Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Legoland and why lego doesn't like girls

One last hurrah for the summer, a trip to Legoland! We had a great time and the car trip (4 hours each way) went very smoothly. Maybe our children are finally getting used to car travel ... The tuba was one of my favorite lego items on display. The musical instruments played if you stepped on the controls. Other favorites included gargoyles and crocodiles. We somehow ended up at the park on one of the hottest days of the year, so the water rides were great. The pirate boat, complete with water cannons both on the boat and the shore, was lovely. Infrared dryers available for a fee. Another cool thing was the bionicle ride. I actually hate bionicles, they're very nasty looking fighting things made by lego. Apparently they're supposed to be robots, because their ride was totally robotic. Nathan rode and we watched on the spectators platform. First, you get to plan your robot's routine from a set of moves. Then, you get to be thrown around by a big robotic arm.
OK, this is actually a picture from the park next to our hotel. We often comment on how unsafe playground toys are in Europe (and therefore often more fun) compared to the US. Litigation at work again. This is one of the most dangerous and coolest toys we've seen. It's somehow compelling, if you see it, you have to try it! Well, I didn't actually. But Nathan of course did.
Back to the park. Lots of rides were designed for 2 kids together. I liked the canoes (with dinosaur scenery) and the safari ride (with safari animals of course).
E likes Legoland, too!
The merchandise. My favorite part of the park was the factory where you could see legos being made and then buy separate bricks by weight. The kids each got a lego letter for free (glued together) and got to build their own lego people. My kids' choices were rather classic, I thought. V would have stayed all day trying on different bodies and heads. Taking apart lego people is one of her favorite activities. In the price-per-pound, we got pink bricks (I refuse to buy the Belleville horsey stuff, so this is the only way we're going to get them), wheels and axles, lego rafts and a dog, etc. You can buy by the brick online, but it was really fun to let the kids pick items in person. We also got a big boxed set for each kid. We've played with them all day. And here's where I rant about lego for girls. All I can figure is that they don't really want the girls' market? Or they don't have any girls working in the design department? Lego for girls really stinks, which is a shame because girls like legos, too. Duplo (lego for little kids) has great stuff that appeals to boys and girls, but the real lego stuff, not so much. I can think of so many ways they could make it more appealing ... *sigh*

Dear lego, how to sell to girls: cuter + more girl minifigures, better girl-friendly colors (step away from the gray), more shops and houses + fewer fire engines, castles with princesses and turrets not just fighting equipment, more animals, more furniture and food, most of all more pretty. V has spent much of the day decorating her lego items once they were put together. Her bus had a whole forest of items on top, flower handles on the doors, and a trash can riding inside. I had her minifigures put together for about 2 minutes before she had them dancing together. Such a girl, but luckily not a dress-up-like-a-princess-all-day-girl. One guess on what kind of a lego set M picked. It came with most of the key Star Wars characters, my favorite is Chewbacca.

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