- Lego’s new “Women of NASA” toy set went on sale for $US24.99 on November 1.
- The product, which a female journalist pitched to Lego, features four famous women from the US space agency who are scientists, engineers, astronauts, and entrepreneurs.
- “Women of NASA” follows a powerful trend of Lego selling toys that are more female-inclusive.
Lego’s new “Women of NASA” set is now available, and the product has already risen to the top of Amazon’s list of best-selling toys.
The set of 231 plastic pieces costs about $US25 and went on sale Wednesday morning. Its instant popularity is not surprising to those who have been following Lego’s laudable — and presumably profitable — trend of selling toys that are more inclusive of women.
“Women of NASA” features four mini figurines of pioneering women from the space agency: the astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, the astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, and the computer scientist Margaret Hamilton.
Each figurine comes with her own backdrop of relevant NASA work, including a mini-space shuttle Challenger for the astronauts and a mini-Hubble Space Telescope.
The toy set has a grassroots origin story. Maia Weinstock, a deputy editor at MIT News, submitted her idea for the product to Lego’s Ideas community in July 2016. Members on that site create and vote on other users’ plans; if Lego picks the idea, creators get a 1% cut of sales and licensing revenue.
Weinstock’s submission received more than 10,000 public votes — which led Lego to ultimately refine, manufacture, and sell the “Women of NASA” set. (Lego’s giant Saturn V moon rocket set, released in June, came about the same way.)
One figurine is missing from Weinstock’s original kit proposal, though: Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA whose remarkable story of working on the Mercury and Apollo programs was the focus of the film “Hidden Figures.”
“In order for us to move forward with a partner we need to obtain approval from all key people, which was not possible in this case. We naturally fully respect this decision,” a Lego representative told Gizmodo in an Oct. 25 story.
You can take a close-up look at the “Women of NASA” set, who it features, and what it includes in our preview of the product.
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