LEGO®, well-known plastic block and toy maker, recently launched LEGO Friends — a new and, it turns out, somewhat controversial line of toys.
As an initiative put together simply to market to young girls (because their current market includes mostly young boys, and as CEO Jorgan Vig Knudstorp was quoted as saying, “We want to reach the other 50 percent of the world’s population”), the line includes a lot of pink and pastel colours. There are five female dolls offered now too, along with buildings such as a beauty salon and a fashion design studio. There’s even a “splash pool” that appears to be a hot tub.
Some parents are up in arms over the entire line of toys, claiming that it is full of gender stereotyping. Stephanie Cole says in an article on Patch.com, ” … if you keep on excluding [girls] from your marketing vision, soon they will start to believe that they would rather have hot tubs and little plastic boobs.”
We’re sure she doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with hot tubs, even though there is something wrong with gender stereotyping — whether or not you believe LEGO means to stereotype.
Regardless of the cause, perhaps it’s why this LEGO advertisement from 1973 has started making the rounds on the Internet recently:
Do hot tubs belong in LEGO play sets? We don’t see anything wrong with little girls AND boys having a toy hot tub — as long as kids are safe and supervised when in the real thing!