Lego’s First Female Scientist Breaks into the (Toy) Boys Club

Male minfigs continue to outnumber female ones 4:1.

Lego’s First Female Scientist Breaks into the (Toy) Boys Club

It took 35 years, but Lego has finally introduced a female scientist minifig. When the Danish toy maker unveiled its Minifigure Series 11 collection, it introduced 16 characters, including an elf, mountain climber, gingerbread, and most notably a female scientist.

According to her bio on Lego’s website, the scientist specializes in “finding new and interesting ways to combine things,” analyzing how bricks of different sizes and shapes can come together. This work has won her the Nobrick Prize for the discovery of the theoretical System/Duplo Interface.

The gender gap in Lego minifigs has existed since their debut in 1978, with male minifigs outnumbering females 4:1. A space-themed set with astronauts, rocket scientists, and engineers that also launched in 1978 finally added its first female minifig working in the STEM fields in 1993. Though Lego has added more female characters over the years, Scientific American notes they continue to fall into girly stereotypes, often wearing pink, hearts, and revealing clothes.

With all that in mind, the scientist is a much-welcomed addition. Thanks to her, minifigures all over the world with misplaced legs can enjoy life again. The scientist is known for piecing together new parts that let minifigs swim like fish, slither like snakes, and stomp like robots. Better keep an eye on her, though, as she could have Dr. Frankestein-like tendencies. Her Lego bio mentions that “her studies of a certain outer dimension have even perfected a method for swapping body parts at will!”

[Image: Flickr user pasukaru76]

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.



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