The launch of LEGO's Friends range caused considerable debate within the toy industry about exactly where the toys belong. Global Toy News reported that Target had made the controversial decision of placing it on an end aisle to start with, before moving it to its permanent home in the Girls aisle. Richard Gottlieb, the toy industry consultant, even went as far to state that Target is "undermining LEGO’s effort by staying with a rigid gender policy on toy merchandising".
What do you think? We asked some of the nation's toy retailers to give us their take on it. Here's the results, following by some of the reactions.
Initially I'd use FSDU (Free Standing Display Units) in a hotspot by the store entrance. Then, a full selection in construction, sample range in girls with signage directing customers to view the full range in construction. I wonder why LEGO didn't follow the same format as they did in the LEGO Games TV adverts where they clearly stated "find us in the games section"?
If I was shopping for LEGO, I would most certainly look in the construction aisle. From our experience, boys like pink too!
The only way to decide is to duel site the products and see which gets the best response. It's more likely to go better next to other girls lines which have small figures in my opinion though.
I've never liked stereotyping the genders with the typical blue and pink colouring (when my eldest was younger, I most frequently dressed her in blue as it suited her colouring so well). However, I believe that the vast majority of parents do encourage their children down those colour routes, so I think commercially it would make more sense to put them in the girls' aisles because that's what so many people want/expect.
Since when did girls not play with LEGO? It doesn't have to be pink to be suitable for a girl.
LEGO Friends is directed at girls only really, so it belongs in the girls aisle.
As it is a LEGO product we would put it with other LEGO items. Our shop is arranged by play theme rather than gender anyway. We decided to avoid this range as we didn't feel our customers would be keen. It's a shame LEGO felt they had to go pink to appeal to girls... and the figures look awful!
LEGO should be situated alongside all other LEGO. If, as suspected, girls want to buy LEGO - they will head to the LEGO aisle. It assumes girls are stupider than boys - if the boys can find LEGO in a different Aisle, why not girls?
All the LEGO should be together. My children (a boy and a girl) both love the look of the new range - and we all thought Olivia's inventor's workshop looked particularly good fun.
We don't get involved in the gender argument although most parents have commented that they like the "Toys For Boys" and "Toys For Girls" section on our website for ease of use. Boys will always like blue and girls will always like pink. However, with any construction toy it is easy to place in that particular category as both genders like to build things - whether it be cars or dolls - and parents like the educational imaginative side that construction toys encourage. Online it is easier to please people, more than so then in a bricks and mortar shop. If there is any problem, why not just put some in both categories then everyone is happy?
Definately a girls toy, therefore should be in the girls aisle.
I may display in both construction and girls, that way cover all bases!
If you attract girls to the "Construction Aisle", there's a chance that they will be more likely to want other construction/LEGO items as well, without the stigma of finding it in the "Boys" section. As a woman with a PhD in engineering, I do resent the polarisation/gender stereotyping of science/engineering related toys.
I would put the main stock in girls aisle but also add some to the construction section.