After being told off by a seven-year-old girl in a letter that went viral, Lego announces a kit that will feature women doing more than shopping and "sitting at home."
The new Lego kit was selected from the six finalists in the Winter 2014 Lego Review. The prototype of the winning kit, "Research Institute," stars three female scientists -- there was a paleontologist, a chemist and an astronomer. The designs for Research Institute were crafted by Ellen Kooijman, a Dutch isotope geochemist, who uses the pseudonym "Alatariel Elensar."
"Although recently Lego has started to design and add more female figures to their sets, they are still a minority," stated Elensar. "A small set of minifigures would provide a great opportunity to add women to our Lego town or city communities. I have designed some professional female minifigures that also show that girls can become anything they want, including a paleontologist or an astronomer."
Elensar said she drew inspiration from herself to design the chemist in the Research Institute. There was a slim selection of head and hairstyles for the prototype and Elensar expressed hope that Lego would replace the placeholders with "rare" designs.
While Elensar carried the torch forward, it was seven-year-old Charlotte Benjamin who sparked the flame with a letter to Lego. After visiting a toy section in a store and comparing the pink (girls) and blue (boys) Lego sections, Benjamin wrote a letter that would make these ladies proud.
"All the girls did was sit at home, go to bed and shop -- they had no jobs" stated Benjamin in her letter. "The boys went on adventures, worked, saved people and even swam with sharks."
Emma Owen, a spokeswoman Lego UK Lego, responded to the Lego's diversity issue by stating that the company had a "variety of female minifigures."
"In general we believe that Lego play appeals to children of both genders and all ages," said Owen. "Building with Lego bricks fosters the creativity of children, which is why it's our mission to offer any child -- regardless of their age, gender or interests -- a relevant Lego play experience."
Some of the other set pieces in Elensar's entries into the Winter 2014 Lego Review included a female falconer, geologist, robotics engineer, zookeeper, judge and mail carrier.
After a Lego Review submission collects 10,000 supporting votes, a Lego team of designers and marketers weighs the entry's potential for production, according to Lego. The company said it takes votes and supporting information in account when selecting finalists for one of its reviews.