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Friends is awful, so much potential wasted

NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 444
I bought a job lot of Friends Lego, as I have not built any of the sets. Overall the sets are awful, the animals dont look proper, the figures are far to girly and a lot of the sets dont seem to have a function. (Sort of Barbie like.) It will appeal to a 6 year old, but she will quickly grow out of it and never want to return to it. With boys lego, you can keep it and still play with it when you are 13.
I do like the colours in Friends sets though, just a pity everything has to be Disneyworld-like. Imagine Potter style houses in Friends colours that would appeal to girls and they might want to keep the sets.

Comments

  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,262
    This is going to provoke a lot of reaction.
    Rainstorm26Toc13Pitfall69
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 544
    You're obviously not the target market for these sets...just sayin.  You might not know what girls like.  They are very popular from what I've seen and heard. 
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 444
    I have 2 young girls so have an idea of what they like... One of them like Friends, the other more Creator/City. Of course 6 year olds will like them, but I do think they will date quickly. A creator house or City set are pretty to display even though you dont play with them anymore. I dont think the same goes for Friends and that was my point.
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 544
    I know of several female AFOL's - my wife and her friend, as well as several posters on here - who would disagree with you.  Tastes vary from person to person...you can't judge what all will like based on a sample size of 2.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,025
    edited February 2015
    I'm a FFOL, and I often say that if I would be a kid today it would be very likely I would fully focus on Friends, Disney and Elves sets. I absolutely LOVE them and would have loved them as a kid as well! And no, they are not the only LEGO sets I like. I also like Space and Castle sets. But Friends (and the other two) are just such a win! I like minifigs, and they are perfectly fine living together with mini-dolls. But if I would be a kid today and this would be my first introduction to LEGO, I would definitely choose the mini-dolls. So, yeah, big fan here, and I'm not the only one. There are many kids and adults who love the sets. Take a look at this collection of amazing and lovely LEGO Friends creations built by AFOLs: http://thebrickblogger.com/2014/08/lego-friends-resort-town-houses-more/

    charlatan13
  • ChrisbstmChrisbstm USAMember Posts: 151
    I like them. I'm a guy, but the sets come with a huge range of accessories, and a really good parts selection in different colors. Im not a fan of the figures/dolls, but I have a younger niece to give them to after I pillage the hairpieces. Overall I would say they're pretty good, maybe just not what you were looking for @Norlego ;
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,025
    Ran out of time so I can't edit my post, but here is another collection I have done earlier with more lovely creations: http://thebrickblogger.com/2012/08/lego-friends-in-the-neighborhood/
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 518
    I think the potential was fully realized. Get a demographic of the market hooked on LEGO. Mission accomplished. I know a LOT of girls and women that had never touched a LEGO brick in their lives before Friends came out, now they are LEGO-maniacs, buying all kinds of themes, MOC-ing, you name it. I work part time at a family owned toy store and I have had the opportunity to get to know quite a few people over the years. I have seen families go from "Never gonna play with LEGO" to "Gimme more" because of this theme. 

    I think it was masterfully done by TLG to bulldoze into a demographic that they had historically had a very hard time getting into. Now we have the next incarnation of Friends in the Elves line, and it will only get better from there. 

    Well done, TLG, well done indeed. And thanks for all the lavender pieces.
    Kevin_Hyattcharlatan13dougtscarlqAanchirbeemo
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,029
    Hahahahah what???? My wife is a HUGE fan! Friends have been a HUGE win for TLG. Oh man....
    AanchirMordoor
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,415
    If they are so awful why did you buy them? They are not new, there have been plenty of reviews and pictures on them, but you still bought what to you are awful sets?

    Loads of girls like them, as do some boys. Sure, they are different to regular minifigs but that is the point - a lot of girls want more realistic figures.

    As to the sets being awful, which ones did you buy? I found the sets are probably better designed that most "boy" sets as you call them. They are not mainly centred around vehicles for a start. Just take a look at some of the sets - Dolphin Cruiser, Riding Camp, Ranch, Emma's House, Olivier's House, School, Stables, Beach House, Vet, ... they really have no play function and no appeal to older girls? They have many features that AFOLs have been wanting, let alone kids.

  • wayneggwaynegg Texas,USAMember Posts: 394
    I just wish there were some variation to the facial expressions. 
  • NorlegoNorlego ScotlandMember Posts: 444
    @CCC It was a job lot, a mix of City and Friends. I sell at carboots so I try and have a wide range of Lego to sell. I might build some for fun, or just sell on as a job lot. There are around 40 figures, so quite a few sets. (There were some good City sets: bank, harbour and Dozer amongst others.)
    I feel the figures and sets are very Barbie like and girls go quickly off Barbie as they grow up. Boys stop playing with City because they move on to PCs not because the sets are dated, but girls stop playing with Friends as it is seen as to cartoonish by their peers.
    Lego should offer more to girls that wish to build and play with Lego. Creator houses and Potter offer lots for girls and few would claim they are ugly sets.
    Pity there is not a theme for mainly girls, that they could grow up with and not outgrow.
  • charlatan13charlatan13 Member Posts: 118
    edited February 2015
    Not sure why you bought the lot - I would imagine that you were aware of the line before the purchase but you never know. I guess I see lots of vibrant and colorful pieces. Both my kids (one of them being a boy) use the pieces in other creations. In addition, my daughter's introduction to Friends has led to an interest in the creator house series (which just might lead to modulars down the line). And just the other night Gringott's bank found itself next to the horse ranch set and it worked out just fine. The line probably doesn't appeal to everyone but the initial comments are a bit unimaginative to me.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,937
    Norlego said:
    I have 2 young girls so have an idea of what they like... One of them like Friends, the other more Creator/City. Of course 6 year olds will like them, but I do think they will date quickly. A creator house or City set are pretty to display even though you dont play with them anymore. I dont think the same goes for Friends and that was my point.

    There is a big difference between this statement vs. your Original post. 

    Your point above is that they will date quickly.

    Your orignal statement
    - the sets are awful
    - the animals are not proper...I.e. They are awful
    - the minifigs, mainly girls, are too girly
    - the sets do not have a function..I.e. They are awful
    - they will appeal to a 6 year old and that is it...I.e. They are awful

    Add your third statement
    - Girls go off Friends quickly because it is too cartoonish.

    Okay. That is quite a huge range between the posts. 

    First, understand that Lego called out in their  just released annual report that among the top selling products were their core themes of Star Wars, City and Friends. 
    That means 
    a) Obviously the line is doing well
    b) Lego acknowledged that Friends is viewed as a CORE theme. For a theme to be a core theme, is a big deal and it means continued sales of that theme to the point they do not view it as a few and done.  

    Addressing a few of your items

    1) 'The sets do not have a function.'

     The function is a buildable, playable environment with modularity and details for story-telling and adventure. The line has a boat, high school, pool, houses, juice bar, bakery, vet, stable.... The line has far more creativity than the city line as a whole, which seems to believe a city is built of fire and police stations, more fire and police stations, and let us not forget the fire stations.. Oh and one theme a year.  Beyond this, Friends had an entire jungle line that incorporated special functions from a rock fall, falling bridge, moving waterfall, zip line, etc. My son loved these sets as much as my girls. 

    2) 'With boy lego you can keep it and still play with it when you are 13.'
    'I think they will date quickly'
    'too cartoonish' 
    'Barbie'
    'Boys stop playing with City because they move on to PCs not because the sets are dated, but girls stop playing with Friends as it is seen as to cartoonish by their peers.'

    First, I'm going to disagree about 'boy lego' that you can keep playing with until you are 13, or that boys stop playing with City not because they are dated.

    There are plenty of lines that are not going to hold interest for those older kids.
    Cars? The time period of Cars was strongly in that 3-4 range. Some kids really like it still in the 4-8 range, but 9-13? That simply does not age well for that group. My son was outgrown of that theme by 3.5, and had 0 interest in the Cars Lego line, because he had out grown it.  For many of the items in City and Creator, it is the same thing. There is little of interest there, because he has out grown that line. 
    Police? Fire? Your focus of Police and Fire is generally 3-8. After that, most kids are not going around desperately wanting fire trucks or police cars for Christmas. Those lines generally do not hold interest/playability for your typical 13 year old boy.

    I really do not see at all where you are coming from with the idea that 'boy lego' are this thing that every boy wants to play with until 13, and 'girl lego' is outgrown by 6. Cartoon does not equate to 'young child'. I really do not get your point at all about the sets having no function/are awful, or that a city/creator set would be fine on a shelf. Is this because of color that one is more realistic, and one has a more varied color palette, so you see the one as aging better?

    I really am not sure I'm understanding your point at all.  I think the Lego report shows that many consumers also disagree, if it is doing that well with sales.  

    Where I will agree with you a bit is that yes, Lego does need lines that have a strong appeal to older girls as well. HP did. I think Percy Jackson would. I think a dystopian line would, but I also do not think Lego will go that direction. At this point, They have done three lines targeted to girls. I would say that Friends has the most appeal from 5-10, which is about your City range. Really that is the best way to think of Friends. It is the core line analogous to City, and targets the same age range. With the inclusion of the pop-star subset with the addition of black as a predominant color, they really are trying to hit the higher end of that range with the 8-10 year olds.  
    Princess is their younger target, at least how it is currently done, with an age range where 5-8 will have the strongest interest, with it still hitting some kids up through 10.
    Elves is their first line with a more complex story and pulling in more tween colors. I suspect they are trying to hit more a demographic that a line like Ninjago can hit, where it can appeal to younger and older kids, so I would say it has potential from 5-12, but will realistically best hit that 5-10 range still.  

    The problem, though, to hit those older kids, you are going to need to hit stories/movies in their wheelhouse and go a bit more realistic, but the sad reality is that many of those do not have female protagonists.    

    The idea that Friends is awful, though,  when it shows far more creativity in concept and ideas over Lego City, I find a fairly funny. Hotel, hot air balloon, touring bus, swimming pool, sound stage, karate, jungle... It has so much more various, playability, and creativity than many other lines.




    klatu003
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    tamamahm said:

    Where I will agree with you a bit is that yes, Lego does need lines that have a strong appeal to older girls as well. HP did. I think Percy Jackson would. I think a dystopian line would, but I also do not think Lego will go that direction.
    Bring on the Blade Runner minidolls!
    JennicarlqRonyartamamahmPitfall69
  • LegopantsLegopants GermanyMember Posts: 1,968
    This is going to provoke a lot of reaction.

    You were right! ;-)
    carlq
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,415
    Norlego said:
    I feel the figures and sets are very Barbie like and girls go quickly off Barbie as they grow up. Boys stop playing with City because they move on to PCs not because the sets are dated, but girls stop playing with Friends as it is seen as to cartoonish by their peers.

    I don't really get it. Boys moving onto more "grown up" things is just as much due to peer pressure as girls moving onto other things. In fact, with networked games and so on, there is possibly more peer pressure for gamer-fan boys to move on from lego. Although, of course, girls also play computer games too.
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 719
    "Friends is awful"  is a pejorative title, may I even say trollish?  Most girls of the target age love Friends - mission accomplished.  As a AFOL (subtyple SFOL and FFOL) I have bought a bunch of Friends sets and enjoy the builds before I poach all those lovely parts.  I do mock the minidolls, and steal their hair, but girls like them.  I will be interested to see if the Elves line will take older girls further into the LEGO hobby.  The builds are more advanced than the Friends line and the minidolls have a slightly better expression.

    Anyone want to trade LOTR Uru-kai for a bunch of bald minidolls? Send PM.
    carlqPitfall69
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,937
    Let me also add that certain sets in the Friends line have been a hit with my son as well.
    The lego animal series was hugely popular with all of my kids.
    Jungle was popular with my son as well, because of the animals and special features in the line. 

    Now with Elves, he is also really likely the look of the Elves sets, especially the Treetop Hideaway because of the special features it has. That ladder that turns into a bridge, a bed into a couch, moving leaves that act as a curtain, a portal that moves, a secret area in the back of a tree, a 'basket' on a string that moves down. It has so much function to it, and playability and a cool animal.  

    binaryeye said:
    tamamahm said:

    Where I will agree with you a bit is that yes, Lego does need lines that have a strong appeal to older girls as well. HP did. I think Percy Jackson would. I think a dystopian line would, but I also do not think Lego will go that direction.
    Bring on the Blade Runner minidolls!

    LOL!! That would be quite fun.  Really, I would love to see some slightly darker themes someday hit the minidoll line. I think Elves is good, though,  and will have strong appeal.  I do think  it is a little too 'light' and 'sunny' for it to draw in  some of that older segment they are trying to target.  I am happy with the attempt, though.  
    Aanchir
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,415
    I'd really like them to do an experiment - a small friends set with a single boy character in it - and see how well it sells. Of course , we'll never know if it is mainly boys or girls getting the set, but just whether it sells would be interesting.
    Jenni
  • monkeymonkey Member Posts: 234
    edited February 2015
    I agree that due to their Disney-like appearance, Friends figures are likely to appeal only to youngsters, by contrast to standard minifigures that are truly age-neutral. Don't think this makes Friends awful though. The figures are very well done, pretty and reasonably realistic (ok maybe not all the animals).  
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    CCC said:
    I'd really like them to do an experiment - a small friends set with a single boy character in it - and see how well it sells. Of course , we'll never know if it is mainly boys or girls getting the set, but just whether it sells would be interesting.
    I know it's not Friends, but #41076 Farran and the Crystal Hollow fits this. The single male character surprised me when it was first leaked; it very well could be a test.
    Jenni
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,937
    ^ Yes, I was going to reply the same. He is one of the main character Elves. They all show up at least twice in this first wave, while the baker shows up once and the girl that comes through the portal shows up once. In the Crystal Hallow set, he is the only character. 
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 544
    Funny that the human character is in only one set, since the story line they've developed kind of revolves around her finding the keys...
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,937
    natro220 said:
    Funny that the human character is in only one set, since the story line they've developed kind of revolves around her finding the keys...
    Not really. Think about how they do minifigs. There is always some chaser minifig that they put in the most expensive set. There is a logical reason as well, though. The Treehouse hideaway is the set with a portal, so it makes sense she is there. Most of the other sets have the character in their Biome. Farran, Naida and Azari all have their location in a set.  The boat is really the only other set it makes sense to put her in, but not really.

    I think the main characters kids will want will be the elves and pets, so I am glad there is two sets to get each of the elf characters.  With three sets, we managed all the characters except Aira, and she comes in the cheapest set. 
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,776
    monkey said:
    I agree that due to their Disney-like appearance, Friends figures are likely to appeal only to youngsters, by contrast to standard minifigures that are truly age-neutral. Don't think this makes Friends awful though. The figures are very well done, pretty and reasonably realistic (ok maybe not all the animals).  
    I sort of have to disagree there. I've mentioned before in discussions about LEGO Elves that when I was a teenager, a hobby of mine was drawing fantasy characters inspired by the magical races from classical fairy tales and folklore. I had a dream about making a comic series or something with a story about these characters. I think the Elves theme, with its lifelike yet otherworldly character designs, would have been a dream come true for me.

    I also loved the Exo-Force theme, which used human characters in its media, and I still think that the realism of the mini-doll might have been a better fit for a theme like that than classic minifigures with detailed manga-inspired hairstyles and facial features that made them visually incompatible with other classic minifigures anyhow.

    I don't think the limited posability is inherently a turn-off for older fans and hobbyists, either. It's not like posability is an inherent trait to every successful range of toy figures that adults like. I know plenty of adults within the brony community who collect and even play with My Little Pony figures, which often lack ANY posability. At best they might be able to turn their heads. But people buy them because of the characters they represent and the stories they can be used to tell.

    As for the sets, they are packed with play potential. It isn't always action play potential (in fact, much of the designs are focused on role-play), but that doesn't mean it's something only kids will enjoy. In fact, themes like BIONICLE, Ninjago, and Legends of Chima have been derided as childish BECAUSE they are so action-play-oriented.

    The LEGO Friends houses are often far more livable than anything you'll find in a boy-oriented theme. How often do you see a LEGO castle with a bedroom or kitchen, Hogwarts excluded? At best a LEGO castle is a seat of government (with a throne room and treasury) and military stronghold (with catapults and maybe an armory). The sets are also beautifully decorated, with deluxe brick-built furniture that can often rival the furniture in the modular buildings.

    Now, I'm sure most girls WILL grow out of LEGO Friends, the same way most boys grow out of their favorite LEGO themes. But I think LEGO Friends has been a great step towards evening the gender gap in the LEGO fan community, and I very strongly hope that it will be the first step towards evening the gender gap in the adult LEGO fan community.
    tamamahm said:
    Norlego said:
    I have 2 young girls so have an idea of what they like... One of them like Friends, the other more Creator/City. Of course 6 year olds will like them, but I do think they will date quickly. A creator house or City set are pretty to display even though you dont play with them anymore. I dont think the same goes for Friends and that was my point.

    [snip]

    Where I will agree with you a bit is that yes, Lego does need lines that have a strong appeal to older girls as well. HP did. I think Percy Jackson would. I think a dystopian line would, but I also do not think Lego will go that direction. At this point, They have done three lines targeted to girls. I would say that Friends has the most appeal from 5-10, which is about your City range. Really that is the best way to think of Friends. It is the core line analogous to City, and targets the same age range. With the inclusion of the pop-star subset with the addition of black as a predominant color, they really are trying to hit the higher end of that range with the 8-10 year olds.  
    Princess is their younger target, at least how it is currently done, with an age range where 5-8 will have the strongest interest, with it still hitting some kids up through 10.
    Elves is their first line with a more complex story and pulling in more tween colors. I suspect they are trying to hit more a demographic that a line like Ninjago can hit, where it can appeal to younger and older kids, so I would say it has potential from 5-12, but will realistically best hit that 5-10 range still.  

    The problem, though, to hit those older kids, you are going to need to hit stories/movies in their wheelhouse and go a bit more realistic, but the sad reality is that many of those do not have female protagonists.    

    The idea that Friends is awful, though,  when it shows far more creativity in concept and ideas over Lego City, I find a fairly funny. Hotel, hot air balloon, touring bus, swimming pool, sound stage, karate, jungle... It has so much more various, playability, and creativity than many other lines.
    This is a great post, although I should mention that all the Elves sets are targeted to ages seven and up, as per the boxes. This means the minimum recommended age (even for the smallest sets) is markedly higher than LEGO Friends, which starts at age five.

    Confusingly, the maximum recommended age is still age twelve — it isn't age 14 like the maximum recommended age for larger Ninjago or Chima sets, for instance. This gives the Sky Castle set the unusually narrow recommended age range of 8–12.

    I'm not sure why this is. But the recommended age range for LEGO City and LEGO Castle also cuts off at age 12, regardless of the size of the set. I don't think any of us will argue that LEGO City and Castle are less popular with adult fans than Ninjago or Chima. Less popular with teens, maybe...
  • LordofLegoLordofLego Member Posts: 311
    You know what's worse than Friends? Elves. I mean, the story behind Elves is better than the story behind Friends (girl goes through magic portal and must receive the help of some elves to find some keys to open the portal to take her home vs. "hey, check out this town where everything is pink and purple, even the boy's car!). Friends could be... improved. I always am wary of unexpectedly running across the three or four pages of solid purple in my Lego catalogs. Seriously, EVERYTHING is pastel colours, and half of it is purple. For instance, in set 41036, there is a purple Jeep, which, according to the catalog, belongs to Matt. It could be his mother's car, but I don't think she'd like him driving out into the jungle to save a bear trapped on a totally climbable collapsed bridge. It's not like bears are known for their climbing ability.
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