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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Online Lego Options Prevent You From Choosing A Girl’s Name


To me, Legos have always been a great gender neutral toy. Even though their franchise sets may be marketed toward one specifically, they’re usually a safe bet if you’re looking for a gift for a young child. Well now, an online template for their new Hero Recon line is stirring a bit of controversy thanks to a gender-biased naming list. 

According to Parenting Central, Hero Recon is “the successor to the company’s successful Bionicle line of futuristic robot creatures, features an online template for customers to build a custom creature, adding armour and accessories. Created as part of Lego’s DesignbyMe initiative, the toy can be ordered or used in online games on the Lego site once completed.”

The website gives you a choice of 22 names to give your creation but unfortunately all of them are boys’ names. Disappointing for fans but even weirder when you consider what Michael McNally, brand relations director for Lego, told the Star . “As one of the most prominently featured heroes in the (Hero Factory) storyline, Breez, is female, it was a miss to not include girls’ names in the options for Hero Recon Team,” he said also adding that they are looking for a quick fix.

Writing to Lego, a fan received this statement in response:

The members of LEGO Hero Recon currently can’t be given a girl’s name. We’re looking into making sure that we get this changed as quickly as possible though! We don’t want to make anyone think that there aren’t girl Hero Recon team members. This was an oversight that we will be looking at fixing. Please accept our apologies.

Although it concerns me that no one thought of this before letting the customization website go live, it’s nice to see that Lego is quick to respond and adjust their settings.

Not everyone is so forgiving though. Marcia MacQuarrie, editor of The Noise on Toys consumer guide, said, “With only 22 name choices, it’s not terribly personalized personalization. The thing is there are a lot of girls that like these types of toys and they are not really recognizing that.” Parent Central said she also added, “It is clear that the idea is to appeal to boys with this particular product and online environment.”

You may think the easy answer is to give consumers complete naming freedom but companies are reluctant to do so thanks to some troublemakers. “The controls are designed to protect the brand, as inevitably some people will try to use foul language,” wrote PC. “In the case of the Lego Hero Builder tool, the user-generated creations are placed in an online gallery, meaning some precautions are needed to ensure the names are not insulting or derogatory.”

Either way, strange move Lego. Fix it soon, please.

(via Parent Central)

TAGS:


  • http://twitter.com/StephanieWarthe Stephanie Warthe

    Facepalm.

  • Anonymous

    *sigh*

  • http://twitter.com/CrymSin Crymsin

    I just jumped over to the site and it appears that the issue is already taken care of. female names have already been added.

  • Lisa Jonte

    While I appreciate that they addressed the problem so quickly, safe, pre-gen name lists are a common enough thing in gaming these days that Lego has no excuse.  This was a rookie mistake.  

  • Arakiba

    F*cking ridiculous.

  • http://melancholywise.tumblr.com/ Sophie

    I sometimes wonder if creators just forget that women exist.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, oh!  Europeans are going to admonish you for making Lego plural by adding an “s” (they do this on every thread about Lego).  LegoS!  Ha haha.

  • Anonymous

    Not surprising. I attended a speech by a lego-designer who flat out admitted that currently they only marketed towards boys (in my head I corrected it to: only marketed towards parents with a very stereotypical gender view of what their penis-having children should like) I cannot for the life of me imagine why they don’t branch out. They don’t even have to change their product line! Just slap a girl on the cover, on the website, include female names etc and voila: market share potential doubled.

  • http://twitter.com/Super_Widget Joanna

    Cos marketing to girls would involve changing all their Lego pink.  Duh!

  • Life Lessons

    *RASPBERRY*

  • http://wpmututorials.com Andrea_R

    As a mom of a HUGE Lego fan who also happens to be a girl*, this is… not good. Like EPIC not god, especially for a company that started as gender neutral (vintage lego ads from last week, anyone?) and is now marketing pink girly lego sets.

    C’mon. knock it off already.

    (* My daughter complained that the Lego aisle in our local box store called it “Boy’s Toys” Oh heck yes she found a clerk before I knew what she was up to.)

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Raspberry-pink? ;)

  • http://twitter.com/urbansuburbia Marie

    Your daughter is awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/UnapologyGeek TheUnapologeticGeek

    Lego still has another problem on their docket: girl themed lego? really? http://tinyurl.com/18r