||It has been suggested that this article be merged with List of Lego themes . (Discuss) Proposed since October 2012.|
|Characters||Andrea, Emma, Mia, Olivia and Stephanie|
Friends is a product range of the Lego construction toy designed to appeal primarily to girls. Introduced in 2012, the theme includes unique "mini-doll" figures, which are about the same size as the traditional minifigures but are more detailed and realistic. The sets include pieces in pink and purple color schemes and depict scenes from suburban life set in the fictional town of Heartlake City.
The Friends product range replaces Lego's previous female-oriented theme Lego Belville, which had been in production since 1994, and featured dolls that were much larger than both the mini-dolls and minifigures. Other releated product ranges have included Homemaker (1971–1982), Paradisa (1991–1997) and Scala (1997–2001).
Launched January 1, 2012, in North America (and December 15, 2011, in France), the line includes 23 sets and features five core characters -- named Andrea, Emma, Mia, Olivia and Stephanie -- in various suburban settings. In the initial wave of sets, the larger sets include bricks that can build a veterinary clinic, a malt-style cafe, a beauty salon and a suburban house; smaller sets included a "cool convertible," a design studio, an inventor's workshop and a swimming pool.
A description from Lego website stated: "The Lego Friends story centers on the everyday lives and personalities of five girls in a fictional hometown called Heartlake City. Each of the friends ... has a distinct personality and interests, such as animals, performing arts, invention and design, that are reflected in the models. Building sets reflect different parts of town where the girls’ adventures take place—downtown, suburbs, beach, camping grounds and mountains."
The launch of Lego Friends came after a $40 million global marketing push, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. “This is the most significant strategic launch we’ve done in a decade,” said Lego Group Chief Executive Officer Jørgen Vig Knudstorp. “We want to reach the other 50 percent of the world’s children.”
Main Characters 
- Olivia (chestnut hair, light brown eyes, mid-tone skin) - Considered to be the main protagonist of the series, Olivia is new to Heartlake City. She is an environmentalist, as she enjoys science, nature, and history. She also enjoys inventing, hiking, taking pictures, school and drawing. She is also a caretaker of a newborn foal. Her signature colors are pink, purple, and white. She wears a pink shirt, purple skirt, and pink ballet flats. She is very intelligent and focused, yet at times clumsy.
- Stephanie (blonde hair, blue eyes, light tone skin) - A confident natural leader, Stephanie is very social, creative and organized. She loves planning events, parties, and soccer. She also enjoys talking to people, writing stories and dancing ballet as well. Her signature colors are white, magenta and light pink, and her favorite food is cupcakes. She wears a white shirt, magenta skirt, and matching sneakers. She is very down-to-earth, yet sometimes bossy.
- Emma (black hair, green eyes, light tone skin) - The fashionista of the group, Emma is a very stylish and trendy girl who loves style. As shown in the sets she appears in, she enjoys fashion design, making jewelry, interior design, makeovers and horseback jumping. Her main signature color is purple, but is seen wearing shades of pink as well. She wears a purple shirt, navy blue skirt, and lilac ankle flats. She is very fashionable, yet sometimes forgetful.
- Mia (red hair, amber eyes, light tone skin, freckles) - The animal lover of the group, Mia is also a vegetarian. She enjoys taking care of and spending time with animals. She also excels at sports, training animals and drumming, and enjoys horse riding, camping and magic tricks as well. Her signature colors are light blue, green, and purple. She wears a blue shirt, green cargo pants, and purple sandals. She is very caring and athletic, yet somewhat stubborn.
- Andrea (dark brown hair, green eyes, dark tone skin) - The musician of the group, Andrea is a talented singer and great at making up her own songs. She loves anything that does with music: singing, dancing, and drama/theater, but is also a great cook, as she works at a café, as well as a loving for bunnies. She typically wears light-colored clothes. She wears a yellow shirt, light blue skirt, and red-violet ankle flats. She is very practical, yet can be dramatic sometimes.
Other Characters 
- Anna (dark brown hair (red in the webisodes), light blue eyes, light tone skin) - Olivia's mother and wife of Peter. However, in the animated series, neither are related. She wears an indigo shirt with a lilac collar, red long skirt, and red open-toe flats. She is kind and caring and loves Olivia like she's family.
- Peter (brown hair w/ blonde beard, hazel eyes, light tone skin) - Father of Olivia and Anna's husband. He wears a white shirt with a dark red tie, dark blue pants, and tan deck shoes. Like Anna, he is kind and loving to Olivia like she's family.
- Marie (blonde hair, hazel eyes, light tone skin) - the owner of the City Park Café and boss and co-worker of Andrea. She is a hard-working and sensible cook and baker. Her worker's uniform consists of a pink shirt with a white collar and a matching skirt, worn with red-violet ankle flats.
- Sophie (dark brown hair, light blue eyes, light tone skin) - a veterinarian who works at the Animal Center and an aunt to Olivia. Her worker's uniform comprises an aqua shirt with a white collar, pink skirt, and white flats, complete with a pillbox hat. She cares for various types of animals.
- Sarah (dark brown hair, dark green eyes, dark tone skin) - a hairdresser working at the Butterfly Beauty Salon, and also seems to be a proficient saleswoman as well. She wears a white shirt, light aqua skirt, and red-violet ankle flats. She is a very practical girl who knows how to beautify.
- Theresa (red hair, hazel eyes, light tone skin) - the instructor and teacher of the Summer Riding Camp. Her uniform consists of an aqua shirt with a white collar, white pants, and black boots.
- Chloe (black hair, green eyes, dark tone skin) - one of Mia's friends.
- Nicole (black hair, dark brown eyes, dark tone skin) - one of Olivia's friends.
- Ella (black hair, hazel eyes, dark tone skin) - one of the campers/students of the Summer Riding Camp.
- Christina (blonde hair, dark green eyes, light tone skin) - a lover of Christmas who seems to be Olivia's friend. Her winter outfit consists of a red turtleneck with a white puffy collar, matching red skirt and leggings, and black boots with white socks.
- Katharina (blonde hair, light blue eyes, light tone skin) - the arch-rival of Mia, as they both seem to like competitive horse riding. Her riding uniform is a black shirt with a white tee underneath, white pants, and black boots. In the animated series, she is named Lacy.
The launch of LEGO Friends generated controversy upon its launch, with critics claiming the line gives in to gender stereotypes.
A petition on the website Change.org, started by Bailey Shoemaker Richards and Stephanie Cole of the activist group the SPARK Movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media, condemned the sets and claimed that LEGO was "selling out girls." "Who populates commercials for LEGO? Boys!" the petition read. "Where in the toy store can you find original, creative, construction-focused LEGO? The 'boy' aisle!" The petition asked LEGO to end gendered marketing practices and begin marketing its other product lines to girls. By the second week of January, more than 36,000 people had signed the petition.
The LEGO group responded to the criticism by issuing a statement indicating that, in its research, there were requests from mothers and girls for more detailed sets, more realistic minifigures, a brighter color palette, role play opportunities and "and a story line that they would find interesting." Mads Nipper, executive vice president of marketing, the LEGO Group, further stated: "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."
By February the Change.org petition had gathered over 50,000 signatures, and LEGO accepted SPARK's request for a meeting to discuss their concerns. The meeting took place on April 20, 2012. Bailey Shoemaker Richards said of the event, "We are thrilled that the LEGO representatives expressed such a deep passion for creating healthy play patterns for children, and we hope to see them meet our expectations in the coming years."
The first wave was released in January 2012 with 14 sets being released. The largest of the sets was "Olivia’s House" which included 695 pieces and three mini-doll figures. In addition to the first sets six polypag sets have been released as promotions. In February Toys 'R' Us in the United States released an exclusive in-store build set called "Lemonade Stand" and in March Lego brand stores released an exclusive in-store build set called "Ice Cream Stand". Lego has also announced a further nine sets are to be released later in 2012.
Lego has also released accompanying products branded under the Friends theme. These include a picture frame which includes 49 Lego elements which is available from Lego brand stores and a display stand which includes 17 elements that was released as a promotional polybag.
|3061||City Park Cafe||2012||222||2|||
|3065||Olivia’s Tree House||2012||191||1|||
|3183||Stephanie’s Cool Convertible||2012||130||1|||
|3187||Butterfly Beauty Shop||2012||221||2|||
|3316||Advent Calendar||Not yet released|||
|3930||Stephanie’s Outdoor Bakery||2012||45||1|||
|3931||Emma’s Splash Pool||2012||43||1|||
|3933||Olivia’s Invention Workshop||2012||81||1|||
|3934||Mia’s Puppy House||2012||64||1|||
|3935||Stephanie’s Pet Patrol||2012||73||1|||
|3936||Emma’s Fashion Design Studio||2012||79||1|||
|3942||Heartlake Dog Show||2012||183||1|||
|N/A||Ice Cream Stand||2012||14||–|||
In June 2012 two books are set for release based on the Friends theme. Lego Friends: Welcome to Heartlake City and Lego Friends: Perfect Pet Show are set for release on 18 June 2012 by DK Publishing. Both books consist of 48 pages and are being published in paperback. DK Publishing have also announced that they will release a Lego Brickmaster book based on the Friends theme on 17 September 2012.
- Wieners, Brad, "Lego Is for Girls," Bloomberg Businessweek, December 14, 2011.  Accessed 01-14-2012
- Lego Friends Official Site
- Change.org, "Tell LEGO to stop selling out girls! #LiberateLEGOs."  Accessed January 14, 2012.
- Jackson, Emily, "Lego for girls sparks criticism," Toronto Star, January 12, 2012. Lego for girls sparks criticism Accessed 01-14-2012. 
- "Nipper, Mads, executive vice president of marketing, the LEGO Group, "LEGO Group commentary on attracting more girls to construction play," January 12, 2012.  Accessed 01-14-2012.
- Shoemaker Richards, Bailey. "The Meeting: When SPARK Met LEGO".
- "Friends". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3061-1: City Park Cafe". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3063-1: Plane". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3065-1: Olivia’s Tree House". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3183-1: Stephanie’s Cool Convertible". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3184-1: Camper". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3185-1: Riding Camp". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3186-1: Horse Trailer". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3187-1: Butterfly Beauty Shop". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3188-1: Heartlake Vet". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3189-1: Horse Stable". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3315-1: Olivia’s House". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3316-1: Advent Calendar". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3930-1: Stephanie’s Outdoor Bakery". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3931-1: Emma’s Splash Pool". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3932-1: Andrea’s Stage". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3933-1: Olivia’s Invention Workshop". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3934-1: Mia’s Puppy House". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3935-1: Stephanie’s Pet Patrol". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3936-1: Emma’s Fashion Design Studio". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3937-1: Speedboat". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3938-1: Bunny House". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3939-1: Music". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "3942-1: Heartlake Dog Show". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "30100-1: Beach". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "30101-1: Skateboarder". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "30102-1: Desk". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "30103-1: Car". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "30105-1: Mailbox". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "5000245-1: Stephanie". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "icecream-1: Ice Cream Stand". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-04-15.
- "TRU02-1: Lemonade Stand". Brickset. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Lego Friends: Welcome to Heartlake City". The Book Depository. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Lego Friends: Perfect Pet Show". The Book Depository. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Lego Friends Brickmaster". The Book Depository. Retrieved 2012-03-02.