Deconstructing Lego is a blog that analyzes Lego sets under a variety of lenses, sometimes comparing similar sets from different years or creating a story based around a set or analyzing the implicit message that a set creates.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

LEGO and Mythology

Although most LEGO sets show little if any mythological influence a few from recent years clearly have.  The most obvious recent example is the 2010-2011 Atlantis theme, especially sets like 7985:  City of Atlantis, which features the mythical city.

The Atlantis theme has some loose connections to mythology, unlike the 2005-2006 Vikings theme which uses a lot of specific references to Viking lore.  Each set includes one Norse mythological creature, including

  • Fenrir
  • Wyvern
  • Nidhogg
  • Midgard
  • Fafnir

So why did LEGO use Norse mythology in their Vikings sets?  It represents a drastic change as the vast majority of sets lack any historical context.  My guess would be that it may have been a geographical decision.  Denmark was a huge bastion of Viking activity centuries ago, and this still influences their culture today.  If anything it is surprising that LEGO did not create Viking sets earlier.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Avengers: No love for PoC?

LEGO has decided to venture into the realm of comic book licenses once again (despite the failure of Spiderman and Batman sets from several years ago) by tying the sets more directly to movies.  A pretty smart move.

One thing that excited me about this is that, in the past, LEGO has caught some flack because the majority (excluding Mace Windu and Lando) of PoC in the licensed sets have been villains.  And this is not necessarily the fault of LEGO, but rather the licenses that they have produced sets for.  Regardless, the Avengers poster made it obvious that this would be a great opportunity for LEGO to create not only a strong Black figure, but also a strong female figure.

I'm talking about Nick Fury and Maria Hill, of course.  LEGO even made their own version of this now iconic poster, seen below:

How awesome!  Except that EVERY SET HAS JUST WHITE DUDES.  There are currently five Avengers sets that feature Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk (yes, he is green, but Dr. Banner is a White dude), Hawkeye, Loki, Loki Henchmen (IDK what they are...robots?), Deadpool, Wolverine (who is an Avenger...not sure why he wasn't in the movie), and Magneto.

So, the issue I have is that LEGO had this great opportunity to incorporate a positive Black character and a strong female character into their sets, two major characters, but decided not to for whatever reason.  I am guessing that they will in future sets, assuming that The Avengers gets another wave of sets.  I am disappointed, but we will just have to wait and see.