I recently heard that evidently, our beloved Lego men are angry. Consider the findings from this article:
In a study of 3,655 figures produced between 1975 and 2010, Dr Christoph Bartneck, a robot expert at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, said the manufacturer appeared to be moving towards more conflict-based themes in its toys.
At first, this seems laughable. Our smiling Lego men have turned to angry Lego men? Probably doesn’t mean much. But consider some of the commentary that Bartneck provided as he reflected on the study:
It is our impression that the themes have been increasingly based on conflicts. Often a good force is struggling with a bad one.
The facial expressions are not directly matched to good and evil. Even the good characters suffer in their struggle and the villains can have a smug expression. In any case, the variety of faces has increased considerably.
It boils down to one word: conflict. (more…)