Toys Get Sex Change: LEGO “Girl Toys” Sell Big

    February 28, 2013
    Sean Patterson
    Comments are off for this post.

LEGO seems to have accomplished what even the company itself had not thought possible. The company, known for its Star Wars and super hero toy sets, has created a brand specifically aimed at attracting young girls – and sales have exceded expectations.

The play sets, branded as “LEGO Friends,” star a group of named girls (Mia, Emma, Andrea, Stephanie, and Olivia) who live in a highly pink-themed world and interact with animal friends and each other. It’s Barbie-like, but with a definite LEGO aesthetic. One set in particular, called “Olivia’s House,” became LEGO’s best-selling set last year.

“We entered 2012 with high expectations for LEGO Friends but also with a lot of anxiety as we have historically never been very successful attracting girls to our play offers,” said Mads Nipper, CMO of LEGO. “That is why it has been amazing to experience the enthusiastic welcome, which consumers have given the new range, as well as know that we through LEGO Friends have managed to introduce LEGO play to millions of girls who had never received a LEGO product before.”

LEGO reported that demand for LEGO Friends sets was so high that the company had trouble shipping enough of the products. This is despite LEGO doubling the production for LEGO Friends sets last year.

LEGO stated that the Friends product line was developed over four years with the help of over 3,500 girls and mothers. The goal was to learn why girls had not, in the past, been compelled to play with modern LEGOs.

“The girls we talked to let us understand that they really wanted a LEGO offering that mirrors what the boys experience, but in a way that fulfills their unique desire for redesign and details and combined with realistic themes in community and friendship,” said Nanna Gundum, LEGO VP in charge of LEGO Friends development.

  • Le Neville

    I wish LEGO would bring back their Fabuland set. I played with these as a kid and still have my sets. Me, my friends, my sister and her friends LOVED them. They were so cute. Definitely could compete today with other toys like Littlest Pet Shop,etc.

    • fey

      I grew up with Lego in the 70s/80s and we had “GIRLIE” Lego. Hairsalon, some jewelry lego (that i always saw in the catalog but was never lucky enough to get) and Fabuland…..

      I hope they do revive some of their older girl oriented Legos like Fabuland…..


  • http://www.diaxsrake.de Joerg

    Yay for strong gender roles! Women wear pink and bake cakes! Let them know their place as soon as they learn to crawl!


  • http://nexdor.cum kim smith higashi

    So you’re saying the dolls are all transgender?

  • http://nexdor.cum kim smith higashi

    I’m naked

  • gwalhaved

    Why do they always have to live in a pink house! Seriously, this was long overdo.

  • Linda

    Sean, grow up. Your title is offensive by making Lego’s sexual. Shameful. Title of article should say something about “inclusion” or “appeal to”. I picture you watching “Toddlers and Tiaras” picking out your next date.

    While I was never a “girly girl” I played with trucks and Barbie dolls. Thank you, Lego, for NOT trying to gender-neutrify society like so many other companies.

    • Lb


      Its not about trying to gender-neutrify society. Do you think its good to tell my son he can be a firefighter, astronaut, engineer, etc. and that my daughter can be a vet or run a salon? Come on. Its about not pidgeon holing genders…


  • steven

    seems to me that the company merely added products and lines. i’m not exactly sure the representation of a toy’s gender modification is remotely accurate.

  • Mary

    What happened to the basic Legos where you could design anything you could imagine. Now it is all specific sets. It limits the imagination.

    • metalgarth

      You can still buy a basic, non kit, non gender Lego set. I bought one for my boy last Christmas. You may have to get it from Amazon.com or wait until Christmas to get one.

    • Will

      Actual Mary, I work for Lego retail stores, and they sell many of the old basic bricks sets. In 3 different size tubs, 2 different types of boxes, and at Lego Stores we have our Pick-A-Brick wall where kids can pick out whatever bricks they want which come in many shapes, sizes, and colors.

      Lego has not forgotten its roots. But like with any product, you must move forward. Imagine what life would be like if we still had 80’s cell phones.

  • Christina

    I agree with Mary. Why can’t we just have basic legos anymore where kids can build anything they want? Why does everything have to be a set? Not only that, but now we have to have “Gender-specific” sets. It’s silly.

    • Lelayna

      I agree it is silly. When I was a kid I had legos and barbies. If I was in the mood to be creative I played with legos, if I was in the mood for barbies I played barbies. I never once thought of my legos as not being for girls. It’s just stupid.