Posts Tagged ‘Belville’

LEGO Friends — Controversial or Cool?

January 9, 2012

If you’ve been paying attention at all to the buzz around the internet, you’ve probably seen at least on or several posts or articles about the LEGO Friends line. When I first heard about a new girl theme coming out over a year and a half ago at the LEGO Conventions I kept hearing “It’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.”

My reaction, like most AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO), was — we’ll see.

The first low-res pictures didn’t do much to sway my cynical opinion. It looked like a rehashing of older themes. Once I finally saw good quality pictures, I thought it looked a lot like Polly Pocket. And it does. But so do a lot of other toys geared towards girls.

Unlike previous girl LEGO lines, LEGO Friends was widely promoted by the company. And almost before the first press release got out, the backlash started.

“LEGO already has a LEGOs for girls — they are called LEGOs” one person touted (and I apologize to all who cringe when an “s” is added to LEGO).

This comic posted on FBTB.net showed another side of it.

But what a lot of those who are complaining don’t know, or don’t care to research. Is that this is hardly the first time LEGO has made girl sets. They’ve been doing it for decades. Ever since the first Homemaker sets in 1971, LEGO has made sets clearly geared towards girls. That’s over 30 years people!

So why now? Well part of it is just because these naysayers can. Part of it is because LEGO didn’t promote previous incarnations like Belville and Scala as strongly as LEGO Friends. So all of these people who never really paid attention to LEGO themes before are taking sides over LEGO Friends. There’s even a petition to stop LEGO Friends.

A petition? Really? Don’t we have anything else to worry about?

I admit, Belville, Scala, and Clickits were never my favorite lines. I felt and still feel that they were an insult to my intelligence. There were no difficult builds and the figures looked like Barbie for LEGO — especially Scala. The only girl lines I liked were the Homemaker line which is a little bit before my time, and Paradisa.

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I’m not a girly girl. In fact I took over my brothers’ LEGO bricks when they grew out of them. Something I never did. So even though I like Paradisa, it was too girly for me. I much preferred Castle or City — before it was populated only by cops, firemen, and robbers. I grew up in the golden age of LEGO when some of the truly great lines came out. I was just as into space and pirates as my brother (my little brother was a little too young at the time).

So when Scala and Belville were finally available in the US — they were originally only available in Europe — I was already a die-hard LEGO fan. These sets annoyed me and I ignored them. I refused to buy them because I didn’t like them. But what I didn’t realize was how many cool accessories there were. Food and cooking elements especially. So as I got more building savvy and started looking as sets more like parts packs and less like sets, I started to purchase Scala and Belville.

So what do I think of LEGO Friends? Well I wanted to wait until I had gotten some before I gave my opinion. I was getting more and more excited as I saw all the fun elements. And now that I have a couple sets I really, really like them.

Even with the images I’d seen of Friends to Minifig scale comparisons, I didn’t really appreciate how very small they Friends dolls are. They are tiny! Which naturally makes them cuter. They won’t replace my love for the Minifig, but they won’t be relegated to the back of the LEGO box either.

When I saw the sets in the stores I wanted to buy all of them! Okay, maybe that is my girly side coming out, but I am a girl, so that’s okay. πŸ˜‰

Lots of non-LEGO people are complaining about the pink. But there is actually very little pink in the sets. And there are all these great new colors and parts! There are just as many, if not more, male AFOLs wanting these sets because of the accessories.

So in short — after this long rant — I like LEGO Friends. Is it exactly what I would have wanted as a child? No, but that’s what Modular Buildings are for. I do want all of the sets, if not multiples. I love the new accessories and colors. The MOC (my own creation) potential is very high! And I will be recommending them to everyone. I hope they come out with more. My opinion — Cool. πŸ™‚

New LEGO Games on the horizon

July 18, 2010

Several new LEGO Games are now available in Europe. One of the ones getting the most buzz is the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Game (Β£24.99 — around $33 US) but there are three more games that look equally fun and haven’t gotten nearly enough notice. If you are interested in seeing an in-depth review of the Harry Potter Hogwarts game you can read it on Eurobricks.

The Orient Bazaar looks particularly interesting both for gameplay and as an excellent parts pack. The Belville perfume bottles have only been available in a handful of sets and only in three different colors. The last time it was available at all was in the 2007 Hogwarts Castle

Then there are the corner slopes, the 2×2 gold round tiles, and the 2×2 brown tiles with one knob. All very desirable parts. It retails for Β£17.99 which will most likely go for $25 in the US.


I’m not quite sure what the point of Meteor Strike is. The description says:

Launch satellites deep into space to seize these valuable cosmic rocks and sabotage your opponents lunar mission with laser blasts in the new LEGO Games Meteor Strike!

The classic space tiles and the dark red and blue elements make this one to look out for though. Also Β£17.99 — $24 US.

Atlantis Treasure looks fun and interesting.

I like the tiny micro subs that are the game pieces and I see lots of potential from the fun tiles included with this one. The long dark blue plates are also a definite selling point to me. The price is Β£19.99 — probably $30 US.

On a related note, for those of you in the States, there is a LEGO Games Truck Tour going on right now through September 6th. The weekend of August 14th at LEGOLAND California and the Chicago LEGO Discovery Center they are also having a LEGO Games Weekend

With both the prior wave yet to be released here in the States and this one to look forward to, I can see lots of LEGO games in my future. πŸ™‚

Like Fathers Like Sons

July 1, 2009

Since Father’s day just passed us, I thought this was a pretty appropriate MOC for the day (somehow I totally missed mentioning it on my blog). David Pickett aka fallentomato has created this scene combining both Technic figures and Minifigures together. He did a really good job of matching the figures and I love the micro cars and castle on the floor. πŸ™‚

My only problem with this scene is it brings up my constant gripe about LEGO being geared for boys. There has never been a Technic girl figure and I have always wondered why. I’m sure I would have paid more attention to Technic sets as a child if there had been a female figure to play with. And I’m sorry, but Belville and Scala just doesn’t cut it with me. They never have. The only thing good about them is all the accessories that were produced because of them.

Okay, gripe over. πŸ˜€ Good job David!