Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WTF Lego???!!!

A good friend recently forwarded me an article regarding Gender Based Marketing.  I'll be honest.  Before Gemma was born, my frustration over such marketing to children was fairly minimal.  Whether or not people admit it, it's not something you care as much about until you have a daughter.
 
Like most kids, boys and girls alike, Legos are a total hit in our house.  Our living room is now the "Lego room" and one where we spend HOURS each day, building, building, and building some more.  A certain amount of destroying, mostly on Gemma's part, goes on as well.  I do not think of our Legos (mostly Duplos at this point...the Star Wars Legos are upstairs, out of a certain 1 year olds hands and mouth) as a BOY toy.  Apparently Lego does.  And to this I say, WTF Lego??!!
Above (left) is an ad from 1981.  Yours truly was 3 years old then.  You can't tell me this ad isn't absolutely PERFECT.  Above (right) is an ad that was released this year.  It makes my blood boil.  Anorexic looking Lego figures, with boobs no less, and absolutely nothing to build or exhibit any sense of creativity.  Are you kidding me??!!

Jim took this picture of Timmy last year.  He was around 2.5 at the time.  I know he's not smiling (which he only recently started doing for the camera), but believe me when I say he was thrilled with his "super structure" he had created with his Daddy.  Our rule was, build until you run out of pieces, then you get to push it off the cliff (aka coffee table).  Arguably Timmy's favorite part. 
I can't wait for Gemma to build her own super structures.  Right now she's happier acting as the destroyer of all Lego creations.  When I see this image from Lego though, I get the idea they think girls are supposed to "build" something that looks more like a Lego scene of Desperate Housewives.

Lego, why why why are you forcing me to sound like such a feminist??????  I'm not trying to say girls (or boys for that matter) shouldn't play with so-called girly toys.  Gemma celebrated her first birthday last month and her sole birthday present from us was a vintage Rainbow Brite doll I bought off Ebay.  She loves it.  But when you have more women than men not only graduating from college, but entering fields like engineering, medicine, and business, you think you'd get the idea that the average girl doesn't need EVERY toy to scream I'M A GIRL!

Just my two cents...

3 comments:

  1. I completely agree with your thoughts Tara. As a twin with a brother I have been confronted with these types of comparisons but never to this extreme. Tova is only three weeks old but i find myself drawn to things/colors that are gender neutral in an effort to counter act all these 'pressures.'

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  2. Hi
    Thanks for posting on this topic.
    In comparison to other brands Lego is doing ok but arguably will have learned much from their advertising campaign for Friends and the resulting furore.

    They are open to input (Google their interaction with the SPARK group) and that is why I still support their brand.

    My son, daughter and I all love the Lego Friends theme (it also has an inventor's workshop and a work from home style design studio) though it has admittedly grown on us over time - we basically ignored the advertising.

    The awesome thing about the brand is it is compatible with all the other toys in Lego's range and that is how my kids play.

    I do love that old ad and hope that we can move towards that style of marketing again, for all products. And if any major toy company is going to to do it, it'll probably be Lego.
    Cheers
    Inger

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  3. I feel your pain! I saw those new "girl" legos, too and was horrified! My son is now 12 and no longer the lego-aholic that he was when he was younger, but we still get the lego catalogs and magazines.

    What was the Lego company thinking when they introduced the "girl" sets? Does everything have to be gender-separated?

    Great post!

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