This week the Diverse Minifigures Series takes a look at the first representation of a wheelchair user rather than at a specific character. As such, this article celebrates both this minifigure as well as the wheelchair itself. Last month we featured various minifigures to celebrate Black History Month including NBA players, Storm, and Mae Jemison. Over the next few weeks we will look at other aspects of diversity celebrated in minifigure form. This week’s minifigure is the wheelchair user and their wheelchair.
International Wheelchair Day
I chose this minifigure because it was International Wheelchair Day on March 1. International Wheelchair Day celebrates the positive impact a wheelchair has on the lives of wheelchair users. Although the first wheelchair was released in the mid-seventies, it was brick-built. This is the first time LEGO® has produced a molded wheelchair element. The wheelchair user was first introduced in the Fun in the Park – City People Pack (60134) in 2016. Fans across the AFOL community were very excited about this.
Representing people with varying accessibility needs was an important step for LEGO®. Both kids and adults want to be able to see themselves in LEGO® sets. And this is the first time wheelchair users could find themselves in a set. The wheelchair itself is a great element, featuring two large wheels and one small wheel axle element. The chair itself uses a new mold. And it is quite realistic looking. We also saw it for red for the first time in 2021. Check out those awesome trans bright green wheels!
Since 2016 the wheelchair has come in 12 sets including various City sets, the promotional set FC Barcelona Celebration, and the Haunted House. It is great to see the inclusion of the wheelchair in so many non-medical settings. In addition to the wheelchair itself, my favourite part is the minifigure they chose. Although likely coded as male, I would say this minifigure is gender-neutral. I also love their cool outfit featuring a zip-up hoodie and a toque.
The wheelchair user is an important step in offering more diverse minifigures. Not only is the minifigure they chose pretty hip, they are also featured in a non-medical setting. And the wheelchair element itself is pretty awesome, and I love the new colour especially with the bright green tires. Have you picked up any sets just to get the wheelchair? Have you incorporated the wheelchair user in your MOC scenes? Comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
Play well folks,
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