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Toys Get Sex Change: LEGO Scores Big By Catering To Girls

Toys Get Sex Change: Lego Scores Big By Catering To Girls

Toys got a sex change, and, as a result, LEGO gets a lot richer.

The toy company put out a new series of building blocks designed for girls, and the success of the product helped the company’s sales increase 25 percent. The privately owned company said on Thursday that its annual revenue reached $4.2 billion, and much of that was due to a simple sex change for the toys.

The Demnark-based company recently began selling LEGO Friends, a new rollout for girls. The line included mini-figures in pink, a dream house with a pool, and a beauty shop, The Associated Press noted. The product was so successful that production units couldn’t keep up with demand.

The toys undergoing the sex change have drawn criticism from some US consumer groups that say they reinforce old gender stereotypes.

A pair of activists even started a petition to ask LEGO to stop selling the products.

“Narrow stereotypes associated with pink and blue simply box kids in from an early age,” wrote Stephanie Cole, one of the founders of the petition. “But, raising healthy girls and boys is all about creating a wide range of possibilities and options for our children. This is why LEGO’s latest marketing campaign has parents so angry.”

The anger over the product was similar to the reaction last summer when Bic announced a line of pens specifically for women. The idea that women need their own special pens was panned by comedians and critics, though Bic said it had no plans to scrap the pens.

LEGO noted that it wasn’t just the toys getting the sex change that did well. The products traditionally marketed to boys — the LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Ninjago — remained among the most popular items.

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Comments

54 Responses to “Toys Get Sex Change: LEGO Scores Big By Catering To Girls”

  1. Anonymous

    “Narrow stereotypes associated with pink and blue simply box kids in from an early age,” wrote Stephanie Cole This world is getting really stupid. So a girl can't play with a toy because it's pink. I feel sorry for this generation.

  2. Gingir Rock

    Those are not Legos! Those are Poly Pockets set next to a few Legos. Who's idea was this? Fail! Full of fail! As a girl who grew up building Lego cities and had Star Wars Legos.. I'm offended. And I swear to Bob's Holy Noodliness if they start making Girl Lego Video Games I'm going to hold a protest.

  3. Steph Tee

    I think Lego goes well with something girls are good at, which is design. I always loved creative toys, including legos, but there was always this idea that Lego was a boy's toy. Too many girls are led to focus on style and not on the underlying structure, but even a dress has to be built on a knowledge of physics. And women excel at applying style to everything that can be built. If it takes some pastel bricks and some cutey characters to get girls to play with a very cool design tool, I'm all for it.

  4. Chris Plyler

    they already had female hair to make the little figures boys or girls and already had girly sets I grew up playing legos I know all too well.

  5. Kat Cooper

    It's a quick buck off of gullible parents. They want to make money, and I don't blame ''em. However, I'm not wasting my money on legos that are supposedly for girls, and I'm sticking with the original–unisex.

  6. Damien Lavizzo

    Not only that, the girls DIDNT BUY things when the were blue and yellow, then sales surged 25% when they made them pink. Girls like pink. They like purple. They even like…gasp…VIOLET. Shame on LEGO for making a product that it's audience actually wants! Shame!

  7. Roberto Foddai

    This is how to make money with sexism. It enforces the idea that girls like only clothes and shopping. If I had a daughter I would buy the regular ones which I don't believe to be just for boys.

  8. Kat Cooper

    I wonder why they like pink? could it be because they were given pink things. I wasn't given pink things, I am neutral to the color, so not all girls crave for pink things. However, I see where you are coming from, and yes, they are making a product that will be bought. It's a win for the parents, and a bonus for the company.

  9. Kat Cooper

    I applaud you, sir. I wish there were more men who think like you. I grew up with the original legos, and I am neutral to the color pink. I was never given pink things. I don't feel like I missed out at all. Girls can live without pink–actually. Have a good day.

  10. Deborah Hiibel

    LAGOS IS LIKE ANY OTHER COMPANY THEY DO WHAT THEY CAN TO MAKE A BUCK. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.IT SOUNDS LIKEA GOOD IDEA TO APPEAL TO GIRLS TOO THEY LIKE TO BUILD THINGS TOO! THEY SHOULD HAVE HAD PINK LAGOS ALL ALONG.

  11. Spencer Fey

    They had a 25% increase in sales I couldnt blame them if they did a sims lego or a bacherlorette lego I would if I were in their shoes. I am sure it is not only parents getting it for their girls. I have heard and seen a few cases when gay "parents" buy their boy or buy their girl "boy type" toys to in their words help them undersatand the gay experience (at the age of 6… the child not the gay peoples) and by the way Gingir… very pretty!! :)

  12. Gaylene Beaman Boggs

    There are a lot more things to worry about then what color Legos are.

  13. Paul Bolin

    I would buy my daughter whichever color she preferred, and not force a color on her because of my sociopolitical worldview. But whatever. :p

  14. Paul Bolin

    Stephanie Cole is only complaining because Lego said that the new pink legos were for girls. Well, what about the boys that want pink legos? Isn't that good for them, too? Surely she would agree with that. She's re-inforcing gender stereotypes because she feels that Legos should only be in "traditional boy colors". If a girl was already interested in building things with Legos, I really don't think the color of the Legos would discourage her.

  15. Paula Irwin-Deschaine

    I actually wrote to the company a few years ago and suggested that they make a Lego line more appealing to girls. My granddaughter loves Legos but was always disappointed that there wasn't something different offered than the primary colors, etc. I thought what they were offering at the time was pretty 'sexist' in it's own way, that they hadn't considered that girls (and boys, too) would like something more! I'm hoping that my letter to them actually helped to bring about this new development. Either gender of child can now choose whichever colors and themes of Legos they enjoy! The only 'mistake' Lego has probably made, in the eyes of those who are all upset about the 'gender based' aspect of this whole thing, is that they probably shouldn't have marketed it as being 'for girls.' If they would have left those words out of all their sales pitches and marketing, etc, then no one would have had anything to complain about.

  16. David Phillips

    Wow… Sexism? Narrow stereotyping? Making a product that appeals to a specific part of the market isn't a bad thing. Did any of these critics consider that a lot of the girls receiving the "girl" Lego sets might enjoy "girlie" things AND playing with Lego blocks so these were the perfect fit. Oh, and the special pens for women. Did they not consider that women generally have smaller, different shaped hands than men and might not want to write with the heavy, metallic "business" pens some men buy. Gender differences are why women's basketballs are smaller, cars have power steering, and the world has tampons instead of bundled sets of cotton balls and medical tape. :)

  17. Wayne Nolan

    Smart company going back to basics. And being rewarded for honoring the old stand by of blue for boys and pink for girls. I like that.

  18. Justin Love

    I bought some of this "Friends" line for my daughter. She enjoys it. You always hear about LEGO MEN, most of the newer products are based on movies, or series for young boys (e.g. BATMAN, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) ; so thumbs up to LEGO for diversifying. If you are complaining about the color scheme; you can always build it with the basic sets.

  19. Bj Dayton Perez

    Wait till the new Easy Bake oven for boys come out. More stereotypical BS to force on your kids. I work in a Toys store and guess what? Its not the kids that are buying these toys. The kids could care less unless they are pressured. Believe me kids are pressured into having Lego's versus kitchens or pink versus blue's. I had to witness a mother and father fight over buying their 3 year old daughter a pink, Barbie Jeep over a red, Mini Cooper. All that baby wanted was the Mickey Mouse that she was holding. Parents get really nasty if we do not have something in blue or pink. The kids just sit back rolling their eyes.

  20. Jay Cee

    I would have LOVED this as a child. Kids are so freaking lucky these days to get such cool toys.

  21. Paula Irwin-Deschaine

    Please don't think I'm saying this sarcastically or anything, because I'm not, but if you have some daughters, why not ask them what they'd like rather than make the choice for them. Bring them to the store and let them choose whichever they like without influencing them beforehand. The 'unisex' ones are only unisex because you feel that they are. The supposedly 'girly' ones do not have to be considered unisex either, since boys can play with them, too, if they like. If you are really sure of your stand on this matter, then you shouldn't be concerned about buying both kinds for either gender of your children. It's all a matter of taste and preference….the child's, not the parents. Let the kids choose. Like I said, I'm saying this with total respect for your feelings and opinions.

  22. Thomas Cabral

    Who cares what color the Lego set is? If a girl wants the regular Lego sets they can have them too, it's not like they have to only buy the pink sets or the sets made for girls. It's a toy kids play with toys…boys and girls. If you really have a problem with this you must not be secure in your own sexuality. Too much time on your hands too..find something positive to do.

  23. Patrick Joseph

    ezmep and company, obviously, you are twisting and oversimplifying Cole's point. Either that or you're uneducated. You pick.

  24. Paula Irwin-Deschaine

    I think, if you had a daughter, that you're a nice enough dad that you'd let her choose for herself the ones she'd like to play with. By saying that you'd buy her only the regular ones, you are choosing for her and according to your own feelings and opinions. It can work both ways. If you had a boy, and he wanted a set of the 'girly' ones, would you stop him from having them, or would you allow him to enjoy the new colors and themes as well as the other ones? Something to consider. Please don't take my comment as disrespectful, I'm being sincere. Thanks.

  25. Patrick Joseph

    You are misunderstanding Cole's argument, which she is correct. How many parents would buy their boys a pink lego set, without calling him a name? Be honest.

  26. Patrick Joseph

    Spencer Fey Right, it's all about the greed. Lego doesn't care about stereotypes. I couldn't help but think of the person who proposed the idea, female or male?

  27. Patrick Joseph

    There is nothing wrong with making a buck and there is nothing wrong with parents complaining about the products. It happens all the time.

  28. Patrick Joseph

    So, the company is banking on stereotypes, it's their right. So, there are parents who don't like what they're doing, it's their right. Parents/adults mainly select toys for their kids, not the kids. Remember, kids don't have money. If you are a parent who does not like what Lego is doing, buy the non sexist Lego's. It's you money, not Legos or the sexist people on this blog who are griping about Cole's comment. Those people obviously want a sexist world and are willing to keep supporting it. Girls know know about the sexism, as do boys. It will always keep people separated as long as people keep buying into it. Cole, you are right.

  29. Dean Grant

    I don't understand why people are against this. Cultures going back as far as history have associated blue with boys and pink for girls, with the exception of some cultures in the middle east near the nile which associate brown with girls. And anyone who has raised boys and girls know there is a difference from the start and it has nothing to do with sexism. Boys gravitate to trucks and cars, and building then smashing things, girls tend to do more role oriented play. one is not better than the other but they are different.

  30. Faeroe Reinard

    You know you can still buy the regular ones right? It's not like they are banning girls from buying other legos. They made these available for the ones who want them. I'm offended that you're offended.

  31. Melissa Keller Devine

    Spencer… Gay Experience?!? Really?!? Gay parents buy the same toys for their children that any other parents do. Truly open minded parents (regardless of their own preferences- sexual or otherwise) will buy toys for their children that engage the children, not matter whether the toy is, by tradition or marketing, "for boys" or "for girls".

  32. Trent Dugas

    Don't be so self centered. A billion people thought this and wrote in to them. I can promise you this, it was not because of your letter. lol. Wow. The arrogance of people.

  33. Trent Dugas

    lol, you are not going to boycott. I doubt you will even get out of your chair. And then we got Spencer hitting up on people on a message board about girl legos while making fun of gay people. lolol. Classic.

  34. Matt Semperboni

    I don't see why it matters how these toys are marketed…If it's "sexist" to make beauty and shopping-themed toys for girls, then why are they selling so many of them? There's no law against girls buying the "boy" versions. There is a lot more scrutiny for boys and men doing feminine things than for girls and women doing masculine things. If a little girl wears boy clothes and plays with trucks, probably not much will happen, but if a little boy wears pink and plays with dolls, he'll probably be made fun of and called "pansy", "gay", or worse.

  35. Ben Rohm

    First off, cool. I'm surprised Lego hasn't branched out a long time ago. My daughter LOVES the Avenger Lego series. She does have some pink legos (this really isn't news, "girl" legos have actually been around) but prefers the Star Wars and Avenger Legos in her massive collection. We need to get some common sense about this issue. There is no nefarious plot to make girls feminine and men masculine. I chuckle when I read about these so-called activists that rally against gender stereotypes or stereotypes of any kind. Sometimes what is, is simply what is. White people favor Nascar and Hockey, black people favor basketball. Girls favor pastels, boys favor primary colors. Its not hatred to say truthful things. It doesn't value one over the other, it just is. When parents buy dolls and doll houses for thier girls and Hotwheels for thier boys, it doesn't mean they hate them or they want to wedge them into thier gender roles. It just is what it is, parents trying to anticipate the wants of thier kids. Ok, too long now, I know. But I'm just so sick of people making something out of nothing.

  36. Diana Kresnye

    Perhaps girls can live without pink, but I'm 48 and PINK is my color. I love pink and bling and you know what, I don't CARE if it's girly! This whole discussion is so crazy. Whether people like it or not, there IS a difference between the genders – it's how GOD made us.

  37. Ben-Lisa Hartley

    Tsk, tsk, tsk Trent! She didn't say "my letter brought about the new Lego line", she said, "I'm hoping that my letter helped…". The rudeness of people, lol! ;)

  38. Heather Johnson

    Although I am not fond of the pink/blue divide, I have no problem with pink Legos. I bought my daughter some building blocks for Christmas. I got her both the primary color set and the pink/purple set.

  39. Paula Irwin-Deschaine

    I didn't mean to allude to the idea that it was my letter that made a difference, only that I was on the same thought process of them and of course, many others. That's why I rarely comment on these threads, because people usually misunderstand how you mean something in writing, as opposed to face to face dialogue. Sorry you got that impression, Trent. Have a great day.