Representation in toys can change the way kids understand disability

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, April 6, 2023 - 12:56pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (12.4 MB)

2023 LEGO Friends race and disability inclusive toys
The LEGO Group
The 2023 LEGO Friends toys reflect racial differences and disabilities.

Last year, LEGO became the latest toy company to announce they are making toys that reflect differences — both racial and those that reflect people with disabilities.

Some characters will be missing a limb, some are meant to represent people with Down syndrome. 

Fox News created a stir when it called the move "woke." But Kristina Lopez says representation in toys means much more than a nod in the culture wars. 

Lopez is an associate professor of social work at Arizona State University. Lopez studies childhood development and diversity, particularly focusing on autism and Latino communities. She also has epilepsy, which she was diagnosed with at 13 years old.

She says these kinds of toys play into childhood development in important ways. She joined The Show to talk about why.

Kristina Lopez
Kristina Lopez
Kristina Lopez

More stories from KJZZ

BusinessThe Show Disability