Lego came under a lot of fire recently after they were told off by a very unimpressed seven year old girl called Charlotte Benjamin. She sent them a letter (which soon went viral) complaining about the lack of Lego Girls and the fact that Lego Boys got to ‘go on adventures, worked, saved people … even swam with sharks!’ whilst all the Lego Girls did was ‘sit at home, go to the beach and shop.’
We have to admit that it is slightly embarrassing that it was a young girl who took up the argument which should have been tackled ages ago. Although Lego has, until recently, been a popular toy, mainly among boys, gender stereotyping in children’s toys is spread across the market and across the globe.
You can walk into virtually any toy shop in any country and you will be faced with toys divided into blue and pink sections, for boys and girls. In fact, you’re probably so used to it that you don’t even notice it. It has simply become a natural part of our shopping experience.
But what happens when shops start to break out of this mould? Stockholm’s Toys R Us store has done exactly that, ditching the pink and blue colour coding in favour of gender neutral toys, in order to let kids decide what they want to play with, regardless of tradition.
And what about Lego? Well, as a result of Charlotte’s letter and the social media attention it attracted, Lego recently launched Research Institute, their first ever set to include female scientists and which sold out very quickly.
Hopefully, we will see a revamp of the toy industry and we will start teaching young girls that the sky’s the limit, not off-limits simply because it’s blue.