All those people giving Lego the benefit of the doubt?

Screw that.

The news has come in that the “female scientists” Lego set, produced after a huge grassroots campaign and petition from parents who wanted more variety in female minifigs, will not be produced beyond its initial run. Despite selling out almost immediately, it will only exist as a limited edition set. The company does not plan to release it as a standard line.

Here is the summary from Margot at Reel Girl:

“So instead of launching a major marketing campaign for the scientists, the way they did for Friends, for example, showing non-stop ads on TV and creating mini-movies featuring the figs all over the internet, these scientists will be hidden from kidworld. The figs won’t be seen on T-shirts, shoes sold at Stride Rite, lunchboxes or cereal boxes. There is no upcoming blockbuster movie where the chemist, archeologist, and paleontologist are a team of brilliant, brave heroes fighting evil. No, instead, LEGO’s female scientists are destined to a similar fate as female superheros, possible to find if parents scour the internet, but missing from your children’s daily life, not present in stores that sell kids clothing, books, and toys, a venue where our children will mostly likely have to settle for slave Leia.”

My previous grumble on this topic.

So can we please dispense with the argument that this is not really the company’s fault, because their job is just to make money? They could make money with this product, they have proof of demand. They’re choosing not to pursue it.

At least it gave us @LegoAcademics

3 Female Lego minifigs. Text: Cheers everyone! The @LegoAcademics are totally listing this as 'impact' on their next grant proposal.

Categories: arts & entertainment, education, fun & hobbies, gender & feminism, parenting, Science

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5 replies

  1. Time for a petition?

  2. Two weeks? Who are they kidding?
    Seriously, how do they justify a decision like this to the profit-counters? “We know we’d make a huge amount of money by marketing this range, but enforcing sexism is much more important to us”?
    Lego: women and girls don’t matter.
    I’ll sign the change org. A boycott at kindergarten level isn’t going to be terribly helpful. Seeing as how we already bought the stuff.

  3. But it’s only petitions that got us this far in the first place, and now we’re supposed to keep doing them just to hang onto what little they’ve offered? Frankly, I’m a little leery of continuing to beg a company to let us give it our money. I take Margot’s point:

    I’m sick of LEGO opting to let social media gender equality advocates do their marketing for them. I’m not getting anything out of this relationship.

  4. “We know we’d make a huge amount of money by marketing this range, but enforcing sexism is much more important to us”?
    Jennifer Kesler at the Hathor Legacy has documented a long line of similar decision making in Hollywood. It’s an article of faith that female-led properties don’t sell, no matter how many do.

  5. I wonder if what’s going on is that they’re scared they’ll lose that precious boy market if people think the toy is as much for girls.

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