Posts Tagged ‘nurse’

Are LEGO sets gender biased?

August 16, 2010

LEGO Collectable Minifigs Series 2 - Captions!

There has been a discussion going on lately on the Flickr group FFOL Brick Chick (Female Fans of LEGO) on whether LEGO as a company is gender biased or if it is the parents that buy into the stereotype that LEGO is a boy’s toy. Now with only 40 members in the FFOL group and 6,220 members in the LEGO Flickr group this is a valid point of discussion.

Here’s a little bit of what I said on FFOL:

I think it is a little bit of both the parents steroetyping and LEGO itself for still not getting what girls want. Even while LEGO tries to make inroads with female LEGO fans, they still mainly market and produce sets for boys.

No, I didn’t see LEGO as a gender biased toy growing up, but then again, I was more of a tomboy than a girlie-girl anyways. But even I made mostly houses and castles as a child. In fact the whole reason I got into LEGO was that I saw it as miniature houses that I could take apart and build in what ever way I wanted.

As I got older and realized that I was the odd girl out with most of my friends and family (heck, I took all my brothers’ LEGO when they grew out of it) and that most girls, including my sister stopped playing with LEGO when they were still kids. I also realized how much LEGO miss marketed their products, making it very clear what the “girl” sets were with pastels and pinks in the sets.

In fact, it seems that they were less gender biased when I was a kid in the 80s. At least then they didn’t make all the girl’s sets pink. Granted, that was because they didn’t have pink or much more than the six colors at that point but still.

According to Steve Witt, there is a new line of girls sets coming out next year that “is nothing like you’ve seen before” (direct quote). And that these new sets will have four new colors. I’ll still wait and see on that one.

But at the same time, I also asked Mads Nipper if they were ever going to produce a dollhouse-like set. He said no, and yet now we have the new city set that I could only call a dollhouse.

My real question is this — does LEGO even realize what constitutes as a girls versus a boys set? My own conclusion is no. I honestly don’t think LEGO even knows what they already have and what they need.

In the New York Times there was a recent article that talked about this:

There’s a particular kind of story one reads occasionally, making fun of the worst excesses of political correctness. But this entry is about the other extreme—a toy manufacturer so far in the dark ages that even Don Draper might snicker. I’m told that the latest craze among the toddler set is Lego Minifigures—little people to inhabit the recently-built creations of your own little person. I’ve been looking forward to the day I can build Lego houses with my daughter. But we won’t be playing with these Minifigures. You see, there are sixteen characters in the set, but only two are female. That’s the sort of gender ratio you see at a typical economics conference, but even we economists know that we need to do better. But the lesson that Lego leaves for impressionable minds is even worse. The two female characters are a cheerleader and a nurse. Even on Mad Men, Peggy Olson rose to copywriter.

Even Barbie stopped saying “Math class is tough” eighteen years ago.

Now knowing what I know of how LEGO is trying to find a better balance of male/female sets and representation, this article is a little harsh. But at the same time, even the next Collectible Minifigure series is stereotypical = pop singer, witch, and “baywatch” babe lifeguard for the female figs. Females can just as easily be Karate masters, surfers, etc., etc.

Of course since they are minifigs, you could always make the “boy” figures “girl” figures and vise-versa. 😉

So what do you think? And what can we do to change it?

Collectible LEGO Minifigs Series 1 Contest

May 25, 2010

Eurobricks is holding a Vignette Contest all about the Collectible Minifigure. The catch? It has to be a City vignette and you don’t actually put the minifigure its made for in it.

What You’re Building
Create a town based vignette where you could display any one of the 16 new Collectible Minifigs from Series 1. It’s just that simple. I’m not even going to provide examples for risk of taking a good idea, but I’ll tell you this: Imagination is the key. People vote for creative entries, not the same old boring scenes we all expect. Do something surprising, just make sure it’s town based.

From what has already been posted there are a lot of creative builders out there. For a complete set of rules and prizes check out Eurobricks. The contest will end on June 6th, 2010. So if you want to participate, get building. 😉

Collectible Minifigures now at Toys R Us

May 21, 2010

First Set of Figs 1

The rumors of Collectible Minifigures showing up at Toys R Us are true. I just went to my local TRU and I found several different figures. Unfortunately someone had gotten a whole bunch before I did and certain figures were already gone. 😦

But I can’t complain too much, I did get 9 different figures. 🙂

I know everyone has their favorites, but I actually like all of them. They all have their uses. New faces, hair, and elements.

Some interesting things to note is that the diver’s flippers are a harder plastic and aren’t connected to each other, the Forestman’s feather is also individual, the Wrestler’s cape isn’t in a cardboard case so it was a little tricky to tell what he was.

You can feel the figures in the bag, it is a little tricky but it can be done. I know there are barcodes, but what’s the fun in that? 😉

I even made a quick table scrap model with one of the figures
Rabbit out of a hat

Not only were the new Collectible Minifigures at Toys R Us, but they also had several new City, Power Miners, World Racers, Castle, and even Disney’s Cars Duplo.

I picked up the new Wizard set.
P1200609

I have to say my favorite part is the printed tile. It even has an awesome quote — “You are far more powerful than you would ever imagine . . .”

Definitely a must have for any Castle fan out there.

So, if you are hankering for a new set, check out your local Toys R Us and see what you find. 🙂

LEGO’s Collectable Minifigs Homepage

April 28, 2010

LEGO.com has a new section all about everyone’s favorite new Minifigures. Not only do we get to see what each one looks like, we also get to know the official names of all the figures (like we couldn’t figure out most of them ourselves).

Collect all 16 unique LEGO minifigures!

Each minifigure comes in a sealed “mystery” bag, so you never know which minifigure you might get. And each minifigure has its own special accessories, display plate and collector’s leaflet. Inspired by movies, sports, history and just everyday life, this collection includes: Demolition Dummy, Forestman, Cowboy, Super Wrestler, Zombie, Ninja, Cheerleader, Skater, Tribal Hunter, Circus Clown, Magician, Deep Sea Diver, Robot, Nurse, Caveman, and Spaceman.

The most interesting name of the 16 is “Tribal Hunter”, I guess they didn’t want to offend any one. 😀

Not only can you find out each figure’s name, but you can also read a bio about each figure. Some of them are actually pretty funny.

“Like a shadow in the night, I – oops!”

Stealthy. Sneaky. A cunning master of martial arts. None of these things describes the Ninja, although he sure wishes they did. He tries his best to dramatically blend into the shadows or hide in plain sight like all the other ninjas can, but no matter what he does, he always seems to mess things up. The truth is that he’s just plain clumsy, and no matter how gracefully he may start a back-flip, creep along the rafters or launch himself into an epic sword battle, healways manages to trip over his own feet, fall off the ceiling, or bonk himself on the head with his ancient and mystical blade. Also, he’s afraid of the dark.

No one is quite sure how the Ninja ever managed to graduate from ninja school. But no matter how bad he may be at his chosen profession, he always keeps trying and never gives up, convinced after each blunder that the next time, he will prove himself a true ninja warrior for the ages.

To read the other Minifig Bios or check to out the Downloads and Games go to LEGO.com.

Collectable Minifigs Series 1 available June 2010

January 23, 2010

I mentioned in November about the possibly of Collectable Minifigs coming this year. Well now Brickset has posted detailed pictures of both the figures and the packaging.

I was already excited before I saw the close up images, but now I’m practically drooling (okay, not really 😉 ).

Apparently Mike Rayhawk was one of those who came up with this idea. He recently stated on Facebook:

They finally did the collectible minifigures idea that James Knight and Eugenia Chen and I pitched years ago – they told us it would never, never happen, but that was before Joergen took the helm. The luchador and the magician were part of my contribution to the original pitch; my caveman was still sitting on Cephas’s shelf last time I was in Denmark.

The only “problem” I see is that at the rumored $2 per unit price, people will be buying entire cases to ensure that they get all the figures or so that they can turn right around and sell the figures at outlandish prices.

The hardest thing to predict is what will be the most popular. I’m sure everyone who has seen these figures already has their favorites. Of course any of the exclusive elements that have never been produced before such as the cheerleader’s pompoms, the clown’s wig and trumpet, and the spaceman’s helmet and gun will go for more on the second market (i.e. Bricklink).

They are all exclusive, and the “Series 1” indicates that there will be more to come. I just hope that LEGO will be smart enough to not make them too exclusive so that everyone can get some! 🙂

Series 1 of the Collectable Minifig

December 16, 2009


Translation:

“16 very special
LEGO minifigures
to build, play,
collect and trade…

…and what’s your
favorite minifigure? ”

I mentioned earlier about these new collectible minifig series that are coming out. Still not much info on these yet, but at least we get a better image.

I’m very interested to know if —
1. Will they be available in the States?
2. How much will they be?
3. Will it be in a bag or a box?

I guess will have to wait and see. 😉