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Posts Tagged ‘LEGO’

LEGO Responds to Demands, Introduces Playset Featuring Female Scientists

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Back in June, we reported that LEGO had approved production of the Research Institute set, designed by a female geochemist, which would feature a female astronomer, chemist, and paleontologist. The announcement came after public demand for equal representation of female minifigures hit an all-time high, one such request coming from a young girl named Charlotte, who wrote a letter to the company that read in part:

“I am 7 years old and I have LEGOs, but I don’t like that there are more LEGO boy people and barely any LEGO girls. Today I went to a store and saw LEGOs in two sections…All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs, but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks. I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun OK?!?”

Ellen Kooijman, the scientist who designed the Research Institute set, shared Charlotte’s frustration, and after pitching her idea to the company and earning 10,000 supporters, Kooijman explained on on her blog: Read more

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LEGO Issues Tepid Response to Shell Controversy; Greenpeace Issues Mock PSA

One has to admire Greenpeace’s dedication to solid production values. Check out this mock PSA, which came out today:

The org might not be so great with money, but it certainly jumped on the opportunity to criticize LEGO’s new partnership with big bad Shell a week ago, writing that the decision to include the Shell logo on some products (and reap the retail rewards) meant that the company was putting cold, hard cash “above its commitment to the environment and children’s futures.”

There’s also the expected petition complete with an image of a polar bear balancing on a LEGO ice block in a sea filled with oil and what looks like a pirated rig. All of those things and LEGO’s weak response after the jump.

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Girls Are Scientists, Too: LEGO Responds to Customer Demands for Female Minifigures

lego 1_0Last week we told you about Disney coming to the hard-won, customer-fueled realization that girls like Star Wars, too, and that it might be a good idea to make Princess Leia toys (who knew??). Now, thanks to consumer demand, LEGO has come to a similar conclusion; the company has just announced the approval of the “Research Institute” set, which will feature a female astronomer, chemist, and a paleontologist.

A few months back, we covered the story of a little girl named Charlotte, who, dissatisfied with the limited selection of female minifigures and their stereotypical themes (beauty parlor, shopping, etc.), wrote a strongly-worded letter to LEGO, saying:

“My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I have LEGOs, but I don’t like that there are more LEGO boy people and barely any LEGO girls. Today I went to a store and saw LEGOs in two sections…All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs, but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks. I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun OK?!?”

Little Charlotte, it seems, is nowhere near alone in her strong sentiment; Read more

Openings: Make Them Big, Just Don’t Focus on Making Them ‘Grand’

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Today we bring you a guest post on campaign launches and media strategies by Todd Graff, VP of PR at Boston-based digital agency CTP.

Nothing says Grand Opening quite like a “ribbon cutting” ceremony. A few VIPs, a big pair of scissors and, voila, your operation is off and running. There was a time when that type of ceremony, including the stock photo and a couple of nice media placements, was a good way to hit the ground running.

These days, however, if you’ve waited for the Grand Opening to make a big splash then it might just be too late. What you do beforehand in the weeks, if not months, prior to the big day is just as important to what you do when the doors open.

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7-Year-Old Skewers LEGO For Not Including More Girls

LEGO_LogoRemember when LEGO came under fire for its LEGO Friends line, a collection geared toward girls (finally!), but which abandoned adventurous themes for a pastel color palate, taller and slimmer female minifigures, and cliche female-friendly scenarios like a suburban home, a beauty parlor and a horse stable? Well, despite the toy line being slammed as sexist and pandering (even spawning a hashtag movement to #LiberateLEGO), it has become a huge success.

But not all little girls are satisfied with the domestic-themed options the toy company offers them, and one little girl in particular has decided to make her very dissatisfied voice heard.

Seven-year-old Charlotte took it upon herself to write a strongly-worded letter to LEGO, criticizing the toy company for making more “boy people” than “lego girls,” and for sending boys on fantastic adventures while relegating girls to the mall and the beauty parlor.

The letter read in part:

“My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I have LEGOs, but I don’t like that there are more LEGO boy people and barely any LEGO girls. Today I went to a store and saw LEGOs in two sections…All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs, but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks. I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun OK?!?”

Read more

Sure, Your iPhone is Updated, but is it a LEGO Masterpiece in the Making?

It’s true what they say about technology — as soon as you’ve got the latest thing, something cooler comes along.

If you thought your iPhone — complete with its fancy new iOS 7 update — was the niftiest gadget on the block, LEGO and Belkin have some bad news for you. Unless your phone’s case allows you to turn your device into a high-tech cog in a LEGO masterpiece, you’re still a step behind the curve.

LEGO has been hitting it out of the park when it comes to PR and promotion opportunities over the past year, and cozying up to the iPhone is a great way to bring adults back into the block-playing fold. Combining our favorite grown-up toy with one of our favorite childhood ones? Double the fun!

More Brands That Jumped on the Avatar Bandwagon (or Should Have)

Yesterday we posted on Bud Light‘s well-timed decision to offer Facebook fans its own variation on the very viral Human Rights Campaign marriage equality avatar. Now we’d like to showcase some other examples of brands that were, if not quite “bold”, at least attuned to news trends — and the interests of their target audiences. Here are some more branded variations on the avatar:

Equal artificial sweetener: We can’t confirm that the brand itself created this one, but if they didn’t then they certainly missed out on a great opportunity.

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LEGO Hits Jackpot with ‘Controversial’ Line for Girls

Classic LEGO adToy-makers crossing the gender barrier by marketing “boy toys” to girls and vice versa has been all the rage lately (remember the Easy-Bake Oven for boys?). But does this sort of often controversial rebranding pay off? In the case of LEGO‘s girl-geared LEGO Friends, the answer is a resounding “yes!”

Full disclosure: I’m a girl. I also played with LEGOs. But apparently, there weren’t quite enough block-building little girls like me, so LEGO decided to create a line of toys geared exclusively to tots of the female variety. In December 2011, the company launched LEGO Friends, a new line of building sets aimed at girls. The new collection steered away from male-targeted themes like ninjas, Star Wars and superheros, featuring instead a pastel color palate, taller and slimmer female minifigures, and cliche female-friendly scenarios like a suburban home, a beauty parlor and a horse stable.

While LEGO Friends drew ire for being sexist and pandering, and even spawned an oppositional movement and petition promising to #LiberateLEGO, the line has become a huge success. The company reported last week that LEGO Friends proved to be the company’s fourth-bestselling line in its first year, helping the LEGO company increase its revenue by 25 percent and record its best financial returns in its 81 years of existence.

“Our data show that we tripled the number of girls who are building with Lego bricks in the U.S. market since the launch of Friends, and we’ve significantly shifted the gender split among Lego users,” said Michael McNally, Lego’s U.S. spokesman. Yet another win for LEGO.

Still, this girl would take a Star Wars set over a horse stable any day.

Another PR Win for LEGO: Life Lessons for a 7-Year-Old Boy

LEGO Right on the heels of LEGO‘s awesomely adorable decision to send a discontinued train set to one of its most dedicated young fans, the company has once again succeeded in sending the message that it truly values its customers.

Seven-year-old Luka Apps was distraught when, while on a shopping trip with his father, he lost his Jay ZX LEGO figurine, which he had bought with his own Christmas money. Before heading out on the fateful trip that led to Jay ZX’s disappearance, Luka’s father had warned him to leave the toy at home for safekeeping. Luka brought Jay along for the trip anyway, and sure enough, he managed to fall out of the boy’s pocket at a store. Saddened over the loss of his toy, Luka sent a letter to LEGO’s customer service department admitting his mistake:

Hello.

My name is Luka Apps and I am seven years old.

With all my money I got for Christmas I bought the Ninjago kit of the Ultrasonic Raider. The number is 9449. It is really good.

My Daddy just took me to Sainsburys and told me to leave the people at home but I took them and I lost Jay ZX at the shop as it fell out of my coat.

I am really upset I have lost him. Daddy said to send you a email to see if you will send me another one.

I promise I won’t take him to the shop again if you can.

– Luka

LEGO’s incredible response reads like one part life lesson, one part ninja adventure:

Read more

PR Win: LEGO Sends Rare Train Set to Sad Young Boy

This, loyal readers, is the kind of positive PR that no campaign, no matter how interactive or innovative, can provide a brand. We somehow missed the story last week, but it remains every bit as adorable:

An 11-year old Massachusetts boy who happens to have Asperger Syndrome, loves train sets and describes himself as “your most loyal LEGO fan” wrote a letter to the LEGO company, telling them a sad tale of saving his allowances for two years so he could buy a limited-edition train set only to discover that it had been discontinued. He bought another model but it just wasn’t the same, so he asked the company’s customer service department whether they might happen to have an extra set hanging around corporate headquarters somewhere.

The company decided to respond in the coolest possible way. While we’re not sure that this move qualifies LEGO as “the BEST company in the world”, we can say without a doubt that this is what incredible customer service looks like. The company letter is excellent, and LEGO deserves all the positive PR: