The Danish toy company has promised to get rid of gender labels on LEGO products. About time!
LEGO has recently commissioned research into attitudes to play, gender, and toys. The results include the views of 7,000 children aged 6-14 and their parents across China, Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and the USA. What did they find?
‘Girls are ready to overcome gender norms but society continues to enforce biases that hamper their creative potential.‘
Sadly, while girls feel confident in stretching societal expectations, over 70% of boys worry about being teased for playing with what we’ve labelled as ‘girls toys’, compared to just over 40% of girls. The research was carried out by the Geena Davis Institute to mark the UN’s International Day of the Girl.
Lego’s future plans
The Independent has reported on how LEGO plans to help tackle this: getting rid of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ toys. LEGO has committed to breaking down these outdated gendered ideas. The Danish company explained:
‘Ensuring more inclusive play and raising the debate around gender norms is critical, not just for girls but for any child. The LEGO Group knows that boys are also battling prejudice when it comes to creative play and playing with toys that are traditionally seen as being for the opposite sex.‘
I think this is a refreshing step forward. There are no ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ games or toys – only ones you enjoy. While many are reporting on how this will affect the physical LEGO sets (and we do enjoy those – especially the Super Mario themed ones) we’re of course more interested in how this will shake out in their videogames.
Growing up, I was a big fan of both LEGO Creators and LEGO Rockraiders – I’d be keen to see LEGO invest in more games which encourage aimless, creative play. It’s already announced more of its games based on Disney-owned IP – like the upcoming LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. But please – no more sappy LEGO Friends.
What do you think about the research LEGO has done into gender and toys? Do you think more games companies could learn from its approach? Let us know via social media.
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Featured Image Credit: LEGO/Disney