According to scientists, the classy smiling LEGO face of its figurines is being replaced increasingly with "more themes based on conflict," yielding a negative impact on children.
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. Bartneck's study considered the range of facial expressions across various Lego sets now often in themes such as Star Wars, pirates or Harry Potter.
"It is important to study how to create appropriate expressions and how these expressions are perceived by the users. Children's toys and how they are perceived can have a significant impact on children," said Bartneck. "We cannot help but wonder how the move from only positive faces to an increasing number of negative faces impacts on how children play."
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