Development & Education

From gender neutral beginnings to pink princess themes and today's female STEM minifigs: LEGO's messy history of marketing to girls

This story is a part of

Across Women's Lives

This story is a part of

Across Women's Lives
LEGO is an icon.
 
Nearly every kid around the world has played with this childhood staple said to promote science and technology thinking, creativity and invention. However, depending how old and what gender you are, you may have been sold a different LEGO experience than, say, your child or grandparent. A female LEGO lover in the 1930s was afforded a different, more creative and technical level of play than a tween in the late 1990s. 
 
With a seeming uptick in public criticism of The LEGO Group's gendered marketing of its toys by everyone from Anita Sarkeesian to 7-year-old Charlotte Benjamin in the past few years, as well as the recent news of the toy giant's upcoming release of more mini-figurines depictions of women in STEM, we decided to explore the chronology of LEGO's gender journey. From neutral wooden blocks, to Zack the LEGO maniac to "Girl Making Lunch" sets and LEGO Ruth Bader Ginsburg — it's all here.