Anatomy of a Friends 'Mini-doll'

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This morning's press release came with several images, most of which we have in the database already, but this one is new and I thought it quite interesting as it shows the difference in size of the mini-doll figure when compared to minifigs.

Anatomy of a 'Ladyfig'

The fact sheet states that "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..." so if nothing else, fans of the female minifig will now have a great selection of hairpieces to adorn them with.

Update: to prove the point, SkaensKeep has posted a photo on flickr showing minifigs with Friends' hair.

38 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I would like to see how the Friends hair looks on the standard minifig. If it even fits. The shoulders may be a hindrance.

Actually, I have to be honest. The more I see them the more I can get used to them. It's just too bad that they are not completely compatible with the standard mini figure. That is the vehicles and most things designed for standard minifigures probably won't work for the new one due to the leg height.

I agree with Jacob W, if they made them the same height as the standard one, even keeping everything else the same I think they would have had a sure winner all the way around.

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By in United States,

How interesting...they really aren't that much taller!

@Jacob Wilson, I guess you have never seen Jack Stone minifigs. They might make you vomit compared to these! :P

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By in Germany,

They look to be about the same height as the Woody and Jesse figures from Toy Story, maybe slightly taller. It doesn't look like their legs move separately though, only together. So you can't make them look like they're walking. But I still like them, they're cute. WAY better than the Belleville line.

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By in United States,

I'm interested to see how they size up against a Bratz doll. As an uncle of three nieces who love Lego and also love Bratz dolls, I'm curious about the cross-over effect here... and Huw, thanks for this wonderful grid-based view of the mini-fig and friends-gif side by side! This is excellent :) Also curious (though I don't have any nor know anyone who does) how closely these figures overlap with PlayMobile figures.

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By in Denmark,

Short stumpy guy together with tall skinny glamorous female. It's Bernie Ecclestone from Formula 1.
More seriously, they remind me of the Character Options Doctor Who figures.

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By in United Kingdom,

@richselby, lol. You're right, they remind me of the Dr Who figs too. And Polly Pocket figs.

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By in United Kingdom,

@ Jacob Wilson - Bernie Ecclestone owns Formula 1.
I don't hate the look of these figures, I don't think I will be purchasing any but you never know, if one of them has a hair piece I like, I might Bricklink it.

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By in United States,

Looks like may have figure out how to tap into the Polly Pocket crowd - these would be roughly the same size.

I know my daughters will demand these, along with all the other minifigs they currently steal from my collection...

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By in United Kingdom,

i cant see any hinges on the legs, do they move??

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By in United States,

nice, thx for image.

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By in United Kingdom,

The legs move together, not individually, the joint is in the middle just below the waist.

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By in United States,

When it comes to playsets for girls, LEGO gets it wrong again. How many times will they try to revamp this theme? All that really needs to be done is include more classic yellow female figures in the sets. Just a real quick browse through the LEGO aisle will show you that the figures in the boxes are over 90% male. Make more female figures and you'll get more female fans, and they should look like they belong in the same world as the classic yellow guys.

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By in United States,

odd that they included the background grid, even though the scale is off. no way a standard minifig is 7 bricks high, which is what is shown.

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By in United States,

Do the Friends heads fit on a minifigure? I thought I read somewhere they do but it looks like the Friends doll neck is smaller than the minifigures'.

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By in United States,

They should make a male "mini-doll."

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By in United Kingdom,

ooo great - I like taller women!

for me some of the accessories / parts look useful, but not really interested in the figs.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Energyarrow - While I cannot really speak for Dixondog as I do not know him, I doubt he is going to buy these sets for the play value, many of the pieces in the sets are new and look really good so that is reason enough alone to consider them. The reason people are making a big deal of it is that there are so many new parts and many people have been looking forward to seeing how these Friends sets combine with regular Lego. There is really no need to get angry, if you don't want to buy them that is your choice, but bear in mind that others might think differently...

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By in United Kingdom,

The friends hair pieces dont look too great on normal minifigs. I think its because they are rubber and are too stylised. I hate how in pictures, TLC edit rubber hair to make it look like shiny plastic - it's false advertising!

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By in United Kingdom,

To be honest the average girl I think would prefer to stay with current lego, I understand lego is going to try and branch into a new audience but I think it will not work.
It also seems to me that mainly AFOL's (majority male, but also female) actully might like these sets more than the intended age, not that im saying guys are into this type of thing but more of the pieces that can be applied to lego.

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By in United States,

@CapnRex101 - Well Stated. Thank you! for though this is a "girls" theme, it is also a LEGO theme :) and after looking at the cover art for this line, I've seen some great new pieces and colors for modular MOC's.

@TheGreenBrickGiant, I wondered the same thing about the heads. The width and length of the necks do not seem to match up between the minifigures and the friends figures. Guess i'll have to hopefully find a set to give to my nieces so I can find out... and I also believe that TLG just needed to increase the number of female minifigs in sets.

Unless my nieces and their friends are unique, adolescent female interest in Lego is only stymied by the lack of female characters within the lines. I've solved this issue by ordering heads and hair from Lego S&H. Showed up with 20 female faces and hair pieces, told them to switch out any guy faces they wanted. Next thing I knew, my nieces Lego village was filled with female minifigures... and Harry Potter (because, as they told me, He was Harry Potter. He needed to be in the village.).

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By in Italy,

@CastleTheme, I fully agree with you: more MF girls/women should have been done; still I also agree with

@luckyruss, as I like to make furniture and stuff for my Lego houses, I like many of the new accessories, parts an colours but I am not really interested in the figs, because they don't match AT ALL (as far as I am concerned) with standard MFs.

@Energyarrow:Is Lego just going to lose more and more money on this? really? seen their end of year results, they surely can afford. Honestly, I've loved and played with Lego for 40+ years and will keep on buying and building, but their prices are frankly ridiculously high. At least in Europe.

Cheers everyone!

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By in United Kingdom,

@dixondog - Good, I was concerned we had someone causing trouble.

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By in United Kingdom,

Never mind the sets. I clicked on the flickr picture by SkaensKeep and was shocked to see Kevin Keegan and Jimmy Saville staring back at me.

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By in Canada,

I just couldn't believe they were anywhere close to minifigure scale until finally seeing this picture. I had previously taken note on Lego using normal door sizes, yet I still couldn't grasp their true height ratio. In short, their compatibility is really the last "check" the theme needs from me to recieve my full approval.

Having seen that attached Flickr file I'm stunned by just how well these new hair styles work with our current (and well loved) minifigures. So attractive are these new pieces, it justifies some merrit for its (at least) partial minifigure inclusion.

Still... I'm a male-adult collector who'll need the right price (and more importantly the right excuse) to buy much of this theme.

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By in United States,

lego would attract way more girls if they made the girls sets have normal people
lego is not a doll company!!!!!

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By in Philippines,

I think the difference in height represents the growth spurt of females during puberty! :-)

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By in United States,

At first I got excited because I thought the heads and hair were both compatible... but alas it looks like the new heads fit on a bar that it thinner than the traditional minifig one. But hey, new hair pieces is always a plus!

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By in United States,

@legobob
When LEGO spent the 5 years or so researching what girls wanted in a LEGO theme, one of the main points they found out was that the target demographic (little girls, not you) didn't like the standard minifigure, but wanted people that were more doll-like. This seems to indicate that these doll-figs will attract more girls than regular minifigures.

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By in Australia,

What I'm interested to know is whether minidoll arms have the same type of torso connection point as minifig arms, and consequently whether they can be attached properly to minifig torsos (or, for that matter, whether they are compatible with any other LEGO connection point type). I admit the result probably wouldn't look particularly pleasing, unlike the hair pieces, but it's pretty important to know this sort of thing, right?

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By in United States,

Zackula, if LEGO spent 5 years doing market research that found that little girls wanted doll-like minifigures, why didn't LEGO stick with Belville or Scala, which had figures more like dolls than Friends? In fact, Scala figures (1997-2001) were completely dolls, while Belville (1994-2008) were a little more like minifigures, and now Friends are even more like classic yellow minifigures than either one of those themes. Why not just go ahead and include more classic yellow female minifugure? Rare / exclusive parts and colors would entice AFOLs (like GMSX mentions above), while simply bumping up the number of female minifigures included in sets would get the interest of little girls (as KRKLINT says above).

There is a reason Playmobil has so many of the customers LEGO is now trying to go after. However, one of the main differences is that Playmobil sets have about 50% male and 50% female figures. They don't have one size for male figures and another for females. They don't make males figures in one color and females in another. They don't give them different points of articulation. It's just a common sense approach to marketing and to play, in that the male figures and female figures are meant to inhabit the same house, the same town, the same universe. The two figures pictured at the top of this post don't look like they have the same creator, much less share the same planet.

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By in United States,

I'm a minifig collector and won't even CONSIDER these as part of my minifigure collection. Just horrendous. And 5 years of research gave us this? This is what girls wanted? Where did they do this research? I work at a store with 100 coworkers. They know I am big in Lego. Same with the distrubtion center I visit. TONS of parents have kids that collect Lego. When I told everyone about these sets originally, everyone was excited. Now brothers and sisters could combine sets and cities and such. Play together yet play seperatlly if they wanted. When I sent emals with images to everyone I know, NOT ONE said thier daughter liked them. MANY said back to them "that's not Lego". Sorry, it is.

And girls don't like the "blocky standard minifigure"? MANY of my coworkers/associates daughters LOVE collecting the collectible minifiure series. I get asked every other day if I know when the next ones come out as so many daughters want them.

I just don't get it.

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By in Netherlands,

I really like this new line, and I hope it will be successful, and I think there is a good chance on that. Many of the naysayers here are ignoring the fact that Lego knows (has researched) it is not selling very well to the 5+ girls demographic. They want to do something about that, and I commend them for it. Like the Business week article said, construction toys teach important skills to children, and girls are missing out on them.

Sure, there will be exemplary evidence of girls liking the current Lego assortment, but many of the Lego themes have action/conflict oriented themes, and they are less appealing to girls, either intrinsically, or because the people buying the toys think stereotypical. You might think that is wrong, but please go tell that to all those people raising little princesses. For Lego that is a reality they have to work with.

I think this line will get the girls started, and from there on, they might get a Creator house to build bigger houses, salons, or holiday resorts. The Friends Vet will find a place in her big brother's Lego City city. Surely, some Emmas and Stephanies will become fire-fighters in a Lego City fire truck. I fully expect Hermoine and Angelica to pop by in the Butterfly Beauty shop. This is why the high degree of compatibility is so important.

And for those referencing Playmobil. Actually, Playmobil has the distribution Lego is seems to aiming for now: some neutral, real world themed sets (like Lego City), some more pink/fairtales-like sets, and conflict oriented 'boys stuff'.

Oh, the largest Friends set had one male figure. And one of the girls is an inventor, how cool is that?

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By in Canada,

My pink & purple loving 9 year old hated Belville because of the limited building experience it offered. And the dolls. I found this out only after I excitedly bought her the Sunshine Home set for Christmas 2 years ago. All she cared to do with it was use some of the pieces to "pretty up" the interior of my modular building sets, particularly Market Street and Cafe Corner. But she is beyond psyched about LEGO Friends! She only wants LEGO gift cards for Christmas because she plans on purchasing the entire line so she can incorporate them into her MOCs. She's not sure what to think of the new minifigs, but she's willing to give them a chance.

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By in Australia,

I, too, am not terribly sure about the success here. I agree with everybody else -- why can't we just have an equal number of ordinary, female minifigs in the normal sets? Wouldn't that be cheaper than designing an entire new range that may or may not actually sell?

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By in United States,

@Zordboy
That's what Paradisa was about, but according to BusinessWeek, it didn't sell as well as LEGO hoped.

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By in United States,

I cant wait to see more pictures

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