Diversifying LEGO minifigures – from guide dogs to hearing aids

LEGO minifigures have always been a way for people to see themselves in the world of the brick; they can be tiny representations starring in roleplay adventures or serve as avatars for fans. With so many parts to choose from, the minifigure can be anyone. In more recent years the minifigure has expanded to include a much more diverse range of people, so it’s easier for children and adults alike to connect to these characters.

There have been characters with guide dogs and hearing aids, and now 2022 is bringing the first ever minifigure featuring a prosthetic. These new additions to the line-up are helping to bring the brick closer to the real world and letting even more fans see themselves in LEGO characters.

Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, takes a look at this diversifying minifigure cast…

Hearing aids

Although it’s not actually possible to see in the official photos for 60335 Train Station, the latest LEGO City set is bringing a tiny updated print to one of the railway workers. He features a hearing aid printed along with his cheerful expression. It’s a much appreciated inclusion, with about two million people in the UK using hearing aids, and hopefully this is a print will continue to be used in minifigures in the future.  

To get Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, every month – at a discount and earlier than the shops – order a 12-month or 24-month subscription. Direct debit payment options are available too; to find out more get in touch via subs@silverbackpublishing.rocks.

Guide dogs

While plenty of minifigure characters young and old wear printed glasses, 60292 Town Centre was one of the first to feature a minifigure with a guide dog that appears to be a chocolate Labrador. Guide dogs have been trained since 1931 and help to change the lives of people with sight loss, performing extraordinary work as well as being loyal companions. LEGO Friends also has guide dogs and the first (possibly a Golden Retriever) featured in 41446 Heartlake City Vet Clinic. 

Minifigure prosthetics

At first glance 60347 Grocery Store seems like an unassuming set of an everyday location, yet it’s actually a LEGO pioneer. It’s the first set to feature a minifigure with a prosthetic leg (unless you include Pirates) that has been specially moulded for this character. Its design follows actual medical prosthetics while still being able to connect to brick studs.

Wheelchair users

LEGO wheelchairs are a normal inclusion in many sets across the City and Friends ranges, and the designers strive to show just how many things can be done by wheelchair users. This was recently taken to a new level in the Collectible Minifigure Series 22, which features an updated wheelchair element for the Wheelchair Racer character. He’s kitted out in turquoise sporting gear, matching helmet and proudly wearing a gold medal. 

Contact lenses

This last entry is a shout-out to the Friends mini-dolls who are making leaps and bounds with inclusion. Mini-dolls have printed eye colours (unlike minifigures) and it’s possible to see that Camila is wearing contact lenses in 41719 Mobile Fashion Boutique. How is it possible to tell? Mini-doll eye colours are always natural, ranging from brown to blue or green, and Camila has purple eyes, suggesting she’s wearing some really cool coloured contacts. 

Currently the LEGO designers are continuously diversifying characters in sets, and it’s only happening more often. Is there representation you’ve recently seen on a minifigure? If you have then take a photo and tag Blocks on any of our social media channels.

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