Culture transport

Lego PT stereotypes

I’m probably reading too much into this, but here’s a PT stereotype: Lego’s Duplo bus. It appears that in the view of whoever designed this set, only old people and kids ride the bus.

Lego bus 5636

Okay, okay, we all know that in some cases this is probably very realistic. Many services simply aren’t good enough to attract anybody other than those who have no choice: those who can’t drive, or can’t afford to drive.

The challenge is to make services good (frequent) enough that people who have a choice will use them. That’s what gets cars off the road. It’s also a way of improving safety at quiet times such as late evenings — by having services which are busy, and have a wide cross-section of the community aboard. (That’s what made the recent Mckinnon incident quite unusual.)

Happily in the bigger kids’ Lego bus set, there’s an apparently affluent white collar worker waiting for the bus. Maybe it’s a Smartbus.

Lego bus 7641

I’m also happy to see that Legoland has some kind of integrated public transport; the logo at the bus stop is the same as the one on the trains.

Lego train 7938

Though of course that doesn’t mean everything’s timed to connect.

Like I said, I’m reading way too much into this!

PS. Tuesday afternoon: Speaking of cultural representations of public transport:

EXHIBITION: Jacques Tati from Bicycles to Spaceships: Tati + Hulot Transiting Modern Life
A unique exhibition coordinated by Louise Mackenzie
Open: 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday, 1 – 9 July
Wunderlich Gallery, Architecture Building
University of Melbourne [Link; go to July events.]

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

8 replies on “Lego PT stereotypes”

I agree. Lego should make more effort to reflect reality.
It’s a long time since I’ve seen an Anglo-Saxon bus driver.

Funny. The doors are on the wrong side, too!

As a child I had a lovely Lego red double decker. Wish I’d kept that or that they;d re-release it!

(Louise bought me the Lego Harry Potter Triple Decker Knight Bus, though!)

Well Lego is from Denmark, where they probably have far superior public transport to us. So I think it was just a bit of a coincidence.

It was always the ‘hair’ on the standard Lego man that I used to wonder at – a perfect helmet later stolen by Ray Martin and, more recently Justin Beiber.

…..and for these days, how come Lego – if they’re interested in stereotypes – haven’t created the smelly, overly-chatty Weirdo passenger?

I had the Lego 12V Inter City 7740 when I was a kid (around 1985) – still have bits and pieces at home …

The small station and track were part of the kit. Looking back on it I’m a little puzzled about the two pantographs on the engine (like an old VR L class) and the third on the back like a suburban Hitachi motor car. Used to have to get the metho out every time to clean the electric contact rail so it would run properly!!

It could be a rather bright interpretation of Germany 1945 – nothing but youngsters and oldies…

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