This story just made my whole day. And I do wish that more companies — and not just toy makers — take a page out of Lego’s playbook and become more responsive to their customers’ demands. I would love to have, say, an internet provider that listens and is as flexible as the Danish toy company.
So, here is the story. Back in January, seven-year-old Charlotte Benjamin wrote a letter to Lego (published on Sociological Images), in which she let the toy company know how she felt about the representation of female characters in their toy kits. Here is what Charlotte wrote:
I don’t like that there are more Lego boy people and barely any Lego girls. Today I went to a store and saw Legos in two sections. The pink (girls) and the boys (blue).
All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks.
I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!
Well, on Friday Lego has released a toy kit, which includes “The Research Institute” with three female scientists hard at work: a chemist, an astronomer, and a paleontologist. Also featured in the set are pieces from which to make a telescope, a constellation map, a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, a microscope and a laboratory station.
Lego’s website tells us the newly-released set was “[c]reated by real-life geoscientist Ellen Kooijman.” And Elite Daily reports that Kooijman’s idea was under review at Lego before Sociological Images had published Benjamin’s letter.
In any event, Lego has handled this episode incredibly well and parents are happy, judging by the new set’s first reviews.
1. ‘The Research Institute’ includes an astronomer, a paleontologist and a chemist.
2. The astronomer is seen next to a telescope with a chart of constellations behind her.
3. Charlotte Benjamin’s letter criticized Lego for its female-oriented toy options.
4. ‘The Research Institute’.
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