Lego For Girls? [Limor] Has Some Ideas.

When Lego announced that they were going to do a series of “Lego for girls”, many of us didn’t get it. When we were kids(get off my lawn!), legos were completely asexual. At least, that’s how my mind saw them, being a caucasian male. While the idea itself makes sense in marketing terms, the products they rolled out were stuck firmly in the same old gender roles. Pink abounds and flowers are prevalent. There’s nothing wrong with little girls being into those things, but it is sad when that is the only option ever presented. To attempt a parallel, I’m not into sports, and I can tell you that the availability of scientific role models kept me sane through many tough periods of life.

[Limor], who you may recognize as the brains behind Adafruit has proposed the set you see above which puts another option out there. They’ve entered the set into the Lego Cuusoo site, where it could become a real product if it earns enough votes. Here is another nice idea for female lego sets being proposed, that shows females in realistic roles such as a chemist and archaeologist .  I’m kind of surprised that I don’t see [Amelia Earhart] or [Ada Lovelace] herself anywhere in the list.

Gender roles aside, who is going to build the ultimate [Nikola Tesla] kit for us?

48 thoughts on “Lego For Girls? [Limor] Has Some Ideas.

      1. Sorry, for some reason I can usually tolerate a lot of spelling errors (except ‘txt spk’, people who use that online should be banned from the internet) but not LEGO, whenever I see “LEGOs” it almost makes me want to shout at my screen :)

  1. My daughter loves her LEGII!
    I’d buy her the “girls” ones. She loves the Ninjago ninjii she already has, IMHO, the “chick bricks” would just add more to her play (as well as mess on the floor).

    1. I mean with all the existing playsets: LegoCity, Ninjago, Star Wars, dinosaurs, Atlantis, ad Nauseum, I feel “the same old gender roles” is a straw man argument.

      1. Well done Mr. Kraft.

        I have read some time ago that LEGO tries to increase their offerings by a fixed amount year over year. I guess the ‘things for girls’ fad has circled the earth once more and is popular in their area this year.

        To be fair there are far, far more girl exclusive things than boy things. It’s a tossup whether boys don’t complain because of stronger gender role indoctrination or if the girl things just suck. Given female opinion I’d bet on the latter.

  2. @Caleb Kraft, you wrote:

    Yes! +1!

    My parents were sportive people, and one of my family member used to be an international soccer player, and is still well known on the international soccer scene… But I’ve never been into sports, and I FULLY agree with you :)

  3. One thing I loved about LEGO (and DUPLO, the big LEGO) when growing up, was the big pile of it on the floor, the freedom to build whatever. I grew up in a daycare, pretty much, and was blessed with tons of the stuff. We all played together, boys and girls. No gender roles, no “boy LEGO” or “girl LEGO”. Was all just blocks. There wasn’t really girl or boy sets when I was a kid. It pains me as I grow older that they gender specify it so much. Ah LEGO, for shame. /end old man rant.

    Definitely will vote for this as positive role models for girls, that aren’t just “home maker” kits. =D

    1. Something I’ve noticed about the changing bricks of LEGO is how many of todays pieces are custom creations that have very limited use.

      I always remember LEGO as being something where you could substitute many types of bricks for many other types of bricks, making the build possibilities endless, but the custom pieces can take away some of the ingenuity, if that custom piece can be used at all.

      1. Yeah, I used to feel exactly the same way (get off my lawn!) but now that my nephews are heavily into LEGO, I see they just use the custom pieces the same way I used to use basic bricks – to build whatever they want.

        So now I like all the odd one-off pieces, because everything they (we) build looks weirder and more unusual.

      2. One of my CompSci instructors compared basic LEGO to assembly language, you can build anything with it but it might not be so uhh… Ummm… well, the example he gave was building an airplane using LEGO.
        The basic blocks will build you an airplane but the wings won’t look so good. Higher languages are like LEGO playsets, an airplane playset can build a pretty good airplane, but if you build something other than an airplane with it, it probably would’ve looked better using basic blocks.

  4. Great job Adafruit! Makes me think of this comic about girl engineers… which I have pinned to my wall:

    BTW, I already bought my 10 week old daughter one of those Girl Lego sets… the Olivia’s Inventor’s Workshop one:

    I honestly don’t see anything wrong with making PINK lego stuff aimed at girls. Lots of girls like pink “girly” stuff. Maybe your son’s would like to buy them too… hopefully you let them if they want to.

    Obviously I can’t give my 10 week old daughter lego sets yet, but my 6 1/2 yr old son has no problem building it for her.

      1. There’s no such things as “enough Lego”… no sir, there is always room for more lego!!!

        When you have a lot of lego, and have it organized like we do… the projects can be built VERY quickly.

        The trick is getting your kids to take the builds back apart and resort the pieces. …guess what my job is…

      2. Cool! I just really wish the Transformer series was official Lego. Mario too. We are kind of Lego snobs… no megablock, tyco, cree-o, or knex in our house, period. ;-)

        Don’t tell my son, but he’s getting the Death Star 10188 for his birthday. Should keep him busy for a good week.

      3. Does an electronic tech ever have “enough” power supplies, or enough meters? Does a woodworker ever have “enough” clamps, or an auto mechanic “enough” wrenches? B^)

    1. As sexist as you are trying to make the idea appear, I wouldn’t mind building a big BLT LEGO sammich. Pretty sure my significant other would. It’s like quintessential racist food, it’s delicious but offer it to a friend in public and they will refuse it and be offended.

        1. it isn’t. I believe charles was referencing the common sexist joke that women need to make sandwiches. Then drew a corollary between that and racist stereotypes with food, stating that even though something might be delicious, socially it could be construed as unacceptable to mention them.

  5. I love it. As a dad of two girls, it’s always a challenge teaching them how to work on the cars and build projects with tools, because you want your girls to have the same (or better) skillset as you have, and you want them to be able to roll with the girls or the boys on any project, contest, sport, activity, etc.

    Keep it up.

  6. This is ridiculous. The only thing perpetuating these supposed “gender roles” are the people who whine about them. Step out into the real world and open your eyes… How wrong would it be to have a scholarship that is blatantly limited to white strait males, yet one for some ethnicity of lesbian is fine…

    I also agree, the fun with LEGO was always that there was a HUGE pile of them on the floor that we could build whatever we wanted…

  7. Gender roles dont actually appear until you make them.

    We played with our sister with legos our whole childhood, making everything from a house to spaceships depending on what we wanted to design. who cares who made what it was all that you made something.

    I miss lego’s i need to find a place to get some cheaply

  8. I don’t really know what to think about this. Like others have said, the specialization pieces have flooded the market and while I still (adjusts onion on belt) find them unnecessary, I don’t feel that this set is any different than say a pink Jar Jar lol. It is sad that they have to be labeled as such so that parents know it is OK to buy these for a girl. What about the LBGT community or the fact that most LEGOnians are yellow? How are the rest of us supposed to play with these legos lmao? In all seriousness, it sounds like a bad idea to gender these, but less stupid girls are always a good thing too. I would definitely take these ANY DAY over getting a kid farmville points or some other ridiculous crap. Best of luck to all the parents out there :)

  9. [Aerhart] = [Earhart]

    Aside from that… I think debating gender roles is kind of foolish when talking about a creativity toy like LEGO.

    Seriously, it’s up to the builder what they build. Sure… the new miniset I got for my 7th Birthday came with a set of assembly instructions, but those instructions got used once then the pieces got dumped into the BigBox and was nothing more than imagination fodder from there on out.

    This is what happens when adults over-think a child’s toy.

  10. I just pirated a few Lego bricks by making a silicone mold and using a 2part resin…

    …why? I ran out of long brick for making mold walls >_> i ended up discarding them though. But fun little side-project anyway.

  11. I was checking out a junk catalog from toy-r-us that came in the mail the other day. I looked for a LEGO set for my girls and they were located in the “boys” section of the catalog. I then found one set in the “girls” and it came pre-assembled. Seriously. A LEGO set that comes already assembled.

  12. As a previous commenter already noted one of the sets in the friends rages is “Olivia’s Inventor’s Workshop”. I would say this definitely isn’t stuck in “the same old gender roles”.

    The point is choice and expanding the options available to children regardless of their gender. If there’s a little girl who likes puppys and ponys then thats fine there’s a set for that but if they like cars and planes that’s fine too there’s a set for that or if they like both then that’s great because the sets are compatible.

    Before LEGO introduced the friends range there was a hole in the toy market for building toys which accommodate for children who wanted to play with building toys but also liked toys such as barbie, my little pony and so forth. The majority of the children who play with these toys are girls, you could debate all day about how these are forced upon them by society but fact is there is a substantial number of children out there that fit this “template” as it were. By introducing a toy which appeals to these children but also provides the building experience of LEGO the friends range could work as an ice breaker to LEGO. That’s not to say the sets are any easier than any other theme for the same age range as they are not.

    I’d also like to address the comment about “the only option ever presented” in the themes I can think of, off the top of my head, ninja go has a female samurai, hero factory has a badass robot called Natalie Breeze, city provides female police women, there’s both male and female fire fighters in the big modular fire station, so on and so on.

    It seems to me that companies cannot win with issues such as this. If they don’t create a product range aimed at the “girly girl” demographic they are seen to just make boys toys and sexist by excluding girls and if they do then they are conforming to a sexist model of the world.

    Ending rant now…

  13. “When we were kids… legos were completely asexual.”

    Since lego(s) have both male and female connections wouldn’t the be BIsexual or hermaphrodidic? (Anyway just give any kid a pile of legos, you can’t go wrong.)

    1. LEGO Analytical Engine? Would it be steam powered?

      Seriously, that would be an AWESOME set to have, but I am sure a set like would set you back upwards of $300 (US) (~240 Euro).

      I still would like to see it!!!

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