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Archive for the tag “Lego”

@LegoAcademics: mini scientists mirroring the big ones

Just a quick update on my last post Lego’s latest creations: I read an article on the Times Higher Education website by Donna Yates, an archaeologist working at the University of Glasgow. Her article is very supportive of the Research Institute Lego set but she has put a slightly different spin on it. Yates set up a dedicated Twitter account called @Lego Academics to share the witty little vignettes she creates using the Research Institute mini-figures. The account has 29,000 followers and counting. Clearly not just children like the new Lego set! Here are a couple of Yates’ little scenes…

A photograph by Donna Yates from @LegoAcademics

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A photograph by Donna Yates from @LegoAcademics

THIS PAPER IS RIDDLED WITH LOGICAL FALLACIES!!

For more pictures, click on the link above to @LegoAcademics, and don’t forget to follow!

Photo Credits: Donna Yates from @LegoAcademics

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Lego’s latest creation

A few months ago seven-year-old Charlotte Benjamin wrote a letter to Lego. In it, she pointed out that Lego’s female characters didn’t do very much, whereas the male characters had a wider range of roles. The letter went viral and received much attention. Now, Lego have finally produced some good female characters. The new set is called Research Institute. It features three female scientists, a chemist, an astronomer and a palaeontologist. The set was designed by geophysicist Dr Ellen Kooijman and includes a telescope, laboratory bench and dinosaur skeleton.

Research Institute Lego set

A chemist, astronomer and palaeontologist all hard at work.

The set has great reviews on the Lego website and it looks set to be a best seller. Apparently, Lego was originally planning to make six female scientists. I think it would be a good idea to make a follow-up set with the other three, there are so many possibilities in the realms of science, which means Lego would have plenty of subjects to choose from. It would also be nice for Ellen Kooijman to design the follow-up, seeing as she has made such a success of this one. I hope this is Lego’s first step towards improving their range of female mini-figures and that the company
won’t stop here!

Lego's new scientist mini-figures

The astronomer, chemist and palaeontologist mini-figures.

However, have any of you noticed that all of these scientists are still  good looking? While I’m not suggesting that scientists are ugly, it does seem to be a consistent pattern with Lego that all their female mini-figures are pretty. Perhaps that’s the next thing to be changed…

 

The toy train of change

A couple of things have recently been doing the rounds which have started me thinking about the whole pink toys for girls thing again. I did a post on this, focusing on Hamleys because they are such  a big name in toys.

The two things going round now are related to Lego. The first is a letter from a little girl to Lego. In it she asks if Lego would please make their girls ‘do something’ and not just leave everything to the boys. This very truthful letter coincided with a photograph that I found of a Lego advert, then and now. Someone had found the girl who had posed for the advert in the 80s, and taken a second picture.

The original advert is very different to the Lego adverts you get now. Apparently, the girl made the Lego model in the picture herself , in the studio before posing for the picture. The motto ‘for little kids’ is interesting, Lego now seems to be aimed primarily at boys

I have also recently read a newspaper article with a quote from Jenny Wilcott, the consumer affairs minister in the U.K. She thinks that the toys girls were given could have an effect on the occupations they had when they grew up. Wilcott thinks this is having an effect on the British economy because fewer women are going into higher-paid occupations.

Another thing that she says is that in the 1970s toys had ‘far more bright primary colours, orange, yellow, green and red’. That again reminds me of my previous post because the lack of primary colours was something I noticed as well.

So, is it true that in the ’70s and ’80s toys were more gender neutral? That certainly seems to be many people’s opinion. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around then so I don’t really know if it’s true or not! If it is true, then why have toys become more sexist? A lot of manufacturers argue that they make pink toys for girls and blue for boys because that is what the public want. However, I am of the opinion that the public want this because the manufacturers have told them that that is what they should want.

What do you think? Have toys changed colour since the ’80s? Are manufacturers the cause or the effect of pink and blue toys? The floor is open! 

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