In (Selective) Defense of the LEGO® Mini-dolls

In 2012, as part of an effort to capture more of the girls’ toy market by launching the Friends theme, LEGO introduced the “Mini-doll” figure. Ostensibly this new figure was designed to meet girls’ request for a more stylized and “realistic” play figures, and love them or hate them, it seems like they’re here to stay.

I will be the first to admit I am no fan of the LEGO Friends mini-dolls. I don’t like that they aren’t as customizable as regular mini-figures; hands, arms, and legs cannot be removed, and the dolls’ legs can’t bend independently of one another. They are scaled differently than the traditional minifigures, which makes it seem like they don’t “fit”. Like other dolls, such as Barbies, mini-dolls have the same objectionable unnaturally skinny body shape and proportion, which makes me question if they are yet another toy perpetuating unrealistic physical beauty standards to young girls. And I won’t even open the can of worms that is the question on whether it’s inherently sexist to have separate “girl” LEGO (implying that the rest of it is “boy” LEGO). Clearly this isn’t a unique perspective … these dolls have been labeled as everything from sexist and stupid, to merely useless and incompatible.

BUT! But…. for some reason… my objections fly out of the window when it comes to the Elves Mini Dolls.

Hear me out …

The reason is simple: elves aren’t human. In pretty much all fantasy worlds, whether literature, games, or TV, elves have a set of very similar characteristics: they are skinny, tall, immortal or long lived, beautiful, and have pointy ears. The Elven race (think Dungeons & Dragons definition of race and not “why is all of LEGO City yellow-faced?” race) is supposed to be unattainably beautiful and tall, and we’re left to assume that this is because they are simply better than humans and seem to be born with an extra Chakra aura that acts as a natural Instragram filter (we should all be so lucky).

So when I think about it from that perspective, the negative features of mini-dolls become positives for Elves mini-dolls. If we assume that the traditional minifigure is supposed to represent the human race, it makes sense that the Elves dolls are different.

So there you have it:  a reason to embrace the Elves Mini Doll and play to your hearts content. Now the only thing left to do is choose whether to play Lawful Good, Chaotic Evil or somewhere in between.

What do you think? Are there no excuses to embrace the mini-doll? Or have you already welcomed them into your LEGO city?

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