Lego is removing gender bias from its toys to help encourage child development.
Lego is removing gender bias from all of its toys in a bid to help encourage child development.
The interlocking plastic brick manufacturers are set to follow in the footsteps of toys such as Mr. Potato Head, by removing gender bias from their products to enable both boys and girls to play with the items without fear of being shamed in society for doing so.
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It comes eight months after Hasbro announced it would make Mr. Potato head toys all gender-neutral by removing the title ‘Mr’ from all of its packagings. The classic toy, which has been around for 70 years, is being “reimagined for the modern consumer”, its US maker Hasbro announced earlier this year. The rebranded toy, which can be assembled with a selection of different body parts and clothes, will be released in autumn this year.
And now bosses at Lego Group, the world’s largest toymaker, has chosen the Day of the Girl to make its announcement.
“We’re working hard to make Lego more inclusive,” said Julia Goldin, the chief product and marketing officer.
It is taking steps to “address gender bias and harmful stereotypes” in its gameplay after a study found 71% of boys surveyed feared they would be made fun of if they played with what they described as “girls’ toys” – a fear shared by their parents.
The research was conducted by Madeline Di Nonno, chief executive of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media which has been auditing Lego since the start of 2021, and it surveyed almost 7,000 parents and children aged six to 14 from China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Poland, Russia, UK and the US.
Julia Goldin explained, “Traditionally, Lego has been accessed by more boys, but products like [arts and crafts line] Lego Dots or Lego City Wildlife Rescue Camp have been specifically designed to appeal to boys and girls.”
The Lego mandate is now to promote nurturing and caring as well as spatial awareness, creative reasoning and problem-solving.
And as a result, Lego will no longer label any of its products “for girls” or “for boys”. On Lego.com consumers cannot search for products by gender. Instead, the website offers themes that it calls “passion points”.
“We’re testing everything on boys and girls, and including more female role models.”
“Our job now is to encourage boys and girls who want to play with sets that may have traditionally been seen as ‘not for them’,” Julia added.
It is hoped that removing gender bias from Lego will reduce the harmful stereotypes that are still hindering boys, girls, and their parents when it comes to child development.
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