Today, LEGO 40516 Everyone Is Awesome has launched, celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community for Pride Month. The set is the brainchild of Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton, who designed the model himself.
It’s really hard to exaggerate how ground breaking this set is. Never before has such subject matter been covered in a LEGO set, but thanks to the new 18+ age marking, the LEGO Group can tackle sexual orientation and gender identity – a topic relevant to adults, but less so to children. 40516 Everyone Is Awesome does so in a way that celebrates the diverse LGBTQIA+ community with a model inspire by the Pride flag. Cleverly, solid colour minifigures allows fans to imagine these LEGO characters as whoever they want them to be.
LEGO Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton was aware that the LEGO Group could do more to express the company’s values. Here’s an excerpt from Blocks magazine’s exclusive interview with the design supremo in Issue 80:
‘Things have been pretty tough in the world over the last few years, and while we have each had our own struggles to deal with, I feel as a society we’ve also had a bit of a wake-up call and that we need to recognise and empathise with the struggles of others better. We have all been forced into living and working in new ways, and that has given us time to reflect on what is really going on in the world around us.
‘I believe, for many of us, it has allowed us to realise that we could all be doing a little more as individuals to make the world more understanding, tolerant and accepting. For the LEGO brand too, we can also do better and be more vocal about our support and appreciation for others. So now felt like the right time to take action and spread some LEGO love and a little positivity along with it. This set is just one expression of that, and a real celebration of inclusivity. We know we have an incredibly loyal LGBTQIA+ and GAYFOL community, so this is a set to say a huge thank you to them – but also to say we see you, and we are here for you, to the broader LGBTQIA+ community too.’
To hear more from Matthew, and gets behind-the-scenes interviews every month, subscribe to Blocks magazine! To get the ultimate LEGO magazine 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unfortunately, the set is not available in every territory that the LEGO Group launches products in. The company has released a statement in response to questions on the topic:
We’re sensitive to the fact that in some countries, the rights of members of the LGBTQIA+ communities are not recognised. We support equal rights for all people, but also understand that it can be unsafe for people in these countries to express their sexual preference. This needs to change.– The LEGO Group