Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

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Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby Insert_blank » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:07 am

Natayla I'm wondering how you feel about the Friends line as a woman and as an awesome builder? A lot of my friends have been giving me shit about Lego recently because of the Friends line. Does it limit girls in any way or force them into domestic settings?
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Re: Set Review: Apple Tree House #5891

Postby Gungnir » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:27 am

Insert_blank wrote:Natayla I'm wondering how you feel about the Friends line as a woman and as an awesome builder? A lot of my friends have been giving me shit about Lego recently because of the Friends line. Does it limit girls in any way or force them into domestic settings?

They have a lot of the Friends sets on display at Brickforge's shop in Yellow Springs. We all generally agreed at the LUG meeting that they're great for getting parts in rarer colors.
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Re: Set Review: Apple Tree House #5891

Postby Insert_blank » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:45 am

I can expound a little bit. I have many friends who are involved/interested/identify with some radical (I use this word to represent how far from the "norm" they are not anything violent or bad) feminist/queer ideas. Mostly dealing with destroying assumptions based on a gender binary and also attacking anything that lends itself to promoting gender sterotypes and brainwashing kids into being "a boy" or "a girl" based on biology, not mentality.

Anyway they all hate Lego now because of the Friends line (no one knows about Belville or any of the many, many other attempts Lego made) and are telling me that Lego is an evil empire based around this one theme. Mostly because the micro dolls and everything being pastel colored.

My argument has always been you can buy whatever you want and anyway it's Lego so you can build whatever you want anyway, it isn't a doll house.
When I saw Natayla's builds I thought "Oh cool! She made the house a little bit better and then added a giant robot." The point of Lego is to use your imagination. That means, to me, we can build a nice house and then let the micro dolls fight minifigs for dominance or have giant robots or clone troopers running around in it. The two aren't exclusive and maybe brothers and sisters can play together with Lego which must be a good thing, right?
Sorry for the tldr/thread-jack
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Re: Set Review: Apple Tree House #5891

Postby stubby » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:30 am

I can't remember if I've given my Friends opinion on the forums yet, seems like I've been yapping about it all over the rest of the internet - but what the hell is up with the feminist outrage here. We put out a line with a girl in a robotics lab, a girl tearing around on an ATV, a girl running her own design studio, etc. etc. etc., and people are complaining that it's stereotyped? Just because it's got some pink in it? It has a freaking robotics lab!

How many "boy" sets have a robotics lab? Or any non-combat roles for male characters? Where was all their moral outrage about gender stereotyping those? The Friends line is the least gender-stereotyped playtheme that Lego has done in years. People who start knee-jerk frothing at the mouth in a Pavlovian response to the color pink need to be kicked out of the feminists club.
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Re: Set Review: Apple Tree House #5891

Postby Tzan » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:36 am

Wait... you've been cheating on us with other forums? :cry:
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Re: Set Review: Apple Tree House #5891

Postby stubby » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:47 am

What did you think I was doing with my spare time? Updating rulebooks or something?

Anyway:
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AND FURTHERMORE

Anyone who tells you that a robotics lab is gender-stereotyped because "only girls like pink and lavender" is gender stereotyping.
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Re: Set Review: Apple Tree House #5891

Postby Tzan » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:14 am

Nice PinkBot would look 100% better with rabbit ears.
Are those nipple gunz?
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Re: Set Review: Apple Tree House #5891

Postby Zupponn » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:03 pm

:666: ?
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Re: Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby Arkbrik » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:34 am

Friends feels to me like Lego is trying to do a My Little penis equivalent but failing at it. "Look we make girly things cool they have robotics now" but they should have used real figs and not just some new breed of peaches. On the gender stereotyping front, it gives a "make me sandwich" vibe when all the productive (robotics engineer, fashion designer, sandwich maker) jobs are taken by girls while boys chill around shooting things. Well, like Stubby said, we should really be raging at all Lego lines.
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Re: Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby Natalya » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:39 am

First of all, they aren't Lego Friends. They are Fiends. Don't believe me -- see for yourself:

Image

More information on the Fiends can be found here.



With that out of the way, I don't object to the Fiends. Uhh, Lego needed to branch out and attract girls and I think that's fine. On the one hand people might be like "omg they are sexist they just gave them pastel colours" but on the other hand you could be like "omg they are sexist the boys lines are all about 'manly' things like killing aliens or male superheroes fighting villains."

So uhh, really like Lego needs some sort of product line in addition to the Fiends that has like better roleplaying options for boys and girls. I like the creator sets because they are pretty but they aren't hyper-masculinized or hyper-femininized and they're useful. I'd say those are the best in terms of being gender neutral, though Lego should endeavour to include more female minifigs. IRL there are like 51 girls for every 49 boys but that is obviously not the case with Lego. The City line is pretty good but it still focuses on masculine stuff more often than not, such as law enforcement or construction. I guess this is a problem of our culture that jobs get gendered. I'm trying to think of some sort of profession that is equally male and female but I'm having trouble. Maybe Lego could do like a college set or something. That way they could do traditional minifigures for everyone, have equal boys and girls (though I guess there would be more female teachers), and you'd get some cool settings like a robotics lab, a student center, or a university cinema. It would promote education, be family friendly, and allow for girls or boys to explore the different roles of college students.

The obvious differences between the Fiends line and the rest of Lego is the pastel colours and the minifigs. Fiend minifigs can't move their legs which I disapprove of. I was hoping Lego would have made the Fiends more articulated than traditional minifigs, not less. However I do like their mix between being more curvy like an actual human being, yet not being a doll. You can tell that they are Lego. But yeah, too bad they aren't minifg-scale, which is probably going to keep me from buying them. As for the pastel stuff, I think Lego should use more pastel elements in all of their lines. IRL there are pretty colours almost everywhere, except at the strip mine. Those are just shitty.

@Insert_blank:
Uhh, tell your friends that they suck and need to understand that just because the Fiends are more stereotypically girly than other Lego lines doesn't make them sexist. There is something to be said for young girls who are being brought up into our culture not wanting to exclusively do violent or crazy-masculine play such as aliens, monsters, rock mining, etc. True, hard equality between the sexes is likely impossible due to the real physiological differences between men and women (for example, women can't be sperm donors and men can't be surrogate mothers no matter how you slice it unless we are talking about pre-HRT transpeople), but gender egalitarianism is definitely within reach.


Oh and nipple guns are just as dumb as dick guns.
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Re: Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby Bragallot » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:58 am

Maybe Lego could do like a college set or something. That way they could do traditional minifigures for everyone, have equal boys and girls (though I guess there would be more female teachers), and you'd get some cool settings like a robotics lab, a student center, or a university cinema. It would promote education, be family friendly, and allow for girls or boys to explore the different roles of college students.


In that case, people would start complaining about 'nerd' an 'cool guy' stereotypes. Nowadays it's impossible to do anything without getting anyone offended and that's just a load of bull to me, every single person who complains about sexism, racism or any other imaginary -ism when no one's actually getting hurt should receive a troutslap. From a marketing point of view, I think these are a good move for Lego. Otherwise, I couldn't care less even if all the female characters were doing stereotypically woman tasks like ironing, cooking and stuff. What people forget is that a minority is always complaining about stereotypes, while the majority isn't complaining and just fitting into the stereotype and feeling good about themselves regardless.
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Re: Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby stubby » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:31 am

Bragallot wrote:Nowadays it's impossible to do anything without getting anyone offended and that's just a load of bull to me, every single person who complains about sexism, racism or any other imaginary -ism when no one's actually getting hurt should receive a troutslap.

privelege, lol #ThingsWhiteGuysSay


Natalya wrote:The City line is pretty good but it still focuses on masculine stuff more often than not, such as law enforcement or construction. I guess this is a problem of our culture that jobs get gendered.

I don't think construction is a gendered thing as much as it's a LEGO thing. I would guess that anybody who's into LEGO in general, regardless of gender, is also into construction-related stuff in general. It's a direction I wish LEGO would explore more; kids who like LEGO are kids who would also like scenarios based around people who make stuff.

Natalya wrote:I was hoping Lego would have made the Fiends more articulated than traditional minifigs, not less.

Do you remember the old belville figures with their 37 million points of articulation? I remember they were described as the most expensive action figures ever produced. Adding points of articulation at LEGO's specifications for manufacturing quality is hugely expensive, from an engineering standpoint they were really cool but from a cost/benefit standpoint they were a disaster.

Natalya wrote:Oh and nipple guns are just as dumb as dick guns.

Yeah, I'm kind of disappointed that we haven't seen as many of the former as the latter, despite Warhead's diligent contributions to the field. There are whole regions of dumbness yet to be fully explored.
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Re: Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby RunsWithLegos » Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:40 pm

we need a anus missile launcher.
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Re: Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby IVhorseman » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:06 pm

Pube whips.


Honestly I think LEGO could remedy a lot of this gender stuff by simply putting female figures in traditionally male stereotyped roles, and vice versa. There's always going to be LEGO sets about dudes fighting other dudes, because it is bad ass. There will always be construction sets because they are in fact constructable blocks. But if you make the protagonist or whatever of some adventuring set a female with her plucky male sidekick boyfriend who cooks and cleans and always needs rescuing, you're addressing both little girls who want to be awesome as well as boys who like things that are awesome. Awesomeness can be appreciated across gender boundaries.

Speaking of construction and masculinity, when I went to Vancouver there was lots of construction going on, and just about every single construction worker I saw was a hot babe. Canada is a very different place.
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Re: Lego Friends, err, FIENDS

Postby stubby » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:30 pm

IVhorseman wrote:But if you make the protagonist or whatever of some adventuring set a female with her plucky male sidekick boyfriend who cooks and cleans and always needs rescuing, you're addressing both little girls who want to be awesome as well as boys who like things that are awesome. Awesomeness can be appreciated across gender boundaries.

Not by seven-year-olds - you do this and sales drop by half. Little kids are ridiculously gender conscious.

IVhorseman wrote:Speaking of construction and masculinity, when I went to Vancouver there was lots of construction going on, and just about every single construction worker I saw was a hot babe. Canada is a very different place.

Are we talking male babes or female babes? Because Canada is kind of weird.
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