This article needs to be updated.(May 2017)
|Characters||Andrea, Emma, Mia, Olivia and Stephanie|
Lego Friends (stylized LEGO Friends) is a product range of the Lego construction toy designed primarily for girls. Introduced in 2012, the theme introduced the "mini-doll" figures, which are about the same size as the traditional minifigures but are more detailed and realistic. The sets include pieces in pink and purple color schemes and depict scenes from suburban life set in the fictional town of Heartlake City.
The Friends product range replaces Lego's previous female-oriented theme Lego Belville, which had been in production since 1994, and featured dolls that were much larger than both the mini-dolls and minifigures. Other related product ranges have included Homemaker (1971–1982), Paradisa (1991–1997) and Scala (1997–2001).
Launched January 1, 2012 in North America (and December 15, 2011, in France), the line includes 23 sets and features five core characters—named Andrea, Emma, Mia, Olivia and Stephanie—in various suburban settings. In the initial wave of sets, the larger sets include bricks that can build a veterinary clinic, a malt-style café, a beauty salon and a suburban house; smaller sets included a "cool convertible," a design studio, an inventor's workshop and a swimming pool.
A description from Lego website stated: "The Lego Friends story centers on the everyday lives and personalities of five girls in a fictional hometown called Heartlake City. Each of the friends ... has a distinct personality and interests, such as animals, performing arts, invention and design, that are reflected in the models. Building sets reflect different parts of town where the girls' adventures take place—downtown, suburbs, beach, camping grounds and mountains."
The launch of Lego Friends came after a $40 million global marketing push, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. "This is the most significant strategic launch we've done in a decade," said Lego Group chief executive officer Jørgen Vig Knudstorp. "We want to reach the other 50 percent of the world's children." According to the company, boys comprised 90% of Lego's customers in 2011 before the launch of the Friends line.
In 2018, the LEGO Friends line releases showcased some minor changes to the main characters. Mia's eyes changed from brown to green while her hair was changed from an actual red to true orange-based red, Emma and Andrea's eyes changed from green to brown and Andrea's got earrings, Olivia's skin became slightly darker and she got glasses, and Stephanie's smile was made a little bigger. Alongside these appearance changes, Lego announced that they are giving the girls deeper personalities whilst making their world more realistic.
According to NPR, Lego Friends are "one of the biggest successes in Lego's history ... The line doubled sales expectations in 2012, the year it launched. Sales to girls tripled in just that year." The success has caused other construction-set companies such as Mega Blocks to introduce girl dolls.
The first wave was released in January 2012 with 14 sets being released. The largest of the sets was "Olivia's House" which included 695 pieces and three mini-doll figures. In addition to the first sets six polypag sets have been released as promotions. In February Toys 'R' Us in the United States released an exclusive in-store build set called "Lemonade Stand" and in March Lego brand stores released an exclusive in-store build set called "Ice Cream Stand". Lego announced a further nine sets that would be released later in 2012.
Subsequent waves were released in future years, expanding on various interests of the characters and their friends. Specific themes have ranged from various vocational, recreational and academic interests to agriculture, equestrianism, wildlife animal rescue and rehabilitation, and pop stardom, all complementing suburbia-themed sets, as well as an Amusement park and skiing theme. The largest sets since the original wave have included Summer Riding Camp, Heartlake Shopping Mall and Heartlake Grand Hotel.
Lego has also released accompanying products branded under the Friends theme. These include a picture frame which includes 49 Lego elements which is available from Lego brand stores and a display stand which includes 17 elements that was released as a promotional polybag.
In June 2012, two books are set for release based on the Friends theme. Lego Friends: Welcome to Heartlake City and Lego Friends: Perfect Pet Show are set for release on June 18, 2012 by DK Publishing. Both books consist of 48 pages and are being published in paperback. DK Publishing have also released a Lego Brickmaster book based on the Friends theme on September 17, 2012.
This series premiered in 2014.
Season 1 Episodes (partial listing):
- New Girl in Town
- Stephanie's Surprise Party
- Dolphin Cruise
- Mia's Ranch Romance
- Emma's Dilemma
- Friends of the Jungle
- Andrea's Big Moment
- Kate's Island
- The Grand Hotel
- Getting Out of Vote
- Getting the Message
- The Grateful Dud
- Girlz 4 Life
- The Drooling Detective
- Change of Address
- Dive In
- I Told You So
- Snow Way
- Midwinter Night’s Dream
Animated Netflix series
- Camp Wild Hearts
- Slam Dunk
- Keepin' It Real
- Wieners, Brad (December 14, 2011). "Lego Is for Girls". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
- "Friends Home". Lego. Retrieved 2013-06-30.
- Ulaby, Neda (June 29, 2013). "Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?". Weekend Edition, NPR. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "Friends". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Lego Friends: Welcome to Heartlake City". The Book Depository. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Lego Friends: Perfect Pet Show". The Book Depository. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Lego Friends Brickmaster". The Book Depository. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- Spangler, Todd (October 1, 2015). "Netflix Orders 7 Original Kids' Series, Including Lego's 'Bionicle' and DreamWorks' 'Croods'". variety.com. Retrieved April 4, 2018.