The Biggest Controversies Involving Legos

List Rules
Vote up the controversies that hurt worse than stepping on a Lego brick.

When it comes to controversies, Lego blocks aren't the first things that come to mind. But the Lego brand has found itself at the center of multiple social debates over the years. The wide variety of reasons include activists speaking out against big oil, the proliferation of sexist stereotypes in children's toys, and even a fear of witchcraft.

Below, we'll look at some of the biggest controversies - many of which took place in 2013 for some reason - in the history of Lego toys.

  • 1
    220 VOTES

    A Lego Magazine Implied Girls Would ‘Stick Out Like Sore Thumbs’ Amongst Scientists

    Lego was criticized in late 2019 for a comic strip in its kids' magazine, which showed a group of girls trying to get into a research lab. In the comic, the girls decide they can't sneak into the lab because they would "stick out like sore thumbs." Instead, they dress up as bakers. The comic was immediately criticized for its sexism.

    As one woman on Twitter wrote, "Thanks for the clear sexism. Women in tech, women in STEM, and women in research already exist. We don’t have to make muffins anymore!"

  • 2
    195 VOTES

    A Lego Construction Worker Sticker Allegedly Promoted Catcalling

    Lego was accused of promoting sexism in 2013 when one of its construction playsets included a sticker that depicted a construction worker shouting, "Hey babe!"

    Critics said the poster promoted catcalling and set a bad example for young boys. Lego apologized and said it was merely trying to add some humor to the playset.

    Critics also noted that Legos were originally marketed as a gender-neutral toy in the 1970s and '80s.

  • 3
    203 VOTES

    Lego Described One Toy As A Derogatory Term For The Learning-Disabled

    In 2015, Lego released a new toy named Turg, which was described on the company's website as both an "experiment that’s gone very, very wrong" and "part frog, part chicken, part back-of-the-bus window-licker..."

    The term "window-licker" is typically seen as a derogatory term for people with learning disabilities, leading to Lego making a public apology and removing the language from its website.

  • 4
    193 VOTES

    Lego Sponsored A Lego Concentration Camp, With Skeletons Portraying The Prisoners

    In 1996, Polish artist Zbigniew Libera created a Lego set that depicted a concentration camp from the Holocaust. Although Lego initially sponsored the project, the company attempted to stop Libera from exhibiting the set, then later reversed its position.

    The set was criticized for making light of the Holocaust by including Lego skeletons. The set was exhibited throughout the world, and it was ultimately purchased in 2012 by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland.

  • 5
    189 VOTES

    Lego Friends - A Line Geared Toward Girls - Focuses On Sexist Stereotypes

    In 2012, Time editor Ruth Davis Konigsberg wrote about the sexist stereotypes depicted in Lego's then-new line called Lego Friends, which featured almost exclusively female characters. Konigsberg pointed out how Lego had begun marketing more towards boys in 2004 and the single "for girls" line of products was extremely gendered.

    For instance, locations in Lego Friends included hair salons and bakeries. Accessories for the female Lego characters included hairbrushes, purses, lipstick, and cooking utensils.

  • 6
    131 VOTES

    Lego Recalled Toy Trucks After Two Children Received Puncture Injuries

    On September 20, 2006, Lego had to recall 358,000 Explore Super Trucks due to reports of injury among children. Lego received 10 reports of one of the truck's wheels falling off, leaving a metal axle sticking out the truck's side.

    At least two children received serious puncture wounds from the exposed axles.