LEGO Finally Realizes Girls Have Ambitions Beyond Being Hairdressers Or Nail Techs
In news that should shock absolutely no one with any sense, a new LEGO minifig set featuring kickass women doing kickass science jobs sold out in under three days. The set is called “The Research Institute” and my seven-year-old daughter is already lusting after it, mainly because one of the lady scientists is an astronomer, and she is obsessed with all things Cosmos right now.
Also in the set is a paleontologist and a chemist, each with their own teeny-weeny accouterments; the astronomer has a telescope and star map, the paleontologist gets dinosaur bones, and the chemist has a lab that I really want. The entire set was designed by Ellen Kooijman, who is a stone-cold bad ass geoscientist in real life.
According to The Daily Mail, Lego says the set was in the works even before they got a letter from tiny patriarchy smasher Charlotte Benjamin, who wrote a letter bemoaning the utter lameness of Lego Friends and asking where all of the awesome Lego girls were.
I don’t know why people continue to be amazed when stuff that was specifically designed to be awesome for girls does well. Of course it does. Just as little girls were thrilled to see sisters doin’ it for themselves in Frozen, little girls will gobble this stuff up too, and their parents will throw all kinds of money at Lego for the privilege. I know I will.
I was so disappointed in the Lego Friends line. Just as my kid was starting to get into Lego, she was also noticing that there weren’t a huge variety of lady minifigs, something which was disappointing but not a deal breaker. We checked out Lego Friends to fill the gap, and honestly the most disappointing thing about them wasn’t that they were pink, or designed to look like a beauty parlor, or that the minifigs had purses. What sucked about them is that they were stupid easy to put together and boring to play with. The beauty parlor isn’t exactly a place fraught with tension and opportunities for dramatic play. So she just stopped playing with them and went back to the tiny basic dude that came with the first set of Legos we ever got.
The thing is, it doesn’t even need to be like this. My brother had no problem playing with girl minifigs when we were little, and he often did. Legos weren’t even a “boy” thing when we were young, at least, it didn’t feel that way. So I do hope that people with kids of both sexes will buy sets like these when they come out, and sort of return to that neutral territory. My daughter doesn’t really mind if she gets a “male” minifigure, as long as he is the awesome thing she wants to play with (ninja, caveman, doctor), but she is pretty disappointed when she doesn’t even have a choice. I think it stands to reason that boys won’t care if the paleontologist they want has a ponytail and lipstick.
Personally, I will be lurking around the Lego store and will probably buy this particular set faster than you can say “shut up and take my money.”