Researchers Fear the Rise of Angry LEGO Faces

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Researchers Fear the Rise of Angry LEGO Faces

LEGO Faces

The classic LEGO grin is on its way to being edged out by angry, aggressive expressions that could affect children.

The happy grin of a LEGO figure is so iconic that it wouldn't be a stretch to say that most adults can probably picture it in their mind's eye with more than a bit of accuracy. As the LEGO brand expands its products however, angry faced LEGO figures are being made more common to better match conflict based franchises like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. In turn, the classic LEGO smile could someday become more of a rarity, something researchers fear could be harmful to children.

"We cannot help but wonder how the move from only positive faces to an increasing number of negative faces impacts on how children play," said Christopher Bartneck, whose research with the University of Canterbury in New Zealand pointed to the growing tonal shift in LEGO toys. Bartneck's research, which will presented at press conference in August, involved the study of more than six thousand unique LEGO figures. "Designers of toy faces should take great care to design the expressions and to test their effect since toys play an important role in the development of children."

While we're not experts, and certainly haven't invested time in surveying the faces of thousands of LEGO figures, there is definitely a part of us that wants to roll our eyes at the concept of LEGO faces corrupting children. For one, aggressive LEGO toys aren't a new thing. My favorite LEGO set of all time was a castle released in 1990s that came well stocked with medieval weaponry that my LEGO figures, smiles and all, used to commit some fairly horrific plastic atrocities. Perhaps the scientific community needs to stop looking for bogeymen and accept that children are evil creatures that need avenues to vent their sadism?

Source: CNN

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I'm really getting sick of this whole grizzled macho manly bullshit view of being a manly adult. Can't fucken anything be happy anymore?
Where is a benevolent sun god to take care of this shit when you need her?

If it child doesn't really know what that Lego is representing, for instance, the kid gets some Lord of the Rings Lego toy for birthday from hi uncle, but never ever saw Lord of the Rings, I think it's fair to assume he will have fun anyway, Lego is fun because it's Lego, however, the "serious" faces might lead the kid to see that given figure as a villain, but that's the worst that can come out of it in my opinion.
What worries me is something else entirely: I wouldn't want Lego to lose all those happy faces, they're almost as iconic as the way the pieces fit together! And as far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't mind if every Lego character came with a smiling face, it would look much more like a homage to a franchise to have, say, a smiling Batman, almost like a common Lego-man dressed as Batman :) But that's just me becoming a child again lol

You know, they're not joking. I was driven to my first murder by the menacing scowl on one of the Lego minifigures I owned at age 6. The second murder was of course caused by comic books with my more recent ones being caused by vicious murder simulators like Starcraft.

Is Lego making toys for kids, or for m"Lord of the rings" fans? Like Milanezi said, young enough kids (to *maybe* be effected) wont get the references, so they probably wont care if they don't get the "reference sets" and will be happy with the Lego city stuff. If growing up with the scowling Legos is really that bad, DON'T GET THOSE LEGOS.

Worgen:
I'm really getting sick of this whole grizzled macho manly bullshit view of being a manly adult. Can't fucken anything be happy anymore?
Where is a benevolent sun god to take care of this shit when you need her?

Don't bother Celestia, she has enough problems right now as it is X3

OT: Is there any basis for saying this? Because until I see some proven solid figures, I'm gonna be calling him out.

Kids are a lot more savage than some people seem to think they are.

At eight years old, I used to play games with my stuffed animals that involved murders, suicides, and forced marriages. My little brother and I used to have ant-squishing contests, and do silly voices for the ants as they got squished. And the only time I have ever been in a real fight (where I was trying as hard as I possibly could to cause pain to the other person) I was ten years old.

I am a lot more gentle as an adult than I was as a child!

American Kirby is always angry, too.
It's a symptom of the culture we live in, not the cause.

New Lego faces aren't angry. They run the gamut of emotions. From happy to joyous to sad to sleepy to stressed to angry. And heck, most angry faces are on double sided heads where the other face for the character is happy. It's honestly a lot less creepy than the classic minifigs thousand yard happy stare while charging the castle walls or vaporizing space aliens.

i dont think that it matters what face they make
i had a castle set and the lego red coats stomed the french every time with smiles on their faces

Stick a wig on it, then see how mean it looks.

image

One does not simply underestimate the destructive power of children; happy faces or no.

I'm pretty certain I had as much fun destroying things I had made out of Lego as I did building them. As a child I would have welcomed a greater variety of faces. Kids already know about good and bad. Hell, most children's stories are written to have a clear hero and villain and it's more than likely that they'll act out fantasies based around that structure because it's a persistent and familiar one.

I will admit, however, that this figure is terrifying and there's no excuse for its existence:

image

Yes, because this in no way is just as disturbing:

image

Those eyes have been piercing deep into your soul since you were a toddler, old enough to be trusted with a set. They know your darkest secrets.

Falterfire:
The second murder was of course caused by comic books with my more recent ones being caused by vicious murder simulators like Starcraft.

I thought Starcraft was a cult sim, where like Charles Manson you raise a cult of fanatically devoted followers who go out and murder for you.

Now that I think about it, why isn't there a good cult sim. You know, Megachurch Tycoon or somesuch. That's going to go on my wishlist right under Arms Tycoon where you sell used weapons to African warlords for uncut diamonds.

238U

Dr.Awkward:
Yes, because this in no way is just as disturbing:

image

Those eyes have been piercing deep into your soul since you were a toddler, old enough to be trusted with a set. They know your darkest secrets.

I'd forgotten just how dull and lifeless the standard Lego face was. Any Lego figure bought nowadays is much better. Possibly due to the inclusion of eyebrows.

Captcha: squirrelfriend. Are there Lego squirrels? I remember lego rabbits.

Proverbial Jon:
I will admit, however, that this figure is terrifying and there's no excuse for its existence:

image

That's clearly a picture of Lego Frodo walking in on his parents having sex.

If Lego faces can make kids violent and videogames can make kids violent, then Lego videogames must make them turn in to some kind of face-eating demon. Better put a special tax on Legos and plaster them with warning labels.

I had nightmares about happy LEGO faces. They're so disturbing. Millions of them were chasing me in my dream and I couldn't run fast or wake up until it was too late and they got to me :(

Of course, it all makes sense now, angry Lego faces cause school shootings.

Conversely, the angry-faced minifigs could help convey important life-lessons onto youngsters. If children were to associate the angry-face minifigs with "bad people", such as terrorists, they would then learn that these bad people can easily be stopped with the application of enough firecrackers.

kailus13:

Dr.Awkward:

image

That's clearly a picture of Lego Frodo walking in on his parents having sex.

Or catching Bilbo with his dildo.

Sorry.

Worgen:
I'm really getting sick of this whole grizzled macho manly bullshit view of being a manly adult. Can't fucken anything be happy anymore?
Where is a benevolent sun god to take care of this shit when you need her?

Based on E3 by the year 2026 all media will be replaced by brown and gray versions filled with gun-wielding characters who all have tragic backstories (even background characters). This includes My Little Pony which will be about a squad of Equestiran Marines (all colored either black or brown) who will have to mow down hordes of vaquely Russian ponies with magical military technology and... oh god I'm writing fanfiction.

Ldude893:

kailus13:

That's clearly a picture of Lego Frodo walking in on his parents having sex.

Or catching Bilbo with his dildo.

Sorry.

Catching Bilbo with Bilbo's dildo, or catching Bilbo with Frodo's dildo?

So, so sorry.

I think it's actually an interesting sort of comment or side note on society at the current time. I don't, however, think the larger number of angry Lego faces is having any impact on youth who play with them (and, quite frankly, EVERY kid should play with Lego).

Why should it be LEGO's responsibility. surely it should be the parent's. Unless doing so would break the law LEGO is perfectly within its rights to make anything they think will sell.

Uhhhhhh... k.

I shudder to think how my dozens of expressionless K'Nex figures affected me...

My friends, if violent videogames have no directly observable link to childhood violence, then I highly doubt that having a pissed off Lego Batman face will push them over the edge.

Worgen:
I'm really getting sick of this whole grizzled macho manly bullshit view of being a manly adult. Can't fucken anything be happy anymore?
Where is a benevolent sun god to take care of this shit when you need her?


They probably look better now than what it first started.
The classic bland smily face does bring back some nostalgia though. Good I have Minecraft to fill the void.

captcha: it hurts
What the fuck, captcha...

Lord of the Rings Lego. Based of a film that's rated 12; which is based of a book which is quite substantial reading for any child.

I don't think Lord of the Rings Lego was made for kiddy-winks in mind. I think it's made for 12 year olds (and anyone younger whose relatives don't care about ratings). And is also bought by the over 12s.

This study should ignore the Lord of the Rings sets.

scw55:
Lord of the Rings Lego. Based of a film that's rated 12; which is based of a book which is quite substantial reading for any child.

I don't think Lord of the Rings Lego was made for kiddy-winks in mind. I think it's made for 12 year olds (and anyone younger whose relatives don't care about ratings). And is also bought by the over 12s.

This study should ignore the Lord of the Rings sets.

No, I'm pretty sure the Lego: LotR set was made for the adult Tolkien fans and collectors in mind :-P

In other news, really? As a girl who grew up with LEGOs, I can say the last thing that was ever on my mind was the expression on its face. In fact, I specifically remember turning their heads backwards sometimes, because if I was making some awesome biker lego dude with a helmet and black clothes, I wasn't going to have a creepy smile plastered on his face.

Meh I rather have those faces then the smirk look

I dunno, I'd frankly be a bit more worried about the effect on kids if the lego figures were happy and smiling as they butchered each other...

the classic LEGO smile could someday become more of a rarity, something researchers fear could be harmful to children.

No.

No it won't.

You absolute prat.

Also I have enough regular Lego heads stashed in my Roofspace to keep the next 10 generations of my family fully supplied with those classic, smiley, yellow, everything-was-better-in-the-1950s bulbs.

Also if lego expressions are so central to a child's development wouldn't we all have been driven to madness and Satanism long ago by the ghosts at night?

kajinking:

Worgen:
I'm really getting sick of this whole grizzled macho manly bullshit view of being a manly adult. Can't fucken anything be happy anymore?
Where is a benevolent sun god to take care of this shit when you need her?

Based on E3 by the year 2026 all media will be replaced by brown and gray versions filled with gun-wielding characters who all have tragic backstories (even background characters). This includes My Little Pony which will be about a squad of Equestiran Marines (all colored either black or brown) who will have to mow down hordes of vaquely Russian ponies with magical military technology and... oh god I'm writing fanfiction.

Oh crap, its already starting to happen

Dont worry, I know how to fix things.

Worgen:

Oh crap, its already starting to happen

Dont worry, I know how to fix things.

You monster! There's color in that second one!

Worgen:

kajinking:

Worgen:
I'm really getting sick of this whole grizzled macho manly bullshit view of being a manly adult. Can't fucken anything be happy anymore?
Where is a benevolent sun god to take care of this shit when you need her?

Based on E3 by the year 2026 all media will be replaced by brown and gray versions filled with gun-wielding characters who all have tragic backstories (even background characters). This includes My Little Pony which will be about a squad of Equestiran Marines (all colored either black or brown) who will have to mow down hordes of vaquely Russian ponies with magical military technology and... oh god I'm writing fanfiction.

Oh crap, its already starting to happen

Dont worry, I know how to fix things.

You're both oh so very wrong.

Yes, by 2026 everything will be grim and dark but...the Ponies as Marines? Please, not nearly grim and dark enough, and Hasbro knows it: They want to keep with the times but still do something completely different and unexpected to stay relevant.

How? They're going to merge the pony world with the world of Berserk, thus ensuring they have enough Grimdark to go around..and dear god they will.

But on the plus side the soundtrack will be composed by Susumu Hirasawa, so there's that.

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