OWTK Toy News & Reviews / Parenting Blog

A Dad Revisits LEGO Friends In Heartlake City

Admittedly, I haven’t kept tabs on the product line since its controversial launch last year. Oh, I’ve spied them on toy store shelves, usually picked over and practically empty toy store shelves, meaning that folks out there are digging ’em, but I have no idea how the Lego Friends collection as a whole has evolved. That is, until just this moment when I accidentally caught a glimpse of a brand new Lego Friends mini-set called Mia Magic Tricks.

It seems as if LEGO has pulled a minifig rabbit out of their corporate hat and a big nasty stick out of my ass, because I like this Magic Tricks set very much and may even consider buying it for the girls to go with their standard tub o’ LEGO’s Santa dropped off last month, and the Batman sets they bought with their own money post-holiday.  Then, in quick succession, I discovered the new Lego Friends Soccer Practice Set and Emma’s Karate Class studio set, complete with a bonsai tree, a sword, and traditional color schemes for that particular discipline (read: no hot pink karategi here.)

Each of these low-price point, sub-100 piece sets focus on a traditionally male dominated activity (with apologies to the USWNT,) and specifically impressive is, in the case of Mia’s Magic Tricks, that the girl character is the tuxedo-sporting magician, NOT the scantily-clad, sexy magician’s assistant. That role can be filled, I’m sure, by a random Bratz doll you may have laying about.

Damn it, I should’ve known those tricky bastards at LEGO would eventually (mini)figure out a way to get a dad like me on board with their Friends collection.  All kidding aside, this is a tremendously good thing, right? This is what we who groaned and growled wanted from LEGO (aside from the non-traditional minifigs included in the Friends sets and maybe a lack of ethnic diversity,) so why don’t I see a shitload of blog posts praising them for getting these sets spot-on? Are we going to complain that Stephanie isn’t her soccer football team’s #10, and find a way to make that seem demeaning? I seriously hope not.

Well done, LEGO, well done indeed.

I’m going to be meeting with the LEGO folks in NYC at Toy Fair in a couple of weeks, and will, without a doubt, inquire about these new sets as a possible foreshadowing of the future of the Friends line. And then, because I love you, I’ll report back my findings. Stay tuned, toy lovers!

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