Toys for girls or girls for toys?
The news has leaked that in January 2012 Lego plans to release new line of toys for girls. The announcement says this is to follow the long period of producing almost solely “boy toys”, hinting at girls not being interested in ninjas, trucks, rockets, ships etc and can only identify with toys that are pink and wear skirts and make up.
Lego's effort to create what they call girl-centric toys resulted in five teen and pre-teen characters that have been in development for the last 4 years and are said to be “designed to optimize young girls' play preferences.” I guess it didn't come to their minds that the fact that young girls are showered with pink doll toys while being constantly reminded that this is what they are supposed to like and play with, hardly makes it their preference. It does however make it a preference of the society they live in and partly also a preference of their parents/carers.
The five figures include animal-lover, beautician, singer, social butterfly and a smart girl. There is no additional explanation why only one of 5 Lego girl characters is smart. As I understand toys are not only playing device but also a device that is supposed to help the child to develop their imagination and creativity. Lego’s are definitely a good didactic toy for children in general. What I can't help wondering though is how a mini skirt, make-uped pink lego girl figures will in any way help young girls to develop a positive self-image better than if they wore no make up and jeans and were just smart and adventurous?
Chief Executive Officer of Lego Group- Jørgen Vig Knudstorp said they want to reach the other 50 percent of the world’s children, meaning of course girls. But to me it seems more that they want to reach the other 50 percent of parents pockets. Hinting at doing this for the interest of the girls is a pure hypocritical claim. I don't think girls interest really lies in increasing Lego's profit and market share and helping them financing and raising future consumers and supporters of cosmetic and fashion industry.Continued on the next page