Lego Builds Stronger Ties to Girls

12/29/2015 - Lecturer in Sociology Elizabeth V. Sweet in The Wall Street Journal.

Lego A/S has become successful at selling building bricks to girls.

Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of Lego founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, had decreed in 1963 that the company’s plastic bricks should be aimed at both boys and girls. But despite that professed goal, the Lego sets gradually became boys’ favorite.

The company focused on its male clientele, offering battle themes, an avalanche of superheroes, and almost eliminating girls from ads that featured boys and, occasionally, fathers.

“Girls got the message that Lego was not for them,” said Elizabeth Sweet, a sociologist at the University of California, Davis. Ms. Sweet remains critical. “Pinkified building sets may bring more girls into building but they still send the clear message that girls are fundamentally less capable than boys when it comes to building,” she said.

Read the full story in The Wall Street Journal.