Monday, 23 June 2014

Lego at #BrickCity

Back in the day, Lego was the toy that boys and girls played with equally.  Colour of the blocks didn't matter.  Colour of the packaging didn't matter.  Colour in the adverts didn't matter.














Fast forward to today and BAM!

Today, we have one Lego for boys and one Lego for girls.  More or less. The 'boy' sets have characters (known as minifigs) such as dinosaurs, scientists and astronauts while the 'girl' sets have  minifigs which go to the beach, go shopping and live in pink houses.  Alongside this, they do also have female minifigs such as Warrior Woman and a librarian but not nearly as many as for boys.

I've joined this topical debate at a point in time when Lego has recently promised to launch a range of new female minifigs with important roles for #raisingmightygirls.  These include a chemist, a palaeontologist and an astronomer.

But.....

Whilst its good to have more aspiring female minifigs appealing to girls, that's not actually a complete solution to the problem.  I'm still left thinking why we need the distinction between lego for boys and lego for girls.  I would much prefer Lego to have gender-neutral packaging with both male and female minifigs inside ALL sets making them appealing to both boys and girls. 

My eldest daughter is very much aware of the 'gender-bias marketing' in toys and related products.  She doesn't want to play with 'girls' toys.  She just wants to play with what appeals to her.  She wants to experience all sorts of stuff - it's more difficult for her to choose to do that when toy stores literally guide her to particular aisles.

It boils down to this - if my daughters see females in these strong aspiring roles, they are more likely to believe that they can fill these roles when they grow up. Likewise, it's important for boys to sometimes play with toys that have strong female roles as they will become men who respect women.


#BrickCity

On Friday, we went to 'Lego Brick City' in Titanic Belfast.  I left my scepticism at home.

It's an exhibition with scaled down versions of iconic buildings and landmarks from across the globe.

Courtesy of titanicbelfast.com

Courtesy of Irish News
 













Stuff To Know
  • Family ticket £15
  • Estimated Exhibition Time 60 minutes
  • There are some truly amazing structures built.  Thousands of pieces used to create some exhibits.
  • Breakout areas for kids to make their own designs.
  • Beware the gift shop situated at the exit - overpriced!
  • The younger two girls really enjoyed it.  The eldest created this: http://flipagram.com/f/EAfqcvWw3d
The exhibition is there until 13 July.  Book tickets here http://www.titanicbelfast.com/


#LetToysBeToys

I think that Lego is a wonderful toy.  The company is slowly moving back to that wonderful time when both boys and girls played with the blocks side by side.

So listen up Lego! 

Let's have less of the 'pink' packaging, ditch the 'Friends' sets and add more female characters to all sets! 

Oh, also keep creating new female minifigs which aspire our young girls to dream big! 

That's it.  That can't be difficult Lego, can it?

Live long and Prosper
Karen x

4 comments:

  1. Hear! Hear! Karen. Completely agree with your sentiments. The exhibition sounds good but I wonder were there any loose bricks lying around. I remember many the painful occasion of stepping on a Lego piece that hadn't been cleared away. I saw this article the other day and understand now why it hurts so much..http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/06/stepping-lego-hurt-much/
    Looking forward to future posts. Chris

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment Chris. I too have stubbed many toes and spiked my heels. I fear I've a few more years left of injuries!

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  3. Great article. I hope Lego heed your advice and move into the real world!!

    ReplyDelete

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