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[email protected] Girls category

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  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    @margot depends if you actually believe that to be causation. I work in a school of engineering, I'm an engineer, I married a mechanical engineer. She is, outside of her professional life, what might be considered a very girly girl. She loves cooking, puts childcare at the top of her priority list, spends about an hour every morning doing her hair and makeup, wouldn't answer the door without her face on. She didn't have an older brother, she didn't have any boys toys when young, her bedroom was pink and im fairly sure that all her toys were dolls/Sylvania family kind of stuff. None of that prevented her from studying sciences at school, engineering at university, working in the automotive, food and pharmaceutical industries and running a factory before she was 30.

    All kids are different, hell my two boys are massively different and interestingly the less 'boyish' one is the one that loves LEGO the most and plays with in the most 'engineering' fashion. But i doubt many of them are really too programmed by the toys they play with or even less by the toys they are exposed to within a certain toy aisle or web shop filter. They and their parents will/should identify and enable them to be what they want to be. play with what they want to play with, and perhaps most importantly in the way they want to play with them.
    LostInTranslationdougtsprincedravenLegobutterflysidersddJP3804
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    ^ @margot - Exactly. This is why I felt so bad to hear that little girl, walking past a wall of games, most of which, in the context of this thread would be classified as crossover, ask her mommy where the "girl" games were, because these were "all boy."

    The unfortunate reality is that our girls are bombarded with this stuff and quite often take it to heart, which leaves the problem of trying to get past that now-ingrained filter with stimulating content. One strategy is to co-opt it. This, I think, is what Friends is doing in its small way. But there is so very much more that could be done.
    margot
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited September 2013
    @chromedigi - if that interests your daughter then it wouldn't be unreasonable to go on to things like the mini tow truck, tractor, the old super car? Vehicles - boyish? But itsn't that what we're trying to avoid? I would also love a range of things like a working amusement park, but in realistic colours (as the techinc range tries to use) rather than pastel shades.

    If the education sets are what they used to (still do? last time they seemed to be creative) have in the building area of LegoLand Windsor then i don't think kids will see them as homework. I know my boys loved building a little working wind turbine for example. Certainly more sets like that would be great - it is a shame that technic is so vehcicle focused, but I can understand why it is.

    PS - I google image searched "engineering toys for girls" and the results were um interesting.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited September 2013

    PS - I google image searched "engineering toys for girls" and the results were um interesting.

    Yes. Less than ideal, to say the least. But at least somebody is thinking about the problem. I don't claim to like the "solutions."

    From a different domain, Chocolate Fix is an excellent example of what can be done when a company really tries. This is an outstanding logic puzzle for kids.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    margot said:

    CCC said:


    They seem fairly decent choices to me for girls (I changed the ages to 6-10, to get rid of duplo and the older kids stuff) ... fall and other season scenes, princess set, treehouse, family house, friends sets, advent calendar, CMF, ...

    OMG, how about we let girls choose for themselves instead of telling them what they are supposed to like.
    "As I have said before, one of the things that I find most disturbing about gender stereotyping is the way that it constricts a child’s vision for themselves.

    They can chose for themselves. They just need to select the categories they like the look of, rather than look at what is suggested that most girls will like. If everything was labelled girls (and boys) then how would a grandparent choose? Some (possibly many) of the sets in some ranges would not get played with by the average girl. That is not to say there isn't a minority of girls that would play with it, just that the average girl wouldn't. Thus it is not suggested as an idea for a set for girls. If a girl was looking by herself, there is nothing to stop her looking in the other sections. If she has an interest in SW, she can look there. Many girls will not be interested, but that doesn't mean she cannot be.

    The girls label is not there to say girls can play only with these items, it is there to suggest what the average girl will play with.



    You make a good point about the technic models - I can't see and don't think LEGO should be expected to make a technic set with specific girl appeal as it a) probably wouldn't sell and b) would no doubt bring about another outcry over girls being excluded from all the other technic sets. However, creating a range of simple (as entry level, not the ability of the girl!) technic sets that focus on the mechanics rather than the aesthetic might be a decent approach.

    Yes, that is what I meant when I mentioned technic sets. I'd hate for them to bring in pink technic for girly technic sets, which leads to the implication that the rest of the range is the boys stuff and that girls should only be playing with the pink technic. If a girl wants to build and play with a car or a truck or a crane, then it is perfectly fine. But if that crane is pink, then it is (i) rather unrealistic and (ii) going to be a bad seller.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    Not to say that Chocolate Fix is "girl-themed" per se, but it isn't boy-biased, either.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    CCC said:

    But if that crane is pink, then it is (i) rather unrealistic and (ii) going to be a bad seller.

    That, of course, is absurd. And a straw-man argument, I think. The problem isn't so much the color of the crane, but the fact of it being a crane in the first place.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    CCC said:


    But if that crane is pink, then it is (i) rather unrealistic and (ii) going to be a bad seller.

    and (iii) do more harm than good when as a qualified civil engineer she doesn't understand why she can't order a pink crane on to site.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688

    I know my boys loved building a little working wind turbine for example. Certainly more sets like that would be great - it is a shame that technic is so vehicle focused, but I can understand why it is.

    Yes, that would be great. I also have the Crazy Contraptions book, which I find is good as it is more about how something works than how it looks. If anyone wants to go further than that (boys or girls) I suggest this series of books http://www.isogawastudio.co.jp/legostudio/toranomaki/en/ or the Unofficial Technic Guide by Pawel "Sariel" Kmiec.

    The problem is that they do not make large polished models, just bits that seed ideas. Sets like that apparently do not sell well - or lego would be making more "ideas" sets, rather than complete models with detailed instructions.
    chromedigi
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    @CCC - Those are great books. I already own them. But they're good for someone who already is familiar with Technic as a system, and wants to move beyond building kits and start to become creative with it. The ramp is steeper for Technic than System in this regard, which is why I bemoan the lack of crossover kits to use as gateways. I don't think you can effectively start the average kid with the equivalent of a Technic universal set with no model instructions.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    Yes, but Crazy Contraptions is a good place to start, before going on to something like those books. None of it is official Lego though, so unlikely to be found by someone just interested in why/how questions?
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited September 2013
    dougts said:


    I don't disagree with this desire - but what should LEGO reasonably do in regards to Technic? .

    Market them to girls as well as boys.

    chromedigi
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    @chromedigi- We have the small Technic dump truck filled up with Lego Friends erasers in the back. Might be a fun set to buy.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    margot said:

    dougts said:


    I don't disagree with this desire - but what should LEGO reasonably do in regards to Technic? .

    Market them to girls as well as boys.

    What does that mean?

    1) Take existing sets and show girls playing with them.
    2) Take existing sets and change the colours to be more "girly".
    3) Make new sets that appeal just to girls.
    4) Make less boyish models (cars, trucks) that appeal to both sexes.
    chromedigi
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    ^I would vote for 1. Excluding this has been Lego's mistake from the beginning.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited September 2013
    Why choose? I vote for them all. As we have seen here among the parents who have chimed in, our kids vary somewhat (my daughter is more focused on "girliness," for example, whereas some of you have kids who perhaps have been less brainwashed by the media). Therefore, no single strategy will do the job all by itself.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    The funny thing is that none of the sets on lego.com have pictures of boys playing with them. None of them are being played with, the pictures are just the models. Same in catalogues. Lego moved away from pictures of kids playing with the sets a while ago. So it is not girls seeing boys playing with the models that is the problem. Is it the lack of pictures of girls playing with them?

    So I'd ask why does a girl need to see a girl playing with the model before she will play with it? Surely that is putting pressure on them to choose a particular model, rather than just letting them see the model itself and deciding for themselves.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited September 2013
    ^You talk about toys in terms of girly or boyish, you don't think that's filtered down to kids? How many people here say that generally Lego are for boys?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    margot said:

    ^I would vote for 1. Excluding this has been Lego's mistake from the beginning.

    Are there pictures of boys playing with the sets in the catalogue? I don't think my boys have ever seen a picture or video of boys playing with technic. Not online, in Lego or other retailer stores. Yet the older one still loves technic.

    For my money 4 is the way forward. 3 could follow if 4 worked, with 4 and 3 2 wouldn't be needed.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    CCC said:

    The funny thing is that none of the sets on lego.com have pictures of boys playing with them.

    No, but there is this category called "Girls". :-)

    chromedigi
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    @Chromedigi, how old are your girls?
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    One girl. 11.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    margot said:

    ^You talk about toys in terms of girly or boyish, you don't think that's filtered down to kids? How many people here say that generally Lego are for boys?

    Show a girl and a boy a pile of lego, a doll, a toy car and a fluffy puppy toy. Let them pick the one they like the best - no pressure, free choice, no images of girls or boys playing with them.

    Repeat that 1000 times and keep statistics.

    Boys will tend to pick the lego and car, although some will pick the puppy and less will pick the doll. Those things would therefore be called boyish, as they are generaly chosen by boys.

    Girls will pick the doll and the puppy more often than the toy car and the lego. They would probably be labelled as girlish.

    Now it would be an interesting experiment to show them the same four toys but with girls playing with the lego and the car, and boys playing with the doll and the puppy, to see if that changes things.
    chromedigidougts
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    margot said:

    CCC said:

    The funny thing is that none of the sets on lego.com have pictures of boys playing with them.

    No, but there is this category called "Girls". :-)

    Yes, and that is to suggest things that the "average" girl would like to play with. If they just added technic sets to that category, would it make girls more likely to play with them?
    chromedigidougts
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    margot said:

    dougts said:


    I don't disagree with this desire - but what should LEGO reasonably do in regards to Technic? .

    Market them to girls as well as boys.

    Considering LEGO doesn't currently market Technic to boys or girls (or really anyone), this seems a bit silly to me. The complaint in this thread is that LEGO is limiting people by targeted marketing and the suggestion is to engage in more targeted marketing? How ironic.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    @CCC - There is this. There may be an innate bias WRT dolls. On the other hand, there's the example of the Soviet Union's surplus of female engineers. These are complex issues.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    margot said:

    ^You talk about toys in terms of girly or boyish, you don't think that's filtered down to kids? How many people here say that generally Lego are for boys?

    I don't think LEGO is for boys, but I do think that in general a higher percentage of boys are inclined to be interested in LEGO compared to the percentage of girls who are interested in LEGO. Some of this may be due to environmental influences, but some of it is likely also due to innate preferences.

    But of course every individual person (and their parents) are free to choose whatever they want, and in the end that is what matters most.

  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,948
    margot said:

    ^I would vote for 1. Excluding this has been Lego's mistake from the beginning.


    See, this is where it gets tricky, though.

    Taking existing sets and showing girls playing with them, does not solve the root of the issue.

    My example I love using to the point of overuse is Lego Pharoah's quest vs. Playmobil Egpytian line.

    My girls REALLY wanted the Playmobil line. They hated and wanted nothing to do with the Lego line.

    Why? It was the same topic? It wasn't about showing boys/girls playing, because they only saw the sets online without people.

    What was the difference, since both were the same theme?

    Well, the Playmobil line had
    1) An Egyptian family (including Egyptian kids) and at least several different females in the line.
    Do you remember what Lego found out about how girls play with Lego? It is about using characters as avatars. The playmobil had the characters they wanted, and Lego did not have those multiple female characters

    2) The playmobil line had a pyramid. It was in a very gender-neutral box. There was also this 'tomb', which they concluded would work as a house, and it had a cool trap door and jewels.
    Basically, the line had story-building elements to it, which again fits into what Lego has seen. Because the packaging was 'neutral' they could create their ideas of what stories they would play with these items. (That story-telling aspect that Lego has seen is important with girls).

    Compare that to the Lego line, and there really wasn't anything that served as a house/base. The pyramid had 2 people shooting weapons, and 4 other characters with weapons. Several of these seemed to be engaged in a fight. There wasn't much of a story element to it, besides, these guys (again no females) were fighting each other.

    The issue had nothing to do with showing boys/girls playing with either one of these lines. It had nothing to do with the theme. It had to do with the fact that with one line they could see themselves playing with it, creating cool stories and having those characters (females) to act as avatars. In the other case, they felt the story Lego was telling on the packaging excluded them... a decided lack of females, and a story that was only about fighting.


    I would say that showing girls playing with many of the lines, for at least my girls, would not make a spot of difference, because the issue is Lego has a vast majority of items that they are a) making very stereotypical boy and b) marketing to the stereotypical boy.



    chromedigi
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    There shouldn't be labels though. Just because boys tend to like trucks more than girls and girls tend to like dolls more than boys doesn't make it a boy or a girl toy. Stop labeling. And FWIW, until about the age of 4 my son loved princessy stuff. As a matter of fact a LOT of boys love dolls, dressup, mommy's shoes, makeup, and handbags. My son insisted on wearing glitter sparkly Barbie flip flops out in public at 3. Moms always gave him a thumbs up, Dads for the most part glared or looked really uncomfortable. What kids like is way over influenced by society.
    And @CCC, no I don't think you should add Technic sets to the girl category, I think you should get rid of the girl category completely. Grandparents don't need it to be able to pick out gifts.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    edited September 2013
    This is what my son insisted on wearing for Halloween one year (I'm sure you can figure out which one he is). It was not what I would have chosen for him but I tried really hard to let him be himself. He also wore a Superman costume that year. He also wouldn't be caught dead wearing pink from about 5 on...
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    edited September 2013
    ^ biggest question - who's house are you sending all those little kids to TP, and why? ;-)
    margotchromedigijasorgifinim
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    margot said:


    And @CCC, no I don't think you should add Technic sets to the girl category, I think you should get rid of the girl category completely. Grandparents don't need it to be able to pick out gifts.

    Don't they? What if they bought a technic car and the girl never played with it. It gives a bad impression of lego. Lego does research into which ranges boys and girls like playing with, and then to not use this information would be a waste.

    The same goes for ages. Lego suggests ages for their sets, but I tend to ignore it as my kids build well above what lego perceives they would be interested in. But I wouldn't want everything lumped together with no tags at all.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    This is what he chose last year. :-) Fortunately he's still comfortable enough to want the Lego Friend's Dolphin Cruiser. He knows it's considered a girl's toy but he's ok with that.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    CCC said:


    Don't they?

    No, they don't. If they don't for boys then why should they for girls.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,948
    edited September 2013
    CCC said:

    margot said:


    dougts said:

    LEGO isn't trying to "limit girls", they are trying to provide a tiny tool that may or may not help someone find a suitable gift.

    In your opinion... In my opinion it's harmful and completely unnecessary. You know kids pick up on everything they see. I fly airplanes for a living. Yet a few years ago my son saw a woman driving a pickup truck and said "Women aren't supposed to drive trucks!". I was floored. Gender stereotypes and sexism are rampant in our culture, we don't need to reinforce it by having a Lego category just for girls...


    It isn't just for girls, it is a suggestion for people looking for items on a website. The stuff in the girls' section can also be found by going through other links. They have picked items that they feel will appeal to girls, yet it is not all the pink and purple friends stuff. Some of it is grirly, yet there are a lot of crossover sets. If someone doesn't know what to buy a girl, looking in there will give them some good ideas likely to appeal to a girl. If they know a girl wants a Star Wars set, then they go to the Star Wars section. They are not excluded from using the THEMES rather than CATEGORIES menu.

    As for technic for girls, the technic sets are more engineering based. Girls interested in engineering are more likely to incline towards cars, trucks and cranes than the "average" girl (if there is such a thing). I wouldn't really want to see technic sets in pastel colours. Females going into engineering know that those colours don't really occur much in engineering. The idea of fairground sets and so on is great, so long as they are in non-pastel (dare I say it, girly) colours. If they design and sell such sets, I would hope they appeal to both girls and boys, and making them in pink is not going to help sell them to boys. For example, they have WVM high up on the girls list, and I hope this appeals to girls as much as boys. Without too many pastels in there.

    Well, first I would disagree that girl going into engineering are more interested in cars/trucks/cranes.

    I actually think that is the issue with technic and Mindstorms. Personally, I think it is a large issue with STEM/engineering in general.

    Are we making cool technic and robotic cats? Dogs? Ferris wheels? Carousels?
    Nope. The expectation that is often out there is that if a girl likes math/science/engineering, that she has to conform to that area. Mindstorms? Hey cool, but in the previous version, the animal they show is a stereo-typical one that boys would like... an alligator/crocodile.

    It isn't that girls can't like alligators and crocodiles, but that they aren't advertising any animal that the average girl would list in her top 10 list of favorite animals, while they are hitting the boy top 10 list.

    I'm sure they changed that for the latest version of mindstorms, considering how STEM is becoming a huge focus in this country for girls and boys.
    Let's see... scorpion and snake.
    Again, tell me who is going to have those animals on their top list of favorite animals?

    Yeah, yeah. Boys make up the vast amount of their sales, so they are going to market to boys, and yeah, sure, girls can like snakes and scorpions, and hey, my daugher's best friend likes snakes..etc, etc.

    I guess that isn't my point, though. It is that with virtually anything out there science, stem, engineering, the content is still so often focused on what people believe boys would gravitate to, and girls are simply supposed to 'like' that.

    This is one reason I was unsure of Mindstorms for Chrismas this year (and before the 10% coupon code nixed it for me). My largest concern with it was that the items shown would be stereotypical for boys, and not enough draw for my girls to even want to attempt.

    This isn't about turning items pastel pink. The issue is that the content of technic and many other themes are geared towards boys. Sure, girls can play with trucks and many other themes, but heck, they can play with cool things like robotic cats or a single technic item that is NOT a vehicle.

    Lego just doesn't have it. Tech/Engineering/STEM often does not have it.
    These areas often have items that are 'draws' for the average boy interest out there (and yes, stereotypical for them to), and so little that draws in the average girl.

    Seriously, not one technic item available right not is something other than a vehicle.
    http://shop.lego.com/en-US/catalog/productListing.jsp?_requestid=1171459

    The interesting thing as well... I don't have the stereotypical boy either, so many of the Lego lines simply have zero appeal to him either.
    chromedigimargot
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,948
    margot said:

    CCC said:


    Don't they?

    No, they don't. If they don't for boys then why should they for girls.
    It is because they gear almost EVERY line towards the stereotypical boy, so they don't need a category for the clueless shopper buying for a young boy.
    dougts
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited September 2013
    @tamamahm - You deserve my multi-thumbage, were it possible to do. You nailed it 100%.
    margot
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Great post @tamamahm
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited September 2013
    Let's not forget that Friends does have a number of vehicles:

    #3063 Heartlake Flying Club
    #3183 Stephanie’s Cool Convertible
    #3184 Adventure Camper
    #3185 Summer Riding Camp
    #3186 Emma's Horse Trailer
    #3935 Stephanie’s Pet Patrol
    #41010 Olivia’s Beach Buggy
    #41013 Emma's Sports Car
    #41015 Dolphin Cruiser

    There are also the little dippy sets that could be scaled up:

    #3937 Olivia's Speedboat
    #30103 Car
    #41000 Water Scooter Fun

    Not to mention the lawnmower from #3315 Olivia’s House, or the cash registers and whatnot that exist as mini-details throughout, and their equivalents in the Creator houses.

    If we use my daughter as an indicator, she enjoys these machines as part of her story-telling use of the playsets. Vehicles per se are not intrinsically "boy," though construction equipment and trucks do tend to be read that way by children.

    I think the very existence and success of these vehicles shows that there does exist a market opportunity for the widening of the way Technic is treated and marketed. I see no reason not to do a Technic version of something like #3935, or really, any of these things. To appeal to girls, the end result has to be something that they will want to play with the way that they play, not the way that boys play. (And if you don't think boys and girls play differently, I have to wonder what rock you've been living under your whole life.)
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,948
    Ah, but is the existence because vehicles are a nice easy item for Lego to make and sell and they can do it with limited pieces, or because girls are clamoring for vehicles?

    The other aspect, is many of these are not simply vehicles, but are part of a story, as you alluded to. The Dolphin cruiser is a 'house' in a boat, with dolphins. The 'adventure camper', is really an outdoor picnic setting. Summer riding camp is really a camp. The horse trailer is really a riding camp add-on.

    I agree, vehicles are not intrinsically 'boy', but it is about the set and overall theme. The thing with Friends, is that when looking at the entire line there is enough diversification in the line to support vehicles. i.e. it isn't all vehicles.
    HP was similar. My girls wanted that train, probably because of Luna, but they wanted it. There was also a large diversification in the line, though, so it didn't feel like all vehicles.

    (Okay, I guess this aspect is a bit suprising to me, and shows how little I have really looked at technic, but I had to go back all the way to 2000 to find a non-vehicle in the technic line. Any idea why? I have seem many Lego sets use technic elements to create stronger sets. I would have thought that technic would lend itself to many other cool builds besides vehicle, but maybe not?? I just didn't realize that the technic line really has traditionally been about vehicles. Does anyone know the history of technic and why this is so?)


  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited September 2013
    For technic I think girls would have to be very interested in the mechanics as you can't really play a story with them which I believe is how girls usually play. That said if friends vehicles are ok then surely the old super car would be pretty good as a technic car for girls and boys alike? Unless they release a technic new beetle complete with dashboard flower holder and 'powered by pixie dust' stickers... j/k
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,688
    Lego is, to the average Joe, a boy's toy. Lego clearly want to expand that view and take some more of the girls' toy market. Doing Friends has helped them get girls interested. They could stop there.

    But I think the girl tags are good as they hint to girls and people buying presents that there is more to Lego for girls than just Friends. By highlighting other sets that are "girl friendly", they may get interested in other themes. If they didn't use the tag, then some people may not look further. Of course some will, but not everyone. If they tag everything as girls, then chances are people wouldn't look when they feel the first few sets are not girl friendly.
    dougtscheshirecat
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    This comes up quite regularly on here (or something really similar) and I really honestly do not get it.

    Boys and Girls are different and there is nothing wrong with that.
    The makers of toys will target their main audience more than their niche audience. Therefore the adverts for Barbie will NEVER, EVER, have a boy playing with it as Mattel know who buys them and who for, girls.

    I am sure I read that 9% of Lego's sales are for girls, that means 91% boys, clearly then the large majority of their promoting will be towards boys.
    Having a 'girls' section is more about showing parents etc that this is not a 'boy toy', in the same way that Nivea do moisturiser for men called 'Nivea for Men' because otherwise men would not buy it, and do you know what the woman's is called? Nivea, not Nivea for Women. Because they know that 90% of their audience is women.

    I would guess that TLG have used their survey results to determine what the majority of females buy in order to set the tagging up, as others have said to assist the people who are buying for girls that they do not know, surely if the mum knows that their daughter loves StarWars she is not going to search by 'girl' find no StarWars and say "Oh well, better buy her Friends then!"

    @margot I applaude your attitude towards being open minded to your boy playing with girls toys/outfits, I personally would doubt that I would allow my son to go out dressed like that, more from fear that he would be ridiculed by his friends when he is older (kids can be little sh!ts) and you just know that someone will post it on the internet ;-).

    Out of interest, based on your comfort with the above, do you think that there should be a boys and girls section in the clothes shops, or do you think boys and girls should be free to wear what they want (skirts for boys)? If you think this is different, I would be interested to know what you see as different?

    Again I come back to my thought that Boys and Girls are different and there is nothing wrong with that.
    dougtscheshirecatBumblepantsstickbug29LegobutterflyJP3804
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    @margot would you mind me asking how old your daughter is and what Lego she likes? Do you think the category limits her choice?
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    I don't have a daughter.
    Of course there should be different sections for boys and girls in a clothes shop, boys and girls have different fits, different sizing. And if a boy wants to wear a skirt that's his choice. It would look odd because no other boys do, but I certainly wouldn't have a problem with it.
    I have seen boys playing with Barbies many times as well as with Ken and GI Joe. Why shouldn't a boy be in an ad ?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    Boys and girls don't have different fits or sizing up until about age 11 or 12, which is the same age group we are talking about in regards to LEGO, so I find the comparison from @princedraven right on target. This smacks of wild inconsistency.

    Aren't both cases based on the same types of cultural norms and stereotypes? If gender stereotyping is okay in clothing, why wouldn't it be okay in toys then? Or conversely if it isn't okay for toys, why is it okay for clothes?
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    tamamahm said:

    This is one reason I was unsure of Mindstorms for Chrismas this year (and before the 10% coupon code nixed it for me). My largest concern with it was that the items shown would be stereotypical for boys, and not enough draw for my girls to even want to attempt.

    Well, don't be upset if the cake is gone after you eat it. By deciding to not buy something because it's stereotypically male, you're just perpetuating the stereotype.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited September 2013
    tamamahm said:

    Ah, but is the existence because vehicles are a nice easy item for Lego to make and sell and they can do it with limited pieces, or because girls are clamoring for vehicles?

    Well, I think a number of those builds are more or less cribbed from City, and dolled up to fit the look of the Friends theme. The Adventure Camper is very close to the #7639 Camper; so similar in fact that I didn't get it for my daughter, because she already had the City model (and liked it).
    tamamahm said:

    The other aspect, is many of these are not simply vehicles, but are part of a story, as you alluded to.

    This seems to be essential.

    I think there are basically two ways to view LEGO. One is as an engineering/design/mathematical exercise and toy (where I personally mostly fit as an AFOL, which is why I'm also not in the CMF target audience). The other is as a kind of constructible literature (less me, but very much a lot of other people). This fits neatly with the discussion in the classic book The Two Cultures, by C.P. Snow.

    I'm not going to go out on a limb and attempt to generalize to all little girls, but my daughter, and other girls I've known, like to use their toys to create an ongoing story line. I think that's an important factor.

    But I don't want her (or the others like her) to be shortchanged in terms of what STEM stimulation they might be able to get from the building aspect of their playtime with LEGO. Technic is a wonderful construction system, but the way it is marketed (including the models selected by the company) doesn't make it enticing to a typical little girl who is responsive to gender stereotyping, and that I find extremely frustrating as a father.
    tamamahm said:

    I just didn't realize that the technic line really has traditionally been about vehicles. Does anyone know the history of technic and why this is so?)

    Anyone can look at the history of Technic by going here and sorting by year of release. You'll find that it was introduced in 1977, but it wasn't until 1982 that any sets that weren't specifically vehicles were introduced. These were the Universal Building Sets (which I've kicked myself many times over for not buying any of which to keep when I was shopping for my nephews at the time.) Some parts packs came out before that, in 1978/79/81. A couple more Universals in 1984/86... but all the kits to date had been vehicles, and the Universals featured vehicles as well. Finally, in 1987, something different: a robot! And in 1988, the ill-considered Technic figures - almost a precursor to the Belville dolls.

    I could go on at the risk of putting everybody to sleep... But anyway, you're right, Technic has almost entirely been about vehicles, from its inception. Why? I would venture to guess because it was designed by men for little boys, and nobody ever thought about it very deeply. It was just the natural thing for them to do.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    One more observation: It seems that TLG has designed a growth path for little boys to build fairly simple System versions of the exact same objects (vehicles and construction equipment) that they will then build again as working models using Technic, when they get older and more intellectually mature.

    Why can't the same growth path exist for little girls, out of Friends, and into some form of Technic that will be attractive and palatable to them?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    My girl plays with everything. We let her decide what she wants to play with. She likes My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake and dresses up as Princesses. Although, when she is in the sand box, she's all boy.

    All in all, she is a stereotypical 3 year old girl.
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