The legacy of Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning continues in a new set of three women Lego characters including a palaeontologist – the director of Lyme Regis Museum has said.
The ‘Research Institute’ set of new characters released by Lego on August 1 also includes an astronomer and chemist.
Lyme Regis Museum director David Tucker has welcomed the new characters, especially the palaeontologist, adding that the characters represent ‘a positive role for women’.
It is believed the Lego set was released after complaints their current figures weren’t positive or inspiring enough to youngsters.
In January, seven-year-old Charlotte Benjamin wrote to the company accusing its female characters of being boring.
She wrote that she ‘loves Lego’ but that the girl figures created by the company ‘sit at home, go to the beach and shop’ while the boy characters ‘saved people, had jobs and even swam with sharks.’ Charlotte’s letter attracted widespread attention across the globe and she urged Lego to make ‘more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun’.
In the new set, the three new Lego characters can be seen conducting a scientific experiment, examining a dinosaur skeleton and using a telescope to study astronomy.
Mr Tucker added: “The museum realises how important women are in society. Of course, one of the most famous palaeontologists, Mary Anning, was a woman and she was also from Lyme.
“Here at Lyme Museum we do what we can to encourage women to be involved in science, be it when they are four years old and have come to look for fossils or whether they are older and studying at university.
“It’s great to see the legacy of Mary Anning is continued in the new characters for today’s palaeontologists and fossil hunters.”
The new research kit was selected by Lego Ideas, a programme that lets customers submit their own suggestions for projects.
According to Lego the set has sold out online but will be available again on August 19.
On the shop.lego.com website, Lego said: "The Research Institute set has everything you need to explore the world below, around and above us.
“Created by real-life geoscientist, Ellen Kooijman, this collection of scenes depicts three varied professions within the world of natural science.”