LEGO DOTS is a LEGO product line that, on the outside, might appear to be stereotypically girly due to many of their products being bracelets, jewelry holders, and jewelry boxes. Because of this, some people might think that the product is marketed towards girls andLEGO DOTS has created a product that is heavily girly and feminine, similar to the Friends LEGO theme. However, if one actually looks at the product’s marketing and the DOTS designs, the LEGO DOTS line is actually more gender neutral than some might think and the DOTS products are actually marketed towards everyone.
Before the analysis starts, we want to write a disclaimer and to define the word girly. In this context, when we say stereotypically girly or stereotypically feminine in the DOTS sets, we mean sparkles, hearts, jewelry, pinks, and purples. While we understand that saying these things are “girly” is perpetuating stereotypes about what it means to be a girl, it is important to be able to have a word to describe this stereotypical femininity so that it can be measured in products like DOTS. While some girls may like girly characteristics, others may not, so it is important when marketing products to girls (and to everyone else) that this girly stereotype does not persist and the whole product line is not fully covered in pink, purple, and sparkles. However, that does not mean that these girly characteristics should not be in any products marketed for girls. In short, the important thing is that there is balance in the product line. In DOTS, just because some products are clearly marketed towards girls (e.g. Sparkly Unicorn Bracelet), that does not mean that the line as a whole is solely for girls and is not for everyone else.
When one looks at the DOTS marketing, it is clear that the product is focused on creativity and is fun for people of all genders. Of the eight kids involved in the marketing campaign three of them are boys, and it is clear that although there are bracelets and jewelry products, there are also DOTS pencil holders, desk organizers, picture frames, and picture holders. DOTS also has bracelets that are more gender neutral, such as Cosmic Wonder Bracelet, Rainbow Bracelet, Go Team! Bracelet, and Love Birds Bracelet. These make up 50% of the individual DOTS bracelet currently in the DOTS product line. In the marketing campaign, the boys are seen wearing these bracelets and playing with the desk tools.
The colors and images used in the product are also fairly varied and diverse. As seen below in the graph, the top colors that appear in any way in the sets are pink, white, blue, and green. Also, looking at the marketing and the majority colors being used in the products, only 6 of the 17 products use pink as a main color, and 6 of the 17 products use purple as a main color. There are also many pastel colors, some of which were new brick colors for LEGO and increased brick availability for pastel colors. This is very different from the Friends line where a majority of their products heavily display pink and purple as the predominant colors used. In addition, pink and purple are the background colors on most of the LEGO Friends packaging, while the packaging of DOTS products consistently use a variety of different colors.
In addition, when looking at the printed DOTS tiles, they are fairly evenly dispersed across 8 gender neutral image categories. These tiles were sorted into categories that described the main image in the tiles. The most popular image categories were animals, sky, text, and shapes, which are all gender neutral categories and hard to make gendered. It is hard to make food or animals particularly girly.
LEGO DOTS is a product line that is marketed towards girls, but also makes it clear that DOTS is for everyone. Since there is a wide range of colors used in the product, marketing, and packaging, DOTS is not exclusively a girly product line, which is unlike many attributes seen in many of the Friends sets, which are heavily marketed towards girls. Because of the diversity seen in the advertising, the diversity in colors and images used, and the emphasis on DOTS being about creativity and inclusion, it is clear that DOTS is a line designed for everyone, and is not a product line exclusively designed for girls.