Why I want my interracial son to play with Legos

Why I want my interracial son to play with Legos

The Washington Post

Nevin Martell

“Come build with me,” says my 2-year-old son Zephyr, beckoning me to join him on the living room floor next to a giant bin full of Lego bricks.

He pats the finished wood next to him, smiles widely and then turns back to his tinkering.

Who could refuse? I plunk down and take a look at his creation, a multicolored spaceship that he swoops through the air while energetically “whooshing.”

“That’s awesome,” I tell him, before digging in the mix of bricks to start building my own starfighter. Mixed in are a slew of minifigures, some assembled just like the picture on the package, but my little Dr. Frankenstein has reimagined many of them as completely new characters: a lightsaber wielding alien, a knight sporting a pirate’s tricorn hat and a gargoyle with an astronaut’s helmeted head.

Some have specialized heads with a variety of human skin tones, while others mimic more fantastical characters. However, the majority of them are bright yellow. That’s one of the things I love about the Danish toys: the original minifigures were designed with yellow heads and hands so they would be completely inclusive.

Many people incorrectly believe that this sunny skin tone is intended to represent a Caucasian cast, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s the opposite. The unnatural shade is intended to set Lego minifigures apart from a specific segment of humanity. “They’re designed to be citizens of the world,” says Michael McNally senior manager of brand relations for Lego. “The intent is for kids to project their own stories and identity into this figure.”

In other words: use your imagination, kids!…

Read the entire article here.

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