Young girl calls out LEGO; GoldieBlox educates girls on engineering
A girl with less than a decade of life experience has called out the "Toy of the Century," and people are listening.
Seven-year-old Charlotte wrote a letter to LEGO sharing her frustration with gender inequality between boy and girl toy sets.
"I love LEGOs but I don’t like that there are more LEGO boy people and barely any LEGO girls," she wrote.
She elaborated, saying that in the sets she saw, the girls participated in activities like sitting at home and shopping, while boys had jobs and swam with sharks.
"I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun OK!?!" Charlotte wrote.
The letter made its way to the Internet when Charlotte's mother shared it with Sociological Images, which posted it on Twitter.
The LEGO Group Twitter account even responded to the tweets from Sociological Images.
The tweet links to a release that discusses LEGO Group's efforts to remedy the situation Charlotte calls out.
"We have been very focused on including more female characters and themes that invite even more girls to build, and in the last few years, we are thrilled that we have dramatically increased the number of girls who are choosing to build. ... We are constantly developing our product collection, and new roles appear for both male and female minifigures. The great thing about LEGO play is that you are always able to create whatever adventure suits your interest, using the LEGO minifigures as your guide."
Girls' toys have received other recent attention after the airing of the GoldieBlox commercial during the Super Bowl.
"The company’s founder, Stanford-trained engineer Debbie Sterling, now 30, launched a Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2012 after a particularly horrifying visit to a toy store, where she realized little had changed in the girls’ aisle since she was a child: It was all pink and pretty, with little to engage the brain," a Forbes article reads.
The project met its $150,000 goal in four days and Sterling was contacted by Toys 'R' Us on the final day of the campaign. The toy has since been picked up by Target as well.
Each set comes with a construction toy and a book that features main character Goldie, who fixes problems with machines.
“I want to expose every girl I can to engineering, so my dream was to create a mass market product,” Sterling said in another Forbes article.
Even after the success of the Kickstarter campaign, an ad in the Super Bowl was far from realistic for the small business.
According to a Fast Company article, Intuit, creator of TurboTax and Quicken, was looking for a way to help small businesses, so it decided to award a Super Bowl spot to a lucky small business.
From more than 15,000 entries, the public selected the top 20, and 8,000 Intuit employees selected the final four. From the final four, the public chose GoldieBlox.
The fact that GoldieBlox won seems to be a testament to the world's eagerness for more toys that help young girls. According to Intuit CEO Brad Smith, the winner had to be inspirational to be chosen.
“We had the idea to create a campaign where the world could vote on the most inspirational small business story, and we'd purchase a super bowl ad and professionally produce it where 100 million people would see it," he said.
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