LEGO’s “Women of NASA” is making quite the splash on Amazon, becoming one of the online retailer’s best-selling toys.
The toy set, featuring four pioneering women of NASA, launched on November 1, but were sold out in just 24 hours, and have earned four stars out of 31 reviews a mere four days after release, Tech Times reports.
The LEGO kit sells for around $25, and contains over 200 pieces. There are three builds, four mini-figurines, and elements that highlight the women’s contributions to NASA and space development. In addition, the LEGO company is launching Breaking Boundaries, a challenge on its child-friendly social network platform LEGO Life, that seeks to encourage children to come up with their dream jobs using the “Women of NASA” kit and the four women in it as role models.
Tara Wike, LEGO’s design manager, said that she was delighted to produce the mini-figurines, and hopes that the LEGO toys inspire children.
The women now commemorated in LEGO form are Margaret Hamilton, a systems engineer and computer scientist who developed the software used on the Apollo spacecraft. Mae Jemison and Sally Ride both appear with a rocket build. Ride was a physicist and the first American woman in space. Jemison was the first African-American woman to orbit the Earth on the Endevour. The fourth is Nancy Grace Roman, called the Mother of the Hubble, after her role in setting up the famous Hubble Telescope.
Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician whose calculations were key to Alan Shepard and John Glenn’s space missions, was supposed to be included, but permission issues proved to be a roadblock for LEGO.
The idea for the kit was proposed by Maia Weinstock, a science writer and producer of children’s media, MIT News deputy editor and an advocate of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). She said in her LEGO Ideas submission, “This proposed set celebrates five notable NASA pioneers and provides an educational building experience to help young ones and adults alike learn about the history of women in STEM.”
Weinstock’s idea got 10,000 votes in the contest, and LEGO announced its plans to make the kit in March.