LEGO Central Perk, if you liked Friends

Originally published at: LEGO Central Perk, if you liked Friends | Boing Boing

I guess someone at LEGO loved the show.

Not really, this is from the LEGO Ideas range where they basically outsource the design work to the LEGO fan community and then actually make the ones that get the most votes in a kind of kickstarter-esque system

no idea what happens if something is wildly popular on there but they can’t secure the rights, but in this case evidently they could

3 Likes

No black pieces of course

WTH.

Next Up: Perry Mason (original) TV show LEGO

Like Cheers… and its theme song lyrics (a show with a strict demographic): “You wanna go where people know, people are all the same…”

1 Like

My guess: just like Apple Computer had to agree not to do anything with music to be able to keep their trademark after Beatles’ Apple Corps sued them, LEGO made a (friendly?) deal with Warner Bros. to make several Friends-themed sets (all proceeds to WB) to be able to keep their LEGO FRIENDS franchise brand.

I’m sure it’s all terrible for their SEO though.

And probably confusing for kids and grandparents alike.

1 Like

I had to check the date because this set came out two years ago. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

We rewatched the whole shebang during lockdown. Remarkably there were quite often black patrons in the background, but the number of speaking parts in 11 seasons fit on something like the fingers of one hand. Black people can drink here, as long as we can’t hear what they say.

Burn

2 Likes

Wait, are you saying that Warner Bros. has rights to the word Friends even in contexts that can’t possibly be related to the show? That can’t be right.

That’s not why Lego produced this set now. It’s because it’s a cultural milestone for Generation Z.

I don’t know why but they’re absolutely in love with the show. I think it had something to do with it being a depiction of live as a fairly young person just before digitisation changed life forever. Why they picked Friends specifically instead of other 90s sitcoms I have no idea, however.


See above. Makes perfect sense to me that they would release it now. Much more so than back in the day, because back then the audience was older and less interested in collectible Lego.

1 Like

It’s fascinating that they sell it as depicting a set rather than an in-universe location. So you are supposed to play with it as if you are an actor on the show, not a protagonist in the story.

Of course, I suppose you’re not supposed to play with it in the first place, only build it and look at it, preferably behind glass.

Ahem.

Trademark by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. entertainment services in the nature of a live-action, comedy, drama [ and/or animated ] television program [ and production of live-action, comedy, action and/or animated motion picture films for television ]

LEGO also has an “animated television program” named Friends and I’m sure Warner Bros. felt the right to assert their trademark.

Interestingly,

RENEWED 2/22/2017

LEGO Friends sub-brand was launched sometime this decade, I believe.

On 2 February 2016, Warner Brothers released a Lego Friends film on Blu-ray titled Lego Friends: Girlz 4 Life . The 2016 American Direct-to-DVD computer-animated film follows the story of popstar, Livi, who comes to Heartlake City. The Friends characters are forced to devise a plan when Livi’s manager steals their hit song called Girlz.[38]

Sounds pretty conclusive to me.

My understanding was trademarks are limited to cases where there is some possibility of confusion…like, I’m sure Pixar has trademarked the name Up but it’s still a word other companies get to use. Lego having an animated series, though, would for sure be a different matter. I didn’t know about that, thanks.

1 Like

And that it will age terribly.

It aged?

I never felt like I was the target demographic for Friends when it first came out. I had relatives who loved it, but it felt like it was Common People to me, rich people pretending they weren’t as rich as they were. I know what the excuses were (rent control and so on) but it was an alien lifestyle to me growing up in 90s Britain.

I don’t want to bash it and ruin the enjoyment for other people, it just means nothing to me.

3 Likes

Oh, yes. Tons of homophobia and a healthy dose of transphobia.

Also all kinds of rampant sexism, slut shaming, fat shaming.

It was just a terrible show. Bash away.

1 Like

I’m glad I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time then.

2 Likes

It was an individual who submitted the model to Lego Ideas five years ago. It was released because enough people showed interest and it met production criteria that Lego finessed the model and produced a finished kit.

I just found it weird that a two year-old Lego kit was the launching point for a BB “Friends sucks” post.

2 Likes

Do I have to watch this show now just so I’ll understand why other people think it’s important?

Happy Days recycled the '50s for the kids of the former young people of the '50s

That '70s Show recycled the '70s for the kids of the former young people of the '70s

I don’t know of any iconic new shows recycling the '90s for the kids of the former young people of the '90s, but maybe we don’t need one. Maybe Friends was a twofer.