Older Adults – Diverse Minifigures Series
This week we take a look at the representation of older adults as part of the diverse minifigures series. If we define older adults purely by hair colour, then LEGO® has included older adults since the early eighties. That is when we first saw female minifigures with white hair. The first older female minfigures used the same hair piece as the first female minifigures. Interestingly, it would be over a decade before we saw an older make minifigure. In 1993 LEGO® introduced the Dragon Knights Majisto Wizard with white hair and beard. This same year LEGO® introduced the Ice Planet 2002 theme. Many of the minifigures had white tinted hair and facial hair. However, I think this was less of an indication that these were older adults than an indication that it was very cold resulting in frost on their hair!
Representation in the Friends Theme
The diverse minifigures series has discussed the lack of diversity in minifigures and the incredibly slow move towards including greater representation in their range of characters. See the articles on NBA players, the first wheelchair user, and 2SLGBTQIA+ representation for examples. In contrast, LEGO® minidolls are much more diverse. Minidolls are part of the Friends theme and had a refresh in 2018. This refresh saw the five main characters become even more diverse. However, males are vastly underrepresented in the Friends lineup. In 2022, LEGO® announced they were going to address the gender bias in marketing LEGO® sets. I wondered how they would achieve this in the Friends line which is centred around five female characters. In addition, older adult minidolls are even less common. In fact, it wasn’t until 2021 that LEGO® introduced an elderly male minidoll in the predominantly young female character lineup.
Debut of an Older Adult Male
The Heartlake City Organic Café introduces us to Marcel. Marcel is a well-dressed older man in an argyle sweater-vest and bowtie. He has wrinkles on his face and a balding hairpiece. I believe we first saw the balding hairpiece mold (in yellow) on Grandpa, from the Collectible Minifigures Series 10 in 2013. However, the light nougat hairpiece with white hair first appeared on Alfred from the LEGO® Batman Movie in 2017.
Older adults need to be part of the discussion around diverse minifigures. It is great to see the inclusion of a male character, and especially and older adult in the Friends theme. It creates a more realistic play experience for kids and allows AFOLs to have greater representation in their display sets and MOCs. I look forward to seeing an even more diverse cast in the Friends theme and across all LEGO® lines in the future. What is your favourite older adult minidoll or minifigure? Comment below or reach out on social media!
Play well folks,
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