Mae Jemison – Diverse Minifigures Series

This week we wrap up our celebration of Black History Month. Today we are focussing on Mae Jemison as part of the ongoing Diverse Minifigures Series. The Mae Jemison minifigure is the first female reddish-brown minifigure not based on a comic or book series. Mae Jemison was an astronaut, physician, and engineer, and the first woman of colour in space. The Women of NASA (21312) set featured Mae Jemison along with three other STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) professionals. We have already seen minifigures with different skin tones in the NBA sub-theme and various IP themes (Storm, for example). However, it took LEGO® much longer to produce a minifigure of colour not based on a fictional character. In fact, the Women of NASA set didn’t come out until 2017!

Mae Jemison - Diverse Minifigures on stand with neutral expression

Fan Creation

The Women of NASA set is based on the LEGO® Ideas submission by fan creator Maia Weinstock. LEGO® Ideas is a platform where fans can submit ideas for official LEGO® sets. I am grateful that Maia introduced the idea of a female minifigure of colour. However, I am disappointed that LEGO® didn’t think of it. Interestingly, the original fan submission featured five important women of NASA. Sadly, the final model did not include Katherine Johnson. She was a significant NASA mathematician and woman of colour. Apparently, this was due to a lack of approval which was required from all individuals involved. It certainly would have been great having two female minifigure heads to represent women of colour.

Mae Jemison - Diverse Minifigures with Women of NASA box

All minifigures in the Women of NASA set have duel-sided heads. Significantly, both expressions are positive (happy, determined, neutral, etc.). This is particularly important because most reddish-brown minifigure heads tend to have an angry expression on one or both sides. This is a nice change from characters in the IP themes. And it certainly gives a lot more options to AFOLs wanting to make a Sig Fig that more closely represents their skin tone.

Decent Price Point

Aside from being an amazing set featuring significant women in STEM, one of the best things about this set is the original retail price ($29.99 CAD). This made it a relatively inexpensive way to add a minifigure of colour to your collection. Did you miss out? Even today you can find it brand new from a few Canadian Bricklink sellers for as low as $45.00 CAD. Additionally, if you want to pick up Mae Jemison alone, you can find her for about $9.00-$10.00 CAD from various Canadian Bricklink sellers.

Mae Jemison - Diverse Minifigures with shuttle in background

The Mae Jemison minifigure is the last in our celebration of Black History Month and next week the diverse minifigures series we will move on to celebrate other aspects of diversity. Is Mae Jemison part of your collection? What minifigure would you like to see featured in the diverse minifigures series? Share your suggestions below. We’d love to hear from you!

Play well folks,

-Krista

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