Decked out in a lab coat and holding flasks, one of the new Lego figurines is a first — a female scientist, says the Christian Science Monitor.
Lego, LiveScience points out, had been called out recently for marketing its plastic brick toys mainly to boys and otherwise tapping into gender stereotypes.
"I think this figure is a positive step because it portrays a woman in a STEM career without resorting to gender stereotyping by making her pink or calling her a 'lady scientist,'" Elizabeth Sweet, a sociology doctoral candidate at the University of California, Davis, tells LiveScience
Professor C. Bodin, as the minifigure is called on her nametag, has a vague scientific focus as she specializes in "finding new and interesting ways to combine things together," according to Lego's biography for the figure. Additionally, she's won the "Nobrick Prize" and her research has helped other minifigures that have lost their legs attach other pieces that let them "swim like fish, slither like snakes, and stomp around like robots," Lego adds.
In a guest blog post at Scientific American, Maia Weinstock points out that the company has featured female astronauts, doctors, and engineers, though they are outnumbered by male minifigures by about four to one and often come in pink.
"It is with this history in mind that today's release of the Scientist minifig … seems so significant," she adds.