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Learning through play is the best way to help children develop and kids 6+ can work on their interpersonal skills and grow their emotional awareness through roleplay with the LEGO® Friends range!
Cute mini doll toys come to play with animals, vehicles like boats and cars and locations like markets and beaches where they can play out a wide variety of scenes based on real life experiences, while a selection of sets promote interaction with environmental issues like tree re-planting, animal conservation and electric vehicles. There are LEGO® Friends toys for boys and girls alike!
Kids will love meeting and collecting all the different LEGO® Friends doll sets – they can even combine different toys to make a whole Friends neighbourhood to play in!

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Greta Gerwig’s Barbie Looks Like The True Successor To The LEGO Movie

Warner Bros. Pictures

By Sandy Schaefer/April 5, 2023 1:00 pm EST

Sorry superheroes, your time in the spotlight is over: 2023 is the year of the plaything. It began with everyone’s favorite new murder robo-doll, M3GAN, conquering social media on her way to dominating theaters, then continued with “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” rolling a Nat 20 to fend off both John Wick and Shazam in the battle for financial supremacy. Up next are the Mario brothers and the various residents of the Mushroom Kingdom, who hope to make like King Bowser and snatch away Peach’s . .. er, the box office crown for themselves with “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”

However, there’s only one movie based on a toy or game that the cool kids are talking about right now, and that’s the incoming masterpiece known as Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie.” The first full-length trailer and second teaser overall for Gerwig’s big-screen adaptation has arrived and it’s already got everything you could ask for from a live-action movie about the titular fashion doll icon. Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken indirectly quoting Aqua’s 1997 smash-hit earworm “Barbie Girl”? Will Ferrell channeling his Lord Business persona in “The LEGO Movie” as the “insensitive” and “weird” fictional CEO of Mattel? A pack of Kens threatening to “beach” each other off? (This is a family-friendly movie, right?) All present and accounted for!

Yes, thanks to the latest trailer, Gerwig’s film has firmly planted its flag in the sand as the movie to beat this summer — further proving we here at /Film made the right call in selecting it as our most anticipated title of 2023. More than that, it might just be the true successor to “The LEGO Movie” we’ve been waiting for, and not just because it features Ferrell playing an unscrupulous business executive, either.

The philosophy of Barbie

Warner Bros. Pictures

“The LEGO Movie,” like so many of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s ideas, sounded terrible on paper yet proved to be fantastic in motion. It all came down to the film’s approach, which was to embrace the spirit of its source material and the very thing that makes LEGOs a blast to play with, regardless of your age: They encourage your sense of creativity by teaching you how to build something by following a specific set of instructions, which in turn develops your sense of imagination and teaches you how to think outside the (LEGO) box.

If there’s one thing the “Barbie” marketing has already made clear (other than we were long overdue for a film where Ryan Gosling wears rollerblades), it’s that Greta Gerwig holds a deep knowledge and reverence for Barbara Millicent Roberts’ cultural legacy, much like Lord and Miller did for LEGOs. People of all ages don’t adore the Barbie property because it encourages perfection or conformity to socially-accepted beauty standards; they love it because it inspires self-expression and teaches you it’s okay to embrace your personal sense of fashion and style, social norms based on an over-simplified and otherwise anqiuated understanding of gender be damned.

Of course, the Barbie toyline has long been validly criticized for promoting unrealistic body images and creating self-esteem issues, which has gradually spurred Mattel into producing more age-appropriate and carefully-researched Barbie dolls. Just as “The LEGO Movie” serves as an allegory for the ways corporate interests stymy creative expression, it’s clear Gerwig’s “Barbie” will tackle the toxicity associated with the brand head-on, following Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Gosling’s Ken as they leave their so-called “perfect” home of Barbie Land behind for the real-world — a journey that will show them just how damaging the very concept of “perfect” truly is.

Blockbusters are out, Barbie-busters are in

Warner Bros. Pictures

Bursting at the seams with exhilarating animation and playfully self-reflexive comedy to match its big ideas, “The LEGO Movie” was as much a crowd-pleaser as it was a critical darling. It’s no wonder its sequel and numerous spinoffs (all of which are varying degrees of good or, at the bare minimum, perfectly decent) struggled to match its achievements: There was nothing else quite like “The LEGO Movie” when it hit the scene in 2014, as it miraculously managed to check off all the boxes that studios look for when green-lighting an IP adaptation nowadays while still feeling like a true original.

Heading into this summer, “Barbie” finds itself in a nearly identical position. As much as everyone is looking forward to going on one last adventure with characters like James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Indiana Jones in the months to come (not to mention, Christopher Nolan’s return to the WWII era and Tom Cruise’s latest round of gonzo stunts), we also have a fairly good idea of what to expect from all these things and the rest of this year’s blockbuster line-up. “Barbie,” on the other hand, neither looks nor feels like just about anything we’ve come to expect in theaters during the hottest days of the year, despite being based on one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

Just as I had faith the directors of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and “21 Jump Street” were holding something special up their sleeves with “The LEGO Movie,” I trust the mind behind “Lady Bird” and 2019’s “Little Women” has cooked up something unique based on everything we’ve seen and heard so far. We’ll find out if I’m right when “Barbie” dances its way into theaters on July 21, 2023.


How to make money by investing in Lego sets, Barbie dolls and Teddy bears

A 2018 study by the Higher School of Economics (Russia) states that investing in Lego sets provides an annual return of at least 11%. Therefore, according to the authors of the report, investing in Lego sets can be more profitable than buying shares of the largest companies or gold. We talk about investments in Lego sets, Barbie dolls and Teddy bears.

A year later, an article by scientists from the business school of Northumbria University (Great Britain) appeared, in which other figures were given: 6.36% – this is the annual increase in the cost of famous designers in the secondary market.

However, both studies confirm that Lego’s profitability is not particularly affected by economic fluctuations and market volatility. Another thing is that not every set of the famous designer shows high profitability. Experts liken investing in Lego to investing in art – it’s easy to lose in this market.

However, the same can be said not only about Danish designers, but also about other “investments in childhood”: it is difficult to predict which modern toys will one day rise in price. There is one relatively objective indicator: expensive toy lots at auctions.

Steiff teddy bears

In this regard, teddy bears are the most fortunate: auction houses even hold separate auctions dedicated to the teddy bear. First of all, this is the famous Christie’s – it was there that the most expensive toy bears went under the hammer.

In 1994, for a staggering sum of 110,000 euros, the Bear Girl, produced in 1905 by the German company Steiff, was sold. According to one version, it was this company that produced the first teddy bear at the beginning of 1900s: The idea was to make the toy’s head and legs movable. These bears have several branded differences – from embroidered inscriptions on the heels (for anniversary copies) to a plate in the ear (for all).

Specialists consider Steiff bears one of the best investment objects, and this applies not only to old toys: for example, the bear that appeared in 2002 as a result of a collaboration between Steiff and Louis Vuitton, dressed in a raincoat and panama hat with the LV monogram and with the same suitcase, was sold at an auction in Monaco for $ 2.1 million (not only in the monogram, but also in the precious stones from which the eyes of the toy are made, and gold buttons). This stylish bear was bought by Korean collector Jessie Kim, but not for herself: today all visitors to the Teddy Bear Museum on Jeju Island in South Korea can see it.


In the Basel Toy Museum (Switzerland) you can see another copy from Steiff – the mourning teddy bear “Titanic”. After a British steamship was wrecked in 2012, the company released a batch of black bears. Almost 90 years later, in 2000, one of this batch was bought at Christie’s for 128 thousand euros for the Puppenhaus Museum.

Trains and railways Marklin

Christie’s holds special auctions not only of teddy bears, but also of toy trains. In 2011, the largest collection of children’s railways in the world was put up for auction – the famous “Gurney Collection” (owner of the record company Jurney Green of Pennsylvania). The number of items in this collection is about 35 thousand, and the time span is 90 years, that is, these steam locomotives, wagons, rails, etc. were produced from 1850 to 1940. The collection was sold as a single lot, priced at least $10 million, and was acquired by the New York Historical Society with the support of sponsors.

Photo: Robert Benson

Experts agree that the most valuable part of the Jerni collection is the toys of the German company Marklin of the second half of the 19th – early 20th century. It was Marklin who standardized the scale of his trains and the size of the railway track: this meant that new cars and steam locomotives could be bought indefinitely, completing the construction of his personal railway – all models fit perfectly together.

Ten years before Jurney’s Christie’s collection, the same auction house put up a 1906 Marklin toy train for sale. Smoke was once coming out of the steam locomotive’s chimney, the train included a first-class car, a restaurant car and a smoking car with a luggage compartment. Hand-painted Marklin toy sold for $179,000

At the beginning of the year, a company with a 160-year history published a report on financial results for 2020. As Managing Director Florian Sieber said , “Many Marklin fans have had more time than usual for their hobby in 2020.” As a result, orders at the end of December of the “quarantined year” were 40% higher than in the same period in 2019.

It is difficult to say which of these orders were for children and which for adults. A toy railway is the case when a child’s game often becomes an adult hobby: someone collects models with different technical characteristics, someone collects small copies of historical train stations and locomotives, and someone creates a whole world, like Jurney Green. Trains ran in its basement, passengers waited at the stations, merchants offered lemonade and buns. According to him, he decided to part with his collection when he “gathered everything he could.”

Barbie dolls

In 2010, the most expensive Barbie ever sold at an auction in New York. $ 302 thousand – it turned out that this money can be paid for a doll if she wears a necklace and a ring made of real diamonds created by the Canturi Jewels jewelry house. However, the organizers counted on a large amount – up to $ 500 thousand, but no one was willing. All proceeds went to a fund dedicated to breast cancer research.


The previous record from the sale of Barbie was recorded in 2006, and also at Christie’s: then the main doll beauty “left” for $17 thousand. many.

In the case of Barbie, you can’t be sure of anything, as the manufacturing company Mattel honestly admits: as it is written on the official website, they do not guarantee price increases even for their collection items. That is, you can invest in the result of a Mattel collaboration with a luxury brand, hoping to sell it for much more in a few years – and make a mistake, or you can unearth an old mass-produced doll in the attic or basement and find that it is sold on eBay for $5,000.

However, the owner of the Midnight Red doll was purposefully collecting: before the auction, the media wrote that Yetye Rebel from Holland had been collecting Barbie for 43 years. As listed on the Christie’s website – “Barbie: 1959-2002. The Ietje Raebel and Marina Collection. She bought the first doll for her daughter, the child did not like the toy, but her mother was carried away. By 2002, she had about 4,000 Barbies and “related products” in her collection, including pieces in costumes of an astronaut and a fireman, a McDonald’s waitress and a doctor, dolls in designer outfits, Barbie copies of movie stars, etc. , brand new dolls in boxes and quite “old”. One of the oldest dolls has become an expensive lot: Barbie issue 1959 years old in a striped black and white swimsuit, despite cracks and other signs of time, went under the hammer for $ 5.7 thousand. The total amount of the auction was $ 210 thousand – for the first time in history, only Barbie were put up for auction.

The site lists the top 15 toys with the highest percentage of value growth: Barbie dolls of 1959 “year of birth” are in second place (from $3 to $748.63), behind only Hot Wheels toy cars from 1968. And the “youngest” participants of this list are toy soldiers G.I. Joe Breaker (1982 years), from $12 to $307.91.

Some collectors are sure that Lego sets will soon be included in this list: it is not for nothing that studies have appeared that consider the potential of the famous designer as an alternative investment. True, experts warn: if you want to make money on Lego, you should not unpack it – only completely new copies sell well. These are not Teddy bears, the cost of which can be affected not only by age, safety, rarity, but also by the life history of the toy itself. Antiquarians love to talk about the teddy bear Alfonso, whose prince Georgy Romanov gave to his daughter Xenia for Christmas 1908. After 81 years, at Christie’s 1989 auction in London, with a starting price of 3 thousand euros for a bear, the auction ended at 12.1 thousand euros – and this was the price for history.

Barbie and Lego become like real people?

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Image copyright AFP

Photo caption,

A young man in a wheelchair will appear in the Lego City set for the first time by June

The Lego company intends to release a miniature figure of a man in a wheelchair by June.

The Barbie doll, beloved by many children, just like us, has become different: now she has three types of figure: “curvy”, “tall” and “petite”.

Is this a sincere desire of toy manufacturers to reflect reality more fully, or is it an attempt to get rid of critics who accuse firms that their dolls and little men are unnaturally perfect?

Away with stereotypes

The new Lego character is a young man sitting in a wheelchair wearing a knitted hat fashionable among young people. A dog is attached to help the guy.

These two figures are part of the Lego City set, which will be on sale in June. The same set also includes another novelty – a figurine of a baby.

Never seen before in a Lego set, the figures were first spotted at the Nuremberg Fair.

The company has been criticized in the past for succumbing to the stereotype of disability, as the only wheelchair figure was an elderly person.

A revolution in a toy box

An initiative group using the hashtag #ToyLikeMe began nine months ago to demand that Lego release figures that would adequately represent the world’s 150 million disabled children.

Image copyright AFP

Image caption

Toy manufacturers have decided it’s time to reflect life as it is

The group’s petition has received more than 20,000 signatures to create toys that speak to children’s disabilities. the authors said they were seeking “a revolution in a toy box”.0005

Rebecca Atkinson, who launched the campaign, says that children’s disabilities should not necessarily be associated with a hospital ward, children with disabilities should feel natural in a more cheerful environment.

Rebecca herself suffers from partial loss of sight and hearing. The news from Lego made her extremely happy.

“Lego rocked this brick world and made 150 million disabled kids, moms, dads, dogs and hamsters very, very happy. We have the whole street dancing, scattering colorful bricks like confetti,” she wrote in her press release.0005

Different Barbies

Another toy trying to adapt to life’s realities.

The Barbie doll has been around for almost 60 years, but in that time, surprisingly, it hasn’t changed much.

Barbie has been having a hard time lately, with sales steadily falling since 2012, and the manufacturer has decided to take action.

Image copyright, AFP

Image caption,

Barbies are different now, just like people

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbies, has released three dolls – round, tall and, let’s say, below average height. In addition, Barbie dolls now have seven different skin tones and over 20 different eye colors.

The Californian company primarily hopes to attract new customers with this variety, but at the same time responds to criticism from those who argued that the traditional Barbie figure is not related to real life and promotes unhealthy thinness.

“Slender Ideal”

Barbie doll, whose full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, has always caused conflicting emotions because of her long legs, rounded buttocks and super-slim waist.

Some argue that if she were enlarged to human size, Barbie would not be able to stand on her feet due to the shifted center of gravity.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki Central Hospital say that a woman with Barbie proportions would lack 17-22% of the body fat she needs to menstruate.

Other experts argue that Barbie’s proportions advertise an unhealthy “slim ideal” that backfires, including an increased risk of bulimia and other eating disorders.