Lego sent its team back out to scrutinize girls, starting in 2007. Lego confirmed that girls favor role-play, but they also love to build–just not the same way as boys. Whereas boys tend to be "linear"–building rapidly, even against the clock, to finish a kit so it looks just like what’s on the box–girls prefer "stops along the way," and to begin storytelling and rearranging.
Then there are the lady figures. Twenty-nine mini-doll figures will be introduced in 2012, all 5 millimeters taller and curvier than the standard dwarf minifig. There are five main characters. Like American Girl Dolls, which are sold with their own book-length biographies, these five come with names and backstories. The key difference between girls and the ladyfig and boys and the minifig was that many more girls projected themselves onto the ladyfig–she became an avatar. Boys tend to play with minifigs in the third person. "The girls needed a figure they could identify with, that looks like them," says Rosario Costa, a Lego design director. The Lego team knew they were on to something when girls told them, "I want to shrink down and be there."
The Lego Friends team is aware of the paradox at the heart of its work: To break down old stereotypes about how girls play, it risks reinforcing others.
really? girls wouldn’t play with regular ol’ legos with spaceships, trains, tanks, helicoptors, bears, et al? I find that highly unlikely.