Lego unveils first LGBTQ set ahead of Pride Month
Zamira Rahim, CNN
(CNN) -- Lego fans can build castles, jungles and entire town centers with the right set of bricks. But from June, the company will launch a brand new product -- its first ever LGBTQ-themed set, named "Everyone Is Awesome."
The 346-piece set contains 11 figures, each with an assigned rainbow color.
Lego said Thursday that the model was inspired by the classic rainbow flag, an enduring symbol of solidarity for the LGBTQ community.
The new product will go on sale at the beginning of June to mark Pride Month.
"I wanted to create a model that symbolizes inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love," the set's designer Matthew Ashton said in a statement Thursday.
The company has customers of all ages, but its sets are beloved childhood toys in many households.
"Having LGBT-inclusive toys creates a space for families to let LGBT children know that they are loved and accepted," Joe Nellist, from the UK's LGBT Foundation, told CNN.
Nellist added: "Growing up in a world which often tells you there is something 'wrong' with you can lead to a person developing a deep sense of shame -- something we know can have a long-lasting impact on both mental and physical health."
Ashton said the set was also a celebration of the LGBTQ community within Lego and among the company's adult fans.
"I am fortunate to be a part of a proud, supportive and passionate community of colleagues and fans," he said.
"We share love for creativity and self-expression through Lego bricks and this set is a way to show my gratitude for all the love and inspiration that is constantly shared."
The company has had a busy year. Sales surged during summer 2020, as more people began spending time at home due to the pandemic and sought out toys. Lego's operating profit rose 11% to $622 million as a result.
The "Everyone Is Awesome" set comes as the wider toy industry takes steps to make iconic children's products more inclusive.
In 2020 Mattel, the company behind Barbie dolls, unveiled a range which included a doll with no hair and one with the skin condition vitiligo. Mattel also produced a separate doll line in 2019 called "Creatable World," which featured gender-inclusive toys.
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