A couple of months ago, I received a press release about LEGO’s “NEW Enchanting Disney Princess Range”. I admit I groaned because the LEGO Friends range is so gendered and obviously so is the whole Disney Princess phenomenon, but Joe had been asking me for a Frozen playset so I read on.
And I read this “Combining fantasy role-play with construction, fans will be swept away into familiar tales of fantasy, dreams, heroism and magic whilst finding plenty of inspiration for building their very own fairytales.” Okay.
Girls. Not “fans”. Girls. And “allowing” them to play? Because they’re not allowed to play with other LEGO? Seriously now? But also, um, Joe is a boy. And Joe, I knew, would love this. Is he not “allowed” to play with it?
So I replied to the press release asking why they felt the need to explicitly state that it’s for girls. They replied with “A large proportion of Disney Princess fans are girls however boys are obviously more than welcome to play with the sets too.” Great! So why not stick with “fans”? Why specifically say “girls”? Why not say that the toys for, oh, I don’t know, “children”?
I asked them this too. They didn’t reply, but they did send me one of the sets, which was very nice of them. And Joe loves it. Yes, even though he’s a boy and so not officially “allowed” to play with it.