The diverse minifigures series continues to celebrate Black History Month. Last week we focussed on the first minifigures released with realistic skin tones – NBA Players. For the next decade, LEGO® continued to produce minifigures with realistic skin tones in their licensed themes. Interestingly, they were all male characters. Finally, in 2014 LEGO® released Storm, the first female minifigure in reddish brown. Storm is the focus of this week’s diverse minifigures series.
First Black Female Minifigure
Storm is the first black female minifigure. As a member of the X-Men, Storm was released as part of the Marvel Super Heroes theme. Storm first came in the X-Men vs. The Sentinel set (76022) and featured a double-sided head. One side of Storm’s head features a somewhat sinister looking grin. The other side is down right evil looking with bared teeth and white eyes. Unfortunately, the prevalence of mean or unhappy facial expressions has become commonplace on black minifigures. This lack of representation makes it difficult for people of colour to easily create a SigFig. It also makes it harder for all builders to create MOC (My Own Creation) scenes that have characters with a variety of skin tones.
Connection to Licensed Sets
Storm is the first major female character, and potentially the most important, in the Marvel universe. However, she was absent from the LEGO® lineup until 2014. It is deplorable that it took this long for LEGO® to produce a black female minifigure at all. Minifigures with realistic skin tones are found almost solely in licensed sets. And licenced sets are mostly based on films dominated by white male actors, particularly in leading roles. Interestingly, Storm was featured in three major films before being personified in LEGO form. So why did it take this long for LEGO® to produce a Storm minifigure, especially since LEGO® introduced minifigures with dark skin tones a decade earlier?
As the first black female minifigure, Storm was an easy selection for the diverse minifigures series. Next week I will feature another breakthrough minifigure to close off the celebration of Black History Month. Can you guess who it might be? The diverse minifigures series will then introduce other minifigures that celebrate different aspects of diversity. Which minifigure would you like to see featured? Share your suggestions below. We’d love to hear from you!
Play well folks,
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