Lego's First Minifigure In A Wheelchair Is Embarrassingly Overdue

Lego's First Minifigure in a Wheelchair is Embarrassingly Overdue

Bowing to public pressure, Lego has finally released its first minifig in a wheelchair. The latest Lego figurine was one of several recently showcased at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. Lego's decision to create a minifg in a wheelchair did not arise spontaneously from the goodness of this company's heart. In fact, Lego initially resisted requests from the Toy Like Me campaign to create figures that are more representative of the children who play with its products.

Launched last year, the Toy Like Me campaign is an effort to get toy manufacturers to include disabled figures in their sets. It's already succeeded in convincing Playmobil to release more inclusive characters with disabilities, but Lego was a struggle. Back in December of last year, Lego responded to a Change.org petition with over 20,000 signatures by saying, "The beauty of the Lego system is that children may choose how to use the pieces we offer to build their own stories." The company, it would now appear, has changed its tune.

Lego's First Minifigure in a Wheelchair is Embarrassingly Overdue

The new collection, called Fun in the Park, was spotted by Promobricks at the 2016 International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany. Priced at €40 (about $61) the 15-minifig set will hit stores in July 2016. In addition to the figurine in a wheelchair, the set will feature four children and a baby. (The baby is also new, and does not appear in any other set).

The front of the packaging shows an idealised heteronormative scenario in which a family is shown hanging out at a public park — mum with baby bottle, of course — while a cyclist and hot dog vendor make an appearance as well. And just to make sure that we're really, really convinced that Lego has seen the light, the dad — or at least what appears to be the dad — can be seen pushing the baby in a stroller, while a female minifig pushes a lawnmower in the background. The stroller looks a little strange, though.

Lego's First Minifigure in a Wheelchair is Embarrassingly Overdue

Welcome to modern times, Lego style. Don't you just feel empowered, ladies?

[Guardian, Promobricks]

All images: Promobricks


Comments

    What is with the snide remark "Don't you feel empowered ladies?"

    Why because a dad is pushing their child or because a woman is pushing a lawnmower?
    Or because they included a baby minifig?

    What a dick comment.

    I think that this type of inclusive behaviour is actually divisive. When you add one "minority" the question immediately arises about all the other minorities that have been excluded.

      As far as I know, they're all still yellow. When will we get black and white minifigs?

      -edit-
      My bad - there are different colours. Seems to be reserved for special sets though.

      Last edited 29/01/16 2:06 pm

        The Yellow skin is to represent all people's of the world. Only Minifigs representing actual characters (fictional or non fictional) are coloured black and white. Lego History 102.

        In case you haven't noticed the above set doesn't include and "white" people as well.

        For the author of the piece. As Lego has stated "it is up to the user to determine the story" your imparting your own views on the kit. There is no instruction to say the the person holding the bottle is the mother, or the person by the pram is the father. There is also not text stating anything about heteronormative. Who's to say the the lawn mower person isn't in a transgender relationship with both the bike rider and the bottle holder. The beauty of Lego is that there is no rules about the way you play.

      Why do we need representation of disability in toys?
      For disabled children growing up being the only one in your class or school to use a wheelchair or a hearing aids and never seeing children like you in books, TV, films and games can lead to a sense of isolation and low self esteem. To see yourself reflected by huge toy brands like Playmobil and Lego is about more than just a toy. It's about these brands saying that you are worth it, that everyone should be included and celebrated, not just able bodied children. But #ToyLikeMe doesn't advocate that toy companies should make disabled toys for disabled children per se. What we believe is that ALL children will benefit from incidental disability being positively included in toys.

    There's a creepy old guy loitering around the kids in the park.
    Quick, call the cops!

    So WTF is with George's "Don’t you just feel empowered, ladies?" at the end of that article? Is he resentful of people wanting diversity in general? Resentful that women can feel empowered (seems completely unrelated to the wheelchair story)? It reads as though he thinks this is rediculous, and that "ladies" is some kind of insult suggesting they're soft. Looks like it's time George follows Lego's lead & joins the modern world

      I think @mucktard has it nailed, the whole a man pushing the pram and woman pushing the lawn mower thing. I am more offended by the "man" wearing a flanny out in public.

        Leave George Lucas' Minifig alone!

      I think @mucktard has it nailed, the whole a man pushing the pram and woman pushing the lawn mower thing. I am more offended by the "man" wearing a flanny out in public.

    The front of the packaging shows an idealised heteronormative scenario in which a family is shown hanging out at a public park — mum with baby bottle, of course — while a cyclist and hot dog vendor make an appearance as well
    I mean,
    What the hell do you want from lego?
    From what i can see of the cover we have:

    Elderly lady waiting for a busy.
    Lady Painting a Fence
    Lady Mowing a Lawn
    Business Lady waiting for bus
    Girl playing soccer
    Girl Twin on Play equipment
    Mother at Picnic table.

    and the beauty of lego, THE BEST THING.
    If you don't like the scenario, you can mix and match, You can take the head from say the fence painter and swap her with the dad's head, BAM same gender Couple, and guy painting the fence.
    Or give the Hotdog man a beard,
    Or mix in you're pirate lego so the old lady has a hook hand and cutless

    Don’t you just feel empowered, ladies?
    What's with this snide remark?
    Instead of complaining about this kit why not let us all know what you would prefer.
    What could Lego do to make this a better set, in your opinion?
    Me? I would like a Little more Customization with the wheelchair, From the looks of it the only additions that can be changing out the wheels.
    Something like an Axel Pin or one of those pieces, It can fit in a lot more things. Means i could make Technic Legs for it and turn it into a giant power walking wheelchair.

    If people wanted disabled legomen, what's been stopping them from pulling the legs off?

    I think the political correctness is wank frankly. My dad has motor neuron disease and I'm not winging for an equally represative Lego figure (it's a fu$king toy!). I also have a mate in a wheel chair with MS and he couldn't care less either. I also noticed I can't buy a church Lego set, should that be on the list? Or does that not fit in with the original agenda?

      My kid is pretty excited that there is a lego wheelchair, it may sound silly but as a little kid, she was excited that she could be in the lego stories they play.
      You can easily build a church from existing lego bricks, but we never managed to make a decent wheelchair out of existing pieces.

      Last edited 01/02/16 1:57 pm

      Where is the blind girl with a guide dog? The starving Ethiopian? The penguin? Penguins deserve Lego lovin' too!

      And why is the kid in the wheelchair a bogun with a beanie? Why isn't there a preppie in suit in a wheelchair? Or a nerd in a pikachu onesie?

    Besides, that guy is obviously a member of the village people, so how is a gay father with his adopted Vietnamese child supposed to empower women?

    It's not "embarrassingly overdue", it's just surprising that it took them so long to buckle to the bullshit PC brigade.

      Wanting kids to feel a part of the world they live in isn't really the "bullshit PC brigade".
      One of my own daughters is disabled, and I can't tell you how much it meant to her when she first saw The X-Men, and Professor X was in a wheelchair, but was still a powerful and cool character. It was the first time she had ever seen a character in a popular movie that happened to be in a wheelchair, and the disability wasn't the focus of the story.

      It is just about feeling a part of the world, when they are kids, there is pretty much never a character in a book, or a toy at the toy shop, a lego figure, or a poster, or *anything* that has someone who is like them, unless it is for some moral story about overcoming adversity etc.
      It just makes them feel left out, lonely and not really accepted.
      Incidental representation like on the front of the lego box, where they are just part of the scene, and not singled out, just makes them feel a normal part of the world, not something to be hidden away.
      It is hard when you are part of the 'normal' representations in film/toys/books/games/stories to realise what it is like to be invisible.

      From the website ....doesn't advocate that toy companies should make disabled toys for disabled children per se. What we believe is that ALL children will benefit from incidental disability being positively included in toys.

      Last edited 01/02/16 2:10 pm

    I have a lego hospital set from the 60s that has a mini-figure in a wheelchair...

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