When I was a kid, I loved Lego. Wait. What am I saying? I still do. Anyway, I loved it so much that when my aunt asked me what I wanted for my birthday one year, I told her I wanted Lego. Specifically, what I desperately wanted was the Lego Space Set, but I didn’t tell her that. When my birthday arrived and I opened my present, I was somewhat disheartened to discover that she had gotten me a Lego House Set. The reason, she said, was because all the other sets were too “boyish”. I was crushed, but I hid my disappointment and thanked her for the gift. How could she have known that I wanted the boys’ toys?
You see, I was not your typical girl. I played sword fighting with the boys, I read super hero comic books, and I felt extremely frustrated when the boys refused to let me play Dungeons and Dragons or to follow them on a bike as they rode around the neighbourhood. In their eyes, I was just a girl and they didn’t want to have to look after me, but I dare say I was as tough as any of them and could have held my own if need be.
I digress… It didn’t matter to me whether the Lego characters were male or female because the way I played it, two bricks stuck together made a character. I never needed the validation of female Lego minifigures to tell me whether Lego was a toy I could or could not play with. Nevertheless, Lego felt they weren’t reaching the girls so they came up with that really girlie Lego series – Lego Friends.
This series, I thought, was a step backwards and I am inclined to agree with 7 year old Charlotte – Lego for girls is boring! “All the girls did was sit at home, go to bed, and shop” – how fun is that? At least Lego in the 80’s wasn’t gender specific – even if my aunt thought Lego Space was more suitable for boys – there was nothing to indicate that the set was intended for boys. But since they’d stuck a foot in the mouth with Lego Friends, I’m glad to see that they are finally making up for it with their first female scientist minifigure:
And there are more coming, too – check it out:
Hopefully, we can now go back to gender neutral boxes that don’t alienate either sex – not that anything would stop me from playing with this: