Dear Michele and the children at Shorewood Hills Elementary School,
It’s amazing to see the outcome of all the time and effort you put into your analysis of gender and culture in LEGO® sets. I enjoyed reading the letters you posted on your website. We know we’re lucky to have so many loyal LEGO fans around the world and we’re always pleased to get feedback.
When we develop a new LEGO set, we use customer feedback like yours – and most importantly, we ask children for opinions on every little detail. You’re the best play experts in the world and the toughest judges of what’s fun and what isn’t.
It’s true we currently have more male than female minifigures in our assortment. We completely agree that we need to be careful about the roles our female figures play - we need to make sure they’re part of the action and have exciting adventures, and aren’t just waiting to be rescued.
You say we should make female minifigures and sets for girls that look more like our other play themes. You’re right: we don’t expect all girls to love the LEGO Friends sets. We know that each child is unique. That’s why we offer more than 450 different toys in various themes so everyone can choose what matches their building skills and links into their passions and interests.
Our designers spend all day dreaming up new sets and ideas, and new roles continue to appear and old roles evolve for both male and female characters. Lots of strong women and girls live in LEGO City. They work as businesswomen, police officers and fire fighters. And THE LEGO MOVIE™ features Wyldstyle as a main character. She’s an awesome, inspiring character who’s also one of the best builders around!
We originally chose yellow for the color of minifigures so they wouldn’t represent a specific ethnicity in sets when there were no characters represented. In this way, LEGO figures would be acceptable all over the world and fans could assign their own individual roles. However, in some products where we want figures to be as authentic as possible, such as movie characters, and others we plan in the future, some minifigures won’t be yellow to stay true to their characterization.
We put a lot of effort into creating a variety of new and exciting characters for the Minifigures Collectibles line: so far we’ve had a female surgeon, a zoologist, athletes, extreme sports characters, rock stars, and a scientist – just to share a few examples. They cover a lot of everyday professions, but we’ve also developed heroic characters like a female Viking, Amazon warrior, space explorer… as well as fantasy and mythical female characters such as Medusa, mermaids, fairies, robots, aliens and super cute characters dressed up as bumble bees, or in national costumes depicting the countries they’re from.
Here at the LEGO Group we’re also having many conversations about the topics you raised, so your comments will be shared with our Marketing and Development teams. After all, we want to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow: that means both boys and girls, everywhere in the world!
Did You Know?
In 2013 the LEGO Group made about 500 million minifigures. If you put them next to each other in a line, it would stretch approx. 11,500 kilometers. That’s more than the distance from Billund in Denmark to Singapore in Asia!
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