Hallabolou & You

Fun for you and your Family.

Shock and Awe

on February 7, 2012

by Vanessa Boson, Founder of Hallabolou

As a previous Early Childhood Educator (ECE), for 19 years, and Founder of Hallabolou (provider of enrichment programs for ECE and school age children), I am saddened to hear of a petition (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/15/lego-friends-girls-gender-toy-marketing_n_1206293.html)  to have Lego be gender neutral in its marketing and to only produce gender neutral toys.  This petition could cause thousands of girls to miss the opportunity to engage in playing with Lego which provides spatial and engineering skills to children of all ages.  It is an unfortunate fact that the traditional LEGO sets appeal more to boys than girls. That coupled with the engineering fundamentals trained when playing with LEGO’s and the lower rate of women in our nations engineering schools leads me personally to believe that we need to encourage our children, and especially girls, to play with LEGO’s.  If girls get involved with engineering in some part because they are introduced to LEGO bricks through LEGO FRIENDS the outcome can only be positive.  I believe that we can show girls and boys the beauty and excitement of engineering brick by brick with the help of LEGO’s.

Lego has hit upon a way to bring more girls into the fold.  This is all about Girl Power!  Girls building and owning their own cafe or pet store.  This is about empowering all of our children (boys and girls) to have high aspirations and to achieve their goals.  We are thrilled that Lego Friends has enabled many more children to find the way to connect with Legos.  The marketplace, predominantly girls, will decide if LEGO FRIENDS is something worth buying and playing with. I don’t think that anyone should tell me or my kids what is right or appropriate to play with and I think this petition does just that.

The difference between these two photos?


about 30 years.  What was available to play with then and the massive amounts to choose from today require totally different marketing strategies.  The same girl who build this set asked to go and buy more.  What did we find at the store?

What else does this young girl enjoy doing?

Playing in the dirt at monster truck rallies.

Hallabolou SUPPORTS LEGO Friends… Way to LEGO!


5 responses to “Shock and Awe

  1. Jo Shaban says:

    Way to go Hallabolou! LEGO’s are an amazing tool to use for all ages. They are an integral part of my Early Education Centre and a big part of our program. Children should have the right to choose what type, colour, style of LEGO they want to play with. LEGO Friends prove just as popular amongst our boys as girls. Our children mix ‘traditional’ LEGO’s with LEGO Friends. What is wrong with that?? Our children are learning about the world around them, through hands on, practical experiences. Making their own choices – please don’t take that away from them! Adults butt out!
    Jo Bright Beginnings Nursery Abu Dhabi UAE

  2. Well, let me disagree. The probem is not that they now have a line of products targeting small girls, the problem is that their products are now clearly targeting defined groups of consumers with a lot of special parts etc.
    The Lego I grew up with and played a lot with were just pieces of lego. Not a spacecraft, not a pet store etc. What is done now is that adults (yes, you and me) are killing kids imagination by telling them what to do and what to think. Lego was one of those things were your imagination could run free and you could create all sorts of things.
    My kids (a girl and a boy) play a lot with my old Lego letting their imagination run free and thei specialized pieces from their new spaceships and pet stores are not used any more..

    • LegoMyMamma says:

      Hi Ola:

      What you have to realize is that Friends is building a bridge to those girls who may not currently play with LEGO bricks. This new theme hopes to interest girls who like toys such as Polly Pockets. Getting those girls to also build their playsets with their imaginations is a good thing! More girls building and gaining science, technology, engineering & math skills through brick manipulation is a gain for humanity!

      It’s just one more option to the LEGO lineup — there will always be brick buckets, so if your daughter doesn’t want them, pass on by. Just don’t deny those who do like them.

      Also, many fans *do* enjoy using those “specialized” pieces in very creative ways 🙂

  3. Karin Meenan says:

    The Lego brand of today and the one that many of us had growing up (1970’s for me) are completely different. Why you might ask? Todays generation of Lego has a massive amount of competition. You have computers, the internet, in addition to hand held electronic games. If Lego did nothing and stagnated the company would go the way Lincoln Logs have. Sure, everyone enjoys Lincoln Logs, but the demand isn’t very high for them. If Lego hadn’t evolved it would have gone the same way the Logs have.

    One of Lego’s biggest moves was to bring in Star Wars, a movie phenomena loved by boys and girls alike. In doing so, many feel they sold out. In reality they saved their own company from failing. They are doing it again with the friends sets. Many will disagree with what Lego has done and while I can understand their opinions, I feel that targeting girls to get them more interested in building and engineering at a young age leads to more possibilities for their future. The protest is more that they feel that the marketing is too sexy.

    The United States of America has always been about free choice. The choice of religious freedom as well as freedom of speech. This also applies to the freedom of what your children is exposed to. The best way to fight what you feel is inappropriate marketing is to not purchase the product and to tell the company why. It’s not to push your ideals onto others. Turn off the TV, go play outside. Oh and don’t forget to Play Well. (Lego is an abbreviation of 2 words that mean play well)

  4. Stefan Jacobsen says:

    To all the critics, the day you demand brooms,kitchen equipment, and flowers in the Star Wars, Ninjago, etc. sets, ill take you serious. And to Ola, my girls play with my old lego too, putting together their granddads bricks, with mine and their new friends bricks. Guess if their imaginations explodes with the Classic Space and friends together!

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