The Lego man sitting in a wheelchair was spotted at a toy fair in Germany earlier this week and confirmed by the company Thursday.
A movement called Toy Like Me has been pushing the Denmark-based Lego, Hasbro, Fisher Price, and other toymakers to include disabled figures. Lego fans from all over the world [have demanded the company] release an official set with disabled people.
Bowing to public pressure, Lego has finally released its first minifig in a wheelchair.
“It will speak volumes to children, disabled or otherwise, the world over”, she said.
“We want disabilities taken out of the hospital and into a more fun setting”, said Rebecca Atkinson, the founder of the campaign. It will reportedly go on sale in June.
Organizers of the efforts to include disabled figures in the LEGO toy line – dubbed #ToyLikeMe – are reacting to the news with enthusiasm on their campaign page. Started by the United Kingdom group Toy Like Me, an organization lobbying for disability representation in children’s toys, the petition garnered over 20,000 supporters.
An online campaign via a Lego website for the creation of a Lego wheelchair skatepark was rejected on the basis that submissions with a “political agenda” would not be accepted.
The first set with a minifigure in a wheelchair will come on the market in Summer.
Lego initially resisted the call, arguing to Atkinson: “The beauty of the Lego system is that children may choose how to use the pieces we offer to build their own stories”.
Several sets submitted by fans to the Lego Ideas website have included wheelchairs built from Lego bricks.