Future LEGO sets will focus on diversity and inclusion

The LEGO Group’s Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton says that more themes will focus on issues of diversity and inclusion in future sets.

So far, two of 2021’s most high-profile LEGO launches – both designed by Matthew – have concentrated on representation and diversity. But speaking during a recent roundtable with LEGO Fan Media including Jay’s Brick Blog, the design guru explained that 40516 Everyone is Awesome (review) and 10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft (review) are just the beginning.

“This is something that is of really high focus within the organisation,” Matthew said. “As you can imagine, we want to make sure that we’re representing as many people as we can, making people feel that they’re involved and invited to be part of the brand and part of the products, and everything we create is really, really important to us.”

According to Matthew, that means we can apparently expect to see these topics explored not just in specific, one-off releases, but across the LEGO Group’s wider portfolio in the months and years to come.

“There are other things in the pipeline,” he explained. “We’ve got a lot of plans with our product lines aimed at kids, helping to highlight and teach lessons about empathy and understanding, that everybody’s different, and actually being different can be a really, really good thing, and messages about yourself.

“There is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that will ultimately come out when the products are launched, [showing] that we are putting more emphasis on that. There are some definite actions that we are going to be taking and yes, this is going to be our focus, [and] will always be our focus moving forward.”

While Matthew didn’t go into specifics, the obvious candidates for demonstrating that focus are the LEGO Group’s in-house themes – such as Friends or CITY – where the company has the most flexibility around the products it creates.

That said, licensed properties including Star Wars, Batman and Marvel have all embraced the LGBTQIA+ community – among other areas of diversity and inclusion – over the past few years, so we could also see certain characters take greater precedent in future sets, or even just a more diverse mix of genders across licensed products.

40516 Everyone is Awesome and 10291 Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft are both available to order from LEGO.com now. Consider supporting the work that Brick Fanatics does by purchasing your copies using our affiliate links. Thank you!

LEGO For Adults 40516 Everyone Is Awesome Featured

Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

5 thoughts on “Future LEGO sets will focus on diversity and inclusion

  • 23/09/2021 at 21:49
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    On the one hand, this does not surprise me in the slightest, since most corporations seem to be focused on issues such as ‘diversity and inclusion’, ‘sustainability’, etc. these days, that have nothing to do with their raison d’etre. I do think the point has to be addressed that as far as representation goes, this move appears wholly biased to one particular ideological view: identity politics. And, even then, as can be deduced by other commentators, this in itself is fairly narrow and insular: sets with LGTBQIA+ minifigures (possibly for in-house themes, but more likely for licensed themes that appeal to adults or older children), will be coming, but no sets with explicit religious overtones, i.e. Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc. or say sets catering to military or contentious historical periods.

    Without wishing to be accused of being something that I am not, I cannot help but think for a company that has spent much of its own history being decidedly apolitical, and refusing to pander to specific ideological leanings, this corporate decision appears regressive and needless. The beauty of LEGO is that it is a toy that allows the builder to immerse themselves in a world of their own creation; simply kowtowing to ideology that is so fraught with contradictions and breeds polarisation will only cause an inevitable pushback from a large section of a buying public who hate being made to feel unwelcome for holding perfectly reasonable opposing views over what is essentially a superficial policy. Of course there are people who are LGBTIQA+, and fans of the brick, but LEGO (like every other corporate entity) should not be stridently focused on one tiny aspect of their lives, anymore than that of people who subscribe to conservative or religious based teachings.

    You can easily inspire creativity by going back to first principles: build imaginatively and freely.

    Reply
    • 24/09/2021 at 17:05
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      Well put! Surely the essence of Lego is that you can build what you want – even themes that Lego themselves have said a definite no to (eg military) can be augmented with 3rd party items.

      Reply
  • 20/09/2021 at 22:03
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    This is death of pure lego Joy. Political ideologies should be banned and they’ve always been in lego status quo. I hope this company will understand how big mistake they’re commiting by supporting this very destructive and very dangerous ideology.

    Reply
  • 20/09/2021 at 17:16
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    I am still waiting for the Christian based sets, the Pro- Life sets, the Pro American sets, tje pro White Male sets… etc.
    Oh, thata right… “diversity” doesn’t include those…

    Reply

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