LEGO announced today a new set celebrating the diversity of the world, 40516 Everyone Is Awesome. The set features 11 monochromatic minifigures matching a color ribbon of the brick-built rainbow display stand. There is also a variety of color-matched hairpieces
The set was designed by Matthew Ashton, Vice President of Design and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. It was important to him to create a product that represents and celebrates the diversity of the people around us. You can read more about Matthew’s inspiration behind the set in this article, Why I designed “Everyone is Awesome”.
Not to diminish the importance and relevance of this set, if it were me I’d have removed the hairpieces to make each minifig as neutral as possible or swung the pendulum way over to the other side and include each hair element in every color. The dilemma with using hairpieces is that there is a tendency to automatically assign gender based on hairstyle. Removing hair neutralizes that to some degree.
Like I said, I’m not trying to diminish the importance of this set. Representation matters, and for a toy company to make this building toy is a huge step forward. Children growing up and struggling with their identity need not to feel alone anymore. Hopefully this isn’t the only way LEGO will show diversity in their product lines. Let’s see some family units with gay parents, or typical female heads used with typical male hair and vice versa.
40516 Everyone Is Awesome comes out on June 1, 2021. It will cost $34.99 and come with 346 pieces. You can view the 40516 Everyone Is Awesome product page on LEGO.com. That’s an affiliate link and if you follow it and make a purchase, it will net us a few pennies. Thank you for your support.