Meet Professor C. Bodin. This bespectacled beauty, wearing a white lab coat and holding two tiny flasks, is LEGO’s new female scientist minifigure! She hit stores on September 1 and is already being hailed a hero for busting gender stereotypes. It’s big news for a company that’s been criticized in recent years for marketing its toys almost exclusively to boys.
“I think this figure is a positive step because it portrays a woman in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career without resorting to gender stereotyping by making her pink or calling her a ‘lady scientist,'” Elizabeth Sweet, a sociology doctoral candidate at the University of California, Davis, told LiveScience.
In response to their recent criticism, LEGO vowed last year to “deliver meaningful play experiences to girls worldwide.” The company soon unveiled “LEGO Friends” targeted to girls ages 5 and up. But the products are mainly pink and purple and center around five friends who hang out at places like a beauty shop and a cafe.
A few weeks ago, Mattel released its Barbie Mars Explorer astronaut doll, meant to inspire girls ages 3 and up to “try on” a space career. But Barbie’s space suit has pink details, and her air tank and helmet are pink.
Critics of “LEGO Friends” and Mars Explorer say LEGO finally hit the mark with their new brainy scientist, geared for kids ages 5 and up. While I feel there is room for all of those toys, I too applaud this new smart, strong female minifigure. May she be an inspiration for all science-loving little girls!