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We were at Exploration Place last weekend and they had a Goldieblox set out for sale at the gift shop... I'd read about it. The gist is that a stanford engineer developed a story-driven toy for girls to play with mechanical stuff and get into engineering.

I'd already written that I felt a little uncomfortable about buying Josie Lego Friends, the girly legos with houses and cute pinkness, because I didn't like the idea that there should be legos "for girls". But playing with goldieblox those legos started sounding better and better because I wasn't really impressed with the goldieblox set. I want to support it, hell I want to support anything thrown at the gender imbalance issue, but buy it for my daughters? It's got some competition.

Goldieblox and The Spinning Machine is basically a pegboard with thread spools that you wind ribbon around... kinda cute but after ten minutes, I felt like I'd done that. Flipped through the book, it's curriculum-y. It retails for $30, you get 33 toy pieces and a storybook. Ouch. If I were to compare to to anything, I'd say it's like high-quality designer tinkertoys... spools, sticks, you get the idea. Except not very many.

On the other hand, the LEGO Friends City Park Cafe is a restaurant, which is Josie's favorite game right now, playing "restaurant", she just wants to make up her own stories. It's $33 and comes with over 200 pieces. And let me be honest: the first time I saw a LEGO friends set, I secretly really wanted it. You know, the little science labs? I talked shit on the skinny chick and liberal use of pink but it was cute. In fact now I'm kinda depressed that the science lab doesn't seem to be around anymore... but whatever.

I realize that my three year old is not the target age for either of these toys, and neither am I. But even my friends with 8-10 year olds, my woman engineer friends who plunged into Goldieblox and Roominate, aren't gushing about how their kids spend hours and hours fiddling with their toys. They're educational, and kinda feel that way.

You know what? I grew up on legos and barbie houses and turned out just fine. There was cuteness. There was shinyness and sparkles.

In fact I just had to look up my favorite ever lego set... this hovercraft. I know these pieces are still at my parents house. Be still, my heart.



I'd be lying if I said my favorite part was the wings or guns or whatever, no, my favorite part was the pretty "lights", the translucent bricks. Anyone else with me on this one, or is that just a quirk that happened to people who fell into aviation electronics later in life?

Anyway the point of this entry is that I kinda want to get Josie some Lego Friends for christmas because they don't make these spaceships as pretty as they used to... you know what, screw it, nothing is as good as it was when I was a kid. But I turned out okay and she will to. I'm going with my gut and buying whatever makes me say "OOOOH I WANT IT!"

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
sunneschii
Nov. 21st, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
The first thought I had when reading the first part of your post was exactly that:
We played for hours with our Barbies, played with dolls, played with our Brio train set, played outside for hours..... and we turned out ok.
Even then our parents did not buy us everything, for example we did not have many plastic toys.
sailorgarnet
Nov. 21st, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
Glad I'm not the only one who is only lukewarm on the Goldieblocks set :)
smittenbyu
Nov. 21st, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
same here… I was all excited to see it, but then when the thought of would I actually buy it? Likely not. I like the toys in the market. I just wish there was less pink in it. Just a little more realism in the colors. I have not seen a pink washing machine anywhere nor have I seen a pink school bus!
(Deleted comment)
monadhrionnag
Nov. 22nd, 2013 01:25 am (UTC)
I'm sad to hear Roominate doesn't appear to be much more entrancing for your friends' girls than GoldieBlox. Thanks for posting on GoldieBlox - I've seen their ad cropping up all over facebook because while I obviously approve of trying to get girls more interested in STEM fields, something about it just kind of fell flat for me. I'm thankful that my parents bought my sister and me things like brio, lego (although we had mostly medieval/castle-themed sets), girder and panel sets, tinker toys, lincoln logs, and marble run toys. And I don't think I ever had any adults in my life (or friends either) that told me those were "boys toys" and I shouldn't be playing with them. But then I guess I was pretty lucky...
altamira16
Nov. 22nd, 2013 01:44 am (UTC)
Someone local to me is trying to get rid of their GoldieBlox saying her kids like snap circuits better.
dangerpudding
Nov. 22nd, 2013 05:28 am (UTC)
I feel like the underlying idea of Goldieblocks isn't a bad one - combining the storytelling and engineering more directly - but did it really need to be pink-ified and made fluffy? I've been lukewarm on it from first sight.

And I always kinda wanted a full set of translucent lego, because I loved those bits. I was sad that PixelBlocks were so hard on my hands.

I'll second Snap Circuits as awesome, too.
aryanhwy
Nov. 22nd, 2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
the first time I saw a LEGO friends set, I secretly really wanted it

For years even after I knew I was too old for it, I lusted after the duplo zoo sets. I finally satisfied that lust this summer by buying a set for Gwen. We've both been supremely happy with it.
whatupbitch
Nov. 23rd, 2013 03:09 am (UTC)
I don't post too much these days because I still haven't gotten around to changing my ridiculous username. But you've touched on something close to my heart here -- LEGOs!

Our 6-year-old now has a healthy collection of LEGO Friends, and she really likes them. Highly recommended. (LEGO created a new type of minifigure for Friends -- they call it the mini-doll -- which is well suited for girls. They're a little larger, easier to manipulate, but still backwards compatible with all other LEGO accessories.)
hitchhiker
Nov. 24th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
i always loved the translucent bricks too :) (and i guess programming is almost as blinkenlighty as avionics)
aliki
Dec. 1st, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
Good to know. My sister was going to buy Erika Goldieblox for Christmas. I'll have to tell her about your review
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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