Does the world really need separate LEGO sets for boys and girls? Certainly not the mystical world of LEGO Elves.
In March of this year LEGO introduced a new line of construction sets featuring unique colours, gorgeous design elements and a theme that any fantasy fiction fan could get behind. Why stop at Tolkien when you can go full-on elf, right?
The only problem with this new LEGO Elves line is that it's an offshoot of the LEGO Friends line, which are the pink-boxed sets that never seem to make it into the same aisle at department stores as LEGO Creator, LEGO City, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Chima and the rest of the standard sets. These are LEGO sets marketed towards girls.
Now I have no problem with tossing a little pink on a box in order to trick parents into purchasing a toy that's traditionally thought of as a boy thing for their girl things. LEGO is a toy for everyone with an imagination, and if it takes trickery to get it into the hands of some of those imaginations, then so be it.
What I do have a problem with is this:
These are not LEGO minifigures. These are tiny dolls that are keeping my bustling elven kingdom from merging with my modern LEGO city.
Poor tiny Chris Pratt (one of three tiny official LEGO Chris Pratts, along with Star Lord and Raptor Biker Bro). He knows this is not right. What's with the waists? The round feet? The slightly defined breasts? Who are these mutants, and what have they done with his squat little friends?
I've bought each set in the LEGO Elves line, from the $US14.99 Adventure Hollow to the $US49.99 Elves' Treetop Hideaway, and I've been impressed with nearly every aspect of each, save the one. The colours are vibrant and spectacular. The designs are imaginative and exotic while affecting a uniform atmosphere.
My personal favourite — the set that started me on the path to comprehensive elf ownership — is Naida's Epic Adventure Ship. I love the purple and light blue, and the gold accents make the whole thing pop. The build was quite fun, coming together quickly and quite nicely. The cloth sail is an excellent touch.
I just can't stand Naida. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I like to pose Transformers looming over her threateningly.
Obviously I enjoy the LEGO Elves set. Hell, I spent $US10 on the cardboard mat LEGO sells for display purposes. All I really want is an easy way to exchange these twisted tiny plastic dolls into a more appealing form. I could go the custom route, but it would be lovely if each LEGO Elves set — or each LEGO Friends set (especially the Disney ones) — came with a mail-in card to purchase traditional minifig versions of the characters.
That way we can all hang out together and be buddies.