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Lego Launch Women Scientists Mini Figures

05/08/2014 10:45 | Updated 20 May 2015

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LEGO has unveiled a team of female scientist figures – a paleontologist, an astronomer and a chemist – who will be on sale later this year. It's one small step for a woman, one giant leap for womankind.

I hope to the Almighty LEGO God that this does something to halt my daughter's gender stereotypes, because something has to.

It turns out it's not enough to give her a geeky, tomboy of a mother who loves sport, rarely wears make-up and still likes climbing trees.

It's not enough to provide her with a range of aunties who include astrophysicists, computational biologists and solicitors.

We avoided 'pink girly' tat for as long as possible but suddenly we are surrounded by it. Pink My Little Ponies. Hello Kittys. Pink unicorns. Fairies. Princesses. Urrrgh.

It turns out that you can only avoid the worst excesses of girliness until your daughter starts going to nursery and school. Quickly, the pinkness spreads, until it takes over every five-year-old girl on the planet.

Perhaps I should have done more to stop it. Perhaps I should have refused to buy the bright pink Hello Kitty bedspread and insisted on something she hates instead. But I knew what she would love. I'm just as much to blame. I'm a soft touch.

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I thought, you see, that pink was harmless. I didn't realize that it would lead to 'football is for boys' and 'that's a boys' book' and 'that's a boys' film'.

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The thing is, pink IS harmless, in itself. But when it goes along with the separation of 'boys' toys' and 'girls' toys', that's when it becomes pernicious.

If all toy manufacturers wanted to do was make a pink version and a blue version of every toy, I don't think anybody would care very much. But that's not what they do, is it? They make pink ponies and fairies and princesses, and blue astronauts and policemen and chemistry sets.

So will LEGO's new female scientists do any good? Well, it's a start. Let's face it, it's about time LEGO did something to compensate for the LEGO Friends.

OK, I admit, I did once buy a LEGO Friends Advent calendar. I thought it might be a 'gateway' into LEGO for my pink-obsessed daughter. But it turns out it's not really LEGO at all. Not as we know it.

Those skinny lollipop figures are more like Barbie than LEGO. They come with a range of hair accessories. Their legs look like they might snap if they jumped up and down. That's not what LEGO is about. LEGO is about building, about creating, about inspiring.

Sara, a biochemist with a five-year-old daughter, is delighted with the new scientist range. She says: "I think it looks great - I showed my daughter the paleontologist and she just said 'I want all of them!'

"It's been a long time coming but maybe LEGO are finally listening to those of us who detest 'LEGO Friends'."

Well, if you want more inspirational LEGO sets, then it's in your hands. The LEGO Research Institute was submitted by Dr Ellen Kooijman, a geochemist from Stockholm, as part of the LEGO Ideas project, which sees ideas put forward to win votes.

If a project receives 10,000 votes, it then enters a review phase and is evaluated by set designers and marketing representatives, before possibly being chosen by LEGO to become reality.

In the meantime, there is hope. Our younger daughter is showing a healthy interest in football, spacemen and dinosaurs. She's going to love the paleontologist, which comes complete with its own dinosaur skeleton.

Also, I'm thinking about taking up football again after 15 years. Mostly in an attempt to set a good example to my daughters. I'm not giving up the battle against pink just yet...

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