Lego to Launch Female Scientist Series Following Gender Controversy

Lego has announced that it will launch science-themed play sets featuring female scientists and their lab tools. The series was chosen as the latest winner of Legos Ideas—in which people can submit and vote on proposals for play sets they'd like the toy company to sell—and comes on the heels of criticism surrounding Lego's gender-based toys.

The lady scientist series—titled Research Institute—will include an astronomer with a telescope, a paleontologist with a dinosaur skeleton and a chemist in a lab. The project was submitted by Dr. Ellen Kooijman, a geochemist and Lego enthusiast from Stockholm.

"The motto of these scientists is clear: explore the world and beyond!" Kooijman wrote in her proposal on the Legos Ideas site.


In 2012, Lego launched a series of play sets aimed at girls called Lego Friends that featured hourglass-shaped figures with pastel-colored building blocks that created beauty salons and bakeries. The series was a financial hit for the company—sales were up 25 percent after its release—but it took criticism from the public, particularly from one 7-year-old girl who wrote an open letter to Lego.

Lego's Research Institute is scheduled to hit shelves in August 2014.