Pink Boxes: Year 2! I'm fairly convinced that in 2013, the construction toy industry is driven by about 70% success, 20% spite, and 10% forcing a square peg into a round hole. LEGO Friends is a tough nut to crack due to the obvious gender politics you get simply by declaring "this is a toy for girls" in an era where the Internet is a thing. Last year, the sets were largely leisure-based activities and, from the look of things, simplified builds. This year has sets which seem more ornate and complex, plus at higher price points.
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Sets generally deal with familiar pink box themes like nurturing, leisure time, dress-up, and performing, but there are some interesting twists. Mia's Magic Tricks bring a magic act in a box of bricks, which is certainly a deviation from the norm. The Dolphin Cruiser is a large yacht, and not a bad change of pace. Dream Houses, I've seen. Limos, sure. But giant boats? This has potential. Heartlake High brings us a LEGO school - something we don't see a lot - with a fair amount of neat stuff inside, like an owl, a teacher, a co-ed bathroom, and a male student. (Sorry we didn't get a shot of the bathroom interior.)
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Compared to last year's range, the 2013 LEGO Friends set is certainly more male-buyer friendly as the sets have more pieces, more features, and just generally more across the board. I have to assume the target market is buying since we are actually seeing a second year of product, although I suppose that year 3 (or the lack thereof) will really say just how well this range did for the Danish toymakers.