The re-imagined LEGO ® Friends characters are more representative of the world that today’s kids navigate, including culture, ethnicity, physical traits and abilities.
- Two in three kids (68%) want to see more toys and characters portray real life.
- Most kids surveyed (94%) said their friends make them feel happy.
- Only a third of kids (32%) say they have seen friends having problems or arguments on TV or online content they consume.
- Nine in ten kids (93%) believe it’s good to have friends who can teach you different things.
A decade on from the launch of LEGO®️ Friends, the LEGO Group has re-imagined the Friends Universe: an all-new line up of characters and accompanying TV-series hosted on their YouTube channel. It comes at a time when the ups and downs of friendship are not widely shown on TV or in the online content kids consume, meaning many young children are left to navigate these complex feelings, without understanding that it’s completely normal and that others are feeling the same.
To support the launch, the LEGO Group conducted in-depth global research to understand more about the diversity and complexity of modern friendships amongst young children around the globe. Focusing on 18,000 kids aged 6-12 years old from 19 different countries, the research shines a light on the importance that friendships have on the wellbeing of kids in early childhood.
The study revealed that:
- Kids rely on friendships to deal with the complex emotions of modern life, with eight in 10 (87%) saying that they turn to friends as a source of comfort when they have problems.
- Kids value ‘having fun’ and ‘being happy’ as main elements of friendship, with more than three quarters (67%) wanting someone to have fun with and six in ten (60%) wanting someone to laugh with and the majority (94%) said that friends made them feel happy.
- Kids also see the value in diverse friendships with nine in ten (93%) agreeing that it’s good to have a diverse friendship group who can teach you different things.
- Kids don’t often experience complex emotions portrayed in the content they view, with just two in five (40%) saying they have seen friends have ups and downs on TV or content they are consuming and only a third (32%) saying they have seen friends having problems or arguments.
The LEGO Group recognises the importance friendships have on child development and how it plays a huge part in helping kids understand diversity and inclusion. Further to the launch of the new generation of characters, the storylines within the LEGO Friends universe have been refreshed, thus helping to develop content narratives that ensure they’re relatable, and reflective of the real-life experiences of children today.
Clinical psychologist and Founder of Light House Arabia, Dr. Saliha Afridi, commented on the research saying: “With the rise of technology and social media, children are not only spending reduced time engaging in face-to-face interactions and building in-person relationships, but also have a skewed idea about what is a ‘friend’ and how to form friendships. This can lead to difficulty developing social skills and empathy, which are important for forming meaningful friendships. It is important for parents and schools to be intentional and deliberate about teaching children how to form and maintain friendships.”
To support the launch of the campaign, LEGO Certified Stores will run in-store and in-mall activations in the UAE to provide a fun, engaging and entertaining experience to the children. Activities include:
- Discover LEGO Friends: Spin the wheel and find out more about one of the eight new LEGO Friends characters, then build a set that aligns with that character’s passions before proudly displaying it in-store.
- The LEGO Friends Bedrooms: Four of the new LEGO Friends bedroom sets will be on display in full size, for visitors to walk in and role play.
The kids will also get the chance to walk away with a room makeover with a variety of sets worth up to AED5,000.
Tracie Chiarella, Head of Product, LEGO Friends at the LEGO Group said:
“Children are our role models and guide everything we do here at the LEGO Group. After an incredible 10 years on LEGO Friends, this re-imagination has enabled us to push the boundaries not only in the content and the storytelling, but also in the reflection of modern, childhood friendships so that children can truly see their experiences reflected in the world around them.”