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Journalist called out for calling LEGO accessible toys ‘woke’

Picture of the new LEGO figures

A news journalist has been called out after branding a new range of LEGO bricks ‘woke’ because some of the figures have limbs missing and have  Downs Syndrome.

Nick Squires’ article in The Telegraph previously went under the heading ‘Lego goes ‘woke’ as new figures released with Down’s Syndrome and missing limbs’, but after a number of complaints the title was quickly changed to ‘Lego releases new figures with Down’s Syndrome and missing limbs.’

The toy giant announced the new bricks at the start of February saying the toys would be “more representative of the world that today’s kids navigate”. The figures in LEGO's new range also show signs of mental health conditions such as anxiety.

One of the people who took offence at Squire’s wording was The Last Leg presenter Adam Hills. The amputee who wears a prosthetic, uploaded screenshots of the article and covered the story on the popular late night Channel 4 show.

Hills tweeted: “Hey @NickSquires1. I’m wondering why you’ve tied Lego’s new disabled figures into the “anti-woke” movement. Who are these “others” that think the inclusivity is overly sensitive?”

The journalist also came under attack by Scope who tweeted: “Why are you so against disabled children being able to see themselves reflected in their toys? Don’t they deserve the right to play?,”

“Weaponising disabled representation like this is hugely damaging.”

LEGO released the new range in the hope children will have a better understanding of people living with disabilities and be able to form new friendships.

Ahead of its launch the toy company spoke to 18,000 children from 19 countries, research found nine in ten [93%] believed it was good to have a diverse group of friends.

Two in three [68%] said they would like to see more toys reflect a range of emotions in order to reflect real life.

LEGO’s head of product, Tracie Chiarella, said the reimagination “has enabled us to push the boundaries not only in the content and the storytelling, but also in the reflection of modern, childhood friendships”. 

“It’s great to see that kids acknowledge the importance of friendship for their mental health and it’s encouraging to hear they want more emotional diversity to be represented in the content they consume and the toys and characters they play with.”

[ The name LEGO takes its name from the first two letters of Danish words LEG and GODT, meaning “play well” ]

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