September 3, 2013 12:01 pm
It is the summer of lady scientist toys, it seems. Just a few weeks ago Barbie released their “Mars Explorer” doll. And today LEGO unleashed their female scientist block figurine.
Maia Weinstock was there for the release of the toy. She writes, at Scientific American’s Guest Blog:
Today is release day for Minifigure Series 11, and I am here for the Scientist.
Finding her will take a bit of doing, but I’ve done my homework. Each of the Kelly green pouches looks the same, so most customers will simply grope the bags and try to guess which fig lurks inside. Thanks to advanced scouting from fellow adult fans of LEGO, however, I know precisely what to feel for—two tiny Erlenmeyer flasks—as well as what hidden code to look for on the backs of the packages.
Weinstock hits gold on her first bag, unveiling the tiny block lady holding two little flasks and boasting a sly grin. This isn’t the first time LEGO has made a scientist, but often they’re steeped in “nerdy male mad scientist” imagery. There is actually a “Crazy Scientist” with the wild hair. The Computer Programmer dude actually has broken glasses. Very few of them have been women. Weinstock writes:
One collectible minifig is a surgeon, complete with mask, syringe, and X-ray slide. If you consider wild animal care a branch of science, then you can include the Zookeeper among LEGO’s STEM professionals. Several generic female “scientists” were also released as part of the FIRST LEGO League, but they and their male partners were scientists in name only; their clothes had no markings, nor did they carry any scientific instruments.
I wonder what will happen if I put THIS together with THAT…”
The brilliant Scientist’s specialty is finding new and interesting ways to combine things together. She’ll spend all night in her lab analyzing how to connect bricks of different sizes and shapes (she won the coveted Nobrick Prize for her discovery of the theoretical System/DUPLO® Interface!), or how to mix two colors in one element.
Thanks to the Scientist’s tireless research, Minifigures that have misplaced their legs can now attach new pieces to let them swim like fish, slither like snakes, and stomp around like robots. Her studies of a certain outer dimension have even perfected a method for swapping body parts at will!
Weinstock hopes there will be more women figurines with more specific specialties, but so far Lego is doing better than Mattel, which sent Mars Explorer Barbie to space in a pink space suit without gloves.
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