Tell Lego We Need More Female Characters: Vote Now

Lego by spydergrrl
I love Lego.

In fact, nothing is more relaxing than helping the Dude sort through a giant bucket of Lego pieces, looking for just. the. right. one. Seriously, try it. Ten minutes of that after a particularly stressful day and you'll be fully relaxed. It's like nerd meditation.

But I also like to build too (see pic on the right of this weekend's latest creation) which is why I have long noticed that female Lego characters are few and far between. Oh sure, some of the branded products have female characters. For example, Ninjago has one, Agent Chase has one, Star Wars has a couple, and... um... see? Hardly any female characters among the storylines, let alone the playsets. Which means that the vast majority of Lego minifigs come in the male gender, even the generic ones.

Prior Gender Fail: Lego Friends

Now don't you even bring up the gender-based fiasco that was Lego Friends. I am of the opinion that Lego was always a gender-neutral, inclusive toy which afforded a common ground between the sexes. The fact that they had to go and create a girl-specific line was a calamity IMHO. As I wrote early last year:
Had I been faced with the challenge of appealing to the female demographic, I would have taken a two-pronged approach: I would have started by integrating more female characters and female-friendly environments into standard Lego. I would have started by creating balance in the minifig universe: more female characters, more female hairstyles, more female clothing.

I would have also included more images and scenarios to allow girls to see themselves in the standard Lego line. More story lines with female protagonists. More gender equality in the roles included in Lego sets.

Cuusoo Campaign: Lego Female Professionals

And here's where we have a chance to make that change, friends. A female Lego user by the name of Alatariel has set up a Cuusoo campaign to request that Lego produce a line of female Lego characters depicting women working in a variety of professions. Alatariel, a geochemist (geek girls FTW!) designed them herself and they include a whole bunch of different jobs:
  • Falconer,
  • Geologist,
  • Paleontologist,
  • Mechanic, and more!
Here's a sample of a set called "Research Institute comprising the labs of the Astronomer, the Paleontologist, and the Chemist":
Research Institute Lego set proposed by Alatariel
Love that. No pink, no purple. This is a set that the Dude would play with, no hesitation. (Unlike Friends, which he points out has only one male character.)

Get Involved, Send a Message

The campaign has been live since May 27 and is very very close to the 10,000 votes it needs. Cuusoo, unlike crowdfunding platforms like KickStarter and IndieGogo is not a money-raising platform; it's about demonstrating interest in a new Lego idea. And there is no guarantee that Lego will produce the product, but they will consider it if it reaches the 10k milestone.

As I write this there are already more than 9,400 votes. Which means that Alatariel will likely reach her goal of 10,000 within a short time. But if we want female characters to break the ceiling, then I think we need to really get those numbers up. What if we managed to get that number way beyond 10,000 votes? I think that would really speak volumes to the execs at Lego. I think we should aim to get that number has high as possible and make them hear our message loud and clear:
Lego is the single most gender-neutral toy available on the market.
Now treat it like one.
Go cast your vote now.


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(Source: The Mary Sue)