While some toy companies are giving up on long-held preconceptions about gender-specific products, LEGO has gone the other way. Shedding its gender-neutral past, the company now makes toys specifically targeted at either girls or boys. These products have no shortage of critics, but LEGO says it has good reasons for the separate product lines. [More]
If you’ve got a plan to build a life-sized statue of Aaron Rodgers or Jeff Goldblum in your backyard, you’ll no longer have to explain to LEGO why you’re buying so many bricks. The company says it’s reversing its policy on bulk purchases, and won’t ask customers what their intentions are when they buy a bunch of LEGO pieces at once. [More]
Playing with LEGO when I was a kid was great, because my friends and I could build the houses — nay! castles! — of our dreams and fill them with all the things kids want in a dream home (huge pool, ice cream parlor, cat ranch, etc.). There was only one problem: none of the little barrel-headed figurines I had to act out those childhood fantasies looked remotely like me. That is no longer an obstacle to fun times. [More]
Because there aren’t enough Lego bricks out there waiting for you to step on them, yesterday the Internet flipped out over news that the toy company wouldn’t have enough of the plastic pieces to meet demand this holiday season. “Nooooooo!” the masses wailed, “How can anyone be expected to take such an injustice?” Settle down, guys. LEGO says there’s no reason to freak out — at least, if you live in the U.S.
Last year, LEGO made 60 million blocks out of the same plastic material the Danish company has been using since 1963. But the bricks of our childhood could one day be of a different substance, as LEGO has plans to spend a bunch of money figuring out how to develop new sustainable materials to replace plastic.
In yet another example of a company offending a whole lot of people in just a few words, LEGO is apologizing for branding a toy in their online store as a “back-of-the-bus window-licker.” “Window licker” is known as a derogatory term for people diagnosed with learning disabilities.
It’s only been a few weeks since Google launched its YouTube Kids app targeted at the youngest Internet users, and it’s already taking heat from consumer advocates who are asking federal regulators to investigate whether the service’s advertising practices run afoul of the law. [More]
Two years ago, a LEGO Friends salon playset took one of the top dishonors in the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood’s annual “worst products” list. The organization called the set “so jam-packed with condescending stereotypes it would even make Barbie blush.” That spirit lives on in a LEGO Friends magazine spread that made parents angry and–if we’re to believe company representatives–is making LEGO rethink their marketing of the Friends sets. Sort of. [More]
Earlier this year, LEGO introduced a limited-edition set of minifig female scientists along with essential work equipment like a telescope and a dinosaur skeleton. They sold out quickly, and many female fans of LEGO and/or science were disappointed that the set wouldn’t become permanent. Just in time for Christmas, LEGO quietly put the set back up for sale, and they may be available permanently in the company’s retail stores. [More]
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. [More]
Danish toy company LEGO has ditched a deal it had with Shell that allowed the company to hand out toy sets at its gas stations in about 30 countries around the world, after Greenpeace activists launched a campaign against Shell drilling in the Arctic.
Earlier this year, LEGO woke up from its swingin’ ’60s Don Draper haze and realized that women scientists exist and — hey! — maybe it would be a good idea to reflect that reality in its vast line of minifigs. The resulting set — featuring an astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist, all female — went on sale recently and sold out quickly, never to return. But some say LEGO should consider bringing on these female scientists for a full-time gig. [More]
It would seem that all is possible in the mix-and-match world of LEGO, but if anyone wanted to have a female scientist LEGO minifig, you had to build it from the base of a male scientist character. But as a result of widespread support for a proposal from a female geochemist/LEGO fan, the company has come to the realization that a Y chromosome — even a plastic one — is not needed to do science stuff. [More]
Could construction be underway for a new Barbie dream house? Mattel certainly has the building Bloks on hand after announcing plans to takeover a Canadian toy maker. [More]
Want to play with LEGO bricks but you’re at work? Or sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s? Or maybe you just don’t own any LEGO sets anymore. If you’ve got Google Chrome, you could be building virtual, blocky worlds without having to deal with the hassle of cleaning up (or the horror of losing) all those tiny plastic pieces. [More]
If, like me, you were raised on repeated late-night viewings of The Blues Brothers, you are more than familiar with the epic 3-minute scene in which Elwood and Jake lead some Illinois State Police around, in, and through a busy mall, all while cataloging the various things one can buy there (The new Oldsmobiles are in early this year). What better way to commemorate this brilliantly choreographed scene than with a shot-by-shot LEGO remake? [More]
The LEGO figurines are coming, in wave upon wave of little yellow heads, and if the calculations of the physics grad at xkcd.com are correct, they will outnumber human beings right around 2019. Start fortifying your homes now with extra LEGO bricks before the inevitable revolution hits and we’re all forced to fight for our lives. [xkcd.com]