Lego recently released its Duplo Community People Set, a collection designed to educate young children about different people and occupations.
The collection includes something parents have long requested on behalf of their children: a Lego figure with a disability.
But rather than showing a child with a disability, the photo on Lego’s website of the new set features an elderly man in a wheelchair.
Organisers for the social media campaign Toy Like Me, a parent-run campaign calling on the toy industry to produce toys with disabilities, say the elderly wheelchair figure does little to support children who live with disabilities.
“We applaud Lego for producing a wheelchair-using Duplo figure,” said Rebecca Atkinson, the co-founder of the Toy Like Me campaign.
“But it’s so disappointing that the only wheelchair-using figure across all Lego products is an elderly person being pushed along by a younger figure. What does this say to children about disability?”
The campaign has set up a petition at change.org to encourage Lego to revise the set.
Lego responded by saying that children decide how the toy is played with, and that any Lego character can use the wheelchair.
Atkinson said she was aware that children can swap out the characters, but called it “a shame” that Lego chose the older character as its promotional piece.