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Prelim 2013 female minifig count...

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  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    P.S. @brickmatic that picture is where my monochrome minifigure obsession started... since I took Aayla Secura's head off the medium blue one for a Super Wrestler head I need to brasso does that mean I changed it's gender =-)
  • HeathbarHeathbar Member Posts: 6

    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.

    Actually, my fire station set from 1981 had a girl - #3682
    y2josh said:

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

    Hot!
    tamamahm said:

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

    I would encourage it actually. :)

  • mathommathom Member Posts: 1
    I share my experiences with daughters choosing LEGO sets to add another data point to the conversation.

    I've found it rather curious which sets my daughters have been most interested in. While they have never shown more than a passing interest into the City sets, they implore me to buy the Ninjago and Hero Factory sets. My oldest is constantly building "Stormer" or "Furno" out of DUPLO or LEGO bricks. They have demonstrated only mild interest in the Friends line, mostly because I am excited about the Friends line.

    What excites me most about the Friends sets, apart from all the new colors, accessories, and truly creative builds, is the fact that I can finally get the adult women who buy presents for my daughters (i.e. grandmothers, aunts, etc.) to buy LEGO. For years I have been trying to convince these buyers of toys for my girls that LEGO bricks are things my daughters want. I always get the incredulous responses.

    Many adult women who are not fans of LEGO themselves believe that LEGO is for boys. And I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that LEGO has few sets with female minifigs. There are women who, when shown a LEGO brick, a Lincoln Log, an Erector set, or any similar toy, would always say that those toys are for boys. It seems the only way to change these minds is to paint the toy pink and add sparkles.

    When faced with consumers like this, is it any wonder that LEGO has chosen the "market to boys" or "market to girls" duality over greater gender neutrality?

    As a curious aside, while my daughters ask for the "boy sets" like Ninjago and Hero Factory, they all fought over who got to play with the princess figure from the Kingdoms set. The contention was relived only slightly when I picked up the Medieval Market Village set and the Mill Raid set, which had other female minifigs. So while they want to be ninja and superheros, they want to be princess ninja and princess superheros. :P

    I'd like to see more of the female minifigs from the minifigure series incorporated into actual LEGO sets. There have been so many great female minifigs that would be so easy to include in a City theme set. Give us a zoo with the female zookeeper, a sports field with cheerleaders, or a hospital with a female nurse or doctor. (I'd also like to see more balance between vehicles and buildings in sets. Campers and fire engines and mining equipment are nice, but I'd like to build the City where all of these vehicles reside.)
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
    I've heard that part of the reason there aren't more female characters in themes like Ninjago, Hero Factory, City, and other themes popular with boys is an entirely different kind of bias than the bias adult buyers have against building toys for girls. Specifically, boys within the target age range of most of these themes are often still in the "girls are icky" phase, and in some cases will not buy a set if a female character appears prominently on the packaging. This is part of why female characters are so rare in BIONICLE and Hero Factory and never have especially feminine physiques. It's also a big part of why when female characters are added to sets, they're put deliberately in the largest sets in the wave-- since those sets already have plenty of assets that make them the most desirable for kids, even if boys have to "put up with" a female figure or two.

    I'd love to see this trend change, since it is one that has bugged me a lot since childhood. But unlike adult perceptions of building toys, this is probably one trend that would take some major cultural changes to break, and unfortunately those changes might be beyond TLG's reach as a toy company. But there are some hints that the prevailing culture might be shifting towards a greater appreciation for female characters in media, what with shows like The Legend of Korra. Hopefully I will get to see some of these kind of changes within my lifetime.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    ^^ I agree about the aunties and grandmothers. Last Christmas, I spent ages convincing my mother that my daughter would prefer a bright primary coloured felt-tip pen set rather than a pastel coloured set. She got both. The primary colours are just about used up, the pastels hardly touched. But pastels are for girls, she tells me ....

  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    My daughter loves the friends sets until she gets to see what cool stuff my son has. The Large car from the Friends is her favorite. She has the dog house and stage which never stay built for long. The car has yet to be taken apart and she got it back in August. My little girl likes to play with the same thing her brother plays with and also to play with him. Oh yea we also bought her a pink bucket of lego that had a female minifig and one of the builds was a simply little car which has not been taken apart since last X-mas. Daughter is 3 son is 6 and both love lego. Son could care less about the female minifigs and my daughter will play with either but prefers the girls.
  • MaskieBoyMaskieBoy Member Posts: 25
    I would like to see more female mini figs. Right now my favorite sets are from Ninjago. Ninjago does have one female mini fig in all the sets (samurai X aka Nya if you have seen the cartoon) I think there should be at least a few female ninjas. I see lego as a gender neutral item. I would like it if they included more female characters in sets. Also, make them not just girly girls. Make them all kinds of women.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
    MaskieBoy said:

    I would like to see more female mini figs. Right now my favorite sets are from Ninjago. Ninjago does have one female mini fig in all the sets (samurai X aka Nya if you have seen the cartoon) I think there should be at least a few female ninjas. I see lego as a gender neutral item. I would like it if they included more female characters in sets. Also, make them not just girly girls. Make them all kinds of women.

    I agree, that'd be great. And for that matter, I'd love to see more female characters in themes like Hero Factory. Unfortunately, these themes' core audience sees things differently, as I mentioned a couple posts ago. And it's not just a problem for LEGO-- a lot of toys that are popular with this young male demographic have a hard time getting female characters to sell. In the action figure market I've heard that female characters tend to sell more poorly than male ones, and that some brands, even if they do produce action figures of female characters, produce fewer of them with the knowledge that toy stores will not need to restock those figures as often.

    The whole cultural gender divide is both a cause and a symptom of this. Since parents and gift-givers often won't buy toys for a girl if they don't consider them "girly", and they often have very peculiar stereotypes for what is "girly" and what is not, it's hard for certain toy genres to build a female consumer base. And as a consequence, the only surefire way to ensure success is to create very "gendered" toys, so boy-oriented toys reduce the number of female characters and girl-oriented toys become color-coded with pastels. The genders of toys become segregated on toy store shelves and are marketed with buzzwords known to appeal to either gender's cultural biases.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,979
    Aanchir, can you explain Harry Potteer and Monster Fighters, then?
    Both of these lines have been successful. Both of these lines have had more than the the token female minifig.

    While one could argue the winter theme can get away with female minifigs due to it targeting adults, that is not the case with the above themes. One is licensed and one is not and both are targeted at kids.

    I do understand what you are saying, and I do agree with that for specific Lego lines, but it is obviously not the case for all. I also do not think Ninjago would have been harmed by having Nya be a Ninja instead of a Samurai, or by having her be a Samurai, and there being a female Ninja.
    It really comes down to finding the right line that will appeal to both genders. We that may be hard, it is not impossible.
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    Not sure about all other kids but when I was like 9 or 10 Transformers were HUGE and they were the toy to have. In the second season they introduced a new character that was female, Arcee. She was pink and transformed into a Cybertronian car but she was a character I wanted as a toy. Hasbro never made her into a toy until the new toys which are horrible compaired to the ones from the 80's. The new Arcee is a sport bike (which is still cool) but not as cool as the 80's toys. OK back on topic. I know I didnt mind having female characters to play with at 10 or so and my son at 6 has female Lego figs that he includes in his stories with the male figs as well.
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    New images on Eurobricks of Legends of Chima show a large Speedorz set that includes a "Queen Eagle," fanciful dress and all.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 7,011
    I always liked having the Ice Planet female as kid, if only because she wasn't the 7th look-alike minifig. I remember wondering if she liked being in space with all those mustached old men or not.
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 898
    edited November 2012
    @Dread_Pirate - if you want a decent Arcee to scratch an itch, search out the Arcee from the Energon, Animated or Binaltech lines, they're pretty nice toys with character (as opposed to the truly awful movie versions). http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Arcee_(Energon) ; http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Arcee_(Animated) ; http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:Binaltech_arcee_toy.jpg

    Back on topic... back in the 80s I remember not getting too worried about whether the characters were male or female, but certainly I viewed the 'generic' lego figure as a 'lego man' - I think that the posts here that have said that a Lego figure is a man until it's specifically a woman are right on the money, simply because it's a more manly shape - the female figures often have to provide visual cues in some form to indicate it's a female, though pleasingly there's now a really good range of female hair available to convert any of the minifigs using the basic minifig face to female, this can only be a positive thing.

    One other real positive that has already been mentioned is the fact that unlike the Belville and some of the other girl-centric lines, the Friends sets are still Lego sets - ok, they're not the same colours (though actually the new palette is lovely to use) but it means they interact so much better with the rest of the Lego range and parts, and the general scale, are pretty interchangable - Olivia's House can with a few little adjustments look rather nice as part of a modular line up :)
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
    tamamahm said:

    Aanchir, can you explain Harry Potteer and Monster Fighters, then?
    Both of these lines have been successful. Both of these lines have had more than the the token female minifig.

    While one could argue the winter theme can get away with female minifigs due to it targeting adults, that is not the case with the above themes. One is licensed and one is not and both are targeted at kids.

    I do understand what you are saying, and I do agree with that for specific Lego lines, but it is obviously not the case for all. I also do not think Ninjago would have been harmed by having Nya be a Ninja instead of a Samurai, or by having her be a Samurai, and there being a female Ninja.
    It really comes down to finding the right line that will appeal to both genders. We that may be hard, it is not impossible.

    Monster Fighters has just one female hero, though you're right that there are several female monsters. Frankly, there are definitely exceptions to this trend, and I have no doubt that TLG's designers test sets with female characters in them with focus groups quite often. Perhaps the coolness of the Monster Fighters monsters was enough to override the target audience's aversion to "girly" sets. But in general, it seems like only the occasional example can get through to the final product line. If Monster Fighters is an indication that this trend is already changing, then I look forward to what the future holds.

    Harry Potter is an interesting case, because as far as I know the theme has always had somewhat stronger appeal with girls than the typical LEGO licensed theme. Back in its debut year, girls were specifically targeted with "dollhouse"-style vignettes (I won't lie, I had a couple of these myself), and even in the 2010 revival of the theme, the furnishings of the sets echoed the kind of play patterns TLG has been trying to encourage with LEGO Friends. I believe the source material's strong appeal with girls is probably a big part of why the theme has been consciously targeted at boys and girls alike. With licensed themes, you have more of that kind of liberty, since the toys aren't the deciding factor in whether kids perceive the franchise as "girly" or "boyish"-- in most cases, the source material is. And I've never known anyone to say Harry Potter is "for girls".
    tamamahmMiles
  • mechteachmechteach Member Posts: 19
    edited November 2012
    mr_benn said:

    One other real positive that has already been mentioned is the fact that unlike the Belville and some of the other girl-centric lines, the Friends sets are still Lego sets - ok, they're not the same colours (though actually the new palette is lovely to use) but it means they interact so much better with the rest of the Lego range and parts, and the general scale, are pretty interchangable - Olivia's House can with a few little adjustments look rather nice as part of a modular line up :)

    This is true, with the exception of the minifigures. Those are absolutely not interchangeable with the minifigs from other sets. My children like to pull the minifigs all apart (hair, hands, legs, whatever) and reconfigure them to suit their play. With the Friends minifigs, the smaller neck hole precludes this (and the overall height/size is a bit off, too). The hair is the only thing that can really be changed around.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
    mechteach said:

    mr_benn said:

    One other real positive that has already been mentioned is the fact that unlike the Belville and some of the other girl-centric lines, the Friends sets are still Lego sets - ok, they're not the same colours (though actually the new palette is lovely to use) but it means they interact so much better with the rest of the Lego range and parts, and the general scale, are pretty interchangable - Olivia's House can with a few little adjustments look rather nice as part of a modular line up :)

    This is true, with the exception of the minifigures. Those are absolutely not interchangeable with the minifigs from other sets. My children like to pull the minifigs all apart (hair, hands, legs, whatever) and reconfigure them to suit their play. With the Friends minifigs, the smaller neck hole precludes this (and the overall height/size is a bit off, too). The hair is the only thing that can really be changed around.
    I've heard part of the reason for this change (and you are welcome to be incredulous) is that TLG intended for LEGO Friends to have lasting success, and as such they wanted a separate figure than the minifigure. Otherwise they were afraid that if LEGO Friends was too successful, boys would start thinking of the classic minifigure as a doll and would be less interested in it!

    Another reason, of course, is the fact that girls were having trouble identifying with the blocky minifigure they way they would with a more human-like doll. And since the female play patterns TLG observed prior to the development of LEGO Friends emphasized the importance to girls of identifying with the toy on a personal level, that would have been a major roadblock.

    With that said, even though LEGO Friends parts are (mostly) not intercompatible with regular minifigures, there was a strong effort to maintain the LEGO brand identity with them. This is why although LEGO Friends figures have a lot of differences from classic figs, they maintain the standard U-shaped hands of the LEGO minifigure. Earlier concepts had more detailed hands like on the Hagrid minifigure, but again TLG wanted Friends to be a mainstay and so didn't want something that could be confused with a generic doll.

    Some concepts of the Friends figs also had rotating hands, like the classic minifigure. This was rejected in the final version because it lacked the rest of the fig's smoothness and made their arms invariably resemble thick sleeves.

    Overall the Friends fig is a mixed blessing. On one hand, it's quite different from the classic minifigure, and falls just short of having the same level of movement and versatility. But on the other, it fits the LEGO brand identity far better than the Belville or Scala dolls ever did. What I really am curious to see is whether more diverse lines emerge that support the mini-doll, such as a castle/fantasy line of some sort. But really LEGO Friends is still in its infancy and I imagine TLG has a lot of thinking to do about where they want to go with their sudden success with the female demographic.
  • MilesMiles Member Posts: 51
    dougts said:

    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.

    This is the most sensible thing I've read all month. And it really illustrates one of the things I miss about LEGO sets these days. When I was buying Pirates sets in the late 80's early 90's, the sets were the driving factor. The Pirates were cool, but still secondary to the aesthetic appeal of the set itself.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
    Miles said:

    dougts said:

    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.

    This is the most sensible thing I've read all month. And it really illustrates one of the things I miss about LEGO sets these days. When I was buying Pirates sets in the late 80's early 90's, the sets were the driving factor. The Pirates were cool, but still secondary to the aesthetic appeal of the set itself.
    I strongly disagree that today's sets don't have this same quality. When Ninjago was new, I hardly cared at all about the characters, though I did try to plan my purchases so I'd get as many characters and as few duplicates as possible. What interested me were the dragons and the architecture, along with the bright colors and elemental motifs. Likewise with Power Miners, I didn't care about getting all the figs. Even in Hero Factory I don't care about a full collection though I try to avoid getting characters my siblings are getting. The models are still the driving factor in most of my purchases, a fig collection is secondary and mainly a way of planning my purchases so I don't have to buy on impulse.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    I don't think anyone is talking about quality here - it's about ratio of bricks/pieces to minifigs. In the 80s the largest most expensive sets generally had 3 or 4 figures. The sets themselves were what LEGO was selling and what was being featured in box arts, ads, etc. Increasingly more often, especially in licensed themes, the minifigures are included in large quantities relative to the piece count and the minifigures are what is being highlighted on the box and marketed, with the actual construction elements being a prop for the minifigs or an afterthought. Look at licensed sets under the $20 price point - these are pretty much all minifigure kits with a few bricks thrown in at best.

    All I'm saying is that for every extra minifigure, I'm losing 50-100 pieces that could have been included instead for the same price point. Or in the case of vehicles like the X-wing, Y-wing, and TIE, I'm paying an extra $5 or $10 per set to get figures that don't have anything to do with the set or even fit into it. I'd rather have the lower price tag in that case. In a set that is more of a structure than a vehicle, the structure itself is pretty much always given short shrift and feels half-complete. I'd rather have 2 or 3 less figures and a more complete structure.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
    dougts said:

    I don't think anyone is talking about quality here - it's about ratio of bricks/pieces to minifigs. In the 80s the largest most expensive sets generally had 3 or 4 figures. The sets themselves were what LEGO was selling and what was being featured in box arts, ads, etc. Increasingly more often, especially in licensed themes, the minifigures are included in large quantities relative to the piece count and the minifigures are what is being highlighted on the box and marketed, with the actual construction elements being a prop for the minifigs or an afterthought. Look at licensed sets under the $20 price point - these are pretty much all minifigure kits with a few bricks thrown in at best.

    All I'm saying is that for every extra minifigure, I'm losing 50-100 pieces that could have been included instead for the same price point. Or in the case of vehicles like the X-wing, Y-wing, and TIE, I'm paying an extra $5 or $10 per set to get figures that don't have anything to do with the set or even fit into it. I'd rather have the lower price tag in that case. In a set that is more of a structure than a vehicle, the structure itself is pretty much always given short shrift and feels half-complete. I'd rather have 2 or 3 less figures and a more complete structure.

    It shouldn't be ignored, though, that even in the infancy of the minifigure, minifigure packs without any building components were available. TLG tried this again in 2000 and might have had great success with LEGO Star Wars minifigure packs had they not learned that this conflicted with Hasbro's license to produce Star Wars action figures. But since TLG knows the appeal of minifigure packs, what they do is add some bricks, bump them up a price point, and call them "battle packs" (or sometimes not even that). In turn, construction-focused sets that would otherwise have been at those lower price points have to be bumped up so that TLG still covers a diverse price range.

    It should also be noted that TLG's policy of putting unrelated figs in Star Wars sets probably has to do with their understanding that it might be a while before they get a better opportunity to release those figs, as well as a desire to broaden the sets' appeal beyond people who didn't buy an earlier version of the vehicle/setting. Certainly in sets like this year's X-Wing, Y-Wing, and TIE Fighter they aren't cutting any corners in the design for the figs, even if they are bumping up the price point slightly. Even Jabba's Palace, which has a huge number of figs, is IMO one of the best setting-based Star Wars sets of all time. Then again, I was fond of last year's Echo Base, which allowed buyers to recreate a decent number of memorable scenes, so my opinions don't really line up with the typical LEGO Star Wars fan.
  • SherlockbonesSherlockbones Member Posts: 411
    I don't know if this counts as on topic but did anyone love it when all figures were all the same, no gender just a little smile and torso and legs?
    MaskieBoy
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    dougts said:

    In the 80s the largest most expensive sets generally had 3 or 4 figures. The sets themselves were what LEGO was selling and what was being featured in box arts, ads, etc.

    Perhaps, but really things aren't much different today. Actually, the largest most expensive sets sill can have about 4 figures but now contain more bricks. You often get more pieces per fig. For example, a fire station: in 1981 you got #6382 with 4 figs and 390 pieces while in 2010 you got #7208 with 4 figs and 662 pieces. Another example, large industrial site: in 1981 you got a public works area #6383 with 4 figs and 421 pieces while in 2012 you got a mine #4204 with 4 figs and 748 pieces. So you're seeing the same number of figures but larger, more detailed, and more engaging sets. Still not convinced? Let's look at castle sets. The iconic yellow castle #6075 was released on or about 1981 with 767 pieces and a whopping 14 figs. That's right, 14 little guys in that set. That's 55 bricks to each fig. The castle from 2010 #7946 had 8 figs and 933 pieces. That's less figs and more bricks for 116 bricks to each fig, almost double. Another example, jousting. In 1981 #6083 brought you 6 figs and 211 pieces, 33 bricks to a fig. In 2012 #10223 brought you a much bigger, much more detailed set with 9 figs and 1571 pieces, 175 bricks to a fig.

    I'm not saying that this applies to all sets from the 80s and now. There are sets with larger ratios, like the spaceship #6929 from 1981 that had a solitary fig with 242 pieces. But I think your perspective is biased by nostalgia for the sets of the 80s. I think set design has improved and set design is a very strong selling point these days. And of course when it comes to Star Wars and other licensed themes, figures play a very dominant role. However, it is to be expected since characters are such an important part of the source material.

    @murphquake Oh cool. It was interesting seeing your collection so soon after I stumbled onto that picture. I certainly didn't realize how you get them like that until you explained the process with brasso.

    @Sherlockbones Although I like the simplicity of the classic smile face, the hair has gotten so much better. Men figs all had the same bland haircut and the women figs just had terrible hair.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,841
    This seems a fairly girl-centric non-Friends set, with 100% female minifig.

    image
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