Okay, so Lego might have known women existed for a couple of years now. But they just announced a plan — on the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek, no less — to try and get girls as into Legos as boys have traditionally been. Behold, Lego Friends: ?
?These plastic ladies are a touch taller than the regular Lego mini-figs, and less blocky, more cute, and not as yellow. From the rather fascinating Businessweek article:
Encouraged by what it had learned about boys, Lego sent its team back
out to scrutinize girls, starting in 2007. The company was surprised to
learn that in their eyes, Lego suffered from an aesthetic deficit. “The
greatest concern for girls really was beauty,” says Hanne Groth, Lego’s
market research manager. Beauty, on the face of it, is an unsurprising
virtue for a girl-friendly toy, but based on the ways girls played,
Groth says, it came, as “mastery” had for boys, to stand for fairly
specific needs: harmony (a pleasing, everything-in-its-right-place sense
of order); friendlier colors; and a high level of detail.
Lego confirmed that girls favor role-play, but they also love to
build–just not the same way as boys. Whereas boys tend to be
“linear”–building rapidly, even against the clock, to finish a kit so it
looks just like what’s on the box–girls prefer “stops along the way,”
and to begin storytelling and rearranging. Lego has bagged the pieces in
Lego Friends boxes so that girls can begin playing various scenarios
without finishing the whole model. Lego Friends also introduces six new
Lego colors–including Easter-egg-like shades of azure and lavender.
(Bright pink was already in the Lego palette.)
Then there are the lady figures. Twenty-nine mini-doll figures will
be introduced in 2012, all 5 millimeters taller and curvier than the
standard dwarf minifig. There are five main characters. Like American
Girl Dolls, which are sold with their own book-length biographies, these
five come with names and backstories. Their adventures have a backdrop:
Heartlake City, which has a salon, a horse academy, a veterinary
clinic, and a caf?. “We had nine nationalities on the team to make
certain the underlying experience would work in many cultures,” says
Nanna Ulrich Gudum, senior creative director.
I’m sure some of you are pissed that these things are so traditionally girly, but I think it’s pretty cool. Plus, there is this: ?
?This is “Olivia’s Inventor’s Workshop,” where Olivia does chemistry, robotics and complex math. Hey, the sets might be heavy on pink, but they are not condescending to girls. You can take your “Math is hard!” soundchip and shove it right in your ear, Barbie. (Via The Mary Sue)