September 24, 2023

Deaf Community – Diverse Minifigures Series

This week we look at the representation of the deaf community in the diverse minifigures series. A few weeks ago we looked at the first minifigure with a disability – the wheelchair user. Many AFOLs hoped we would start seeing greater disability representation after that. We did see the wheelchair appear in one set per year. However, LEGO® did not introduce minifigures representing other disabilities until 2020.

The Surprise of a New Head Print

LEGO® released a LEGO® minifigure with a hearing aid/cochlear implant three years after the wheelchair user. LEGO® did this quietly without a press release or announcement. As such, it was a wonderful surprise when it appeared in the LEGO® City set, City Main Square (60271). I remember the buzz on social media as fans started to spot the new printing on the side of the minifigure head.

Deaf community - diverse minifigures series

Finding the New Head Print

The minifigure is comfortably dressed in a dark azure hoody over a green striped shirt with dark tan pants. It looks like something out of my own wardrobe! Her medium nougat hair is in a ponytail, also similar to how I wear my hair. She definitely appears ready to take on the day! She has eyelashes and light lipstick like many of the female coded minifigures. However, she also has a hearing aid/cochlear implant print where her right ear would be. I am so glad the lack of ears didn’t stop LEGO® from making this minifigure! Unfortunately, this head print is unique to this now retired set (RRP $229.99 CAD). You may be able to find the head on Bricklink. However, currently there are no Canadian Bricklink stores listing it for sale. At the time of writing, there is one Canadian store selling the full minifigure for under four dollars.

Positive Representation

It isn’t just the inclusion of the deaf community that is important in contributing to diverse minifigures. Including minifigures with disabilities in non-medical related sets is also an important step. Historically, LEGO® has included minifigures in wheelchairs (brick built) in hospital sets. Featuring minifigures in a variety of settings doing all sorts of different activities creates a more inclusive community. In the City Main Square set, the minifigure with the hearing aid/cochlear implant is shown riding a bicycle, waiting for the tram, and enjoying a concert in the park with friends. This is much more realistic than if they placed her in a hospital!

Positive representation of people with disabilities is important. LEGO® fans of all ages want to see themselves in the LEGO® sets they build. In addition, positive representation is important for LEGO® fans who don’t have a disability. Many may not realize they are not including certain people until LEGO® introduces them in sets. There are now more opportunities for all LEGO® fans to increase the diversity in their set displays and MOCs. A big thanks to Tom for providing photos of her outing to the bookstore for this article since my minifigure didn’t arrive on time. What disabilities would you would like to see included in LEGO® sets? Comment below or share your ideas with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!

Play well folks,

-Krista (she/her)

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