Lego Female Scientists Infuriate Me

An astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist make up the Research Institute. LEGO definitely had room to grow with this line.

An astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist make up the Research Institute. LEGO definitely had room to grow with this line.

Truth be told, I haven’t been able to give Amelia her Lego female scientist set yet. I’ve been hiding it for months. Ben wants one too, and I was only able to get one. So which kid should get it? The girl who needs to see continuous and encouraging reinforcement that women have a place in STEM fields? The set even includes a female paleontologist and T-Rex, like her beloved Sue skeleton from the Field Museum in Chicago. (The most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found and was discovered by a women, fyi.)

Or does my son get it, because he sees so few representations of smart, successful females in children’s media? They could share it, of course, but that only further reinforces how little there really is to go around. And THAT. That is what makes me angry. Like, Hulk angry.

There are eleventy boxes of Ariel’s Magical Kiss and Cinderella’s Castle on the shelf, but finding a box with three female scientists? Good luck with that. Could they make their own scientists and labs from the Legos they already have? Yes and they do, which is why they were so bonkers for this set. I think I’m having such a hard time giving this to my kids because after they go nuts over it and ask for more, I have to tell them, “That’s it. It is just this one. There is no more.”

What a crappy thing to have to tell my science-loving, Lego-obsessed kids that the female scientist thing was just a flash in the pan, not a lasting idea for the world’s largest toy company.

From a friend of a PPBB Community Member:
“My friend just found the Lego female-scientist set at the Mall of America and said she arrived at the Lego Store a few minutes before opening, thinking she’d just ask if they had any and they had ten. The guy in front of her tried to buy five sets, but it’s one per customer. They sold four the first three minutes the store was open.
No wonder people can’t find them, if the store is capable of selling all ten set within FIVE minutes of being open. And this was the **Lego Store**. How can you imagine it’s not a profitable product?”

If the company is only making limited edition sets to drive up value and consumer demand, especially before the holidays, what does that say about our general society? Parents will have to claw and scratch at each other to get their hands on a scarce $20 set of little bricks because their commitment to empowering their daughters and hunger for great STEM toys for girls is so great they’ll totally lose sight of the fact that girl scientists shouldn’t be the rare, toy equivalent of a unicorn.

Toy girl scientists should just be the norm.

The LEGO Research Institute continues to sell out within minutes of being available.

The LEGO Research Institute continues to sell out within minutes of being available.

Comments

  1. I agree with you, 100%. What an absolute shame that they have placed so little faith in the consumer. I do not and will not ever understand why companies do not feel that little girls are smart enough to choose on their own, and instead feel that they have to push them toward the overwhelmingly pink and purple items in the store aisles. Nothing wrong with pink or purple, but I have three girls and only one has pink as her favorite color.

  2. How did a company with such neutral ideals in the beginning end up so greedy and assuming now?

    So many companies think girls won’t be interested in toys, or if they are then they are just token fan-girls.

    Screw you! My boy spawnlings are aching for the scientist set as much as I am BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE GENDER just the damn scientist.

    And that’s how it should be.

  3. Cassie Thompson says:

    Yet there are organisations on ebay selling dozens of them for a zillion dollars per box. How did they get their hands on so many boxes?

  4. While I fully agree that the very limited edition is stupid I must say that this is a set which works suprisingly well to split. Although there is only one instruction manual the three sets are packed seperately and could thus easily be split. Either Palaeontologist vs. the rest as the dinosaur makes it the largest (and coolest) set, or, perhaps preferably, dinosaur+ one and another vs. the third one+another small set. That does of course not solve the larger problem with lego being stupid but it might solve the smaller one.

    • I wrote too fast, it should say: “palaeontologist + one of the others vs. the third one + another small set”

      I really need to learn to read what I write before I post…

  5. There might be some hope of more sets after all, this is what it says on lego shop right now: “LEGO® Ideas sets are fan created and limited production. We’re sorry it’s not available – it’s proven to be an overwhelmingly popular set. We’re investigating if we can make more. Check back soon!”

    Alatariel also appear to work on a new project in a similar style “Science adventures” (not yet presented) which we can vote for in the future. (Another of her, and GlenBricker’s projects just passed the review but I have no real interest in “the Big Bang theory” which is the theme of the set).

  6. Lego finally did come to their senses and it is back! It is available on Lego’s web page in Europe http://shop.lego.com/en-SE/Research-Institute-21110 and on Toys R Us in the US http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=42333006&prodFindSrc=search&foreSeeBrowseSampling=15&foreSeeBrowseLoyalty=1&foreSeeEnabled=true

    I thought that I should let you know since I know that you have many followers who missed it the first time (I did manage to get it then).

  7. Oh, and while I was searching the Lego news I also saw that Alatariel’s new Lego science project is up and possible to vote on, looks good to me https://ideas.lego.com/projects/83039

  8. I hope you have found another set for your children. As of today, there were still some available on Amazon. I went ahead and picked up 2, 1 for my 14 yr old for her 8th grade promotion who SERIOUSLY can’t decide between Paleontology and Chemistry as a career, all the while spending countless hours studying astronomy (her hobby) and a 2nd one for my 6 yr old who hasn’t found her direction yet, but also loves astronomy and seems to be following in her sister’s footsteps…. I am not about to be without one later on in life if she chooses to follow one of these careers. GOOD LUCK!!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] get enough of it. Let’s not forget the massive petitioning and then consumer demand for the LEGO Female Scientist set which LEGO will not keep stocked nor commit to expanding or keeping long […]

  2. […] big splash in August 2014…but fell into limited edition/hard to find collector’s abyss, infuriating many parents, STEM enthusiasts, and educators. PLEASE Lego, build on promoting positive plasticity not mass […]

Speak Your Mind

*