In a tiny universe (mostly) filled with little yellow men, Lego women can be hard to spot. However, their numbers may be on the way up, with the release on August 4 of a new playset featuring female scientists.
Called Research Institute, the playset features women figurines who are skilled in diverse scientific fields, such as paleontology, chemistry, and astronomy according to the Lego website. The playset product description encourages children, saying, “There’s a whole world of exciting professions out there to explore—build and role play them to see if they suit you!”
The set was created by geoscientist Ellen Kooijman, who pitched the idea on Lego Ideas, and got the 10,000 supporters necessary for the idea to be reviewed. On her personal blog Kooijman wrote about the beginnings of the idea, saying, “As a female scientist I had noticed two things about the available LEGO sets: a skewed male/female minifigure ratio and a rather stereotypical representation of the available female figures.”
This playset is not the only time this year Lego has addressed gender equality issues. Several months ago TheCelebrityCafe.com reported a about young girl who sent a concerned letter to Lego about the gender discrepancies seen in the figurine population and the images of the Lego women that did exist. This letter went viral.
The playset, which launched today, has already sold out according to ABC News .