’70s LEGO Flyer Reminds Everyone Toy Used To Be Gender-Neutral

LEGO is one toy that is, in theory, gender-neutral. They’re just blocks, decals, and figurines. Yet toys today tend to be highly gender-segregated, even when they’re items that don’t necessarily have to be. Usually, we don’t think of the past as more enlightened, but in the case of LEGO, it’s striking how different their marketing in the ’70s was compared to today.

lego_to_parents

Here’s a transcript:

To parents

The urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls.
It’s imagination that counts. Not skill. You build whatever comes into your head, the way you want it. A bed or a truck. A dolls house or a spaceship.
A lot of boys like dolls houses. They’re more human than spaceships.
A lot of girls prefer spaceships. They’re more exciting than dolls houses.
The most important thing is to put the right material in their hands and let them create whatever appeals to them.

While some viewers on Reddit where the document was originally shared were skeptical that the letter was real, citing font differences and the company’s logo, the company confirmed earlier today that the letter is authentic. In a statement published by TechDigest, a Lego spokesperson explained that at its core, the company’s message remains the same.

The text remains relevant to this day – our focus has always been, and remains to bring creative play experiences to all children in the world, based on the LEGO brick and the LEGO system – ultimately enabling children to build and create whatever they can imagine.

While some people have been critical of the character-based LEGO Friends product line aimed at the pink side of the toy department, the context of the flyer addressed to parents is important: it was apparently included with a LEGO dollhouse set. We don’t know whether it was meant for the parents of girls as an invitation to buy more LEGO sets, or for the parents of boys to reassure them that a dollhouse is a fine toy for boys to play with.

70s Lego had the right idea [Reddit]