Photo from Flickr user Moose Greebles

I like this 1981 ad for Lego. It reads, in part: “Have you ever seen anything like it? Not just what she’s made, but how proud it’s made her. It’s a look you’ll see whenever children build something all by themselves. No matter what they’ve created.”

Compare the above to Lego ads for girls today. (Via Feministing)

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is the editor-in-chief of Make magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.

  • jeff-o

    What a fantastic ad. It reminds me of the “good old days” when a lego set had hundreds of pieces instead of dozens, and the limited number of pieces and colours was filled in with imagination.

    There are still lego sets out there with merit (and, um, challenge) but I’ve been very disappointed in most of the mainstream sets they’ve offered for the past 10 years or so.

  • jimofoz

    Now all you folks over 12 (and you know who you are), leave those Legos alone!

    • Sean

      I remember about two years ago mentioning Legos to my assistant. She got all starry eyed and started describing all the things she and her younger brother would make with them. So we sat there (20 year age difference) geeking out over little plastic blocks and how it’s one toy where the contents of the box will be played with long after the box is gone, unlike a lot of unimaginative plastics that are produced today where after 15 minutes with the toy, the kid ends up spending the next week playing with the box.

  • Adam

    I agree with jeff-o on a lot of the sets sold today. I don’t like the sets that have pieces that are so unique it’s hard to use them in just about anything. I’m not a big fan of the Bionicle stuff for that reason. I think the Lego lines that have themes tied to popular media (e.g. Star Wars, Thomas the Train) are great because kids will recognize them and imitate the characters. The downside of these themed kits are the huge kits like the Death Star – they take a long time to build and how long do you plan to keep it together?

  • BigD145

    Some of the older ads were brilliant, like this one. Ads today are crap. There’s no subtlety in them. Products have one use and you’re not supposed to deviate from it. It’s about as anti-Lego as you can get.

  • PaulBo

    Love it! This is a common sight in our household (2 daughters, both of whom love LEGO!).

  • Michele

    Wow – love the older ad – seems like Lego is regressing with their more recent stuff! I had a few Legos when I was young – they were expensive for our family. Our boys grew up with them, and loved coming up with all sorts of unique creations!

  • Anna Jackson

    Gosh, we’ve really been led astray, haven’t we? How vacant and uninspiring the new Lego is.