Surprise! Girls Like Legos, Too

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Much ink has been spilled on the gender politics of Lego Friends, a year-old line aimed to attract girls with pastel blocks, a hair salon set, and a Bratz-ier figure. (Not pictured.) Is it a shameless marketing ploy that will further reinforce gender stereotypes at a tender age? Or does it undo the gender exclusion wrought by Star Wars and ninja-themed Lego sets and get girls playing with blocks, building those all-important spatial skills? (Personally, I’m ambivalent. The robots will parallel park for my daughter.) But one thing is for sure: They’re selling. Yesterday, the Lego Group announced that Lego Friends became the company’s fourth-best-selling line, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, tripling the number of girls playing with Legos in the U.S. and bringing Lego its biggest haul in its 81-year history. To celebrate, they’ll add a gender-neutral Lego Friends school scene.