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.