Plastic construction toy brand LEGO has definitely made a successful crossover into media, with Lego Ninja books (and upcoming movie) as well as the extremely successful “Lego Batman Movie”, sequel to the more generalized “Lego Movie” of 2014. But they haven’t forgotten their roots. Just recently they concluded a competition of fan-submitted designs for new Lego action figures to fit a theme. Here the winning design clinched its victory by having among its sample figures a real life historical personage, one whose story has been dramatized in the 89th Oscars contending filmHidden Figures”.

Real character feature

The movie chronicled the lives and struggles of three African-American women mathematicians who worked with NASA in the 1960s who helped with their calculations and number-crunching to ensure the success of the American space program leading up to the Apollo 11 lunar landing. In doing so they endured then-standing segregation laws and attitudes while striving to do their work. One of these exceptional women was “human computer” Katherine Johnson, who was portrayed by Taraji Henson in “Hidden Figures”.

Johnson is among a number of historical space Lego figures conceptualized by “MIT News” deputy editor Maia Weinstock, alongside first US female astronaut Sally Ride, first African-American female astronaut (and “Star Trek” fan/ extra) Mae Jemison, NASA executive astronomer Nancy Roman, and software programmer Margaret Hamilton, all for a thematic Lego figure set called “Women of NASA”, which the Lego Company chose as the winner of a fan design competition last Wednesday March 1.

Lego honors

The fact that these outstanding women who worked for NASA and advanced its various space programs were chosen to be portrayed as unique Lego figures came right on the heels of “Hidden Figures” being nominated at the Academy Awards. In fact during Oscars Night Taraji Henson brought out and introduced Katherine Johnson, long-retired and now 98, onstage to the appreciative audience who gave her an enthusiastic round of applause.

Meanwhile, the “Women of NASA” design shall be made an official figure set by Lego, which will make them available for release either late this year or early next year. No pricing has been decided as of yet.