LEGO Friends - Breaking Down The Brick Walls With Legos For Girls

by nightowl

It's hard to believe, but in all their 80 year history, LEGO has never put out sets that were directed exclusively at girls. LEGO Friends finally rectify this injustice.

Unless you spent your childhood under a rock, chances are you grew up playing with Lego at some point. In earlier years, it was more about different combinations of bricks and "special pieces" before LEGO came out with themed sets such as LEGO Star Wars or LEGO CITY.

I had no problems using my imagination to build girly things like dollhouses or horse stables, but then again that was way before anyone had ever heard of Star Wars or Harry Potter. Yes, it was *that* long ago.

Even though most LEGO sets are not specifically targeted at boys, it's obvious that most of them do not initially appeal to girls. This was quite unfortunate because building stuff is nurturing great imaginative and creative play, which would benefit girls just as much as boys. LEGO Friends have finally corrected this imbalance with a whole range of products that appeal even to the girliest of girls, and this might even entice them to explore the endless creative playing opportunity of building sets.

The Story of LEGO Friends

The Who, What, Where of Heartlake City
1. Who Are The LEGO Friends?

Although there are many different characters that interact with "The Friends", the core group consists of the five girls Mia, Emma, Andrea, Stephanie and Olivia. They are pictured from left to right in the image above.

2. What Do they Do?
  • Mia, the red haired animal lover, is the resident vet. She's eco- and health-conscious, which makes for a very positive role model.
  • Emma, an aspiring designer, has a sense of style and owns her own horse, Robin.
  • Andrea is the singing, dancing, and acting whirlwind of energy who adds some Latin spice to the mix.
  • Stephanie loves parties and helping others get organized. She also drives a cool car.
  • Olivia's personality is a parent's dream come true! She has beauty and brains, loves school, science, nature, hiking and inventing stuff.

Needless to say, they all love hanging out with each other and having fun.

Starter Set: Olivia's House

Begin Your Collection Here

The central hub of activity in Heartlake City is Olivia's House. It is one of the largest sets in the LEGO Friends series with 695 pieces that will create a tri-level house complete with 4 furnished rooms, a rooftop patio and a back yard. 

This set also contains the LEGO mini figures Olivia and her parents Peter and Anna, as well as their cat Kitty. Apart from the building bricks for the house, this set also includes many furniture pieces and household items for endless playing possibilities.

Considering that the Olivia's House set is essentially a fully stocked doll house, LEGO provides a fantastic value for their legendary quality toy.

This LEGO Friends set has now been discontinued by the manufacturer but is still available from 3rd party sellers. Just be sure to compare prices, or go with a current set instead.

 

 

LEGO Friends - Other Cool Places in Heartlake City

where friends hang out
LEGO Friends 41124 Heartlake Puppy Daycare Building Kit (286 Piece)

All the dogs of Heart lake City love coming to play at Andrea and Mia's Puppy Daycare. Run around the agility course with them in the garden-it's like a playground for pups! Hea...

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LEGO Friends Heartlake Supermarket 41118

It's time for Mia's weekly shop, so join her at Heartlake Supermarket and grab a trolley from the trolley park. Explore the aisles together-what will you buy today? Pick up some...

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LEGO Friends 41094 Heartlake Lighthouse

Enjoy a perfect afternoon by the sea at the iconic Heart lake Lighthouse! Stephanie is going to visit her friend Kate in the ice cream shop there. Help her pick an ice cream - t...

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Heartlake City

and its places of interest

The story revolves around a place called "Heartlake City", a pleasant suburban area with a small town feel. Apart from Olivia's House, other places of interest include the Heartlake Shopping Mall, the Park City Cafe, the Butterfly Beauty Salon, and the Heartlake Vet Clinic. 

Heartlake City

 

In the summer, the girls are heading to Summer Riding Camp, the Jungle Rescue Base, or Stephanie's Beach House, if they're not splashing in the city pool.

 

Recently, Heartlake City has also become the location for a Grand Hotel! This event is celebrated with the release of this years largest LEGO Friends playset: 1552 pieces of classic elegance will keep the whole family entertained for many hours.

LEGO Friends Heartlake Grand Hotel
LEGO Friends Heartlake Grand Hotel

What Else Is There To Do In Heartlake City?

Never a dull moment, for sure...

LEGO has always been great at providing themed sets in various sizes and price ranges, starting at just under $10. The LEGO Friends franchise is no exception. Smaller sets such as Sunshine Harvest, Mia's Puppy House, or Olivia's Inventor's Workshop will keep the girlfriends busy and the fun going throughout the year.

New Theme for 2016: The LEGO Friends Amusement Park

What could be more fun than this?

The Amusement Park is now open for business in Heartlake City! Everything a fun loving friend could desire, from Bumper Cars to Carousel rides and Arcades, all grouped around the main attraction - a huge Roller Coaster!

The LEGO Friends Amusement Park Rollercoaster
The LEGO Friends Amusement Park Rollercoaster

LEGOs For Girls - A Great Idea?

There have been voices that criticized LEGO for perpetuating gender stereotyping. But in the end, everyone agrees that playing with LEGOs is a valuable educational and fun experience for all kids. It's just been more difficult getting girls interested in building sets than boys; most parents I have encountered can confirm this.

The LEGO Friends have finally broken down that barrier and opened a whole world of bricks many girls previously ignored. Girls just love LEGO Friends, and once they play with these sets many of them will want to progress to the more gender neutral themes.

With LEGOs being ever popular, it is very easy to sell your used sets for good money on auction sites or local trading pages. Provided they are kept complete and in good condition (if possible, try to save the boxes and manuals!).

Updated: 10/25/2016, nightowl
 
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What's your take? Will LEGO Friends encourage more girls to play with Legos?


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nightowl on 10/25/2016

Great share, Elizabeth! I felt so lucky to be able to play with my son's LEGO again, I got so much into it that I started buying and collecting the Christmas sets for myself. So much fun!

Elizabeth on 10/25/2016

My daughter is 6 1/2, and started her Lego Friends collection over 2 years ago. Her 5th birthday party was even Lego Friends / Horses themed. She loves them, I love them!! GREAT IDEA! My brother had a TON of legos growing up, and I was never interested in them. I'm not sure who enjoys our HUGE lego collection more - me or my daughter.

Taylor on 03/09/2015

As a girl who has played with all her brother's legos, i hate the friends sets. They don't work with the traditional legos, and the pink everything is an insult. An x ray machine is not pink, roofs are not pink, and animals don't have huge manga eyes. Instead of stereotyping girls, why doesn't lego just include a propprtional amount of FEMALE minjfigures to their sets "for boys" And you wonder why there are less girls in STEM! From the time girls are little they're taught that they can't be a fireman, police officer, or rescue person, but that they can be a girl with a pretty car and just party and play with her friends all day. Lego needs to step up and own the fact that most of their sets are sexist and encourage gender stereotyping.

Guest on 12/14/2014

This is something I would have absolutely loved to have played with when I was a girl. Too bad they did not have it out back then!

kimbesa on 05/05/2013

I think they're fine. If girls gravitate to these sets because they like the colors, and the story-telling play opportunities, then it's a start into building toys. They can add on other kinds of sets, such as Architecture, as they wish.

katiem2 on 10/21/2012

Both my daughters love legos. They've both enjoyed playing and building with Lego toys since they were old enough to hold them. Great product review. :)K

nightowl on 10/21/2012

Thanks for your input, ladies. I used to play with LEGO as a kid just fine, too, but would these sets have existed I would probably have loved them even more. I'm not a fan of pink plastic, but at least these LEGO Friends sets don't go overboard. I still enjoy building stuff as an adult, and as a parent of boys I have plenty of opportunity. I can imagine that parents of girls will appreciate that now as well. ;-)

kajohu on 10/20/2012

I grew up playing with LEGOs with my brothers, and loving it. We made houses for our troll dolls (remember those cute ugly little dolls :-) ) and occasionally my Barbie would make an appearance in our LEGO structures too....if I had sets like the ones above, I would've been in heaven, although maybe my brothers wouldn't have played with them if they were "girl color" Legos :-)

BrendaReeves on 10/20/2012

I love these legos and now know what I'm going to get my granddaughters for Christmas. It's interesting how it's okay for girls to play with things that interest boys, but not the other way around. "As if boy things" are of greater intellectual importance than "girl things." Anything that suggests femininity and nurturing is considered frivolous and inconsequential. The male and female are different. There's nothing wrong with being a girl if you happen to be a girl as I once told my ex who wanted to dress his daughter like his two sons. I think humans have lost their minds. Just my biased opinion.

2uesday on 10/20/2012

If this gets Lego onto the list of toys parents will buy for girls then it is a good idea. I hope that the girls will also have access to the traditional types of Lego. If you watch young brothers and sisters playing with toys they do not often define them as boys or girls toys; it is often adults that attach the labels to them. Boys and girls need to have access to toys that encourage them to nurture and to use their imagination and design skills.
I can see that Lego have tried to create positive and varied characters for this range, which is good news.

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