While visiting the Chicago Lego store this weekend:
“MOM! They have Merida and Ariel Legos!” -7yo Original Pigtail Pal Amelia
“Really? Oh yeah, there is Merida and the bear cubs and her bow, that is cool. It says Highland Ga….” -Me
“Oh I beg your pardon! That isn’t Ariel. That is when she is a human. She isn’t even a mermaid there!” -OPP
“Um, let me look at the box. Yeah, you are right, she isn’t a mermaid. This is after she has given away her voice and her tail to go on land as a human to kiss some dude she’s never spoken to before.” -Me
“Right? Who does that? I wouldn’t give up my dad or tail to chase some hot guy on a boat. I don’t want this. And I can’t have a boyfriend because I’m seven. But can I get Merida? Because she is a girl like me. You know, someone needs to talk to these people and tell them the business. This is not how you make smart girls. All ‘oooh, oooh I see a prince and now I’m going to be his wife’. GIVE ME A BREAK! What if she wants to keep swimming in the ocean? Or do science? Who makes this stuff? I need to tell them the business. Ariel is a mermaid who wants adventure. That is what all mermaids want.” -OPP
“And she was curious and collected things she discovered around the ocean. But that isn’t what they are selling to girls with this set, is it?”-Me
“Oh. Oh ho ho. I’ll tell you what they are selling, alright.” -OPP
I did go on Lego’s website and they do have a small set with Ariel as the mermaid coming January 2014. Nowhere as elaborate as Ariel’s Magical Kiss, however. Much to the disappointment of my mermaid-loving, head-exploding seven year old daughter.
Also? Does the row boat seriously need to be pink?
Some great comments from our Facebook Community when we discussed this:
“The unholy alliance between LEGO and Disney is really upsetting. You have to wonder, will we soon have Disney princess tinker toys and Disney princess Lincoln Logs and Disney princess chess sets. I know all those things are already available in pink “for girls” editions, and it’s just a matter of time before, say, the only way a girl can possibly be taught chess is if the pieces are princesses. This train is not slowing down.” – Lori Day, author of “Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More”
“Nothing says age-appropriate marketing like selling a set (aimed at young girls) that essentially says guys kissing ladies who don’t have the voice to give consent is okay… if you want to be a princess who lands the prince, anyway. The whole “Magical Kiss” set isn’t really age appropriate. Why are retailers selling kissing and romance to a young audience at all? Personally, I am a fan of Merida: she wants to be a girl first and doesn’t want to be rushed into an engagement or marriage immediately. She is a positive female character that girls can look to that doesn’t require love at first sight or a happily ever after with a prince. The ending highlights the importance of family and being adventurous and full of awesome just as we are. Most other Disney princesses (Ariel among them) do not carry this same message. This isn’t to say other princesses don’t have great qualities (they do!), but just that the romantic element shouldn’t be what retailers focus on for our youngest consumers. ” -Erin Wolf
“We got the LEGO catalog in the mail the other day. The LEGO Disney sets include: Cinderella’s Castle ($70.00), Merida’s Highland Games ($19.99), Ariel’s Amazing Treasures ($12.99), Cinderella’s Dream Carriage ($29.99) and Rapunzel’s Creativity Tower ($39.99). This is another reason why we buy mostly bricks and not sets.” -Chris Singer
“I got my daughter a tree house kit from the LEGO Creator line. She squealed and hugged me so hard, I nearly cried to see my kid so happy.” -Gabrielle Tenn New
“Wasn’t she wearing blue during this scene? Can’t they at least have her in the correct outfit? Or would blue be too masculine?” -Elizabeth Dale