When the recent Research Institute set came out, there were a lot of people that were really excited to see it, both because it was a decent idea and because it was a set that could be used for positive role-model toy for girls. There were some people that weren’t, a lot to just indifference, but some that just get angry when you say the word “girl” without also including some derogatory reference. I assume that those people are registering on the site right now, just to complain without ever reading another word. Sadly, those comments won’t be approved until after the contest voting has wrapped up.
I have a vested interest in this, because I have a two-year-old daughter. She loves stuffed animals, Duplo, and Tonka trucks. I have a closet of Lego sets put away for her, and in all of them there are four female minifigs (three are in the Research Institute). There are some mini-dolls in there because I have a few Friends sets in there too (the ones I didn’t part out for myself, because the part selection in Friends is fantastic).
Let me be very clear… I’m talking about the gender imbalance in LEGO sets. There are plenty of other things we could call out about LEGO… the lack of diversity, the problem with how certain ethnicities are portrayed (or not), the lack of handicap figures (which I find surprising primarially for much LEGO does to donate to hospitals where the “just like you” factor could make a big difference). These are things that I think should be talked about too, but I’m only going to pick one fight at a time.
I’m also aware that the problem is much bigger than Lego. The idea of equality, especially gender equality, just unleashes a whole heap of stupid inside the nerd realm. Lego is part of that, which means it’s just a reflection of the bigger problem. Except Lego isn’t just a nerd property, and it isn’t just licensed sets. It’s a kids toy. I could write many, many articles about the problem with the entire girls toys vs. boys toys, or the problem with pinkifying to make something “girl friendly,” and I have posted stuff like that on the forums… but Lego is loved by girls and boys, and that’s where the problem is.