This blog is in response to a petition & spam campaign of a few feminists

Some radical feminist groups realized they can advance their own agenda by launching a "No pink aisle, bring back beautiful" social media campaign by claiming The LEGO Group offers no "gender equity" in the new theme "Friends" and its marketing. They created an online petition, then proceeded encouraging their followers to SPAM the LEGO Facebook page with one of TLG's own ads. Laced with false dramatic information, they convinced the petition site to include their "cause" in its membership mailing notice.
This blog sheds light on their omissions, skewed facts & images.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pink spam - read about the campaign tactics

A recent comment on TLG's facebook's page going along with the above image being spammed there:
"A huge part of deciding the things I buy, particularly toys for my kids, is the ethics of the company which make the product. I won't be buying any more Lego once you roll out the new Lego collection aimed at girls. I have no interest in encouraging my daughter to become "a budding Kardashian" (as the NYTimes describes your goal). I am deeply disappointed."

First of all, the piece is an Opinion Editorial (that's what an Op-Ed is) and the writer is a partner in the "No Pink" campaign -- she's on the advisory board of Hardy Girls, and a SPARKsummit partner. The "budding Kardashian" comment is not The New York Times' description.
Peggy wrote this article when all the skewed images & misinformation were first plastered all over various sites -- then re-tweeted and re-posted ad nauseam.

 The 1981 LEGO ad
    It started with the Bloomberg photo-shopped, skewed image of one of the new Friends "mini-dolls" (they are not called LadyFigs) which attempts to portray the size of the new mini-dolls as quite larger than the Classic MiniFigures, by magically giving her the ability to hold a yellow minifig head:
Bloomberg Businessweek image photo-shopped to skew proportions of new Friends mini-doll
Bloomberg's photo-shopped image skews size ratio.

    Stephanie Cole, also of SPARKsummit, who wrote the first piece for SPARK about TLG selling-out girls' intelligence, also wrote in her article how she doesn't even own LEGO bricks, "I was never a Legos kid, not because I wanted my figurines to have boobs, but because I didn’t like all the assembly required before I could start staging battles and cowboy adventures." -- Stephanie Cole ig-legos-bui...

    Then, fueled with anger by what Stephanie wrote, SPARKsummit's Baily Shoemaker Richards did not like the reply she "personally" received from TLG's twitter & facebook fan page, so she wrote, "They thanked me for sharing SPARK’s thoughts on the new line of toys and respectfully disagreed, stating that 4 years of research had told them the mini-skirt-wearing, hot-tub-bathing, beauty-shop-running Lego ladies are what girls want now."

    *That's not exactly what TLG replied, it was actually: "Your feedback is important to us and I will share your comments and concerns with the design and mrk team" -- per @LEGO_Group on twitter.

    The "so-called" hot-tub referred to by Bailey = a Splash Pool you know, like the kind loads of kids on AFV are filmed playing in every week. The beauty shop set is just one set out of many, see if you can find it:

    Still not satisfied with TLG's response, the "No Pink" campaign (blitz) was launched. It calls for a petition: compliments of sub-section Women's Rights, run by Shelby Knox; and encouraging a SPAM campaign on the Facebook wall the of the LEGO fan page with an image of TLG's own 1981 ad.

    Then, with a few more online women's rights groups joining the campaign -- with their many titled entities (to make the "no pink" appear way bigger): such as PBG (Powered by Girl) whose alias is the same Bailey, SPARKsummit is listed as an employer by Bailey too; New Moon Girls, aka, Nancy Gruver, aka, The broad side; Lyn Mikel Brown, aka, Colby college, aka, Hardy Girls; Shelby Knox, aka, Women's Rights; Peggy Orenstein, aka, Hardy Girls, aka, SPARKsummit; REEL girls, aka, Margot Wagoman; Pigtail Pals, aka, Melissa Atkins Wardy; and Dana Adell, aka, SPARKsummit.

   "No pink aisles, bring back beautiful" slogan is quite catchy -- except it rings hollow.  When Friends did reach major retailers in North America, the sets were on an end-cap of the "regular" LEGO / construction aisle -- as with any new theme's introduction.  At some retailers, there is a stand-alone display for Friends sets.  Also, the word beautiful used in the 1981 ad refers to the creation the girl made -- not the girl herself, as many spammers confusingly wrote.
Below are some of the online inciting articles, which were continually re-circulating amongst the various groups' sites, Facebook pages, blog, tweets, e-mail, etc:

    REEL girls, aka, Margot Magowan -for-girls-g... also encourages people to spam TLG fan page while giving TLG a triple "S" rating.

    Lyn Mikel Brown used the Huffington post platform to continue to drown out counter-information: for-girls_b_...

The "Riley pink & blue tirade" was added to the campaign for more visual punch: ABC News was duped

    The "backlash" Buzzfeed post by Donna, seems to be a lone wolf act of spreading misinformation by one of their "she-eple" since there wasn't an obvious alter entity indicated.  Their social connect tools make it super easy to spread just about anything. sh-has-begun

    Dana Edell, also of SPARKsummit, got an article published in the New York Daily tarts-petiti...
which is what first caught my attention, and how I was made aware of their facebook SPAM at Christmas time!  At first, when I wrote my comment on the NY Daily article, I was obviously confused. I even included a link to the very same 1981 LEGO ad they were using in their spam campaign
(because I had seen the scanned/uploaded image years ago on Flickr).  Then, after viewing it being spammed on the Facebook fan page of LEGO and causing skewed information to be spread online, this blog was created to document and attempt to grasp the groups' agenda.

    New Moon Girls questioned why real girls who use NXT can't develop a line for LEGO: 
 After getting some comments with correct information about some NXT activities these past four years, Nancy hid the post on their wall. Although, continuing encouragement for their campaign people to spam TLG's wall. Plus, New Moon, aka, Broad Side, aka, Nancy Gruver, created yet another petition.

    Soon, people online started drinking the "no pink" Kool-Aid and posting comments complaining the new Friends bricks were over-sized and would not fit with other LEGO sets. This is also false:  All Friends set bricks & elements are 100% compatible with any LEGO System set.

    After that, some mis-information was spread that Friends sets are "pre-fab" (pre-built) and require merely setting out a pie & gumball machine.
and claiming that this set will take a girl "only 4 minutes to build" when the set actually contains 222 bricks & elements:
    Then on Dec 30, Pigtails reveals she makes her very first ever LEGO purchase, as a "newly minted" LEGO Mom:
     How can she be knowledgeable on how long it takes to build a LEGO set, if she has never?

    One of the most beautiful aspects LEGO is its re-build-ability. Images on set boxes are merely ideas. Ideas which have painstakingly been converted into instructions included in the sets. Some kids like instructions, some don't. Current building trends are for kids to be encouraged to re-build with the bricks from the sets into a MOC [My Own Creation]. This fosters imagination and spatial skills. There is even a website dedicated to MOCs, called, hosted by certified professional builder, Sean Kenny.

    Many claims & comments in this campaign have tried to equate Friends as somehow denying girls access to education in STEM [Science Technology Engineering Math], even tweeting such fears to Pitsco (LEGO Education elements manufacturer). If anything, this open access to even more girls to STEM. Girls who may not currently manipulate bricks, yet, who might be interested in Friends, can also use their imaginations while building spatial skills. If you don't like Friends, no worries. Just continue to buy from the plethora of red & yellow LEGO sets/tubs which don't cause any perceived confusion on gender. Truly though, the activity of building with any color bricks is gender neutral.

    Now I have gone through several phases of trying to understand their campaign's agenda. At first I thought it was "more girls in ads," then, "no pink bricks," and then "don't market huge doll-like figures to girls which aren't compatible with other LEGO minifigs" [note: the hair pieces of mini-doll is completely interchangeable with all classic minifigs, also their hands can grip any element a yellow-headed minifig can].
   Today I am not really sure. It's a bit unrealistic if this social-media campaign thinks they'll get Friends "halted" at production, or distribution, like they did a t-shirt on JC Penney web site: 
    Many independent retailers of LEGO say their customers have been asking them for for a while exactly what Friend sets provide: a new option.

   The character of the females protesting LEGO Friends:  

Melissa Campbell is responsible for SPARK's twitter tweets: @SPARKsummit as well as tweets as @pluralisms -- her image pretty much says it all.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New York Times op-ed writer is partner in "No pink" campaign against LEGO

"No Pink" partner submits op-ed to NYT

The truth is, Peggy didn't build LEGO bricks with her own daughter; she left that to her husband.  How is that showing an "empowering" example to a child?

No wonder Peggy isn't engineer-savvy; too bad she didn't have LEGO Friends as a girl!

The more you know about the LEGO Friends detractors, the more you realize their *opinion* is based on conjecture -- not actual, real-life experience.  Sad.

"No pink" campaign tactic = "block & delete!"

 Helpful LEGO fans try to show one of the "no pink" campaign partners other images of Friends than just the one in all their articles.  This was in response to their call for real NXT girls to help develop theme.
In respond to asking why real NXT girls can't develop new theme, helpful comments with images & links to activities which real NXT girls had access to during the research period were then hidden from view by Nancy Gruver of New Moon Girls -- although they had been public for several days.
Yet, they continued their spam campaign on TLG wall.

Pigtail Pals re-adds the same question about why real NXT girls can be included to develop theme in a post to TLG page -- yet this post is in form that doesn't allow comments.
After that, Pigtail Pals "hides" a post (even though it was public for 2 days) in which she claims the Cafe set will take only 4 minutes to build --- requiring merely putting out the cupcake & gumball machine.  As well as stating this set is pre-fab, therefore no intellectual challenge for her girl.
    This Cafe set is mostly red, plus it is not pre-fab; this set comes with all bricks & elements loose in the box -- assembly is required.  The box art is only one idea, girls are encouraged to build their own creation -- it's called a MOC (My Own Creation).  Building with any color bricks is gender neutral.

Pigtail Pals:  Pigtail Pals - Redefine Girly
New Moon Girls
New Moon Girls

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Huff & puff

    Another women's rights petitioner, Lyn Mikel Brown, used one of her many platforms to continue the campaign of: "No pink aisles, bring beautiful back," against the LEGO Group's new Friends theme.  Although I tried four times to post a counter-information comment -- alas, they wouldn't post it.
Does the uploader of the blog page on Huffington have control over which comments get posted?  Mine would have been the very first post, but after 4 tries, nothing.  Then I noticed a comment did go through -- so it is possible for just the right comment to get through.
    By highlighting the hashtag #LiberateLEGO, they are trying to re-ignite the campaign promoting a petition, spam, tweet, post on a site (then rinse & repeat as needed).  All the while, they systematically delete posts on their own groups' pages on Facebook which LEGO fans have provided by sharing non-photoshopped/product stock images of the new Friends sets.  Not publishing counter-argument comments is another tactic.  (Yes, people have sent us compositions of what they wrote as comments which were never published on their various articles.)
Some of the deleted comments also included links to information about some programs/activities in which LEGO and the LEGO fan community has included girls; several have provided research insight over the past years.
Link to the above article of Lyn's is here:

   (note: Lyn is co-founder of SPARK,  Hardy Girls, PBG and teaches at Colby College)

 Lyn & Megan are mad.

Now they have confused people even more -- into thinking Heartlake has a tanning salon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ABC News was duped Riley was coached, video used in "No Pink" campaign

    Riley - the girl in the video about pink & blue - whose video was promoted and then offered up to the "No Pink aisles" campaigners for use in their "social-media campaign" against The LEGO Group when her parents heard about the new Friends theme.

   Here's the proof.  Thanks to The Huffington Post. (above screencap is link to article)
Transcribe of what it says in the screencap:
"Sarah Maida, Riley's mom, told The Huffington Post that this video was actually shot in May of 2011. She and her husband Dennis had shared it with a few friends, who responded positively to Riley's message. But, after Sarah heard about LEGO Friends -- shapely mini-figures that lock into pink, purple and pastel green settings, such as a dream house, a splash pool and a beauty shop -- she posted the video on Facebook fan pages for Princess Free Zone and Pigtail Pals, companies that sell only gender-neutral products and stand up for girl's rights. (Princess Free's tagline is "Come as you are," and they sell apparel featuring designs like a dinosaur on a scooter or a skateboarding octopus.)"


   Then came the start of the SPAM campaign on the LEGO facebook page.  Some feminist women's rights groups and "girl empowerment" product sellers networked together to SPAM and spread false information about the Friends theme and TLG's research.

    Even in promoting the video, they admit some people think the rant is staged.  As written by Jennifer Shewmaker, who also believes girls with ADHD aren't "normal" and used that premise in her education.

    This is a screencap of PBG telling their networking groups to tell LEGO not to base a new theme on what four years of research with real girls garnered -- but to give girls what is "good for them" (in their opinion) instead.  

    Hello?  The LEGO Group isn't in the business of, say, offering school lunches, which you pay for with your tax dollars and probably would want to make sure the meals aren't just what some kids want -- yet what is good for them instead.

    The LEGO Group is a privately-help corporation, which has gone beyond what most toy companies do in regard to research & development of its products.
    So, there we have PBG (powered by girls), SPARKsummit, Pigtail Pals, New Moon Girls, and Hardy Girls, Princess Free Zone, Jennifer Shewmaker, and a few more, all hatching their "social media campaign" plan.  "No pink aisles, bring back beautiful" is what they spammed.

    What should have been a joyful holiday season was muddled up by a few feminists with an agenda.  They saw an opportunity upon a chance dialogue with a wonderful company called LEGO -- they ran with it -- they petitioned -- they spammed -- they posted & re-posted, and now we know they used an apparently staged video of a little girl's rant.

    They tweeted and sent the video link back & forth in their networks -- somehow it got the attention of ABC News.  Oh, Diane, how you were duped.

   Update:  Riley's mom, Sarah, is so confused about LEGO Friends that she provides false statements saying they aren't compatible with 'other LEGO' when everyone who owns LEGO knows they are 100% compatible with any other LEGO bricks, and the mini-dolls have exchangeable hair with mini-figs, and can hold any utensil a mini-fig can.  She also fails to comprehend that girls made up only 9% of TLG's customers in 2011 -- and now that Friends is available that number has increased to 28% -- that isn't about making people buy more, it's about many parents buying LEGO bricks for the very first time!!! 

  Notice Riley's pic as her profile pic -- yeah Batman & LEGO Friends are not mutually exclusive either -- loads of girls play with both.  Hey, is that a pink cabinet in your house?  Wow.
  If The LEGO Group only cared for profits as Riley's mom suggests, then why do they sponsor Google's Science Fair?  Sarah hasn't a clue -- too busy using her kid to promote her own anger.

Little Girl Riley Angry Over 'Pink Stuff' Toys | Video - ABC News


Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker's Operation Transformation

New Moon Girls

SPARK a Movement

Pigtail Pals - Redefine Girly


This blog isn't the only, or first, online posting of how Riley appears rehearsed:


Monday, December 26, 2011

SPARKsummit article by Bailey on LEGO Friends

The "No pink aisles, bring beautiful back" campaign creator (Bailey/PBG) was *fueled* by an article on their feminists website -- written by Stephanie Cole,  who admits she doesn't own LEGO:

PBG (Powered by girls) usually attacks companies like Abercrombie, etc., for showing too much cleavage, or something like that.

How they ever justified lumping LEGO Friends into that category is bizarre at best.

The LEGO Group's 1981 advertisement SPARKsummit uses in their campaign is merely one ad featuring girls TLG has put forth over the decades.

In that advertisement the word "beautiful" is actually there as a description of what the girl built -- that it wasn't necessarily a "set" nor did it have uniform colors like sets, yet her own creation is still beautiful.

That there are no pink bricks visible isn't because LEGO didn't already make pink bricks.

Update: Bailey Poland has written a book about "Haters" online ... even though she, herself, is a "hater" of other peoples' creativity, choices and lifestyles.  Hypocrisy for sure.


SPARKSUMMIT by Stephanie Cole admits she's not LEGO person

LINK to article:

The most noted self counter-productive statement she makes is admitting she didn't even play with LEGO bricks as a child:  "... because I didn’t like all the assembly required ..." 

Well, too bad Stephanie -- millions of girls do like the assembly required and are building with LEGO Friends.  They are gaining STEM skills every day.
In reply to this notion that all TLG has to do to get more girl customers is to make more female minifigures:  Not all LEGO figures can be Princess Leia or Hermoine, as referenced in her article.  It appears they are not aware of the girls in the Collectible MiniFigures series, or the Community workers set, or all the new 2012 City sets!

 Notice how they seem to be focused on the Splash Pool set, without showing images of the Inventor's Workshop, or others, which were released publicly at the same time.

Fact:  LEGO has included female minifigures in new sets:  See 2012 City Forest Fire Station's female Park Ranger:   cty263: Forest Police - Dark Tan Jacket with Pockets, Gold Badge and Braid, Olive Green Tie, Dark Tan Legs, Campaign Hat | Brickset: LEGO set guide and database


LEGO Friends Olivia's House (set 3315)

image courtesy of The LEGO Group

Customers had complained there weren't LEGO sets attracting enough young girls to build -- so The LEGO Group invested tons of money & time in an anthropological research project spanning the globe comprised of thousands of *real* girls and their families to develop a Gateway theme into construction toy play.  In 2011 only 9% of LEGO builders were girls; now that Friends sets are available, that number has increased to 27% (per The LEGO Group).

These sets have the same creative, building toy as all LEGO.  Olivia's House set box contains 700 loose bricks and instructions.  Girls can then re-build the bricks blending in bricks from any other LEGO set or brick bucket.

Now more girls are gaining STEM skills through spatial-reasoning involved in building and re-building these toys.  They also gain technology skills by accessing interfaced programs, such as LEGO Digital Designer to create CAD-type version of these sets -- as well as manipulate the bricks in that virtual platform to create anything she can imagine!

LEGO Friends 3061

 image copyright The LEGO Group

The first 'color' I see is red.
What is it about this set that some feminist groups think is not "equal" to girls?

LEGO Friends 3315

This is the sets that gets put into the feminist groups' articles the most.
I guess girls aren't supposed to brush their hair in real life.
Notice how they systematically don't use the original set picture release by TLG:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

NewYorkDailyNews article about feminists not liking LEGO Friends

Some feminists are so happy to get their own agenda in the news.  View the comments for yourself:

They seem fixated one merely one set of the Friends theme -- the one with the most pink.

Based on skewed information and strategically omitted images; focusing on breasts & girly figures based on the photo-shopped images by Bloomberg Businessweek. (see top right side bar of this blog)

powered by girl other has other issues

How these feminist groups can include a LEGO theme in their repertoire of ads they target as anti-female is bizarre. Except that of getting the media attention of attaching themselves to such a large company like The LEGO Group.


NYDN comments show that Bailey really just wants publicity for SPARK

Comment by "Bshoe" Bailey Shoemaker Richards of SPARK reflects group is very excited to get their own agenda in to the news this way.

Bshoe 'aka' PBG (Powered by Girls) 'aka' SPARKsummit 'aka'  @the_author_ 'aka' ...

NYDN poll Dec 25 2011


PBG spam campaign for LEGO Facebook page

LINK:   PBG - encouraging to spam - LEGO Group

Powered by girls (PBG 'aka' Bailey) encourages people to SPAM the LEGO Group Facebook page with the same image over & over again ... pretty lame. 
Especially during Christmas time! 
TLG has open channels, use them:
Your voice is your purchase -- if you don't like it don't buy it -- just don't attach LEGO to some campaign to get attention for your feminist group's agendas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------
First Bailey wants people to "Like" the LEGO page ... then someone points out that might encourage the LEGO execs into thinking loads of people actually 'like' them, so they changed their strategy to: "Don't 'Like' the page just post this picture" (of a copyright LEGO owned ad from 1981) and basically SPAM the page.
Then many feminist group members and other misinformed people stayed to "troll" the page to argue with people presenting facts, even Gary Istok ~ Unofficial AFOL LEGO Historian.  They basically drowned out the truth -- good thing we have this blog!

Reel Girl asking readers to spam LEGO Facebook page

Notice how they seem to be focused on the pool set, calling it a "hot tub" when in fact it's a Splash Pool.  They conveniently omit the Inventor's Workshop, or others which were released publicly at the same time.

The LEGO Group's 1981 advertisement SPARKsummit uses in its campaign is merely one ad featuring girls TLG has put forth over the decades.

In that advertisement the word "beautiful" is actually there as a description of the creation the girl built -- that it wasn't necessarily a "set" nor did it have uniform colors like sets it is still beautiful.

Link to article:

Just because there are no pink bricks visible in the 1981 ad isn't because LEGO didn't make pink bricks at the time; the very creation itself as being "beautiful" is to which the ad is referring.  The very act of any gender using LEGO bricks in a spatially-imagined creation is beautiful in the eyes of the beholder.