LEGO FriendsHats and other thoughts

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The controversy over LEGO Friends continues to rage. Although I try to stay out of it for the most part, not commenting on other blog or Facebook posts that are clearly misinformed or just plain wrong, I can’t help but feel that certain groups have taken an innocent toy and superimposed their political views on top of it. LEGO has even gone as far as issuing a press release about it.

One of the biggest misunderstandings with the new LEGO Friends figs is that they aren’t compatible with regular minifigs. Its as if these unimaginative people can’t see the building potential. They don’t see Friends as an addition to all of the other products that LEGO produces but more of a “this or that” toy. Like the children can only like LEGO Friends or like “normal” LEGO. But what is “normal” LEGO?

Friends is just a new form. Before 1978 there were no minifigs, before 2000 there were no Bionicle, before last year there were no LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean — do you get my point? LEGO is constantly evolving, changing and growing. Friends is just a new type of LEGO figure.

While the figures themselves can’t easily interchange with Minifigs, all the Friends hair can be worn by minifigs and vice-versa. And that goes for the accessories too.

This great video by LDM showcases the headgear.

And the customizing of LEGO Friends has already begun. Check out these custom Friends figs:
G.I.Julie

Haircut

Punkrock Girl

And “Wrist articulation: achieved”
Wrist articulation: achieved

I even decided to change my Facebook picture in support of LEGO Friends
Friend Sig Fig

And yes, as a LEGO Artist, I really use power drills, wrenches and all manner of tools daily. I have to use math — fractions and geometry especially — to create my models. Because of LEGO not only was it a wonderful, ever changing toy that was only limited by my imagination as a child but it has allowed me to achieve two of my dream jobs — LEGO Master Model Builder and Writer. It has given me not one, but two careers and endless hours of enjoyment.

Like I mentioned in my previous post I was skeptical of LEGO Friends at first. But the more I see of the sets and the things that are already being done with the new figures I like them more and more!

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2 Responses to “LEGO FriendsHats and other thoughts”

  1. Meh Says:

    You do realize that if normal minifigs were used (and 34 years are more than enough for us to be able to call them normal minifigs) they would also be able to bring new hair pieces and would also be compatible with other minifig hats and accessories. But also with minifig torsos, legs and heads. Thus the actual compatibility is definitely inferior than if normal minifigs were used. Not only that, but besides being able to share hair and headsets, they are still visually incompatible with normal minifigs. The result is still segregation between boys and girls.

    Besides, they are peach. Peach barely has an excuse for licensed sets because they have to resemble the characters. For other themes including Friends there is no such excuse. As a non-Caucasian I would have preferred LEGO to keep their aracial figures promise.

    In LEGO’s press release they mention that Friends is not their only offering for girls. Yay, if you were to believe their UK LEGO club magazine, girls may also get creator and the forest city sets (not police cars or Star Wars or anything else).

  2. Purple Dave Says:

    The more I think about this, the more it feels like a Segway solution. It’s an answer looking for a question. Everything else about the sets I have no problem with, even though I have little interest in them. It’s the mini-dolls that are a real problem. Most of the customized ones that you’ve posted and that have shown up at this point are probably done purely in jest for the medium.

    They only serve to emphasize a problem that really should have come up in the Brickworld 2010 keynote address, which is that Friends with regular minifigs would be a girl-oriented theme. Friends with mini-dolls is set up to be a girls-only theme, and that’s a “do or die” setup. Either you win over the girls market, or the theme tanks outright, because you can’t count on any significant amount of crossover interest from the boys market. And, like Scala and Belville before it, the decision to create a new character design for Friends makes any crossover interest in the other direction less likely, which is a real shame considering how many interesting female minifigs have started showing up in the Collectible Minifig line.

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