LEGO Launches MiniFig Collection of Female Scientists

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By: Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

Last year saw the release of a single female scientist figurine by LEGO and fans were none too happy, including 7-year-old Charlotte Benjamin. In February, she even wrote the company a letter to express her displeasure.

“I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun, ok!?!” she wrote. Well, her wish has come true as the company announced the release of an all-female scientist figurine collection after a flood of support from the Internet. Created by geophysicist Ellen Kooijman on LEGO’s crowd-sourced design platform CUUSOO (now LEGO Ideas), the set is called Research Institute and includes a paleontologist, a chemist, and an astronomer.

LEGO Ideas allows fans to submit design proposals, which are then voted on by the community. If a design gets over 10,000 votes, LEGO will consider producing it for real if there are no copyright or licensing issues. Kooijman’s project was viewed nearly 300,000 times and received over 1,000 comments. It took just over a year to get 10,000 votes.

In a blog post discussing her design, Kooijman wrote, “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.”

It’s been shown that toy companies have a tremendous amount of influence over how children see the world, not only how it is but also how it should be. Hopefully this playset will encourage girls interested in STEM fields to pursue their dreams and teach all children that these jobs are interesting and exciting and deserve representation from LEGO just as much as any other field would.

The Research Institute collection launched Monday and has already sold out. According to LEGO’s website, they will be available for purchase again later this month.


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