Legos have been a popular toy for decades, but the company’s newest line of toys geared specifically towards girls have sent sales skyrocketing.
Lego Friends -- which includes mini-figurines decked out in candy-coloured miniskirts, a pool and a beauty salon -- helped the Danish toymaker’s sales soar 25 per cent last year, reports Washington Times.
The companies net profit also grew 38 per cent to more than $1 billion last year, reports New York Daily News.
Also see: Hasbro to sell 'gender-neutral' Easy Bake Ovens
Lego officials say that while Lego Star Wars and Lego Ninjago series were among the best sellers, Lego Friends sold better than expected – to the point where production units couldn’t keep up with the demands.
When the girly line came out, it sparked outrage, especially among women troubled by how the set reinforced gender stereotypes. Pop culture critics asked why the Friends set was covered in pastel shades, hearts and puppies while boys got to explore jungles.
Shortly after its release, SPARK, a campaign against the sexualization of girls sent an open letter to Lego, accusing the company of a “lack of faith…in girls’ skills and interests.” The statement was accompanied by more than 50,000 signatures.
Also see: Girl petitions for Easy Bake Oven gender equality
This isn’t the first time Lego has set their sights on young girls. According to pop culture critic Anita Sarkeesian, Lego has been trying to market to girls since the ‘70s.
And with different races, hair colours and personalities, there’s a Friend that most young girls can identify with.
According to Lego, the Friends are still selling like hot cakes, and now, it seems like critics are warming up to the girls of Heartlake City – at least a little bit.
“I'm glad advocacy groups spoke up when girly Legos launched because the controversy fostered important discussion about sexist advertising and gendered play,” writes Katie J.M. Baker for Jezebel. “But since it looks like Lego Friends are here for good, let's stop picketing Heartlake City.”
What do you think about the popularity of these girly Lego Friends? Let us know in the comments below.
Watch the video below about a girl who petitioned for a 'gender-neutral' Easy Bake Oven.