Lego's all-female 'Women of NASA' becomes best seller on first day

Written on Nov 02, 2017

Lego's new "Women of NASA" set went on sale Nov. 1 and immediately rose to the top of Amazon's list of best-selling toys.

The set of 231 pieces sells for $24.99. Its instant popularity is not surprising to those who have been following Lego's trend of selling toys that are more inclusive of women.

"Women of NASA" features four mini figurines of pioneering women from the space agency: the astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, the astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, and the computer scientist Margaret Hamilton.

Each figurine comes with her own backdrop of relevant NASA work, including a mini-space shuttle Challenger for the astronauts and a mini-Hubble Space Telescope.

The toy set has a grassroots origin story. Maia Weinstock, a deputy editor at MIT News, submitted her idea for the product to Lego's Ideas community in July 2016. Members on that site create and vote on other users' plans; if Lego picks the idea, creators get a 1% cut of sales and licensing revenue.

Weinstock's submission received more than 10,000 public votes which led Lego to ultimately refine, manufacture and sell the "Women of NASA" set.

One figurine not included from Weinstock's original kit proposal: Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA whose story of working on the Mercury and Apollo programs was the focus of the film "Hidden Figures."

"In order for us to move forward with a partner we need to obtain approval from all key people, which was not possible in this case. We naturally fully respect this decision," a Lego representative told Gizmodo in an Oct. 25 story..

The set of 231 pieces sells for $24.99. Its instant popularity is not surprising to those who have been following Lego's trend of selling toys that are more inclusive of women.

"Women of NASA" features four mini figurines of pioneering women from the space agency: the astronauts Sally Ride and Mae Jemison, the astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, and the computer scientist Margaret Hamilton.

Each figurine comes with her own backdrop of relevant NASA work, including a mini-space shuttle Challenger for the astronauts and a mini-Hubble Space Telescope.

The toy set has a grassroots origin story. Maia Weinstock, a deputy editor at MIT News, submitted her idea for the product to Lego's Ideas community in July 2016. Members on that site create and vote on other users' plans; if Lego picks the idea, creators get a 1% cut of sales and licensing revenue.

Weinstock's submission received more than 10,000 public votes which led Lego to ultimately refine, manufacture and sell the "Women of NASA" set.

One figurine not included from Weinstock's original kit proposal: Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA whose story of working on the Mercury and Apollo programs was the focus of the film "Hidden Figures."

"In order for us to move forward with a partner, we need to obtain approval from all key people, which was not possible in this case. We naturally fully respect this decision," a Lego representative told Gizmodo in an Oct. 25 story.

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