Cambridge academic claims LEGO gender bias ‘worse than 1970s’

A Cambridge academic has claimed that the LEGO Group is worse when it comes to gender bias than the company was in the 1970s.

According to a Daily Telegraph article, Athene Donald, who is a professor of experimental physics, highlighted toy manufacturers with a particular mention for the LEGO Group.

Prof Donald highlighted the toy bricks manufacturer Lego in particular as being among toy companies that have regressed when it comes to promoting equality during a talk at The Hay Festival.

She highlighted a letter that appeared in Lego boxes in 1974 which called for parents to look past gender stereotypes. “That was in 1974 and I would say we have gone a long way backwards since then,” she said. “You cannot imagine Lego putting that out now – I wish they would”.

The debate around gendered toys has developed in recent years. It was widely accepted in the toy industry that certain toy categories are marketed to certain demographics based on years of research, but more recently arguments about the social and ethical obligations of manufacturers have come to the fore.


Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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