Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Let me start by saying that I know it should be ‘LEGO,’ but it feels too weird yelling the word all through my post, so I’m just going to call it Lego, okay? Okay. 

There aren’t many females in Lego Land. I noticed this when Mo was given a Lego ’Spot the Crook’ book; the ratio of males to females in all of the pictures is approximately 19:1. Presumably this is because each page show things happening in and around the city, and most of the Lego women are at home looking after all of their boy babies and preparing for their multiple husbands to return home.

I then noticed it again while shopping for Mo’s birthday present earlier this year – I was looking for a box from the ‘City’ range that had a female character in it, but the options were a) male and female holidaying in a campervan (Mo doesn’t know/care about campervans), b) male and female bank robbers being chased by male police (Mo already cares more about “baddies” than I’d like him to), and c) female business woman (*fills with hope*) with a broken-down car being rescued by male tow-truck driver (*deflates*).

And then, a month or so later, I went shopping for some Lego for a couple of Mo’s friends, a boy and a girl. In the perfect-size-and-price-for-a-friends’-birthday-present boxes of Lego, I had lots of different vehicle options; for James I chose a cherry picker with a bucket that went up and down, because it looked like it would be fun and challenging to build:
Unfortunately, none of the vehicles were driven by females, and I didn’t know Avril well enough to guess how she’d cope with unwrapping a Lego monster truck at her party, so I went to the (much smaller) girls’ Lego section, where I found that in the same, perfect-size-and-price-for-a-friends’-birthday-present boxes, I could choose either Mia’s lemonade stand or Olivia with her newborn foal (both with appropriate Girl Colours, because blues and blacks can make girl brains implode):

Neither of these looked like they’d be particularly fun or challenging to build. Plus the people look weird (I’m sorry, Mia and Olivia, but its true. I think it’s your bulbous extremities). I bought Avril a puzzle instead.

I know Lego’s created a set of female scientists in response to a letter written by an observant 7-year-old named Charlotte, and kudos to them for trying, but surely the easiest resolution is simply to let females do the ordinary around-the-city things they do in real life but that Lego currently has only males doing. Females can drive and be paramedics and fire fighters and police officers and swim with sharks too! Keep the scenarios the same and just let half of the characters be female, Lego! And make sure you’re not perpetuating gender stereotypes when you choose which half. (Incidentally, if you made the dinosaur fossil much bigger, Moses would love the paleontologist set.)

In the meantime, I’m making up for Lego’s male-heaviness myself: I’ve borrowed some long hair from the Lego collection of my younger siblings (for the purpose of this exercise we’re just going with “long hair = female”), and we now can have female business-person in suit, female surfer, female construction worker, female supervillain, and female truck driver with beard, among others.
Hopefully by the time Hazel’s 4 there’ll be enough female characters in Lego boxes to render my hair-replacing unnecessary.


  1. I love this blog post. It's ridiculous how few female characters are in Lego. I've noticed that before babysitting as well.

  2. I was livid the other day when I saw the Lego Shopping Mall!@! What the..? Girls only like to shop. Oh my. Love the compromise you have come up with. She rocks.

  3. YES! we hate this too!!! all the lego should be unisex!!!! but this is true about so much! we bought a teepee the other day. we could have bought the girl one (pink and turquoise), or the boy one (red and blue). why must we choose? and why are the elves lego for girls? Leonard would LOVE to play with those, until he discovered it came in a pink box!