The colors of the set will reflect the rainbow flag along with pale blue, white, pink, black and brown.
Lego has unveiled an inclusive LGBTQIA+ set ahead of Pride month. The lego set titled "Everyone Is Awesome" has 11 new mini-figures of different rainbow colors. The new set shows the 11 mini-figures walking away from a waterfall of color into an imagined brighter future. The colors of the stripes also reflect the rainbow flag, a symbol of solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ community. Along with the original colors of the rainbow flag, there is pale blue, white, and pink which represents the trans community. There is also black and brown, which acknowledges the diversity of skin tones and backgrounds within the LGBTQIA+ community. The figures have no specific gender assigned to the mini-figures, and are intended to “express individuality while remaining ambiguous,” reported The Guardian.
The new inclusive set has 346 pieces and will go on sale at the beginning of Pride Month, June. "I wanted to create a model that symbolizes inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love," said the set's designer, Matthew Ashton, in a statement, reported CNN. Joe Nellist, of UK's LGBT Foundation, said this would help children embrace their identity. "Having LGBT-inclusive toys creates a space for families to let LGBT children know that they are loved and accepted," said Nellist. "Growing up in a world which often tells you there is something 'wrong' with you can lead to a person developing a deep sense of shame — something we know can have a long-lasting impact on both mental and physical health."
Designer Matthew Ashton said the move was also a celebration of the LGBTQ community within Lego. "I am fortunate to be a part of a proud, supportive and passionate community of colleagues and fans," said Ashton. "We share love for creativity and self-expression through Lego bricks and this set is a way to show my gratitude for all the love and inspiration that is constantly shared."
Jane Burkitt, a fellow LGBTQIA+ employee at Lego, is happy that the company's new set being inclusive and added that it reflected the work environment at Lego. “I’ve been at Lego for six years and I’ve never hesitated to be myself here, which isn’t the case everywhere,” said Burkitt. “When I joined Lego, I hoped it would be an inclusive place – but I didn’t know. People like me wonder, ‘will I be welcome here?’ And the answer is yes – but this set means that, now, everyone knows it.”
Companies have been working to make toys more inclusive in recent times. Mattel, the company responsible for Barbie dolls, released a new range of Barbies with skin condition vitiligo, no hair, one in a wheelchair, and in a host of skin tones. "We’ve been committed to increasing diversity in our line and showcasing all the different types of beauty that exist ... making the line more accessible,'' said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president at the time of the release in 2020, according to USA Today. The company said that it wanted to make the toys more relatable. "If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line," said the company in a statement.
More skin tones!— Barbie (@Barbie) January 28, 2020
More body types!
More unique looks!
Express yourself with #Barbie #Fashionistas – the most diverse doll line. 💕 Shop now: https://t.co/zTVjMZsjVy. #WeAreBarbie pic.twitter.com/l176Wvzj0z
Mattel had worked with Jordan Reeves, a disability activist aged 13, to design a Barbie in a wheelchair. Jordan, who was born without a left forearm, helped design the Barbie doll with a prosthetic limb. "As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion," said Mattel at the time, reported CNN. Over the past five years, Barbie has released more than 170 "diverse dolls."