Lego drops the pink, sells out laboratory set for girls

By Ellen Jean Hirst

Chicago Tribune

A LEGO set titled the “Research Institute” and featuring three females in science is already out of stock on the company’s website.

The 165-piece set showcases a paleontologist, astronomer and chemist was created by geoscientist Ellen Kooijman and is recommended for children 10 years or older. It was developed as part of the LEGO Ideas series, products that are based on consumers’ ideas and voted on.

The LEGO set is $19.99 on the company’s website. It expects to be able to ship the next batch of toys to consumers by Aug. 17.

Unlike recent sets targeting girls, such as LEGO’s “Friends” line, the “Research Institute” vignettes are in more traditional Lego colors — not pink and purple.

Once marketed as a gender neutral toy, LEGOs came under fire in January when a letter written to the company by a 7-year-old girl named Charlotte went viral on the Internet. She criticized the company for creating scenarios where boy LEGOs go work, save people and go on adventures while its girl LEGOs sat at home, shopped or went to the beach.

“I want you to make more LEGO girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!” the girl wrote.