My kids were playing with Legos the other night. As I was walking past I heard something that surprised me.
“There are no Lego grandparents.”
My son went on to explain that he was having difficulty making a grandfather and grandmother due to the lack of appropriate mini figure parts. Realizing this may just be his lack and not a Lego lack, I carefully questioned him. Turns out that when it comes to representing the elderly demographic, Lego misses the mark.
Apparently, there are few sets that include elderly mini figures and most of those are special.
Obi-Wan, a wizard with a beard, and an old couple, Ed and Edna, from a Ninjago Set.
There are few, if any, parts to build elderly mini figures from.
My son has a female grey hair piece because he found it in the build your own mini figure bin at a Lego store in San Diego, California.
When it comes to males, it isn’t much better. He had to use hair from Obi-Wan to build a grandfather.
His other choice was a wizard figure but that didn’t seem very grandparent-y, so he skipped.
The next challenge came when it was time to find the right head, or, more specifically, the right face to represent the grandparent.
“There are no faces with wrinkles.”
He had to choose from a mad face, a sad face, or a smirk. After a family discussion, he decided the smirk best represented the Golden Years for the grandfather he was building.
He is adamant that Lego elderly faces should have wrinkles on them to represent age.
Home Sweet Home. My daughter pointed out that there are no Lego retirement homes in any of the sets.
They both love the City Set as well as Lego Creator, neither of which offer a retirement home.
Out of the Mouths of Babes. I was impressed, though not surprised, by the astute observation.
Grandparents aside, my kids see older people as a normal part of society.
For the greater part of their lives, the kids have lived around a predominantly older population.
This is due, in large part, because we lived in the West and Southwest US, locations with a favorable climate preferred by retirees.
Though Baby Boomer retirees made up a large part of that population, we did spend four years living around people aged 80 – 116, a group that included WW II Vets and “War Brides” from Europe.
Our global population continues to age. It makes sense to have Lego mini figures that accurately represent societal norms. Kids certainly expect it.
Apparently, there aren’t many baby mini-figures either but that’s another story.