Living with DiverCITY

The following article was originally published by The Rambling Brick on September 29, 2016. It has been reprinted by permission of Richard Jones and The Rambling Brick. 

Living with DiverCITY: changing depictions of gender roles with LEGO minifigures in the post-Friends era.

When I was a boy, and we rode dinosaurs to school, life was a little more simple than it is today. When the first LEGO mini figures were introduced, they were people.  Not really men or women, just people.  Their faces all looked the same: depicting the now classic smiley face.  The only attempts to define gender, in terms of appearance, came in the form of the hair piece they had on if they were not wearing a hat!  In that first year there were four ‘female’ mini figures released: they had hair with pigtails. If they were wearing a hat, you could quite happily identify that knight, policeman or astronaut as male or female as you should choose.

series1minifig
The designers have only attempted to define the gender of one of these minifigures.

Two of these ‘people with hair, defining their gender as female’ came  as the only figure in their sets, along with vehicles: one an ambulance (606) and one a ‘Red Cross’ car(623). Another worked at the service station (376) and the final one came with a home (377). There was also a female passenger with a railway carriage. in 1979, the first classic ‘male’ minifigure hair appeared. In this first year, printed torsos were still a year or two away, and defining your minifigure’s identity came down to the sticker that you placed on the torso piece. Continue reading Living with DiverCITY

LEGO Collectible Series #15

I love the LEGO collectible series and I think this latest group, series #15, is a winner. I’ll confess, I haven’t felt that way about several of the more recent series. But #15 seems to capture the fun and whimsy of the earliest collectable series. Continue reading LEGO Collectible Series #15

Mini Figure Customization

Yesterday’s post by ME2 on a new LEGO ideas set featuring everyones favorite young detective Tintin certainly struck a cord. I think we would all love a few mini figs from that beloved series of comics to fly to the moon, traverse the jungle or invade the Death Star. The photographic possibilities are certainly exciting.

But what if the set doesn’t get its required 10,000 votes of support? What if LEGO doesn’t approve the set? What if the HERGE Foundation doesn’t want to play ball with LEGO and approval a deal? There are so many hurdles to overcome before this idea becomes a reality. What to do in the mean time? Continue reading Mini Figure Customization