The Bangles – A Different Light by pixbymaia

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Its been kind of a crazy last few days for me with Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and family — hence the non-posting. So when I saw this picture by pixbymaia my mind went immediately to “Manic Monday” which is about how I feel about all the work I’ve got to do that I’ve been ignoring the last few days.

The Bangles - A Different Light by pixbymaia

What I think is interesting is the fact that in 1986 when this album was originally released there were only two girl hairstyles — the classic pigtails or the “female” hair — and there was only the classic grin face.
So next time you complain that there aren’t enough girl minifigs, just remember that there used to be a lot less. ;)

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3 Responses to “The Bangles – A Different Light by pixbymaia”

  1. Purple Dave Says:

    The irony there being, of course, that of the four hairstyles depicted in this image, two were original used on male minifigs. And I can see at least two different torsos that are from male minifigs as well. The faces on the diagonal with the new Snape hair might even be from males, but they start to fall into that grey area where when you account for the fact that not every woman wears makeup, they could work either way. There may be more heads that are distinctly male than female, but I think by now there are more torsos that go the other way. Even something like the Spartan torso could work for an Amazon warrior from the Greek tradition. The Surfer, Sumo, and Boxer torsos are a bit hard to spin as being female unless you claim they’re wearing a shirt with a male torso print on it. Something like the plaid print they used for the Studios wolfman set, on the other hand, could be flanel shirt that won’t exactly cling to the female form like a tank-top typically would, so all you have to do is combine it with a distinctly female head or hair and nobody will question the gender of that minifig. Well, no adult, at least. Young kids might still grief you for combining male and female minifig parts.

  2. 20tauri Says:

    Thanks for the shoutout :) There are still too few hair styles/colors in my view, but I’m hopeful for more. @purpledave: In my experience, there are so few good generic women’s torso options it’s kind of ridiculous. I haven’t done the numbers (yet) but the torsos that have a clear masculine bent (tie, rippling pecs, clearly masculine clothing, etc.) vastly outnumber both obviously feminine torsos and those torsos that are gender-neutral enough to be usable for female figs. As a side note, female torsos tend also to be overly feminine – they’re either pink, purple, have hearts all over them, or are basically busty bathing suits. It’s kind of an annoying issue for me… Yes, it’s better than it was originally, but boy, could it be even better than it is.

  3. Purple Dave Says:

    @20tauri:
    GIven that new hairstyles require new molds to be designed, I think we’re getting about as sustainable an influx of new shapes as we can expect. The real problem, as I see it, is that so many of these new shapes are only available in one color. I couldn’t believe that the S5 Aerobics Instructor had the exact same hair as the S2 Pop Star instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to introduce that style in a new color. Likewise, the S2 Vampire and S2 Judoku had the same hairstyle in black. Granted, the Judoku really needed a black hairpiece, and the Vampire looks really good with that hairpiece, but maybe they could have picked a new shape for the Judoku. Presently, if you don’t count the Frankenstein Monster’s head extension as a hairstyle, and you don’t count the Geisha’s painted hair as being different from the Sumo Wrestler’s, the Series Minifigs have given us a grand total of seven hairstyles that are still only available in a single color (Caveman, Cavewoman, Cleopatra, Punk Rocker, Ice Dancer, Pop Star, and Sumo), and the Hula Dancer and Cleopatra both have hairstyles that are only available in black with a painted design. I had the perfect use for that Hula Dancer hair figured out, only to discover that it has pink flowers all over it.

    In terms of torsos, while many of the “masculine-bent” designs are not generally useful for females, they are not exclusively male. Zatanna is a DC Comics character who wears a tuxedo jacket and bow tie with black cheerleader shorts, fishnet stockings, and a top hat. The S1 Magician torso is perfect for her. Granted, you’re a lot less likely to find a female cop wearing a regular necktie, but it’s not as socially unconventional as seeing a man wearing the Ice Dancer outfit would be.

    Most of the variety you’re likely to see will be coming from the Series Minifigs, though. Looking over the first five series, the Lifeguard is about as pronounced a bust as you’re likely to see (largest and most visible lines below, with a hint of cleavage peeking out at the neckline). The Nurse has the smallest marks by far, and a couple don’t have any (Witch and Zookeeper). The Geisha doesn’t even have waist curves, and given that samurai in fuedal Japan wore highly decorative kimonos just like the women, I’d say that the Geisha body is probably gender-neutral if you swap out the white hands for yellow or fleshie.

    Of course, the real problem with female minifigs is that, while you don’t see a lot of vocal disagreement over what is desired in a male minifig, there are two extremes in terms of what a female minifig should look like. You’re clearly in the camp that prefers a more sensible variety that don’t look like they have implants and wear “normal” colors. At the soft opening for the local LEGO Store, I was helping kids find specific S2 minifigs, and almost every little girl who was there for minifigs wanted one of the three females. Of the three, the Pop Star was by far the most popular. With the largest size of bust marks, two shades of pink, and one of the most garish makeup designs, she is exactly what you’re complaining about. And yet she sells. More importantly, she sells to girls, who have been a notoriously difficult market for The LEGO Company to get a handle on. Right or wrong, the S6 Spacegirl is clear evidence that this is not likely to change. But the important question there is whether you should really want it to. Yes, you deserve to get female-appropriate minifig parts that aren’t all pretty-pretty-princess, but Barbie is very popular, and if girls who enjoy that sort of thing can’t find something that LEGO has to offer that fits their tastes, how likely do you think they are to develop an interest in this as a hobby? More importantly, how likely are they to be interested in this as an adult if they never got started as a young child?

    I have to agree with Mariann here. While not every part may be to any one person’s taste, there’s a huge variety now that didn’t exist even five years ago, much less 25 years ago. And while you may not always be able to find a body part that works for what you want, you’re not the only one. I’d really love to see a torso that’s just a white shirt and tie, with no police badge, anchor emblem, or anything else that clearly identifies that torso as belonging to a specific industry. And no, the irony of the fact that my main reason for wanting this is to make police detectives is not lost on me.

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