Sunday, January 01 2012 12:00

For the Girls: LEGO Friends arrive in U.S. stores...

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I'd never really considered the fact that most LEGO products were geared towards boys, probably because we're in DUPLO mode here at The Rock Father™ house. Thinking back to my own childhood, my sister and I both played with LEGOs, so my thoughts were always that children of boths sexes loved to build things. Sadly, that hasn't really been the train of thought in the retail sector, and the folks at LEGO are trying to change that with the releases of LEGO Friends, which hit Europe last week, and hit stores here in the U.S. yesterday.

Following a few very non-Lego offerings that LEGO misfired in their attempts to reach girls in the past (branded items that weren't really building sets), LEGO Friends are the result of four years of Global testing that included thousands of young girls and their mothers, and are said to deliver ''on a girl's desire for realistic role-play, creativity, and a highly-detailed, character-based world with the core values of LEGO building.''

"We felt it was time to test assumptions that girls aren't interested in building and to breathe fresh air into a toy category filled mostly with pre-fabricated play experiences for girls," said Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO, LEGO Group. 

"We focused on creating a play experience centered on the joy of creation, while heeding the way girls naturally build and play. We are incredibly proud of the solution we deliver with LEGO Friends, and are resolved to build this platform for years to come."

Personally, I think these look more akin to the DUPLO figures than the standard mini-figures, in that there's a lot of "personality" built into their faces. 

"LEGO Friends is one of the most researched LEGO projects ever and is a culmination of years of anthropological research with girls around the world to understand what they expect from a construction toy," said Nanna Ulrich Gudum, senior creative director, LEGO Group. "In talking with girls and their moms, we understand that girls really want a LEGO offering that mirrors what the boys experience, but in a way that fulfills their unique desire for remodeling and redesign, combined with realistic themes in community and friendship."

"Unlike previous LEGO toys for girls, LEGO Friends, at its core, does not apologize for being a construction toy and delivers, for the first time, a building experience in the same scale as our classic offerings," Nanna Ulrich Gudum continued. "What LEGO Friends does differently is deliver the beauty, details, accessories, real world themes and need for strong interior play that the research revealed would make all the difference for girls ages 5 and up."

14 LEGO Friends sets arrived at retail yesterday, with a total of 23 set to arrive by the end of 2012. Within the sets, 29 of the new "Lego Mini-Doll Figures" will be introduced. From the official press release: Designed to the same scale of the classic LEGO minifigure, the mini-doll figure stands roughly 5 millimeters taller than its minifigure sibling, yet features similar constructability, shares the iconic “claw” hand to hold the same accessories, can wear the same hair and headpieces, and is compatible with all LEGO building sets.


I'm anxious to see what the reaction is when kids start playing with these. I'm kinda digging Andrea's Stagemyself... nice to see some Rock represented in the LEGO Friends world of "Heartlake City," but overall this first batch strikes a lot of the "pink stereotypes" in my mind. Cafe, Pet Show, Beauty Shop, etc. What do all of YOU think?

LEGO Friends can be purchased direct from the official LEGO store.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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