LEGO Debuts 'Research Institute,' A Set of Adventurous Female Scientists

In January, 7-year-old Charlotte wrote a stern letter to LEGO. “Today I went to a store and saw legos in two sections. The pink (girls) and the blue (boys). All the girls did was sit at home and go to the beach and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people and had jobs, even swam with sharks.” She concluded her note, “I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!”

Lego officials told Charlotte they were working on a new female set of figurines. Today, they debuted the Research Institute play set, complete with a paleontologist, astronomer, and chemist—all girls. The set was created by geoscientist Ellen Koojiman; she’d submitted the idea on LEGO’s crowdsourced design platform, and more than 10,000 people voted on it. With LEGO’s approval, the set went into production! She wrote in a blog post, “It seemed logical that I would suggest a small set of female minifigures in interesting professions to make our LEGO city communities more diverse.” 

ABC News reports that the collection is already sold out, though it will be available to buy again later this month. It’s a momentous launch, but LEGO hasn’t overdone the “girl power” aspect. The Research Institute description reads simply, “Make new discoveries with the LEGO Ideas Research Institute with the paleontologist, astronomer and a chemist.” No need for a Miss or a “girl” in there; these figures are simply scientists doing their cool jobs, going on adventures as Charlotte would expect.


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