Lego is launching a rainbow-themed 'Everyone is Awesome' set to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
The 346-piece model set features 11 monochrome figures, each with their own individual hairstyle and rainbow colour.
Matthew Ashton, who designed the collection, said: "I wanted to create a model that symbolises inclusivity and celebrates everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love."
Incredibly proud to have designed our brand new #everyoneisawesome set! I wanted to create a simple little set with a powerful message of love, inclusivity and acceptance… so here it is! #lego love to you all! @LEGO_Group #lego #lgbtqia https://t.co/KRW5t3G2jk— Matthew Ashton (@matthew__ashton) May 20, 2021
Ashton, who is the company's Vice President of Design, said he created the set because "representation is important".
Writing on the official Lego website, he said: "I grew up in the 80s and was obviously a gay kid. There was a lot of negativity back then around being gay; it was right in the middle of the AIDS crisis when I was a young teen and that was incredibly daunting and scary.
"Being quite an effeminate kid, I was constantly told by different adults around me what I should and shouldn't play with, that I needed to behave like a 'real boy' and to toughen up. I was dissuaded from doing the things that came most naturally to me."
The figures include black and brown colours to represent the broad diversity within the community, and pale blue, white and pink to "embrace and support the trans community".
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The set's purple drag queen was a "clear nod to the fabulous side of the LGBTQIA+ community", Ashton explained.
He said that coming out can be a lonely time, adding: "If I had been given this set by somebody at that point in my life, it would have been such a relief to know that somebody had my back. To know that I had somebody there to say, 'I love you, I believe in you. I'll always be here for you'.
"So, in a way, this set is not just for the LGBTQIA+ community. It's for all of the allies - parents, siblings, friends, schoolmates, colleagues - out there as well."
The set will go on sale on 1 June, coinciding with the start of Pride Month, and will be available across digital and retail stores.
Source: Press Association