The possibility of LEGO releasing minidolls based on DC characters has caused some to be concerned that LEGO will release less female minifigures based on licensed characters in the future.
I decided to do some research using BRICKSET in order to learn just how many female minifigures based on licensed characters LEGO has already released. Even if there are multiple versions of a character, I am only counting that character once.
Polybags, Juniors, sets that don't include minifigures, special combo sets and sets that haven't been released at the time of this writing have been excluded when tabulating the amount of sets containing female minifigures.
Since DC's news is what caused these concerns I'll start with them first.
DC: 8 female characters
Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Faora, Lois Lane, Supergirl, Wonder Woman
Female minifigures can be found in 13 out of 35 DC themed LEGO sets. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are tied for being in the most sets, which is 3.
MARVEL: 11 female characters
Black Widow, Gamora, Phoenix Jean Grey, Maria Hill, Mary Jane, Pepper Potts, Scarlet Witch, Spider- Woman, Storm, Nebula, Aunt May
Female minifigures can be found in 13 out of 36 MARVEL themed LEGO sets. Mary Jane appears in the most sets, which is 5. Phoenix and Spider- Woman are promotional exclusives.
HARRY POTTER: 11 female characters
Bellatirix Lestrange, Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Madame Hooch, Molly Weasley, Narcissa Malfoy, Professor Delores Umbridge, Professor McGonagall, Professor Sprout, Professor Trelawney
Female minifigures can be found in 20 out of 51 HARRY POTTER themed LEGO sets. Hermione Granger has been in the most sets, which is 14.
STAR WARS: 21 female characters (I'm not familiar with the ENTIRE SW universe but I'm pretty sure I got them all and that these are all females)
Aayla Secura, Ahsoka Tano, Asajj Ventress, Aurra Sing, Barriss Offee, Boushh, Female Padawan, Hera Syndulla, Jedi Consular, Juno Eclipse, Luminara Unduli, Mon Mothma, Oola, Padme Amidala, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, Satele Shan, Shaak Ti, Stass Allie, Sugi, Zam Wessell
There are over 400 SW sets. Female minifigures can be found in 48 of them. Princess Leia has been in the most sets, which is 18.
INDIANA JONES: 4 female characters
Elsa Schneider, Irina Spalko, Marion Ravenwood, Willie Scott
Female minifigures can be found in 10 out of 16 INDIANA JONES themed sets. Marion Ravenwood has been in the most sets, which is 5.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: 4 female characters
Angelica, Elizabeth Swann, Mermaid, Mermaid Syrena
Female minifigures can be found in 3 out of 9 POTC themed LEGO sets. Each character appears in only one set.
LORD OF THE RINGS/HOBBIT: 3 female characters
Arwen, Galadriel, Tauriel
Female minifigures can be found in 5 out of 26 TOLKIEN themed LEGO sets. Tauriel beats Arwen and Galadriel, appearing in 2.
PRINCE OF PERSIA: Princess Tamina is the only female character, appearing in 2 out of 5 POP LEGO based sets.
THE LONE RANGER: 2 female characters
Red Harrington and Rebecca Reid are each in 1 of the 6 TLR LEGO themed sets.
AVATAR: Katara is the only female character, appearing in 1 out of 2 AVATAR themed LEGO sets.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: 2 female characters
April O'Neil and Karai are tied, each appearing in 2 sets. 3 out of 14 TMNT themed LEGO sets contain female minifigures,
THE SIMPSONS: 3 female characters
Lisa Simpson, Maggie Simpson, Marge Simpson
Marge Simpson appears in 2 out of 2 THE SIMPSONS themed LEGO sets.
THE LEGO MOVIE: 8 female characters (Unikitty doesn't count)
Cardio Carrie, Executive Ellen, Fabu Fan, Ice Cream Jo, Ma Cop, Rootbeer Belle, Sharon Shoehorn, Wyldstyle
Female minifigures appear in 12 out of 21 THE LEGO MOVIE themed LEGO sets. Wyldstyle is in 6.
SPEED RACER: Trixie is the only female minifigure appearing in 1 out of 4 SPEED RACER themed LEGO sets.
TOY STORY: Jessie is the only female character, appearing in 3 out of the 9 TS themed LEGO sets.
So there you have it. If my math is correct, altogether LEGO has released 80 different licensed female characters in minifigure form.
I have excluded Scooby Doo and Jurassic World because BRICKSET doesn't have the characters in their database yet.
I'm pretty certain that my facts are correct but I'm sure someone will tell me if I'm wrong somewhere. Hope this wasn't too hard to read. :}
The data on the Marvel and DC sets are fascinating, since it definitely has a higher percentage of sets. I have not bothered to look at overall minifig percentages.
Based on that, I did look at the numbers you had for Marvel... The numbers I found are slightly different, but I am looking at the data a bit differently.
Of the 13 female characters, two are promos as you mentioned, and one is from the early 2000 Spider-Man sets. Of the 5 Mary Janes mentioned, 4 of those are also from the early Spider-Man sets, along with 10 out of the 36 sets. Mary Jane is only in one recent set.
I came up with 5/10 of those early Spider-Man sets having a female minifig, and 9/26 sets as what is labeled more recent Marvel in the data base as having female minifigs. Per your numbers, that is 14/36 of the lifetime. I find it interesting that the early Spider-Man sets had such a high percentage of sets with female minifigs.
I do like breaking down those numbers a bit more, since when I hear Marvel, I really am thinking of the releases of the past few years, and I had not considered that the numbers included those very early 2000 releases. I also think the more recent sets are more pertinent for discussion than adding in sets that were release over 10 years ago.
If I just look at recent Marvel set there are 26 sets, and there are 8 unique female minifigs. If I remove uniqueness, there are 10 female minifigs in 9/26 sets. There are 97 total minifigs in those sets (not counting microfigure), so 10/97 female minifigs.
If I include the early Spider-Man sets into those numbers I have 9 unique females, but a total of 13 female minifig occurrences and in 14/36 sets. There are 13/138 female minifigs out of all the characters.
Just looking at the early Spider-Man sets, though, 5/10 sets have a female minifig and 5/41 characters are female minifigs.
Doing a quick look at recent DC sets, there are 10/22 sets that have female minfigs with 11 minfigs total and of those 11, 8 are unique characters. There are 11/84 female minifigs per total minifigs in those sets.
Anyway thanks for the post. It has been a while since I looked.
I will say that I found the data, especially for recent DC/Marvel sets, fascinating. Both line include a far larger number of unique females compared to themes in the year or two I had looked. Past numbers I have seen were far lower (whether licensed or unlicensed) For Marvel, in 1/3 sets we can find at least 1 female minifig, which is reasonable compared to many of the lines when I last looked. I am most impressed with DC sets, though, since they are nearing 1/2 sets having a female minifig. Harry Potter was the only thing I had found that came close to that when I had last looked. (Recent release) The overall female minifigs to total minifigs is still quite low. (Around 10%) DC is a bit higher, but it is still very low, and in that one can see why a line that targets more of the overall minifigs in a line to female superheros may be very appealing to the girl market.
black widow Quinjet arial battle
pepper Potts malibu mansion
Mary Jane spider man helicopter rescue
nebula nowhere escape mission
gAmora Milano spaceship rescue
storm xmen vs sentinel
scarlet witch hulk buster smash
Black widow avenger Quinjet city chase
Black widow helecarrier
maria hill helecarrier
So I decided to take a look at a series that LEGO had total control of, CMFs, series 1 through 13. The LEGO MOVIE and THE SIMPSONS or any other outside CMFs are not included.
Keep in mind that each series has 16 figures. I can't afford him so MR. GOLD doesn't count. Just for fun, also keep in mind that I am using the official LEGO names of these characters according to BRICKIPEDIA. You'll find out why at the end.
SERIES 1: 2 female minifigures. CHEERLEADER, NURSE
SERIES 2: 3 female minifigures. WITCH, LIFE GUARD, POP STAR
SERIES 3: 3 female minifigures. SNOW BOARDER, TENNIS PLAYER, HULA DANCER
SERIES 4: 3 female minifigures. KIMONO GIRL, SURFER GIRL, ICE SKATER
SERIES 5: 4 female minifigures. CAVE WOMAN, ZOO KEEPER, FITNESS INSTRUCTOR, EGYPTIAN QUEEN
SERIES 6: 5 female minifigures. LADY LIBERTY, FLAMENCO DANCER, SURGEON, SKATER GIRL, INTERGALACTIC GIRL
SERIES 7: 5 female minifigures. SWIMMING CHAMPION, BRIDE, VIKING WOMAN, ROCKER GIRL, GRANDMA VISITOR
SERIES 8: 4 female minifigures. COWGIRL, DOWNHILL SKIER, FAIRY, RED CHEERLEADER
SERIES 9: 5 female minifigures. HOLLYWOOD STARLET, ROLLER DERBY GIRL, FORTUNE TELLER, MERMAID, FOREST MAIDEN
SERIES 10: 5 female minifigures. LIBRARIAN, MEDUSA, WARRIOR WOMAN, BUMBLEBEE GIRL, TRENDSETTER
SERIES 11: 5 female minifigures. PRETZEL GIRL, SCIENTIST, DINER WAITRESS, GRANDMA, LADY ROBOT
SERIES 12: 5 female minifigures. FAIRY TALE PRINCESS, BATTLE GODDESS, DINO TRACKER, GENIE GIRL, SPOOKY GIRL
SERIES 13: 5 female minifigures. UNICORN GIRL, PALEONTOLOGIST, SAMURAI, DISCO DIVA, LADY CYCLOPS
SERIES 1 started with 2 female minifigures and by SERIES 13 the average number is still 5 out of 16.
So why did I want you to pay attention to the names? 11 of these figures are referred to as GIRL. (I was going to include COWGIRL but that's actually a real noun.) 3 are refered to as WOMAN. 3 are referred to as LADY, and we have 1 DIVA. (I particularly like PRETZEL GIRL, KIMONO GIRL and UNICORN GIRL myself.)
Also, as a fun aside, 11 of these characters are wearing pink as a primary color.
Do with this information what you will.
Capt. America, Ironman, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Vision, War Machine, Falcon, Black Widow, and Scarlet Witch puts us at 8 males, 2 females, and a robot (male for the most part though)
The ratio is still off pretty bad
For better or worse, the toy market in general is highly segmented between boys and girls. Lego has figured out, like most other toy companies, that they are going to make a lot more money by targeting themes to each
Sex separately as opposed to creating mostly themes that appeal to both sexes. Obviously they have struck gold with the minidoll themes, as evidenced by the fact that the new superheroes minidisc sets will be the 4th theme featuring minidills since their introduction in early 2012. One will note that the male/female ratio in minidoll themes is even worse than it is in minifigure themes
Uh... Where in this thread has anyone said
a) lego should be held totally responsible for the small percentage of female characters in licensed themes
b) that anyone wants 50/50 ratios
c) that someonehas a big issue with the gender of minifgs
Adding the particular data point of female minifgis to total minfigs I think it is a pertinent data point to look for evaluating any future change. It also gives a far fuller picture. It is why I personally like looking at both the data point of sets of a theme with female minfigs, but also the female minifig/total ratios. I also liked the added data point captured above in regards to how many individual characters are there. I also think looking at female minifigs to the total is interesting insight/data that only adds to the story as to why DC is looking at a theme aimed with girls in mind. Obviously with a 10% ratio, they are really marketing the sets towards boys, and with the genderization of toys, that can very much steer away girls. It is only more data to me that shows why DC is looking at doing a focus on a female superhero theme to gain female market share. I really was not expecting a higher ratio, but I also had not looked at what the data was on these two particular lines until now. If anything, I was pleasantly surprised by the set ratios at 1/3 for Marvel and 1/2 for DC.
Now, If we want to talk about responsibility, there are times Lego shares culpability in licensed sets. The lack of Eowyn or a female minifg in the first LotR wave was an oversight. I do think there are times they could do something as simple as add in just one more instance of a character. For example, having Black Widow appear in a second set would have been nice for people that did not want Quinjet. I believe most other Avenger characters appeared at least twice. (hulk may not have until later, but I do not quite remember.) . That would have been a very simple thing they could have done that would not have caused boys to flock away, but would have allowed an extra opportunity. There is at least a new Black Widow coming out.
Now, the minfig data is always interesting. I also had looked at that earlier. What I had heard at one point is that they were getting a strong influx of female interest on the CMFs, which is why the number jumped up on the female minifigs from the early sets. The one data point missing in your minifig data is the percentage each of those characters are found within a box. . It was probably about 4-5? series back where most females CMFs dropped down to the lowest percentage range. I think this data is pertinent, because without it one does not get a full sense of what is happening with the female CMFs.
It it is interesting to see, since one can see that Lego upped the diversity by having around 5/16 females, but did eventually lower the overall percentage. While I was not a fan of that, I have also found that I have yet to have an issue finding the females we want. It seems a reasonable compromise on Lego's part if it means we do get to keep that 5/16 numbers to have the diversity.
One datapoint I have never bothered to calculate is the percentages on the minidolls. part of that is because it is a DUH that they (especially Friends) very highly skewed.
I did do a quick look at the Lego Elves when it first came out, and was shocked at the numbers.
50% of the sets had a male mindoll. They were 30% male (3/10) and 33% unique characters were male (2/6). For a set geared towards females it actually had a high male percentage. The new sets coming out, while skew these numbers down, though, since neither set has a male character. Anyway, I found that data interesting, since I always thing of the minidoll sets as highly female skewed, and yet the ratios were surprisingly solid.
i agree. but only if the data also includes the minidoll themes as part of the total ratio tabulations. cherry picking the themes that are obviously going to have the worst male/females ratios - and often intentionally so based on the target demographic and source material - then using that data to bemoan less than ideal diversity, is biased and unfair. Lego has decided that they are going to appeal to the girl market primarily through minidolls. A lot of AFOLs don't want to accept that fact, but it is reality.
Of course, quite a few could be either gender.
I think you are completely missing the point, and there are a number of erroneous assumptions in the above.
A) Nobody is cherry picking here to present a skewed picture.
B) Nobody here has 'bemoaned'
C) Nobody here has used the words biased and unfair.
D) Nobody here has stated anything about fact vs. reality except in the post above.
The OP put out data specific initially to licensed sets, because
"The possibility of LEGO releasing minidolls based on DC characters has caused some to be concerned that LEGO will release less female minifigures based on licensed characters in the future.
I decided to do some research using BRICKSET in order to learn just how many female minifigures based on licensed characters LEGO has already released. Even if there are multiple versions of a character, I am only counting that character once."
Since this was all initially came out of the DC change, where the actual concern people had was not that LEGO as a whole would release less female minifigs, but of the potential of less female minifigs in the DC line, I thought it was pertinent to look at THAT particular line in question.
Since Marvel it the other superhero line closest to DC, it also makes sense to look at that particular line to see if it is similar to the DC line in question, and to set a reasonable 'bound'. This means if DC has a set ratio around 50% sets with female minifigs, and Marvel has a set ratio of around 33% with female minifigs, then even if there is a drop in DC set ratios with it dropping down to 33%, then I would still call it within a typical superhero range as opposed to DC actually putting in less female minfigs.
This data wasn't looked at to say "Hey, let's look at a line that is geared to boys and slam Lego." It was looked it because the entire post line and there was data missing to actually analyze that line.
most of the bemoaning was obviously implied, and not directly stated. however:
yet, you don't include the lines with the best female ratios in your female/total ratios? namely, creator, city, friends, princesses, and elves. That's a completely inaccurate analysis of the data. so much for "far fuller picture" those were my words, and I didn't attribute them to anyone else
relevance? I never claimed otherwise. But it is clear that their is a contingent of AFOLs who refuse to accept the minidolls and don't count them in the data, which paints a skewed picture of the overall male/female breakdowns. And I'm sensing some of that same sentiment in this thread. The reality is, in 2015 the ratio of female to male figures is higher than it has ever been before when you look across all themes with figures.
Fair enough. That will be interesting to see. I think that a corresponding drop in female figs in the DC line is certainly possible, and in a lot of ways would make complete sense for LEGO as well. If you have a whole other line full of wonder womans, catwomans, etc, then they will probably do less of them in the minifig line. this is good business strategy to not dillute your own sales. Of course, a lot of the ratio among the DC line may be tied to movies, etc, and thus will be highly dependant upon the source material.
maybe not originally, but it turned into that in this thread, at least partially, as it does in every discussion about female figures.
The catalyst of my original post was the BRICKSET article "DC Super Heroes Girls announced; LEGO sets to follow next year". Reading the responses, you can see that some are concerned that LEGO won't make the female characters in minifigure form that they still are hoping to be made if LEGO starts making super hero minidolls.
In fact here is a quote from the responses to that article. I don't say who it is because I don't want them to think I am attacking them. I don't believe I'm taking them out of context.
"If these figures are going to be minidolls, does that mean characters such as Power Girl, Cheetah, etc. no longer have a chance to be produced in minifigure form?
If so, this announcement is NOT my cup of tea."
Another response to this article was, "Please, please Lego, no minidolls, we want minifigs, boys and girls alike".
Then if you read all of the responses you will also see the issues of gender and toys that have appeared time and time again, or at least they have in some of the threads on BRICKSET forum I recall reading.
So, I came up with the idea of trying to discover just how many female minifigures LEGO has made. To make it simpler I researched just how many licensed female characters were made. I tried REALLY HARD not to put any personal feelings or sarcastic comments in that initial post but to just state the facts, and I think I succeeded.
My initial idea WAS to actually go through EVERY LEGO theme and count how many female minifigures there are in each line but just doing the licensed characters made for a pretty long post so I decided to break it up and do the CMFs separately. I haven't continued because I wasn't sure if anyone would want to read anymore or if I was just annoying everyone.
I will admit that I couldn't resist playing the Devil's advocate a little when I posted about the CMF line. Once again, all of the information I gave are facts. I was poking fun at LEGO a bit by putting a spin on some of them, but I wasn't trying to bash them. I apologize if it was construed as such.
"maybe not originally, but it turned into that in this thread, at least partially, as it does in every discussion about female figures."
dougts, if the above is what you are thinking, then you are having a different conversation than what I am having here.
I will repeat, I am not having a conversation about global female minifig ratios. I was looking and analyzing the DC/superhero data.
"yet, you don't include the lines with the best female ratios in your female/total ratios? namely, creator, city, friends, princesses, and elves. That's a completely inaccurate analysis of the data. so much for "far fuller picture""
I really do not get it. Of course I would not be including these lines in the discussion, because I am NOT actually having a discussion about the global female minfig ratio! I was looking at the DC/superhero data because the concern expressed is that it may go down. Now, if I was doing a global analysis, especially since we now have a number of female lines, then yes, I would want to look at all sets.
I am not sure what creator, city, friends, princess or elves has to do with dc/superhero data.
If one really wants to understand where DC is at in regards to female minfigs and if there is a drop, I think the pertinent data in question is
a) Info on the other super hero line (marvel)
b) To separate out more recent releases from older releases
c) To look at the female minifig ratios in these two lines, besides just the set ratios
d) To understand a bit historically in regards to any upwards/downwards change
f) There are probably other factors I've missed
If We saw that the set ratio went down in future DC sets, that actually does not mean anything by itself. First, one really wants to look at the more recent line data, since there can be changes in marketing over extended periods of time. By looking at the Marvel and DC numbers, one sees a range of 33%-50% ratios. If DC numbers went down to 33%, I would not really call that a significant drop.
To really get a better idea if change occurs, though, one needs to also start looking at female ratios in these two lines. For example, a Drop to a 33% range may be also seen as a 'drop', but as we can see in both Marvel/DC, the overall female minfigs are at 10%, so again....one can't simply look at sets if one is trying to determine a drop in the future.
Right now they are both around 10%ish. Are you taking umbrage at the fact that I'm saying that is low/bad? I am giving a data point. Yes, I do see the number is low/bad, but I'm not saying that as sweeping indictment against Lego, their marketing, gender. I'm saying that mathematically. The number is low. This thread was not about saying I want the number higher, or about whether I agree or disagree about marketing and theme reasons for that number...all of which you seem very much to be reading into what I'm saying. I'm simply saying that yes, 10% is low. If I had a 10% chance of getting a chocolate chip cookie out of a bag of cookies, my odds are bad/low. That doesn't say whether I like chocolate chip cookies or not, or what I FEEL about that percentage. The thing is yes, the number for these sorts of lines in the past is that historically more boy oriented themes have lower numbers. At a 10% range, both the DC/Marvel lines are in accord with that. That is also useful data to know to understand future drops. If a line is above more historical norms, then if it is at a 35% percentage of females and drops to 30%, that really may be in the noise, while if a line is already very low and has typically been low, and drops even lower, then that drop does become more significant.
(It is also a very useful number to know when considering why is DC trying to jump into this space of a female superhero theme.)
Finally, uniqueness, is also a key factor, and one aspect I have not looked at before, and I'm glad the OP pulled it out, because uniqueness can be a factor that is dictated by theme. If a theme includes a bunch of unique characters, and then misses some unique characters in later iterations, even if it keeps the set ratios and female minfig ratios similar, it still does speak to an overall drop.
Considering that many AFOLs do go out of their way to collect unique minifig characters, a drop in uniqueness in female characters, would indicate an overall drop, and after looking at the data, is one reason I actually do not think we will see a drop on the female minfig percentage in the DC line. Lego/DC still will want to nab sales from those that are going after uniqueness on the minfig side. I think what we could see, though, is a drop in the set percentage. They may not feel they need a 1/2 set percentage, when they are marketing a line towards females. I could see it dropping more towards the Marvel range of 1/3, but keeping the 'around 10%" figure for minifigs.
maybe not originally, but it turned into that in this thread, at least partially, as it does in every discussion about female figures.
Again... nope. If you are reading any case of Lego being slammed, then you are reading that into what is actually being said.
Chuxtoybox, I actually enjoyed the minfig data. The 'pink' statistic I thought was hilarious.
There is no film with a starring female role (until Capt. Marvel I guess), the male cast far outnumbers the female, strong females are still stuck in "rescue me" situations more often than men (Gammora I'm looking at you), and even Black Widow barely even glances a strong role in the new Avengers movie coming acrossed more like a love-struck teenager than a supposedly remorseless spy/assassin
I'm not saying it's like the 1950's or anything but there is still a LOT of work to do
I understand that every superhero needs saving every now and again
The ladies shouldn't have an abnormally high rate of this though
I do have to say that I am more annoyed by the rewriting of strong female characters to make them more appealing to teenagers (for whatever reason). Black Widow has gone from kicking man ass and even out one lining Tony Stark in Iron Man 2 to at best a love-struck teenybopper support role in Avengers 2
Fair play to them, Trace was sauntering around unscathed in #8637 while Fuse was hanging over the lava pit; I bring it up as an anecdotal example, not to suggest a pattern. What I'm actually thinking now is that, from what I've noted of late (which is far from comprehensive, admittedly) while the female characters still tend to be the one or two tokens on otherwise male teams, they're being presented in an egalitarian fashion. Ashlee in Galaxy Squad's flying her awesomely-beweaponed rocket tank, Caila in Ultra Agents is jetpacking around (and even while Hydron's in what could reasonably be termed a support role, 'supergenius' isn't anything to scoff at), Speed Champions has a couple of women among the crews. Even the Friends sets I've noticed while leafing through the catalogue, firmly aimed at the young female market, along with the obligatory salon they've got hot air balloons and vet clinics (and am I wrong in thinking someone was flying a rescue helicopter last year?)... there's clearly more to that world that buying dresses and cooking meals. In general, I feel even taking into account things like the percentages in CMF waves (and '-girl' names and pink and such), Lego's not doing too poorly in that regard - when they're creating the 'story', better than plenty of other media companies.
I personally would have preferred the Friends theme to use minifigs from the start; that would forestall most of this debate because the themes would be fully compatible, so you could take the Friends and make them into police or firefighters or storm troopers and it'd be easy. Or you could build whole families of moms, dads, etc, out of a mix of Friends and City. Or you could mix Prince of Persia and Jasmine, or Arctic explorers and Frozen, and you wouldn't have these mismatched figs and dolls. And the new DC superheroine line would fit exactly in with the existing DC superhero theme.
Minidolls are like new grey. Sure, they're fine abstractly (not perfect), but the biggest problem is that they don't look good with the old grey (minifigs). And since, in this case, the old grey and new grey are still produced simultaneously, this leads to a growing problem, whereas the old grey disappeared with time and lots of current Lego fans don't even get my reference.
I don't really see lego changing that.
The minidolls will be made to mimic whatever DC decide to put in the supergirls line. They are essentially separate lines. One is the old style core SH stuff, the other appears to be a female dominated alternative universe aimed firmly at girls primarily through marketing of toys.
If DC decide that there are no longer any female characters in the the core DC line, then I would expect lego to change the make-up of the series, having fewer (zero) females in the lego sets - this would be mimicking the DC line though. However, that would be stupid on DC's side if they did that.
So to capture new market share, they make figures that appeal to this sub set of girls.
So, how is a toy company that clearly does market research sexist or racist?
Sounds like bs
The two systems are highly highly compatible. In fact, they are nearly universally compatible. same scales, same brick system, same handheld accessories, interchangeable hair pieces. Basically the only thing not compatible is swapping body parts, and that vehicles need some slight modifications to accommodate the other figure type
Until Lego publishes details about how they determined that minidolls were better than minifigs for girls, the simplest explanation that I see is that the toy market is sexist, and Lego just wanted to cash in on the female half of that sexist market, because they'd managed to fail to do that properly for 20-30 years due to factors both in and out of their control.
Market research doesn't absolve you of sexism or racism. It's not a magic bullet. In fact it only works if you first acknowledge that we live in a sexist, racist society, and set a goal to do better than the status quo, and then conduct your research appropriately. Otherwise, you're at best perpetuating the current level of racism and sexism. And if you don't think we live in a racist, sexist society... well, I don't have time to explain why you're wrong.
Are you not aware that study after study shows that at a young age kids dont see sexism or racism, real or fabricated until someone puts it in there face?
You can't say our society discriminates based on a few people. And if you are referring to families that raise their children based on traditional gender roles... so the heck what! Mine your business. If you think that is an issue than you, my friend, are the bigot. Discriminating them based on their beliefs.
Lastly, a toy company (if you didn't know) is in it for the money. If you truly want to believe they are racist and sexist... Fine, whatever. Keep this in mind, the non licensed minifigure is yellow to eliminate race. They are also modular so they can look however you want them to based on available part. Research showed boys like them more than girls. Does that mean girls can't play with them? See above comment.
TLG also employees plenty of men and women of all ethnicities. So, please o please... Educate me on how they are discriminating. Otherwise, you are just perpetuating the ignorance that is causing things to be taken things too far.
The minifigure has advantages over the mini-doll, like wrist movement and individual leg movement, and a decades-long portfolio of alternate parts for customization (like peg-legs, hooks, short legs, mermaid tails, and alien heads). It also has some significant disadvantages, like its blocky, awkward proportions (any builder of 6-wide vehicles can tell you how hard this makes it to seat two classic minifigures side by side), its lack of realistic facial features, most of its outfits being flat 2D patterns, and that any 3D skirts prevent the figure from sitting down. It's nobody's place to say that the minifigure's disadvantages shouldn't matter to anybody but the mini-doll's disadvantages should.
We LEGO fans tend to worship the minifigure as a perfect example of toy design, but frankly there are people who prefer other types of figures, and there's nothing wrong with that. LEGO is a building toy, and the figures are merely tools that help you role-play within the worlds you build. Not only are the figures largely compatible, but even if they weren't, the type of figure is usually only a small part of the sets' building and play value.
Here's a question everybody can ask themselves: would you still be mad at LEGO if they had completely discontinued the minifigure in favor of the mini-doll? If so, then you should realize that it's not just the perceived segregation of the market that's shaping your opinions on the mini-doll, but also the idea of LEGO catering to an audience that you aren't a part of.
All LEGO fans, not just the girls who prefer mini-dolls to minifigures, are shaped by our experiences. We "have been socialized to believe that our toys should be a certain way". And for those of us above a certain age, that is typically a way that leaves no room for a more lifelike figure with detailed eye patterns, molded noses, or curvy torsos and legs.
But condemning the mini-doll on such grounds is no nobler than...
...condemning LEGO Bionicle because LEGO shouldn't be in the action figure business,
...condemning LEGO Ninjago because LEGO shouldn't be in the storytelling business,
...condemning LEGO Star Wars because LEGO shouldn't be in the merchandising business,
...condemning LEGO Dimensions because LEGO shouldn't be in the video game business,
...condemning LEGO Minifigures because LEGO shouldn't be in the collectibles business,
...or condemning all play themes because LEGO should not be in the business of "scripted" play scenarios of any kind, and should stick solely to basic bricks.
All of these arguments are based on a narrow-minded and unrealistic ideal of what LEGO is, has been, and should be. An ideal that the way we grew up, and the LEGO we grew up with, was generally purer, more wholesome, more imaginative, and generally better for kids than any other way of growing up, or any other type of LEGO product, could possibly be. It's an elegant lie, and a timeless one, because people have been reminiscing about how much better things were in "the good old days" since the dawn of history.
Does market research perpetuate stereotypes or does market research reflect existing stereotypes?
To quote a sagely scotsman: "I eat because I'm sad, and I'm sad because I eat."
I think the criticism is silly in that I don't see the same criticsm for the Barbie empire.
The bottom line is that Lego Friends is wildly successful, an incredible growth market and an IP boon.
I have a Batman minifig that enjoys spending time in a certain pink hot air balloon and eating bananas on a yacht. As long as he's happy, so am I.
But anyway...you could also complain that the blue police cars chasing down robbers in vehicles in your average City set is "stereotypical" or "generic" or "kiddy." If anything, the "girl themes" provide greater diversity of locations and characters--from the science teacher to the hotelier to the spa technician--and the liberated colour palette which, while it has pinks and purples also has yellows, greens, blues, etc. etc. are more internally diverse than anything the male-oriented lines have to offer.
I would be far more concerned with the number of murders that people of any color commit within their own communities than the occassional tragedy of a felon dying while resisting arrest.