Lego Duplo on wheels

duplo-peuter-bouwen-en-rijden-10554_I have two boys who have made me the most amazing creations with Lego. They’d rather not do that with their bony knees on the hard wooden floor in the living room, so often I put the coffee table aside so the container with Lego, which grew bigger and bigger after every birthday, could be overturn on the soft carpet in our sitting area. From the big pile of Lego blocks, wheels and figures they would make beautiful creations, from space ships to drag racers to pea fabrics! I find it great toys, good for their motor skills and their spatial awareness. In my opinion it is a shame that there are more and more pre-made packages on the market; fun to build with the step1 to step 20, 50 and even 100 steps, but it leaves no space for the children’s imagination. In my opinion you can never start too early with encouraging their imagination, and that also counts for girls! And now Lego come with a new series for toddlers: Duplo on wheels! It is a combination of building and rolling, so especially fun if your toddler starts walking.

Say no to pink girl’s toys from Lego

lego friends babystufLego doesn’t mean harm, but the new Lego Friends products for girls have had a feisty negative reference from the American feministic movement Spark. Sexist and stereotyped is how Spark described these toys. There was even a petition signed by 55.000 people in the United States against these products. There is especially a lot of resistance towards the pink and purple shades and the stereotype settings, like a little kitchen, a beach chair with parasol, a beauty spa and a perfume laboratory. The curving on the Lego dolls, including the breasts, are especially not appreciated. Girls comment by email and social media, stating they also like Star Wars and Harry Potter, want to be creative and love the stories about bad and evil. We have been told a four-year study was conducted on the matter…

Lego seems to be trapped in a classical marketing mistake: put some pink in the mix and it will appeal to all girls and women. According to Marianne van Leeuwen  (author of the book: ‘Mag het iets minder roze’) taught me this spring already that feminizing an existing product is doomed to be a failure most of the time. Of course girls play in a different way, but the researchers of such a big label should have taken into consideration the social desires. And people start to get sick of that pink image related to girls and women. There is also another action group in England, just like Spark: Pinkstinks. Their demonstration has resulted that the big toys chain Hamleys stopped differentiating their segments into boys and girls. It would be nice if also Dutch stores like Bart Smit and Intertoys start questioning the lay-out of their stores: no longer separated by gender, but by types of toys!