What a lovely world we live in. Lego is now creating a female Lego scientist line!
Lego Ideas, formerly Lego Cuusoo, has proven to hear its public on several occasions by developing and releasing several proposals that were submitted via their conceptual website. And sure, we are all thrilled to see the Simpsons move onto our Lego blocks next to the Ghostbusters Firehouse, but there is one thing that Lego has always struggled with: not enough Lego girls to go around.
In late January, seven-year-old Charlotte Benjamin aired her concerns at the current options available in a letter to the company, stating very simply that “all the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs, but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people … even swam with sharks.” She also called Lego out on their archaic color schemes, their marketing clearly adhering blue to the “boys” toys and pastels for the “girls.”
It is true that Lego has been trying to reach out to the little girl builders of the world, but with the purple and pink “Lego Friends” collection, featuring a completely different type of minifigure – one that is taller, slimmer, placed within pet shop or bakery settings. What Charlotte makes clear is that little girls don’t all fall into old-fashioned marketing demographics. Sure, puppies are cute, but modern girls want to have jobs and be badasses just like everyone else.
Enter Dr. Ellen Kooijman, a geochemist in Sweden. A Lego enthusiast herself, she had also noticed the overwhelming ratio of Lego guys to Lego ladies, and decided to do something about it. She submitted her own idea for a series of Legos, currently titled “Research Institute,” to the Lego Ideas website. Once a project reaches 10,000 votes from the public, Lego takes the project to a board of directors which then chooses what sets to put into production on a quarterly basis. Kooijman’s “Research Institute” had an overwhelmingly positive response from the public, and even beat out Zelda, Adventure Time and Sherlock sets.
“As a female scientist I had noticed two things about the available Lego sets: a skewed male/female minifigure ratio and a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures,” she wrote. “It seemed logical that I would suggest a small set of female minifigures in interesting professions to make our Lego city communities more diverse,” Kooijman stated on her blog. In her proposal, she presented her concept with the simple tagline, “The motto of these scientists is clear: explore the world and beyond!”
The “Research Institute” is currently comprised of three sets, all depicting females in scientific fields. They feature a paleontologist with a dinosaur skeleton, a chemist in her laboratory and an astronomer armed with her telescope. Lego is still determining the final look for these minifigs, along with pricing and availability, but keep your eyes out for them in August of 2014!
Click on the video below for the official announcement from Lego: