Thursday 18 December 2014

Lego launches first-ever female scientist set after girl's plea for 'more girls'

Jennifer McShane

Published 06/08/2014 | 10:52

Lego have released a new Research Institute set with three women characters, in response to a letter from a seven-year-old who wrote the company a handwritten letter complaining about their lack of smart female toys.

In the letter Charlotte Benjamin said that she “loves Lego,” but was disappointed that there are “barely any Lego girls.”

Less than a week after Charlotte’s letter went viral, Lego responded and said: "We have been very focused on including more female characters and themes that invite even more girls to build."

Lego's new research kit includes a female astronomer, chemist and paleontologist.

Lego Ideas, a program that lets customers submit their own suggestions for projects, selected the set which was designed by geoscientist Ellen Kooijman.

“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.

"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 writes on her blog.

“My collaboration with The LEGO Group has been an amazing experience and I would like to thank the whole team for the excellent work… Cheers to science and good play!”

The initial stock of the Research Institute sold out in a matter of days, although those who are patient enough to wait a month can still order theirs online. In their online shop, Lego encourages young customers to identify with the characters they have created:

“There’s a whole world of exciting professions out there to explore – build and role play them to see if they suit you!”

 

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