I don’t know how often you’ve considered the split between genders when it comes to Lego toys. Honestly, if it isn’t a set tied specifically to a movie or TV show, I don’t even know the last time I noticed what Lego has been up to. But now, for the first time in the company’s 64-year history, they have released a female scientist minifigure as part of their Series 11 figures. That doesn’t mean the entire world has just evolved to pure equality or anything, but it’s a step in the right direction. Thankfully, they didn’t give her a make-up kit and high heels as accessories.
Here’s the descriptive background that Lego gives the character: “She’ll spend all night in her lab analyzing how to connect bricks of different sizes and shapes (she won the coveted Nobrick Prize for her discovery of the theoretical System/DUPLO Interface!), or how to mix two colors in one element.” And because of her tireless efforts, “Minifigures that have misplaced their legs can now attach new pieces to let them swim like fish, slither like snakes, and stomp around like robots.” I’m guessing if we found this female scientist and took off her little yellow mask, we would find she is actually Doctor Moreau, no longer content with sticking around an island.
The Lego scientist represents a still significant gap in Lego’s gender relations, as well as their views on science in general. Both are reflections of the world at large, where women are still outnumbered by men, not to mention paid less on average. Also, people are much more likely to celebrate those in entertainment or sports rather than the people making advances so that life is worth living. Lego might not be inciting a revolution here, but it’s a small step to an overdue goal.
Joining the wise woman in this series is another relevant piece: the Lady Robot. Granted, she bears a strong resemblance to Rosie from The Jetsons, but thankfully they left all the maid gear out. They did add a turn-key on the back though, because this robot likes to PARTY! “She never gets tired or runs out of energy, and thanks to her new and improve self-winding key, she can dance to the music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She’s even got a built-in karaoke machine.” I’m not going to comment on the frivolousness of having a dancing robot instead of one that does something useful. I mean, Lego and NASA teamed up for a spacecraft design program. But now we get a robot that sings along to pop music. Far out.
Cross your fingers, however. Lego Cuusoo designer Alatariel created a set of female scientists last year, and they’re currently being reviewed for production by the Cuusoo team. There’s an astronomer, a paleontologist, a chemist, a geologist, and a robotics engineer. Also a falconer. (And if you get that
Jurassic Park set voted in, Dr. Ellie Sattler would be the first female Lego paleobotanist.) Check them out below.