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Studs Comic #1

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Studs Comic #1

Postby Staff » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:37 am

Assuming you haven't been living under a rock, there's a new LEGO theme for 2012 called LEGO Friends. It doesn't take rocket surgery to see that it's squarely aimed at girls. BusinessWeek did a rather lengthy article introducing the line a few weeks ago. LEGO says they're targeting "the other 50%", which is another way to say that their marketing efforts were targeting boys all along. So what do they do? The introduce new colors, design a new minifig to look more like miniature dolls and put it all together into a new theme. And this seems to be the point of contention that's got a Brooklyn woman in a huff enough to start a petition. The anti-Friends position claims that the new figures in the Friends line are "sexualizing" the minifigs by making the figures curvier and giving them breasts.

Really? Do the figures look like they have breasts:

Friends - 3061_009_CAFE_BACK_Serving_Cake

OKay, so they do. But I don't understand what the big deal is. Girls have breasts. Is this some sort of secret that we're trying to keep from them?

Other than the whole breast issue, there's whole slew of arguments against the Friends line, like how the sets are promoting gender stereotypes. Sets like 3315 Olivia's House certainly isn't helping LEGO with that image. Despite that, the Friends sets are actually quite tame compared to other toy lines marketed towards girls like Bratz and Barbie dolls. I just don't think the onus should entirely be on LEGO to break those stereotypes. They're just a toy company making a toy for girls. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Or buy it anyway and encourage your child to think outside the box and build something else with the pieces.

What does any of this have to do with FBTB or licensed themes? Nothing. It's not exactly how we planned on launching our new comic strip called STUDS but all the controversy made it easy to come up with a joke. We'll start our regular storyline next Wednesday.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby onions » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:47 am

Damp Noodle
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Robzula » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:51 am

Is the placement of the word bubble in the last panel intentional or is that a happy accident?
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby dhaas06 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:27 am

Sounds like fun, looking forward to it!
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Boyfromvalley » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:51 am

You ask me the female figures from the “Character Building Doctor Who” line have more realistic looking breasts than these figures do.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby JD4M » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:57 am

There is a babrie doll that says "Math class is hard." LEGO has a girl who built a robot and is doing trig in her lab. I think we know who the lesser offender is here.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Walter Boy » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:10 am

Who drew the strip? I can't seem to find a signature, and the artwork is solid. Was it Greg or Mike, perhaps?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what hilarious jokes you guys come up with. :D
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby lego-maniac » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:41 am

Hilarious !
Waiting for more !
Technical question : how do you make this ?
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Crusader » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:33 am

First off--excellent comic, keep them coming.

Second as father of two boys (ages 10 & 7) and one girl (age 4), I was very happy about this new line. Despite trying to collect as many sets with minifigs that might interest my daughter, I had pretty much conceded that Lego would never be as big to my little girl as it is to my sons. My daughter likes Legos and she is always happy to play with a Princess Leia or one of the Castle princesses, but until this line came out Lego could not compete with the aisles of pink toys that clearly drew my daughter in.

The new girl figs aren't as cute as minifigs in my opinion, but Lego wisely wasn't interested in my opinion. My daughter saw these sets in the newest catalog and she wants them. I can happily look forward to building with my daughter for years to come.
"He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative." - G.K. Chesterton
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Iare Tosevite » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:51 am

A whole lot of funny. :)
Where, where, where is correct way out?
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Rook » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:03 pm

Lego should just make a Theme called Science Class, Anatomy and Physiology, or Real World (not the TV show) and have all minifigures anatomically correct.

Including figures like:

Junk'n'Trunk Judy
War Vet Victor (with prosthetic limbs)
Top Heavy Tiffany
Natural Natalie
Ladies Man Pedro (with power functions)
Lean Linda
Steroid Steve
Circumcised Joshua
1000 lbs. George
Un-bathed Homeless Man Henry (with scratch and stink)
Meth Addict Marvin

Extremists would crap themselves.

“Oh no we can’t use toys to teach children about the real world. Let’s hide everything and pretend we’re all exactly the same!”

^This seems to be one of the worst ideas society/mankind (yeah I said MANkind shoot me) ever had. Rather than hiding our differences, we should be embracing them. We are not all “created equal” (equal legal rights yes). We are each unique, with unique talents, interests, and ideals. The sooner we start embracing REALISM as a species I think the better off we’ll all be in the long run.

Don’t get me wrong fantasy and sci-fi has its place. I loved the fleshes Lego did. I know a lot of people hated them but it was to true to the species. We are not homogenic. Why should our recreation/hobby/toys be.

Why can’t our female representative toys have breasts.
Yea, though I walk through the valley...
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby ufjason » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:50 pm

The petition "Tell LEGO to stop selling out girls!" is ridiculous. So what if the LEGO company has released a new line targeting girls. What infuriates me is this statement “Narrow stereotypes associated with pink and blue simply box kids in from an early age. But, raising healthy girls and boys is all about creating a wide range of possibilities and options for our children."

Basically, their research says girls and moms would buy more of their product if they made sets that appeal to them. Lego already has a wide variety of sets. They are not limiting other themes and are simply offering another option. This petition is ridiculous. We are all consumers and are not forced to buy anything we don't want for ourselves or our children. These morons do not have to buy these toys if they feel they reinforce a negative stereotype. In addition, I find the original petition poster ignorant as she has not done any research in to the particular sets that LEGO has created for the line. Lego has seen fit to give us black, white and Asian figures which represents three ethnicity types. Let's look at a few:

Olivia's tree house: How many girls have tree houses? Isn't this traditionally a boy thing to have. Well, that's one down!

Heartlake Vet: Hmm, I guess Lego thinks girls can be Vets, a very respectable profession.

Andrea's stage: I see a piano there and a stage. I guess the petitioner doesn't think girls like to sing or play instruments.

Emma's Design Studio: Lots of girls love fashion. Here one is actually a designer, pretty cool aspiration.

Olivia's Inventor's Workshop: A girl who has a microscope, does trig, has a table vise, makes robots with tools is definitely a negative stereotype.

Now, there are some sets that are definitely in the same genre as other girls toys with baking, beauty and puppies. So what? I don't see them petitioning for Barbie to stop their negative stereotyping! I think the line is diverse and will sell very well. On top of that, nothing prevents the parents or kids from buying other Lego themes that may interest them. The bricks and ladyfigs are fully compatible. If a girl wants an astronaut, she can have the space shuttle in the same fantasy world! It seems that these petitioners and think their children have limited imaginations.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby darth_fett » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:24 pm

I don't see these figures as "sexualized". Unless 12 year old body types do it for you. Wasn't Fabuland targetted at girls? Did that have a backlash too? I know i'm really looking for some awesome fabuland parts like faucets & bottles of liquor for my Tachikoma to hold. Color wise doesn't really appeal to me but there are so many other great parts.
Yes i'm a 33 year old boy, but these sets, as all lego imho does, appeals to boys & girls. The great thing about lego is building mech bays or couches with the same parts. When i was younger i had girls playing with my legos lol.

I'm watching Judge Judy now so reading about Junk'n'Trunk Judy scarred me. Thanx Rook. ;)
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby mcs4616 » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:27 pm

Isn't the real crime here that this is an original theme for Lego, and the figures are flesh toned instead of yellow? Gosh, as a purist this upsets me, but doesn't affect me in the slightest . . . I guess society dictates I need to rouse some rabble now . . .
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby plebeianprint » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:35 pm

Unfortunately the subject matter of the strip is going to outshine the strip itself at the moment. I'm glad to see a strip. If I had any artistic talent at all I would have tried my hand at one a while ago and named it AFOLOL. Looking forward to more.

Now on to the controversy at hand. Do I like the new girl Lego line? No, not at all. It repulses me, but is no more worth everyone's ire than 9/10ths of the toys targeted at girls. Barbie and every other pink toy in the girl's row do more to set back women's progress than a male-centric corporate American work force ever will (their role in the creation of pink toys is not to be overlooked).

America's strictly defined gender roles begin at birth these days, and I find it both saddening and unfortunate. Hearing a four year old boy's disgust at the color pink because it's a girl's color has saddened me on more than one occasion. Colors do not have genders. Colors are not the sole property of one gender. If I didn't have red hair I would not be the least concerned about rocking a pink button down shirt.

Since Lego is a pretty wholesome and classy company this feels more like people boarding the hate train because Lego finally messed up (and yes, this line is a mistake) than legitimate anger. While I'm not certain what a female centric and themed line would consist of (I'm thinking of a more artisticly themed creator line) I know that the new friends sets (or whatever they're called) is not the answer, not in good taste, and not even aesthetically pleasing.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Jabba the Taff » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:22 pm

I can't believe Lego had the temerity to produce an Inventor Workshop in a line aimed at girls!! Whatever were they thinking! That's boys' stuff! The design studio is treading a thin line as well!

And ^ the research on gender bias for colours is mixed at best.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby ufjason » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:29 pm

Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I'm sure if Lego included more female minifigures, it would NOT increase sales like this line will. I work in marketing and I can tell you that this line will certainly succeed. This has been tried before with paradisa sets but they weren't feminine enough to attract girls. These are designed for girls through research of what girls want to play with. There's nothing wrong with LEGO catering to that segment. LEGO hasn't messed up here. Messing up would be BEN 10, Galidor, NHL, NBA, Soccer or Znap.

plebeianprint wrote:Since Lego is a pretty wholesome and classy company this feels more like people boarding the hate train because Lego finally messed up (and yes, this line is a mistake) than legitimate anger. While I'm not certain what a female centric and themed line would consist of (I'm thinking of a more artisticly themed creator line) I know that the new friends sets (or whatever they're called) is not the answer, not in good taste, and not even aesthetically pleasing.
eBay store, contact me if you'd like to perform trades from my inventory. I'm looking for original genosian fighers, second version a-wing fighters and tie bombers. I may be interested in other sets so let me know what you have.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Sharpie Clone » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:40 pm

Actually, these people upset about the sexism in the new Friends sets are correct. I've received a classified document that says LEGO will announce as part of their mid-2012 release a new set called "Myrtle Beach Hooters Restaurant" as part of the Friends line. LEGO was excited about getting yet another licensing deal with a notable company like the wings eatery.

The set will feature waitresses Misti and Mandi in the classic orange and white uniforms. This set will also help introduce a male presence into the Friends world with 2 new male characters: Derrick the middle-aged manager who also comes with a set of golf clubs and Larry the overweight, out-of-work pharmaceutic rep who goes to the restaurant because he "likes the wings".

Expect more rioting and protesting this Summer.
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby Stardusty » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:36 am

Bubble placement in the last picture... :lol:
I know it has been noted before, but I just had to do it again.

Comic is hialrious. Artist did a gerat job.

About the Friends line:
I think it's ok. I can't figure out why some people hate the theme. It's not like they have to buy those
sets. Besides, they look like a nice parts pack. Introduction of new minfiigure (minidoll) is something
I don't like but I don't mind it either. Minifigs are way more cute, but this seems like a nice choice for
girls. Besides, we already had a bunch of different molds thorugh the years. Just remember those
disgusting aliens from Mars Mission...
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Re: Studs Comic #1

Postby jonutah » Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:00 am

I'm going to submit a counter point of view. Mind you, I'm the father of two boys. But, I can see where stereotypes (found mostly in media) over the years have possibly programmed our children into being one thing or another (and hence, playing with one thing or another). And these sets do carry over at least a couple of those stereotypes which can be damaging to girls (and boys) in their adult lives:

1. There's the "title" stereo type - or the concept that girls relate most to what one does in the real world. The stereo type is that girls don't like fantasy, they like real and only real things with titles like "rock star" or "celebrity" or "baker" or "beautician." To me, that's lame. My boys often play with girls and none of them spend a whole lot of time talking about being famous or cutting peoples' hair. They want to play harry potter too or "detectives" or some other such thing.

2. Girls relate most to superficial material things like current trends in fashion (short skirts), "cool convertible" cars, and ice cream by the pool.

Personally, I think Lego should just stay out of the gender-based set focus. Just make sets with male and female mini-figures. Make witches, wizards, nurses, doctors, and so on and so forth. What they've done here doesn't seem innovative - just a sort of status quo attempt to capture more market share.

I will also add that one reason I think lego is more popular with boys is that I believe boys carry more mirror neurons than girls. That is, little signals in the brain that has them wanting to imitate things they see. So, they see Star Wars, they want to play Star Wars. They see Harry Potter, they want to play Harry Potter. This is why, I believe these sets are so hugely popular with boys (and lego is ultimately as successful as it is today). Without those movie/toy tie-ins that fire the mirror neurons in BOYS, Lego could not compete (regardless of girl themes or not).

OF COURSE, this all is pretty insignificant to the major issues our country/planet faces and people complaining about this sort of thing might want to redirect that energy to other things.
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