Lego: Toy maker puts feminist message in new line of characters

Lego Gets Feminist With Its New Line of Characters

Lego Gets Feminist With Its New Line of Characters

Business Insider
Analyzing the top news stories across the web
June 29 2015 6:21 PM

Lego Gets Feminist With Its New Line of Characters

475110392-lego-bricks-made-scene-of-the-life-of-former-french
The world's largest toy company is offering a gentle nudge for girls who are reluctant to enter traditionally male-dominated career fields.

Photo by EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Women aren't entering fields of science and math in large numbers, so Lego is encouraging them on the minifig scale.

Advertisement

The trend of men dominating science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines has been omnipresent in the U.S., but not for any biological reason, many experts say. Most girls just aren't pushed in that direction. Now the world's largest toy company wants to offer a gentle nudge, Maia Weinstock reports in Scientific American.

Last year, Lego released a massively popular line of female scientist minifigures, or "minifigs," those modular yellow characters the company is known for. The idea was born on the Lego Ideas site, where fans can nominate new product lines that Lego considers if an idea amasses at least 10,000 supporters. The end result was Research Institute, a trio comprised of a chemist, a paleontologist, and an astronomer. 

The company's new line of minifigs, released this month, includes female veterinarians, deep sea explorers, aerospace engineers, mechanics, and pit crew members.

Take this rough and tumble Dune Buggy operator, for example.

lego_dune

LEGO

Advertisement

Lego is also branching out into the grease monkey sector with a minifig of the McLaren/Mercedes Lego pit crew.

lego_pit_crew

LEGO

A denim vest isn't exactly common work attire for medical doctors, but the veterinarian minifig is still a solid win for veterinary science.

lego_vet

LEGO

Then there is the Lego deep sea explorer, reminiscent of famed marine biologist Sylvia Earle.

lego_sea

LEGO

Lego Ideas is also working on a minifig version of the cast of The Big Bang Theory, in which two of the main characters are scientists, one a microbiologist and the other a neuroscientist.

Advertisement

The design will be available for purchase on Aug. 1.

highres_lego_ideas_big_bang_theory

LEGO

Admittedly, Lego still has a long way to go before achieving total minifig gender equality. While the company does produce more female characters overall, they're typically confined to non-professional personas, such as Lego's line of Friends minifigs. 

The open democracy of Lego Ideas could pick up the slack.

Among the nominated entries are:

  • The 19th-century computing pioneers Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage 
  • Noted geologist Circe Verba, depicted conducting research in both the lab and field
  • Several of history's famed female scientists: paleontologist Mary Anning, x-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin, physicist Lise Meitner, and physicist Marie Curie