As a child, Legos were the best tools for creativity. They allowed me to fly high in the sky in my B-52 plane or escape to the Swiss Alps in my luxury cabin on the mountain side. They gave me the literal building blocks to create anything I wanted, and at times, would play war and peace between my brother and I.
Not only did Legos ingeniously allow rectangular square blocks to aspire young creatives to build, question, seek, and create, they also are gender and age inclusive. Anyone can play with Legos–from the young to the old, the hippie to the punk–they are fun and inventive; they are also educational. From colleges to grade schools across the U.S, teachers are using Legos with students in constructing and programing robots to solve various problems. This includes agricultural problems to solving math solutions. Lego has also created an education starter by teaching “educate to innovate” (www.legoeducation.com).
So Legos have been pretty great…
Then they released the Lego Friends product.
Olivia, seen to the right, is studying quantum physics with her robot pal while juggling her studies and being a sophisticated girl who can only be calmed for her love of science….or better yet Lego is trying to keep their same brand ideals but marketing more blatantly and loudly towards girls. What was once gender inclusive is now targeting small girls who might be “a little too girly” for the Lego world.
What gives Lego?
As girl myself, I grew up playing with Legos, and as much of a tomboy that I was, I still played house with my pretend Lego family (it was way better and cheaper then a doll house). Lego is carefully walking a thin line that could easily topple them into loosing their credible brand. Continuing down the path of gender-typed toys might eventually push their loyal customer base and lose those who deem themselves, brand loyal. I personally think it was a nice try and I get what they were trying to go, but let’s face it, the original Legos are for everyone. What they should be doing is producing more of the buckets containing the basic blocks and less construct kits. Those were the best and gave you creative freedom!