LEGO released a new Pride-based toy set modeled after the progressive pride flag that appears to be aimed at children.
The new set is called “Everyone Is Awesome” and showcases 11 figurines with different hairstyles and faceless heads in each color of the progressive pride flag. The set includes a purple-colored drag queen.
On the product, LEGO claims that it is designed for an 18+ audience, though set designer Matthew Ashton said in a statement that the set was designed with children in mind. Ashton recalled his experience coming out as a gay man in his teens and said that if he had received this set from a loved one he would have felt more supported.
“Children are our role models and they welcome everyone, no matter their background. Something we should all be aspiring to,” Ashton said. “ If I had been given this set by somebody at that point in my life, it would have been such a relief to know that somebody had my back. To know that I had somebody there to say ‘I love you, I believe in you. I’ll always be here for you.’ So, in a way, this set is not just for the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s for all of the allies — parents, siblings, friends, schoolmates, colleagues, etc. — out there as well.”
In the same statement, Ashton said that the design includes pale blue, white, and pink figurines to “support and embrace the trans community,” and the purple drag queen as a “clear nod to the fabulous side of the LGBTQIA+ community.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported that this is LEGO’s first set that explicitly promotes the corporation’s support of the LGBT movement, though the LEGO Trafalgar Square set included a Pride flag and the company sells interchangeable bride and groom “BrickHeadz” to avoid “heteronormativity” in marriage.
LEGO received negative press from gaming activists who claim that the company is insufficiently “woke” because the toy is rated 18+ despite its low difficulty level. A writer for “Gayming Magazine” said that the set “isn’t awesome.”
“Sadly, what isn’t awesome is that this set is rated 18+,” the article reads. “Usually, Lego kits are age rated based on complexity, but at only 346 pieces to build a simple right-angled diorama, the Everyone is Awesome set is considerably simpler than, for instance, the Lego City Town Centre set (790 pieces, rated 6+), or the Hogwarts Chamber of Secrets kit (a whopping 1176 pieces, rated 9+).”
LEGO has partnered with LGBT “ally” associations such as Workplace Pride, Stonewall, and Open for Business. The corporation also supports the UK-based charity Diversity Role Models “which works to educate children about inclusivity and empathy in order to build supportive and inclusive future generations.”
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Diversity Role Models provides children with online activities designed to teach them about LGBT inclusivity. The material is allegedly designed for one to seven-year-olds and has activities that ask children to inquire about the importance of the phrase “love is love.” The charity also created a music video of a “fun LGBT+ inclusive kids’ song.” The video displays a nontraditional family dynamic and shows a drag queen.
A previous version of this article misidentified the name of the Lego set. It is called “Everyone Is Awesome,” not “Everything Is Awesome.”