Researchers Fear the Rise of Angry LEGO Faces

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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Researchers Fear the Rise of Angry 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: <a href=http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/12/news/companies/lego-angry-faces/index.html?hpt=hp_c4>CNN


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Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
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Apr 4, 2020
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
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?
There she is
 

Milanezi

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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
 

Falterfire

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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.
 

Gorbachof

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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.
 

Sir Shockwave

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Worgen said:
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.
 

MetalMagpie

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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!
 

Piorn

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

faefrost

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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.
 

Jodan

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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
 

Proverbial Jon

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Nov 10, 2009
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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:

 

Dr.Awkward

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

<img src=http://skirtsonfire.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/lego-head.png>

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.
 
Jun 23, 2008
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Falterfire said:
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
 

kailus13

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Mar 3, 2013
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Dr.Awkward said:
Yes, because this in no way is just as disturbing:

<img src=http://skirtsonfire.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/lego-head.png>

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

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

CriticalMiss

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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.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

I never asked for this
Sep 8, 2011
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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 :(
 

Ukomba

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