Why Does LEGO Ignore Girls?

Blogger and podcaster CC Chapman has set up a great video series where his daughter Emily pontificates on the issues that matter to her.  The latest one is “Why Does LEGO Ignore Girls?” where she makes the case for LEGO to make more products that are accessible to girls.

I’ve always been bothered by this.  They say time and again that their target market is boys ages 8-11 and that’s what they target all their products toward, and they offer token girl sets such as the lame Belleville line and pink brick buckets, which don’t sell well because they are lame!

Like Emily says, girls like the town sets a lot.  She suggests a shopping mall.  I’ve heard this from other girl LEGO fans as well: build sets that model everyday life, and girls will love them.  The town sets always seem to be about police and firefighters historically.  Lately the farm line has some promise, as do the Cafe Corner type buildings (though these tend to be for an older age group, and you’d lose the girls before they got to be old enough to be able to build them without frustration).

Another suggestion I’ve heard many times is to make LEGO babies.  The new 1×1 stud footprint figures used in the LEGO games might be a good starting point for this.

Anyway, watch the video  for yourself, and share it with anyone you know who has girls that might feel the same way.  And more than anything, keep pestering LEGO about this issue.  They won’t do anything about it until there’s a large groundswell of support for LEGO sets aimed toward girls.

11 thoughts on “Why Does LEGO Ignore Girls?

  1. C.C. Chapman

    Thanks for checking out Emily’s video and for adding your voice to the discussion. Like you said, Emily is NOT the first girl to raise this issue and while I’m sure there are many more boys who currently play with LEGO there is no reason they couldn’t expand their brand. SO many possibilities.

  2. Tor

    You’re 100% right about this. I’m extremely surprised that LEGO has such a big problem with gender because it’s so working against them. My 3 year old loves her LEGO castle but she would be even more crazy about it if it came with female characters out of the box. Now I see that they have a trapped princess in the latest castle box but that’s almost an insult to her. What we’ve done is that we’ve pretty much harvested the Internet for different girl hairs and heads so my girl can customize her minifigs.

  3. JV

    Well, I have seen quite a few women Minifigs in the Lego Universe game. In fact, the red ninja on the cover of the box is a female. Her name is Vanda Darkflame. From what I understand, she is also in charge of the paradox faction in the game.

  4. Bill Post author

    I’m glad to hear that – but you can’t really tell she’s female from the picture. (I hope this means LEGO might bring back the Ninja line…)

  5. Jessie

    I have loads more ideas for girls lego. I just thought of about ten in five minutes. For example, a church with a bride and groom, a hospital, a hairdressers and a school.

  6. Elaine

    As a 36 year old woman, and a Lego based 4-H club leader – I find the idea that Girls think the Lego product is limited to Boys – very annoying. They are bricks – you can do whatever you want with them – they are the ultimate unisex toy. Make a shopping mall if your heart desires. I made a frog the other day – no instructions – no limitations because I am a woman. Tap into your “girl power” creativity. Of course Lego is going to market to Boys – the product is most instantly appealing to boys. They are in business to make money. If you want to turn that tide more girls need to stand up and be heard as a force in the Lego marketplace. I have a great deal of trouble recruiting girls for my club – I believe that they have trouble working together with boys – its a simple fact. The boys could care less. In fact – they would love it if there were more girls in the club. I believe the girls I meet have trouble seeing beyond the packaging – I tell them that Legos are so much more than the packaging – they are limitless possabilities. But still the girls are a bundle of emotions – they worry everything – from the setup not being quite perfect – to judgement being placed upon them by playing with Legos by their peers – very frustrating. My daughter makes her own lego babies – she puts a lego head on a Lego stud and has a blast with them. I enourage Mom’s who have a daughter with an interest in Legos – to bring them to a pick a brick station and let them go crazy. Dont bother with the mini-figures or the sets – get the flowers, the fences, everything they need to build houses and horses. Go on e-bay and buy Legos by the pound and after you wash them – let your daughter build whatever she wants – skip the store isles where its all space ships and Atlantis. We never go there. Im done – thank you for letting me vent. Good luck Emily – Legos are for Girls too – Dont give up!

  7. Terri

    Since when does building, engineering, and robotics need to be limited to boys? If girls need shopping malls and hairdressers, then play with Barbies. Legos are a great toy and a great educational tool regardless of whether one is a boy or a girl. Expect more from your girls than just playing house and they will ultimately love the lego products as is.

  8. vX

    What about Paradisa? I wouldn’t say it was lame, but it was clearly a sales bomb considering how TLG didn’t try something like that again.

    Nothing will change until parents get over the idea that girls can only enjoy dolls and that construction toys are for boys.

    Also, why exactly are police sets boy-oriented? The next police wave will have female officers it seems, and I guess that if you think that girls wouldn’t like police sets we are on the same gender prejudice issues that caused this whole thing.

    Then we have creator which I don’t think is biased towards boys either, and the collectable figs have been improving in avoiding stereotypes since the third one. Licensed sets don’t seem to focus on the male niche either. I think Harry Potter and toy story sets would appeal both genders. I don’t think what about the farm sets would appear to be boy-oriented, I think girls can like farm animals too. Finally, we have had female characters in just about every action and space theme since a long time ago. I guess the best thing that could happen is to have something like the return of Paradisa, but for some reason TLG is not eager to retry that idea.

  9. DH

    I am also highly disappointed with Lego’s feminine choices–they have very little to none, and Belville is a joke. They have 50-100 piece sets that say they are for 5-10 years old. How insulting. More masculine sets aimed at similar age ranges aren’t even in the same league as far as skill level required. If the “girl” legos they have had aren’t selling well, it’s because those sets are BORING! It would take all of five minutes to build. Where are the several hundred to thousand piece sets in more feminine colors and designs? It has nothing to do with “expectations” either, it has to do with what I (or my future daughter) want. I have just as much of a right to look for things I *like* as anyone else. The fact is, I don’t *like* primary colored sets, spaceships, racecars, vehicles, and fighting themed legos. I’m not buying for a child either, I’m buying for myself. I am a 30 year old woman and *I* want pretty pink sets that are complex enough to be worth my time and money. I also disagree that lego is simply more appealing to boys. It’s more appealing to boys because the current look (bright, primary colors and space/cars/trucks/fighting) is what more boys are drawn to. Lego IS missing out on a huge market.

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