The unveiling of the first LGBTQIA+ Lego set has been greeted with huge acclaim by Lego fans and designers alike. Now its designer has shared some of the inspiration behind his bold design of a waterfall of colour with 11 new monochromatic Lego figures.
The design was revealed by Lego on Twitter last week as the latest edition to the Lego range (see our guide to the best Lego sets for adults for more Lego sets). Named Everyone is Awesome to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community, the new set will go on sale next month to mark Pride Month in the US
We’re super excited to reveal our new set - LEGO Everyone is Awesome! Because we celebrate every LEGO builder ❤️🌈 #LEGO #EveryoneIsAwesome pic.twitter.com/J7KSz3zWikMay 20, 2021
It turns out that Lego's Vice President of Design, Matthew Ashton, initially created the set for his own desk. In an article on the Lego website, he says it's one of the designs he's most proud of in his 20 years at the Danish toymaker.
Ashton writes: "Because of the statement that it’s making, I’m really proud that I’m working for a company that wants to have a voice on topics like this. I am really happy that it has allowed me to create something that all our LGBTQIA+ employees can be really proud of as well and can feel acknowledged by."
The 346-piece LGBTQIA+ Lego set represents the colours of the original rainbow flag, with the addition of pale blue, white and pink to represent the trans community, and black and brown to recognise the diversity of skin tones and backgrounds in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Each of the 11 monochromatic figures has a different hairstyle, but they were designed with no specific gender in mind, other than the purple figure with a beehive wig, which Ashton says “is a clear nod to all the fabulous drag queens out there”.
When assembled, Everyone is Awesome stands at 10.24cm tall and has a depth of 12.80cm, making it the perfect size to display on a desk or bookshelf.
Ashton writes: "Design-wise, I love how bold yet simplistic the set is. It sends a powerful message, but it is also fun and quirky and doesn’t take itself too seriously."
Ashton, who is gay himself, also writes of the difficulties he faced coming out in the 1980s, and how that inspired him to design the new LGBTQIA+ lego set. He says he wanted the design to make a statement while celebrating diversity.
"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," he says. "To know that I had somebody there to say 'I love you, I believe in you. I’ll always be here for you.' "
His design seems to have gone down well with Lego fans. Flt Lt James Hughes (@OC324Sqn) tweeted: "As you’ll know, I love but this fits my views even further! - Every office needs one." @Jonah12249475 tweeted: "Thank u for this! As a member of the LGBT community and a HUGE fan of Legos and the Lego Movies, I appreciate this, can't wait!"