LEGO Friends press release

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Stephanie's Cool Convertible

LEGO GROUP DECLARES NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR 2012: DELIVER MEANINGFUL PLAY EXPERIENCES TO GIRLS WORLDWIDE WITH NEW LEGO® FRIENDS

Company brings classic construction play to the girls’ aisle with first-of- its-kind LEGO® mini-doll figure, three new brick colors and detailed interiors that reflect four years of research in play needs of girls

BILLUND, Denmark (December 19, 2011) – The LEGO Group, the world’s leading construction toy brand, today announced LEGO® Friends, a new play theme that tailors the iconic LEGO construction experience especially to girls ages five and up. LEGO Friends delivers on a girl’s desire for realistic role-play, creativity, and a highly-detailed, character-based world with the core values of LEGO building.

The LEGO Friends collection of 23 products ranges in price from $5.99 to $99.99 USD and the first 14 will be available for sale in select toy, discount merchandise, specialty and online stores beginning December 26, 2011 in the United Kingdom and January 1, 2012 in the United States. A rolling International launch will follow in the spring, with the remaining nine sets launching in the summer months.

“We felt it was time to test assumptions that girls aren’t interested in building and to breathe fresh air into a toy category filled mostly with pre-fabricated play experiences for girls,” said Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, CEO, LEGO Group. “We focused on creating a play experience centered on the joy of creation, while heeding the way girls naturally build and play. We are incredibly proud of the solution we deliver with LEGO Friends, and are resolved to build this platform for years to come.”

LEGO Friends is the first 100 percent LEGO building experience fully optimized to girls’ tastes and interests. Thousands of girls and their mothers worldwide participated in intensive research that validated the desire for more beauty, realistic details, accessories and interior building and role play opportunities in a LEGO offering.

Introducing the LEGO mini-doll figure
Anchored by the introduction of a new mini-doll figure, LEGO Friends introduces a new LEGO minifigure platform tailored to girls’ requests for a more realistic, relatable and stylized figure. Designed to the same scale of the classic LEGO minifigure, the mini-doll figure stands roughly 5 millimeters taller than its minifigure sibling, yet features similar constructability, shares the iconic “claw” hand to hold the same accessories, can wear the same hair and headpieces, and is compatible with all LEGO building sets. A total of 29 different mini-doll figures will be introduced in 2012.

“LEGO Friends is one of the most researched LEGO projects ever and is a culmination of years of anthropological research with girls around the world to understand what they expect from a construction toy,” said Nanna Ulrich Gudum, senior creative director, LEGO Group. “In talking with girls and their moms, we understand that girls really want a LEGO offering that mirrors what the boys experience, but in a way that fulfills their unique desire for remodeling and redesign, combined with realistic themes in community and friendship.”

“Unlike previous LEGO toys for girls, LEGO Friends, at its core, does not apologize for being a construction toy and delivers, for the first time, a building experience in the same scale as our classic offerings,” Nanna Ulrich Gudum continued. “What LEGO Friends does differently is deliver the beauty, details, accessories, real world themes and need for strong interior play that the research revealed would make all the difference for girls ages 5 and up.”

Welcome to Heartlake City
The LEGO Friends story centers on the everyday lives and personalities of five girls in a fictional hometown called Heartlake City. Each of the friends—Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Stephanie and Emma—has a distinct personality and interests, such as animals, performing arts, invention and design, that are reflected in the models. Building sets reflect different parts of town where the girls’ adventures take place—downtown, suburbs, beach, camping grounds and mountains.

The product collection
Half of the launch collection includes construction sets themed to introduce girls to each of the “Friend’s” personalities, including: Stephanie’s Outdoor Bakery, Emma’s Splash Pool, Andrea’s Stage, Olivia’s Inventor’s Workshop, Stephanie’s Pet Patrol, Mia’s Puppy House and Emma’s Design Studio. Girls are also invited to construct the Friends’ favorite locations in Heartlake City with larger building sets, including: Stephanie’s Cool Convertible, Olivia’s Tree House, Heartlake Dog Show, Butterfly Beauty Shop, City Park Café, Heartlake Vet, and Olivia’s House. The remaining nine sets launching later in the year deliver the same range in price and theme.

Immersive brand experience

Children will be immersed in the new world they can create with LEGO Friends through a variety of brand experiences planned for 2012. In addition to providing product information, the LEGO Friends website will allow children to explore the personalities of each of the five Friends and the different spots in Heartlake City. The site will also feature an avatar creator, mini-movies, games, video building tips, story extensions, contests, news and an events calendar. Also planned are Interactive building events and road shows, promotions, magazines, digital content, a mini movie, in-store experiences, books and more. Check www.LEGOFriends.com for more information.

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From the accompanying fact sheet:

LEGO® Friends tailors the beloved LEGO construction experience especially for girls ages 5 and up. LEGO Friends delivers on a girl’s desire for realistic role-play, creativity, and a highly-detailed, character-based world with the core values of LEGO building. The LEGO Friends collection of 23 products ranges in price from $5.99 to $99.99 USD and the first 14 will be available for sale in the girls’ toy aisle of select toy, discount merchandise, specialty and online stores beginning December 26, 2011 in the United Kingdom and January 1, 2012 in the United States

NEW PRODUCT FEATURES

  • LEGO Mini-Doll Figure: tailored to girls’ requests for a more realistic, relatable and stylized figure, the new mini-doll figure stands roughly 5 millimeters taller than its minifigure sibling, yet features similar constructability, shares the iconic “claw” hand to hold the same accessories, can wear the same hair and headpieces, and is compatible with all LEGO building sets. 29 different mini-doll figures will be introduced in 2012.
  • New Colors: three new LEGO element colors—two blues and a lavender—and three new deco colors—two greens and another purple—were added to create LEGO Friends.
  • Rich World: the LEGO Friends story centers on the everyday lives and personalities of five girls—Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Stephanie and Emma—in Heartlake City. Each girl’s personality and interests are reflected in the collection.

19 comments on this article

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By in New Zealand,

Woo Hoo! Can't wait till they are half price!

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By in United Kingdom,

I can see how this could become a magazine and cartoon/film and hope for lego's sake that it does well.

I can't see a Central Perk set on the list though. Imagine Joey and co will be released in the summer sets?

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By in United States,

Can we get like a summarized version of this? lol It's too much to read for a theme I'm not interested in but I would like to know what it said haha

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By in United Kingdom,

“What LEGO Friends does differently is deliver the beauty, details, accessories, real world themes..."

They got that right. Showing as much flesh as possible is a 'real world theme' these days, sadly...

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By in United States,

In my opinion, they never should have gone with the mini-doll...minifig is what LEGO is known for. The are a ton of little dolls out in the market already.

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By in United States,

@miniroll32 I don't feel your modesty criticism is warranted for the Friends line. I applaud Lego for not having any of their dolls with bare midriffs like pretty much every doll aimed at young girls. Compared to Bratz and many of the other doll lines out there which push a sexualized image, Lego has designed their figures to a much better standard for young girls.

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By in United States,

I did notice that even the girl in the pool has clothes on...

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By in United States,

I'm glad they are putting a lot into this, it will probably be successful, like ninjago for boys.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm such a sucker for marketing spiel, I'm now feeling like I want to buy all of these sets immediately ! The more I read about the Friends sets, the more I'm warming to the concept and the range of sets is certainly more appealing to me than a lot of the City ones. Even the mini-dolls are growing on me! I really hope that after all the development work TLG has put in it will be a success. I'll certainly be promoting it to all my friends with daughters.

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By in United States,

As long as they don't push for more realistic minifigures. Good ol blocky figures are the best :)

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By in United States,

I wish they didn't have to make "mini-dolls", because there is an infinite amount of ways they could make LEGO system sets for girls.

But what do I care? They aren't going to be in my household, but it will interest me to see what LEGO comes up with.

EDIT: @miniroll32, Just because they girls have tanktops on, doesn't mean that LEGO is TRYING to show as much skin as possible! They even put a layer under their skirts!

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By in United States,

Am I the only one that thinks Lego actually did a pretty good job on this theme. Even though I personally don't care for the new mini doll, I think they could work well. I like that they made a lot of brick built structures and not super simplified ones as in the past.

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By in United Kingdom,

Why are girls toys so... not real?!

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By in United States,

@sharky: I also agree with you.

I like the fact that LEGO is making sets taylored for girls 5 year and older (my daughter fits that category).

I do not think having a boy's set with a girl minifigure is the same as these sets. In the end, these sets will mix with the various City sets we already have. It will make a more interesting and colorful town.

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By in United States,

in think i may get some of these for my...um...sister?
Great pieces.

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By in United States,

I'm so glad to see that these finally made it to market. My daughter and I took part in one of the test focus groups last year and were very excited about the line. Our biggest negative comment was "too much pink", so I'm happy to see that they've added more colors. I have to say that I'm not a big fan of the dolls, but she liked them, so I guess they're pleasing their target audience ;-) Even my 11-year old son is excited about the sets (I'm sure he'll be using his regular minifigs in them, though).

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By in Canada,

The sad thing is it looks like it may only be available at one/maybe more big chains - not any of the smaller toy stores. We were informed it was not available to the normal dealer channel at all.

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By in United Kingdom,

I welcome the friends set with open arm and hope they do well for the Lego group. The colour scheme looks excellent, without too much of one colour. I for one will be buying the complete range and my grandaughter can't wait to help build them.

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By in United Kingdom,

a definite win for the lego group. it improves on coulors and isnt pushing people into a sexual image.

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