February 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm , by Sue Erneta
I’ve always been a fan of Lego. My rule is build it first with the directions, then take it apart, be creative and rebuild it however you want. And as I wrote about back in this post, I’ve always been surprised and impressed by my daughter’s ability to construct the structure as it was intended and then to be completely creative and come up with something that I never would have dreamed of. It’s that combo that makes Lego such an amazing toy.
Sure, the designs are a little more boy-centric but that has never posed a problem for my girly-girl. She loved playing with Buzz Lightyear in this set or building a helicopter with this set. So, when I started hearing about Lego’s new girl-centric toys, I was perplexed. Why do we need those? And I wasn’t the only one confused. There were lots of people buzzing about traditional gender roles.
So when a Lego publicist offered me a set of the new Lego Friends collection to try with my kids, I was thrilled. Was this the original Lego we loved? Or an over-the-top pinkified version? We received Olivia’s Tree House and took it with us on vacation. You could see the differences right away – lots of pink and purple plus more characters: a brunette named Olivia and her pet cat and bird. The reason: the Lego folks found through research that while boys like to build structures, girls like to build environments and play within them. And play we did! Those pieces were reconstructed day after day. Olivia herself even joined us for dinner a few times. And when Sophia’s interest in the tree house momentarily waned because “it doesn’t have a disco ball”, we remedied that situation with a ball of tin foil and a piece of a broken bracelet. (See picture.)
Bottom line: Did my girly-girl like Olivia’s Tree House? Yes! But she also loves every other Lego set she’s ever played with. Now that we’re back home from vacation, I can’t wait for Olivia and her pets to meet Buzz Lightyear and Woody. They’re going to have a blast together.
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