Lego's Fantastic Instructions For Parents In 1973


Stephen Luntz

Stephen has a science degree with a major in physics, an arts degree with majors in English Literature and History and Philosophy of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication.

Freelance Writer

99 Lego's Fantastic Instructions For Parents In 1973
fryd_ Lego instructions to parents from the 1970s

If you care about inspiring children with an interest in engineering and aspirations not bound by their gender, this note may bring a tear to your eye. Two tears actually, both because it is so eloquently beautiful, and because it shows that in a lot of ways we have gone backwards over the last forty years.

Lego has been criticized recently for its move to gender its toys, creating “girl's Lego” and producing, in the words of one seven year old, female characters that “sit at home, go to the beach, and shop," while the boy characters "saved people, had jobs, even swam with sharks!" 


To their credit Lego has taken this on board to some extent, with a line of women scientists, but the sad thing is that they needed to be pushed. Because there was a time when the Danish company got these things so, so right.

When reddit user fryd_  posted this image at imgur and said it came from a 1974 box of Lego, plenty of people disputed its authenticity.

However, io9 have weighed up the evidence and found it is more likely than not that this really was what Lego was telling parents back then.

Most convincingly, this is a pretty good translation of what the German version of Lego was telling parents. 


The above ad from the same era went viral with people frustrated by the way Lego went backwards in this regard starting in the late 70s, a process traced by Anita Sarkeesian.

Still, given their recent responses to criticism, maybe Lego could think about releasing a retro line with the original instructions. There might be a few children of the 70s who'd quite like to buy it for their own kids.