Margaret Eby
November 24, 2014 2:40 pm

Gender divides between toys have long perplexed parents and kids. Why do all girls need to be princesses? Why do all boys need to be firemen and astronauts? Furthermore, why do boys get to build things while girls have to make pretend dinner at pretend kitchen sets? Why are girls pink and boys blue?

Today in heartening news, it’s wonderful to see that back in the 1970s, Lego had already keyed into these divides and was fighting back. Over the weekend, a Reddit user uploaded a note that was included with one of the building block toy sets from back in the day. He discovered the 30-year-old note at his partner’s grandmother’s house. The note takes a great, anti-gendered stance when it comes to the toys and how to play with them.

“To parents,” it begins. “The urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls. It’s imagination that counts. Not skill. You build whatever comes into your head, the way you want it. A bed or a truck. A dolls house or a spaceship. A lot of boys like dolls houses. They’re more human than spaceships. A lot of girls prefer spaceships. They’re more exciting than dolls house. The most important thing is to put the right material in their hands and let them create whatever appeals to them.”

In the ’70s and ’80s Lego had a reputation for breaking gender-stereotypes with their marketing and their toys. In a 1981 ad that went viral when it resurfaced earlier this year, a little girl proudly holds her Lego creation — a creation very noticeably not made with pink Legos made ESPECIALLY for girls. 

With the announcement that the next Lego Movie will feature more female characters, looks like they’re reviving this awesome tradition of girl power — which has lagged over the years.

The resurfacing of this note is pretty great and it would be awesome if more toymakers took a page from this bag of marketing tricks. Heck, it’d be awesome if modern day Lego took a hint. Plus, the discovery of the note gives one more reason to go digging through those boxes of old toys when we’re back home for the holidays. [Images via, via]

Advertisement