January 27, 2016
LEGO Confirms New Set Will Feature Wheelchair-Using Figure
Finally, LEGO has listened to disability activists and people everywhere who have been calling for them to include representations of people with disabilities in its toys.
ToyLikeMe, a campaign working to pressure toy companies into being more inclusive. The set also appears to include a guide dog. “It’s pretty momentous, even though it’s just a little toy,” Rebecca Atkinson, co-founder of ToyLikeMe, told The Mighty in an email. “It’s about the message behind it, which is far, far bigger than a little one-inch-tall plastic guy.” Promobricks, a LEGO news blog, Facebook page and shared on a website called Bricksfans. The release of this new figure comes after many months of campaigning by ToyLikeMe, which launched a Change.org petition last year that got more than 20,000 signatures. Last Christmas, ToyLikeMe submitted designs for a disability-inclusive holiday set and campaigned for that as well. Representatives from LEGO confirmed the existence of the wheelchair-using figure in the LEGO CITY set to the UK Press Association on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported. The set containing the figure will go on sale in June. was criticized by activists for reinforcing stereotypes about wheelchairs only being for the elderly. This new figure is a part of the LEGO line aimed at older kids.
“I’m delighted,” Atkinson told The Mighty. “I’ve worked hard to set this issue on the agenda within the toy industry and say that the cultural marginalization of 150 million disabled kids by the toy industry is not OK. I’m hopeful this is the beginning of real core brand commitment from LEGO to continue positively representing disabled children in their much loved toys.” The Mighty reached out to LEGO for comment but have yet to hear back. For more on ToyLikeMe, or to help support them in their efforts, visit their CrowdFunder page here.