LEGOA petition challenging LEGO Group's recent advertising campaign of its Friends product line is gaining steam faster than a youngster building a skyscraper with the tiny plastic blocks.

In less than a month, the SPARK Movement and Powered by Girl petition has generated more than 42,000 signatures and plenty of commentary, with allegations lobbed at LEGO for taking a sexist approach in developing and marketing its Friends product line.

SPARK and Powered by Girl are calling on LEGO to "go back to advertising and offering all LEGO to boys and girls."

At the center of the controversy is the use of short-shirted girl figurine characters with loads of pink and other pastel coloring in both marketing materials and the product line.

One parent named Susan James says on the petition blog site:

Because I am girl who played with LEGOs and I became an engineer. When I was growing up, they weren't boy or girl toys. They just were toys for everyone. Maybe if you showed more girls playing with your toys you wouldn't have to resort to the lame girl sets.

LEGO, meanwhile, is fighting back, rather than watch its work on Friends crumble. In a statement Thursday, the company had this to say:

We want to correct any misinterpretation that LEGO Friends is our only offering for girls. This is by no means the case. We know that many girls love to build and play with the wide variety of LEGO products already available. LEGO Friends joins this global collection of products as yet another theme option from which parents may choose the best building experience for their child's skill and interest.

We listen very carefully to the opinions and input that people share. We will continue to do so as we develop the LEGO brand to deliver the best experiences with the strongest appeal, and we will review our communications to ensure that we represent LEGO play for all children. We are proud to have developed a collection that is receiving positive feedback and reviews from parents and children who are now trying it at home, and we hope that we will engage even more girls in the skill-developing experience of LEGO play.

The hordes of parents who made LEGO what it is today by buying its products will, in the end, be the ultimate judge of whether the move to introduce and market Friends was a wise one. And it will become clear, not brick by brick, but rather dollar by dollar.

Motley Fool contributor Dawn Kawamoto does not own any stock in the companies mentioned.

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In defense of common sense & reason, please sign the Pink Lego Counter Protest:

January 17 2012 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a sad, sad ,sad little country we have become. Apparently we need a lot more economic pain before our people will be able to focus on things that matter. Don't worry, it's coming.

January 15 2012 at 11:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Some people have way too much time on their hands If they would stop screwing around with the Flea Baggers at OWS and get a job it would help

January 15 2012 at 4:09 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Gee- I'm a 20-year old woman, and I don't see the problem here. Sure LEGO could put more girls in the commercials for their non-Friends sets and make the skirts on their Friends-figurines a wee bit longer, but what's wrong with offering something for girls that AREN'T interested in Star Wars and ninjas, or who - gasp- have the audacity to LIKE pink? As long as they discover Lego and start building with it, I think it's fine. At least playing with a Lego veterinary clinic developes spatial and building skills a lot more than a Barbie veterinarian, for sure.

January 15 2012 at 8:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you don't like it then just don't buy it and STFU! Nobody wants to hear the whining.

January 15 2012 at 2:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How about gay legos? shemale legos! we will have to look under those short skirts

January 14 2012 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stupid, stupid, stupid. Can any company bring out any product without some nutcakes having a fit over it? I don't think Lego has told any girl she can't buy any of their products. And if a girl prefers the new Friends Lego, let her buy them!!! You HAVE A CHOICE.

January 14 2012 at 8:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

this is how they market everywhere for almost every product... wake up! That's like saying old spice is sexist or dr. pepper 10

January 13 2012 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lprk15's comment


January 15 2012 at 2:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

a whole lot of americans need to read Christina Hoff Sommer's book, "the war against boys"

big difference between gender feminism and equity feminism - and we live in a vagina-centric society that is most definitely dominated by (white) gender feminists

January 13 2012 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to blaine's comment

Lesbians no doubt.

January 14 2012 at 9:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

it's not sexism if it's sexism directed at boys and men; isn't that what they teach you in American schools? Only people with a vagina can ever be victims; it says so right in the feminist manifesto my english lit professor reads to class.

January 13 2012 at 10:52 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply