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!