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  #26  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

I appreciate all ya'lls posts. I am a former tomboy turned girly girl parenting a boy that some here have picked for the gay team, and whom I don't even really understand all the way, so my perspective is more than a little confused even from here.
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  #27  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Oh I don't think you're off in your OP. This wasn't what I was expecting, as I had seen a lot of much more ignorant responses to Lego Friends and that informed my anticipation of this thread.

My girls are still very much girly-girls, if you know what I mean. They are not tomboys, so far. But, at the same time, I can never tell if I'm buying Disney Princesses because they like them or do they like them because I buy them.
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  #28  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
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There are no "huge prebuilt sections" in the picture you show
Look at the beige parts of the walls. Rather than stacking beige bricks there are only a couple of quite large panels. More building was required for the walls of the much smaller Hagrid's Hut so this jumped at me
Yes, that is unfortunate, and the creator sets still tend to avoid this. But the parts concerned are not new to this range, and the same use of larger panels has become common across most Lego themes.

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Most of the furniture is not built from bricks at all. Which, again is not unheard of with some sets. You can see it better on a zoom at the amazon link (look at the inside view)
I just looked, but actually all the furniture I can see there is brickbuilt. Can you point out which items you mean?

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If girls are really demanding this, then I'm all for giving them what they want to play with. Like I said though, it just seemed such a huge departure that it slapped me in the face.
The ultimate test will be how well it sells. I just don't see it as being that much of a departure.
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  #29  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Also, I never really played with toys as a child. I had an actual dollhouse (or miniatures if we're being sophisticated) with real wax candles and tiny flatware and china plates and antique style wooden furniture and that I would arrange and look at, but not play with. I had a Barbie but I just changed her clothes a lot.

Really I am not an imaginative person.
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  #30  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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I just looked, but actually all the furniture I can see there is brickbuilt. Can you point out which items you mean?
Nope, you're right, The couch cushions are bricks, just kinda bigger and more specifically shaped.
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  #31  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

I'm with you. I love miniatures. I used to love to just set everything up, like put all the furniture where it goes and set the table. Then I'd be like "ta-da! it's a house with things in it! Like regular people would have, only much smaller. Isn't that just fascinating?" :blank:

I had a Barbie closet and tiny plastic hangers and I could hang up her clothes and put them away. Woo! Then one time I puked in it and one of the door hinges got clogged with a raisin and it didn't close right after that.
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  #32  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

I am interested in this topic but will have to respond later.

I will just leave this here for now: Business Week Article

I liked that they included Peggy Orenstein in that article.
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  #33  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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I just looked, but actually all the furniture I can see there is brickbuilt. Can you point out which items you mean?
Nope, you're right, The couch cushions are bricks, just kinda bigger and more specifically shaped.
Not that I mean to pick an argument here or anything, but those parts are also standard parts well predating this new range.



You can see some of the same "couch cushions" in use here:

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  #34  
Old 01-13-2012, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

You are too picking a fight, and I am a girl so you're a big meanie too.

Kidding, I am not a Lego Guru and you are. I am trying to learn some more about it all though.
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  #35  
Old 01-14-2012, 12:15 AM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Some people say that the pink/blue for girls/boys was the opposite way round until about 100 years ago. Certainly there were articles in the Times (1905) and Parents magazine (1939) that said that. Pink was thought to be close to red - a fiery manly colour, and blue has always been associated with the Virgin Mary.

Wikipedia on pink - In gender
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  #36  
Old 01-14-2012, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demimonde View Post
I am interested in this topic but will have to respond later.

I will just leave this here for now: Business Week Article

I liked that they included Peggy Orenstein in that article.
From the article this struck me

Quote:
To compete with the plug-and-play quality of computer games, Lego had been dumbing down its building sets, aiming for faster “builds” and instant gratification. From the German skateboarder onward, Lego saw it had drawn the wrong lessons from computer games. Instead of focusing on their immediacy, the company now noticed how kids responded to the scoring, ranking, and levels of play—opportunities to demonstrate mastery. So while it didn’t take a genius or months of research to realize it might be a good idea to bring back the police station or fire engine that are at the heart of Lego’s most popular product line (Lego City), the “anthros” informed how the hook-and-ladder or motorcycle cop should be designed, packaged, and rolled out.
Also, this was pertinent to the discussion

Quote:
The key difference between girls and the ladyfig and boys and the minifig was that many more girls projected themselves onto the ladyfig—she became an avatar. Boys tend to play with minifigs in the third person. “The girls needed a figure they could identify with, that looks like them,” says Rosario Costa, a Lego design director. The Lego team knew they were on to something when girls told them, “I want to shrink down and be there.”

Last edited by LadyShea; 01-14-2012 at 02:25 AM.
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  #37  
Old 01-14-2012, 03:47 AM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post

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The Lego team knew they were on to something when girls told them, I want to shrink down and be there.
Um, duh. That's the whole point of miniatures. Wishing to be tiny enough to live in the house. That's why we love Honey I Shrunk the Kids, A Bugs Life, Stuart Little, Thumbelina... Do boys not play that way? :scratch:
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  #38  
Old 01-14-2012, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

From what I can see, boys play by getting their toys in to horrible predicaments, then have them get out of said predicaments, either by cunning, guise or being the rescuing hero.

They also beat the crap out of stuffed toys, then tell grandma the bunny has "recovered" and is ok. Which freaks the hell out of grandma, who only raised girls.
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  #39  
Old 01-14-2012, 04:17 AM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

I want to meet this guy (from Demi's link). I have long thought Legos and Phineas and Ferb were a natural match
Quote:
AFOLs will also factor in Lego Friends’ performance. “Oh, we’re going to buy Lego Friends,” says Joe Meno, “but we’re going to buy it for all the wrong reasons.” Meno is co-author of the new book The Cult of Lego and editor of the BrickJournal, a glossy fanzine. “We want the sets for the new colors. One of the colors is ideal for a Perry the Platypus I want to build.”
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  #40  
Old 01-14-2012, 04:21 AM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Kiddo is a Tommyknocker. He likes to make mutant things out of existing things. Tonight he reconfigured all the little toys from the Star Wars Advent Calender and made an "Ultimate Transformable Millennium Falcon with 6 engines"
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  #41  
Old 01-15-2012, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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Kiddo wanted some kitchen stuff and dishes a few years back, and every goddamn thing in the store was pink and flowery. Not that he cares, but there is no pink decor in my house, and his room is undersea themed, and exactly what is it about a stove that suggests it needs to be pink and have flowers stuck on it? With the percentage of chefs who are male being so huge, why do manufacturers feel the need to feminize a set of dishes? I found some stainless steel play dishes and pots and pans, and a wooden kitchen, but I had to look around online and pay more because it wasn't available in the store.
Well, I had two brothers and no sisters growing up (nowadays that's not the case...) and we had a Fisher-Price kitchen set that wasn't gendered really.

It's weird that they only have pink ones nowadays. I mean, real kitchens and dishes and appliances aren't all pink, so why would girls want it to be pink?
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  #42  
Old 01-16-2012, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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I suspect that it's more socially acceptable for girls to make selections from the boys toy aisle than for boys to buy designated "girls" stuff. A tomboy is more accepted than a sissy, in general.

Is that true in your experience, wei and Sock and other parents of girls?
Like wei, since I only have a girl, I don't know from the boy side of it these days. I actually want to blather awhile around the general subject, though, but I only have a few minutes before I get back to screwing up some pinch-hit work for an absent coworker.

My daughter is definitely girly, but more into puppies than princesses. She made the distinction maybe 3 years ago: "I don't like pretty things, I like cute things." Rather cut to the heart of matters as a then-5-year-old. Inasmuch as she even watches the Disney flicks anymore, she seems to consider the princesses a means to an end to get to the talking animals and such.

And while she's by no means a tomboy (she doesn't seem to care for any sports, p. much like I was at that age), for some reason she is fierce and determined in her preference for blue. If anything comes in blue, she'll pick it, and if it doesn't, why the hell not? When we got this house (she was 3), it had a "princess room" in pink, which was fine then, but now her room is all in blues and aquamarines. She doesn't raise a fuss about wearing pink, but when shopping for new clothes, she always picks the blues.

She did go through a phase where she had to label everything as "for boys" or "for girls." Mrs. Puppet and I avoided being militant about it, but we did constantly remind her that most things didn't really need a rigid gender designation. I think it was during this period that she decided that blue was her color. I even told her about the story of the pink/blue flip-flop; if it's an urban legend, I found it a useful one, anyway.

She's never been into Legos, so can't really gauge what her reaction to this would be. Probably she'd complain that only one cat came with the set, and no dog.
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  #43  
Old 01-16-2012, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Lego Friends has a puppy house set. I'd be curious if this appeals to a heretofore non Lego playing girl that prefers blue and puppies to pink princesses.

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  #44  
Old 01-16-2012, 06:36 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

I talked over this briefly with a mother of girl, who did have a big set of legos (actually legos off brands, that a collector gave her) that were pink, lavender and yellow. She agreed that the kits were restrictive for play (both for boys and girls) and a big box of rainbow colored bricks would be the thing she or I would want to buy anyway.
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  #45  
Old 01-16-2012, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
Lego Friends has a puppy house set. I'd be curious if this appeals to a heretofore non Lego playing girl that prefers blue and puppies to pink princesses.
My prediction is that she'd like it, but probably wouldn't play with it for very long, because it's very small and limited.* Now, if they had something more extensive, like a veterinary hospital or doggy daycare type of thing with several animals, it would be a better test.



*In before UR FACE IS SMALL AND LIMITED
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Awww, Lil' Puppet reminds me of myself as a girl. I loved animals so much, (ponies). Had dozens of stuffed animals in my zoo and hundreds of rubber and plastic animal models. I created my own animal society. This kingdom was lead by my two-foot-stuffed Lion, Aslan, who was their King. I, of course, was their ...
:giggle:

My favorite color was green though,because it was was a natural, happy color that went with everything and because it matched my eyes.

I think that LEGO's heart is in the right place with this set, (well aside from having to make a pile of money by opening their marktet.) The friends model is a little strange, but looking at their website it appears they have had alternate models to the traditional LEGO men with Sponge Bob and other sets. I will also say that LEGO men in drag, are really really ugly.



So I can see the need for a new model from a market perspective. If LEGO wants girls' using their toys, then they will want them to be attractive. Back in the day when playing with LEGO's I would free build the stuff I wanted and use my other small toys as the characters because I wasn't really interested in the lego men. Like my Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers tree house, or my Tailspin plane and Louie's bar. That is the great thing about LEGOs back in the day. They were simple building materials that were so neutral, one could turn them into anything they wanted.

I will say that I am glad to see that they are still making the flowers and plants that I loved so much as a kid. Also, holy crap that Horsey model is a HUGE improvement to the old one. Well done LEGO.

I think the major problem is from the retailer's need to segregate the toys. Even though plenty of toys LEGO makes are neutral, (see Sponge Bob) in order to get toys shelved so that a Parent like Sock or wei, who have only girls, will see them, is to make something for that section. That reiforces the binary that exists so that LEGO has to play to that binary. Where they take it from there is another issue.

I was glad to see that they created Olivia's Invention Workshop. That kicks the science-isn't-for-girls trope right in the teeth. Go LEGO! (Also, holy crap, I made a robot just like Olivia's as a kid out of random widgets! Only mine had an directional antena on his head that I could adjust to give him some expression. LOVE IT!)

However, another of the sets totally got my back up. Stephanie's Convertible. I get adding all the girly hair bows and ribbons and what not, I really do. BUT any car building set I remember always had a set of tools to play mechanic on the car with your toy figure. This is part of the whole, "I want to shrink down and be there" thing. The gendered iconography of tools goes way back. Even in portraiture from the seventeenth century, a little boy with flowing locks and a pretty, lace-covered, christening gown would have a hammer placed in his lap so the viewer would know, that is a boy. But seriously? Why doesn't she have any tools to work on it? At least she can pump her own gas... holy shit. That isn't a gas pump. It is a car wash. :brooding: Way to go LEGO. A girl can't play mechanic, but she can clean the car. After she does her hair of course.

But again, I can't really blame LEGO for this. All kinds of ugly things that come from the binary will creep in if the binary is enforced. The retailers are the ones enforcing the binary by the way they stock their inventory, hell even the store shelves and signs are PINK. LEGO has to conform to get toys sold, which is after all their mission as a company. I predict that these toys will do well in these stores but less well online. Sadly, I also predict Inventor Olivia will be the worst selling of the lot. These are systemic problems I don't think LEGO alone can reverse. But kudos to them for making the effort.

The real way, IMO to break the bias will be by our culture removing the stigma against "girl" things as bad or lesser than "boy" things. It is easier for a girl to pick up a "boy's" toy than it is a boy to pick up a "girl's" toy. And the reason is societal privilege in its most basic form.

If male is the default empowered place, female becomes the othered subservient place. That is how it unconciously creeps in that boys make the cars and girls clean them. It is the same reason a little boy playing with dolls will be teased and a girl playing with legos applauded. The little girl is reaching "up" towards the empowered place. The little boy is reaching "down" and is being a "sissy, nancy, fairy, wussy," etc. as well as countless other pejoratives based on femininity. Society wants to correct boys who do this. That is part of the reason they make a kitchen set pink and flowery and covered in gender cues. It tells the boy to GTFO. Thankfully, society has gotten to the point that there is less pressure to correct girls who do the reverse, but the idea of applauding them for being male can be just as bad. That idea still reinforces the system that has boys on top and girls below and sends the message that a girl has to be more like a boy in order to have power.

This is one of the many reasons I find the whole Brony phenomenom facinating. It is one thing for a fan to embrace something like Pokemon, which has cuteness as an aesthetic (thanks Japan!) but is based on battles, action, and competition. It is easy for male fans to embrace the cute while getting the action they are accustomed to. BUT it is entirely another thing to embrace the cuteness of pastel ponies, rainbows, unicorns, butterflies, friendship, cooperation, and all things girly. THAT is unprecedented. As these older boys are embracing these things their younger siblings are watching them. They see their brother in highschool brushing a pony. They see their older cousin at Christmas excited to get a rainbow dash hoodie. Dad's like wei take it to a new level of acceptance. It normalizes that "girl" things are desirable and dare-I-say, COOL.

I think that is what is needed to break the binary. More than boy's-toys-for-girls, more than girl's playing with boys-toys, more than making neutral toys. Make all the traditional toys that we have always had, but stop enforcing the bianary. Fuck it. Pink is a great color. Butterflies are pretty. Cuteness is a fantastic quality that is universally appealing. Nurturing animals is fun and rewarding. Cupcakes are fucking delicious. No one has to be a girl to enjoy these things, but since we asociate these things as "girly", who the hell says that is somehow not as good as butch alternatives?

ETA For Sock: The number of pet themed playsets are staggering. Almost half of the LEGO Friends Playsets are pet themed. They have a Vet, and a Dogshow, and a Pet Patrol, (I am not even sure what that means) and a Stable, and Nature themed Tree House. I think they are tapping into the small girl's like to nurture thing.
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  #47  
Old 01-16-2012, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

Oh and Sock, I tried googling the pink / blue flip flop story, without any luck. I don't know if it is a legend or not, but I haven't heard it before.

I love that kinda thing and would love to hear it.

:read: :dotell:
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

There was a recent story in Smithsonian about color coding gender, which I think was what revived people talking about that.

When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine

They quote John Money in it. That John Money.

It is kind of telling, though, that even such an obvious social construct has spawned evo psych blather trying to explain why it's not a construct.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

That's okay, it's not like I haven't lied to my kid before. Not really concerned whether it's true or not. :cheesywink:

ETA: That was in reply to Demi, not that sneaky and morally questionable in-between poaster. :shakenancy:
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Last edited by Sock Puppet; 01-16-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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Demimonde (01-16-2012), lisarea (01-16-2012), wei yau (01-17-2012)
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:46 PM
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Demimonde Demimonde is offline
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Default Re: All things pink and flowery, all things blue and buildable

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Why would men like blue and green then? For their manly ancestors, that would mean good weather for hunting.
Yes. Hunting is the only reason good weather is good. :lol:

I am surprised that they didn't try to say that boys like red because of BLOOOD! That would be blood as it relates to hunting, not blood as it relates to food preparation, because manly ancestors :derp:

Their confirmation bias is staggering.

ETA: Sock, I don't particularly care either, but I would love to hear the story. I guess I wasn't clear earlier.

I DON"T KNOW STORY, WANT TO KNOW STORY, PLEASE TO TELL STORY, PLEASE.
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