All Sorted Ep 35: LEGO & Race

LEGO Diversity
On a diverse episode of All Sorted Jeff and James:
Ask if all LEGO people are yellow
  • LEGO minifigs are yellow because, (according to LEGO via
    • “When the minifigure was first introduced 30 years ago, it was given the iconic yellow skin tone to reflect the non-specific and transcendental quality of a child’s imagination.”
  • The first LEGO humans were white:

Find the first yellow “skinned” LEGO people

  • The first yellow “skinned” LEGO people were brick built:
    • With only grey, black, red, yellow, green, blue, and white available, LEGO designers chose yellow to represent the skin tone:

LEGO Doll Set

  • Samsonite makes a set that utilizes a colour other than yellow for skin:
    • 3 Little Indians (1964)
      • Three brick-built figures with yellow outfits and red skin.
      • This set was manufactured by Samsonite and only available in the USA

LEGO Little Indians

Look at the first moulded LEGO parts specifically made to build people
  • LEGO  introduces the Maxifigures in 1974
  • LEGO breaks away from their now established use of the yellow skin tone with the release of:

LEGO Maxifigure

Rely on our non-specific and transcendental quality of imagination
  • The modern minifig makes its debut in 1978 and everyone is yellow again
  • By this poin LEGO had the capacity to make minifigures any skin town, but intentionally chose yellow.

LEGO Minifigure

Watch LEGO make dolls with (very limited) racial diversity

LEGO Scala

Put the idea that yellow minifigs can represent any race to the test
 LEGO Star Wars
See LEGO give us a wide range of Friends to play with
Finally, we ask
  • Is LEGO doing enough to promote ethnic diversity?
  • Would you like to see more skin tones in your LEGO sets?
  • Do you wish LEGO stuck to yellow minifigures only?
  • Do you even see this as an issue?
  • Let us know.  Please leave a comment, or hit me up on twitter, I’m @StillSorting.