Friendship re-imagined: The LEGO Group reveals a new generation of LEGO® Friends

November 17, 2022

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Friendship re-imagined: The LEGO Group reveals a new generation of LEGO® Friends

A decade on from the launch of LEGO® Friends, the LEGO Group has re-imagined the Friends Universe, with the introduction of new diverse characters, to enable more children to feel represented during play. This next generation is designed to celebrate diverse friendships in the modern world.

Because the LEGO Group values children as its role models, this next generation of LEGO Friends has implemented input from kid testing, research and feedback from letters sent to the company, which all found children had a desire to see themselves, their friends and their families better represented.

  • 3 out of 4 children feel that there aren’t enough toys that represent them*

  • The re-imagined LEGO® Friends characters are more representative of the world that today’s kids navigate, inclusive of gender, culture, ethnicity, physical traits and abilities, non-visible disabilities and neurodivergence

  • The storylines explore the ups and downs of friendship, while the characters overcome challenges, obstacles, and differences in today’s modern world

The brand-new universe of authentic, interesting, passionate, and diverse characters includes additions of multiple skin tones, cultures, physical and non-visible disabilities, and neurodiversity. The new sets and series will feature characters with limb difference, Downs Syndrome, anxiety, vitiligo, and a dog with a wheelchair. The new friends also explore and work to overcome modern challenges that they face, passions, obstacles, and differences, all while trying to create friendships.

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Click here to learn more about each of the character’s storylines.

“At the LEGO Group, we understand that children want the characters they encounter to be more like the diverse personalities they meet in real-life", said Tracie Chiarella, Head of Product, LEGO Friends at the LEGO Group. “We’re continuously evolving our products so that they’re reflective of society today and that’s why we’re proud to launch this brand-new generation of LEGO Friends. We want children to see the new LEGO Friends Universe, both in the physical product and the content we’re launching in 2023, as a reflection of their own friendships and to see the characters as authentic. We have chosen to evolve the LEGO Friends Universe and TV show to be more inclusive in order to give parents and kids more tools to navigate friendship and their emotions as they grow and learn.”

The re-imagined LEGO Friends Universe aims to help kids become better friends to themselves and others while providing emotional and social development through play, to help them better understand individuality, diversity, and the modern world.

Beyond research and insights from kid testing and designers reviewing letters from children, the LEGO Group also revealed recent research that further highlights children's need for representation.

The LEGO® Play Well Study 2022* showed an overwhelming desire for more representation in play and more discussion on diversity and revealed that parents (97%) believe it is important to discuss the unique individualities between us all, especially mental health (91%), physical disabilities (82%), mental disabilities (81%), and ethnicity (75%). Moreover, parents (84%) say that play and toys can have a key role in helping children learn about diversity.

The research also found that 3 in 4 (73%) children felt that there were not enough toys with characters that represented them and similarly, that 8 in 10 (80%) children would like there to be more toys with characters who look like them. Moreover, children themselves are asking for a fairer, more equitable world with 9 out of 10 (91%) saying they care about everyone being treated equally.

The LEGO Group wants children across the globe to experience the entire Friends Universe as relatable and representative of the real world, both when it comes to products and content. As a result, the storylines of the LEGO Friends TV show have been refreshed in collaboration with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media** helping to develop the character’s narratives to ensure they’re relatable, inclusive, and reflective of the difficulties and experiences that children face today, including the ups and downs of friendships.

The new LEGO® Friends sets will be available from January 1, 2023, while a LEGO®
Friends TV special is due to air in February 2023 – kicking off the new TV series.

*About the LEGO® Play Well Study 2022

All findings from the report, unless otherwise referenced, were gathered from a total of 32,781 parents and 24,593 children aged 5 -12 through a 20 minute online quantitative survey conducted across 35 countries in early 2022.

**About the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDIGM)

Founded in 2004 by Academy Award Winning Actor Geena Davis, the Institute is the only research-based organization working collaboratively within the entertainment industry to create gender balance, foster inclusion and reduce negative stereotyping in family entertainment media. For more information visit: www.seejane.org

Let kids have adventures with LEGO® Friends

LEGO® Friends is the theme for young children to build and play together. LEGO® Friends Stephanie, Mia, Olivia, Emma and Andrea each have unique personalities. They live in the bustling city of Heartlake City where they go to the fair, cafe, amusement park and cinema. You will also find houses, boats, campers, horses, hospitals, tree houses and hotels in the LEGO® Friends town. All of this LEGO® has released in cheerful, imaginative building sets.

LEGO® aims to stimulate children's creativity and imagination with the Friends theme. The LEGO® Friends are curious, passionate, independent, creative, industrious and caring.  Stephanie, Mia, Olivia, Emma and Andrea love music, science, sports, nature and art. With this cheerful theme, many new colors have also been added to LEGO®'s color palette, such as some shades of purple and a teal color, azure. In the sets you will also find lots of typical LEGO® Friends accessories, such as bows, bags and pans. Also discover LEGO® Friends animals, such as horses, dolphins and dogs.

Ordering LEGO® Friends dolls and parts

Don't want to buy a whole set, but individual LEGO® Friends minifigures? That's possible at ToyPro! We are the number one webshop for loose LEGO® figures and parts. Check out our collection of LEGO® Friends dolls. You'll also find all versions of Olivia, Mia, Andrea, Emma and Stephanie in a handy overview in our webshop. Did you know that Friends dolls are 5 millimetres larger than 'regular' LEGO® minifigures. However, they do consist of at least 4 parts, which you can also buy separately from ToyPro on the LEGO® minifigure parts page.

In addition, you can also order individual parts from LEGO® Friends sets in our webshop. Flowers, bags, glasses, hearts and brushes. You'll find them all on the LEGO® Friends parts page.

 

All minifigures and parts in the webshop are new and 100% original LEGO®. With every order of individual minifigures and parts, you will receive ToyPro credits. Use these to save for a great discount on your next purchase.

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