, I would generally define them as male, because they have standard male minifig eyes. Lego generally adjusts the eyes to have eyelashes for female minifigs. The one with the dark glasses, I still define as male, because I find the shape of the glasses to not be the typical shape sold to women, but instead are more typical of the shape of glasses sold to men. I could see someone potentially defining that minfig as female, though. I think it comes down to if someone considers the glasses to be part of the uniform or not. I tend to see sunglasses as simply sunglasses, while others see sunglasses as part of the uniform.


    Pitfall69 said:

    Yes, we could flip it around. If my aunt had a beard she would be my uncle. What is the ratio of boys to girls that play with Lego? It doesn't make sense for Lego to market equally to boys and girls. Your kids care, my child does not. I bought the Haunted House specifically because my daughter loved it in the pictures. She loves the male minifigures more than the lone female. Is my daughter less of a girl than your daughter(s) because she likes male minifigures? Does her demographic not count? Again, and I can't stress this enough, Lego is about creativity. It's not like any generic toy. You buy a Barbie, you are stuck with a Barbie. You buy Batman, you are stuck with Batman. You buy a Lego Fire Station, you replace all the male heads with female heads and you now you have an All-Female Fire Station. You buy a Haunted House and clean it up and replace the sand green with pink and now you have a classic Victorian Home that's appeals to girls. Why are people stuck on black and white when there is plenty of grey? Imagination people. Lego is can be anything you want it to be.

    I'm not angry or mad or frustrated, although it may sound like it. That is the downside to text versus speech. I'm just voicing an opinion just like everyone else. I love this forum and all it has to offer. No matter how crazy you people get...lol j/k :)

    Peace

    Pitfall, I think you are missing my point.
    If this was simply about imagination and that Lego can be anything you wanted it to be, and numbers didn't matter, then there should be absolutely no issue with flipping the minifig gender in all the sets, and making the males females and females male.

    I did not say it should be done, or that Lego should market equally. That wasn't my point. I was giving an example of that yes, the numbers do matter. They matter to boys and matter to girls. Obviously, just like we see with some AFOLS, sometimes minifigs do not matter to kids. For many kids it does.

    Does that make your daughter less of a girl because she likes male minifigures? You obviously know the answer is no. Does her demographic demographic count? Considering it sounds like she happily is fine with whatever is out there, then there is no need for change for her. There are others, though, where it does matter.

    The reality is, though, minifigs do make a difference to many, for both boy and girl. Lego, highly recognizes that minifigs make a difference. They split key characters between boxes to sell sets, because they know doing that sells boxes. They created a ladyfig, because they know that makes a difference. They understand the power of the CMFs. I personally highly value the CMFs, because they have a range of female minfigs, and they do add variety in hair, facial expressions, outfits, that may not be found in their normal lines, because of the overall lack of women, and what is sold online is quite minimal. We do utilize them as parts, but we still have to be able to have interest in a set to get it out the door.



    (As an aside, all three of my kids absolutely LOVED, loved the Haunted House. I've said it before, but the Monster Fighter theme is one that has better female representation in it, and does have more cross-market appeal...)
    mandm51
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I wasn't going to comment further, but I do have to say that I wish there were more female minifigures myself. I have seen plenty of comments from male AFOLs wishing the same. One of my favorite movie series is Underworld and it would be great if Lego would do a few sets, but I know it won't happen. I love girls who can kick butt :) So, I'm with you there, but not for the same reasons :)
  • dino_girldino_girl LondonMember Posts: 107
    My daughter doesn't mind what sex the minifigs are in a set She created her own sigfig and adds it to whatever set she playing and changes the clothes to fit.
    Her fig has been a spacegirl, doctor, firefighter, police officer ect

    But I love to see more female minifigs
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    Well I just discovered a new female character I hope becomes a minifigure for personal and selfish boy reasons. Natalia Kowalski in the Lego City Undercover game appears to be a girl and possibly a Paramedic or EMT =-D

    Spotted her while trying to figure out how to get a boy minifigure, the Chase McCain exclusive with the game pre-order, still not clear from who, but Walmart vaguely mentions it on their page for the game. Anyway I assumed she was a cop until I saw the big cutout where she clearly has a Star of Life looking emblem on her coat. Now I'm mildly obsessed!
    Yours in Paramedicine, -bill




    image

    image
    dino_girl
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    I'd be curious to know what some of you think of Natalia just in the way she's designed.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    Pitfall69 said:

    I wasn't going to comment further, but I do have to say that I wish there were more female minifigures myself. I have seen plenty of comments from male AFOLs wishing the same. One of my favorite movie series is Underworld and it would be great if Lego would do a few sets, but I know it won't happen. I love girls who can kick butt :) So, I'm with you there, but not for the same reasons :)

    LOL! I agree. :-)
    I think it is simply about variety and options. We are just transitioning into creating our own builds. I picked up an extra mine for parts.. the variety there was very beneficial for the build I was trying. I think this really pulls in dougts point, about the build vs. the minifig.

    The CMFs at least give us more variety and options for female character creation... I have been very happy that there is a good range of females in these sets. Some of the male hair also adds in options for shorter women hair. Again....that variety...
    I think it really lends itself to imagination, whether it is variation in parts for the true focus on build, or the variation in minifigs for AFOLs, and other segments.

    My daughter for one, does enjoy creating her own minifigs, based on those strong 'kick-butt' female characters from fantasy/scifi.

    I also know that tone does not come across well in posts, but I really do enjoy discussion, because I think it really pulls in a variety of views and ideas to think about. This thread has truly gone about every which way. :-)

  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    y2josh said:

    I'd be curious to know what some of you think of Natalia just in the way she's designed.


    To give you a bit of perspective on my viewpoint....
    I am very fine with the Friends ladyfig. I did not get the cry over them being over sexualized. To me they look very much like what a young 10 year old girls look like. The choice of clothes, was a range, and as such they looked current to what's girls today wear. Yes, all the ladyfigs were of a slender build, but show me any doll line that shows body variation in their dolls..

    I suspect some people might disagree with me, but I really like Natalia. I showed her to my 10 year old, and she realllly liked her.
    She actually looks a ton like my sister who while still training worked along side EMTs.
    This woman is a woman, and she is not a kid. Some may see her as sexualized, but I see her as Lego trying to portray curves on a shirt.
    I love the pic of Natalia and Chase together. They look like they work as a team.

    I suspect some people will have an issue having their son's play with a minifig that is a woman with curves.

    So, while I personally am very okay, I suspect some will not be. I think if they portrayed every female minifig like this for the rest of time, I would have an issue, but this is definitely not the case. I think they are going for more of the Katniss idea of a strong female, and they succeeded in making this minifig a 'character' and not just a minifig.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Natalia actually has cleavage. Wow!!! To further my previous post. I must have been the only kid on my block to have all the female G.I. Joes. There weren't many, but I had them all.
    murphquake
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    I wouldn't mind being stuck to her real life version in an ambulance for 12 hours ;-) I'm just excited for the possibility of an EMS aimed minifig "Character" not just generic medic (though the current crop i approve of even if they are wearing red). In even better news the MBA kit 6 booklet mentions using a part as the hood of an ambulance so that made my day (aside from my trade for the SW CVI Slave I tin showing up finally (USPS/Sandy, not the trader, he was excellent)
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,574
    I like the new female minifigs in the Monster Fighter sets but I think Lego should have given her some different hair.
    I don't quite "get" the stake in the hair look.
    A quiver, holster, or backpack would have been better.

    I look forward to seeing more female figures in more "standard" city sets.
  • AnnieAAnnieA Member Posts: 1
    Lego would do well to take a page out of the Playmobil play book and make sets for girls and boys. My daughter loves the pink box Lego set that she has and loves to play Legos with her male cousin. If I buy her the Friends set, I think she will see the classic Legos as a boy toy instead of a gender neutral toy for all. However, the Lego sets that they release these days are so boy focused that she is not interested in them (other than the pink box set). I would love to buy more sets for her. She would love to build a normal car or SUV. She'd love to build a carousel or swing set or a swimming pool or a farm. These types of sets would fit very well with the Lego City line and yet nothing exists. It is in the best interest of both boys and girls that they play together and learn about each other. Personally, I loved playing with my white lego house with palm trees when I was growing up, and I wish my daughter had more opportunity to do the same. I am very frustrated with the lack of female minifigures (sorry the cheerleader isn't making me excited) and the lack of gender neutral sets. It is important for both boys and girls to play together and build together.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,822
    edited November 2012
    AnnieA said:

    She'd love to build a ... or a farm.

    A recent offering was #7684 Pig farm. With an equal balance of male and female minifigs.

  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    One more set you missed with a Female minifig is the garbage truck. Yes one of the minifigs in that set is a woman... Or a toughneck that wears lipstick.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    2 sets this year that both have female minifigures in professional roles, and close to home for me, are #4431 & #4429, Ambulance & Helicopter Rescue, respectively. There are two different female faces used on the 3 medics between the sets, as well as the orange sunglasses pilot that could be female as well. The doctor and both patients are male, but a CMF surgeon evens that out nicely. I can tell you, as a paramedic, that there are a LOT of women in EMS, especially in NYC, compared to NYPD or FDNY. This fact along with the high percentage of minorities compared to FDNY's 90%+ white/male stats was a big part of that agency moving to take over NYC EMS in the 90's (and probably 50%+ of their new male EMS recruits are doing it to try to get to the fire suppression side, as there is a "promotional" (gag) exam for FDNY EMTs & Paramedics to become FDNY Firefighters, many women I know have taken the FF exams, both promotional and open competitive, recently, but I don't know of a single one who has made it to the academy and female FF's in NYC are exceedingly rare (for about 25 years it was just 38 of them from one class in 1983, iirc, I had the honor of having one of those incredible women as a patient several years back, suffering from 9/11 injuries and job related illnesses but still tough as nails).
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.