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If you've been following the information about the 2018 Lego Friends sets, you may have noticed that some of the characters look a little different. Most characters look fairly similar with minor updates. However, Olivia appears to now be a different race:

Olivia before 2018:

2017

Olivia in 2018:

2018

What is happening here? Has Olivia been replaced?

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Many adjustments have been made for 2018. The five main characters all still exist, but they have been changed somewhat. This was brought up on the Lego Ambassador Network, and generated enough interest to get an official response from the Friends team in Billund:

Every year we strive to innovate and make our products even better for children all over the world. A lot of effort has gone into the development of the LEGO characters and universes across our entire product range, so it makes us very happy when changes are noticed.

LEGO Friends in 2018 looks a bit different than what it has in the past. To be specific, the 5 main characters have a slightly different look but also the city and the citizens of Heartlake City have changed.

But what are the reasons for the change?

Firstly, we want to assure you that all 5 friends are still there in 2018. Andrea, Mia, Emma, Stephanie and Olivia – they all still exist! Also the character’s main interests and personalities remain mainly unchanged.

What you will see in 2018 is an evolution of LEGO Friends, a progression of the story and characters to make sure children get an even greater play experience. Every year more than a million children and parents reach out to us and share what they love and what they would like to change. In the LEGO Friends range children told us that they would like even more differentiated characters and also suggested improvements to Heartlake City.

We always take great care to listen to input from children, and the LEGO Friends team has worked hard to make even more engaging and relevant experiences for children – and also make the LEGO Friends universe more true to the actual world children live in.

Taking a starting point in reality, we’ve made the characters more diverse in their appearance and have added more depth to their personality. And of course, they still live in Heartlake City. But just as the characters have changed, Heartlake City has become more differentiated and rich. There are different districts and there are other citizens that play a more active role in the story.

The changes we have made does not change the fact that previous and new LEGO Friends sets will cater for great building and play experience in 2018 and beyond, and we hope to inspire even more stories and play opportunities for children in the future.

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    Hidden in there is "we’ve made the characters more diverse", which sounds reasonable. 4 out of 5 on the first box look caucasian to me, which doesn't seem very representative. – Craig Dec 7 '17 at 19:21
  • @Craig: So the answer to the question is "Yes, Olivia has been replaced to make the characters more diverse."? – O. R. Mapper Jun 29 at 23:06

protected by Ambo100 Dec 30 '17 at 13:50

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