LEGO has just introduced more diversity in its set with the introduction of the LEGO City Fun in the Park 60134.
A few days ago, LEGO released what could be its first person-with-disability minifigure. It was spotted by Promobricks at the Nuremberg, Germany, and London toy fairs, photos of which were posted on their blog site and shared with the website.
The LEGO City Fun in the Park 60314 Set Adds A New Exciting Character and Accessory
The first-ever minifigure on a wheelchair is part of the newest set, LEGO City Fun in the Park (60134) City People Pack, and also includes an ice-cream vendor, cyclist, picnickers, and a host of other minifigs in a new park scene. The said PWD minifig depicts a young, cool guy donning a beanie and a hoodie together with his companion dog.
LEGO City and Diversity
It caused quite a stir across social media because as we said, it’s a first for a LEGO – and a good one too. The sighting of this new minifigure is significant since the company has been bombarded recently with accusations for its lack of diversity, and stereotyping.
LEGO in fact received a barrage of criticism from educators and activists, for releasing an elderly minifig with a wheelchair as part of the Duplo line which caters to toddlers and preschool-aged children. According to its critics, the introduction of such figures in a toy system intended for very young kids reinforces the stereotypical image of elderly people as unproductive members of the larger society. But this new LEGO City may seek to undo that.
LEGO City Fun in the Park 60134 Introduces Our First Wheel-Chair Riding Minifig
Now with the introduction of its first-ever, wheel-chair riding minifigures in LEGO City Fun in the Park (60134), The LEGO Group might receive its needed PR boost. #ToyLikeMe co-founder Rebecca Atkinson, who spearheaded a petition at Change.org, managed to gather 20,000 signatures which lobbied Lego to include people with disabilities minifigures in its sets. This could be a second milestone with regard to the issue of sensitivity and diversity among toy manufacturers, the first being with Mattel’s release of new body types for the world’s most famous doll, Barbie.
According to a written statement by Atkinson, “The whole issue came as a bit of a shock to me, because you can get tons of LEGO superhero figures, pretty much any kind you want. And there are disabled superheroes! But I looked it up. They do not have official LEGO Professor X figs or Barbara Gordon/Oracle figs. They don’t even have Stephen Hawking!” Though as the brick company claims, the LEGO system offers endless possibilities in coming up with figures that can be customized by any child to approximate his environment, it is the company’s official acknowledgment that activists were seeking.
The #ToyLikeMe organizers took this as a very positive gesture, and joyfully wrote on their campaign page, “We’ve got genuine tears of joy right now … LEGO has just rocked our brick-built world!”
“It’s pretty momentous, even though it’s just a little toy. It’s about the message behind it, which is far, far bigger than a little one-inch-tall plastic guy.”, Atkinson said.
LEGO will begin to offer this unique minifig through their LEGO City Fun in the Park (60134) City People Pack beginning in July of this year. For now, check out this video from Promobricks regarding set 60134 as they spotted this during the Nuremberg Toy Fair.
The featured image above is courtesy of Promobricks.