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Lego figurines: No more Mr. Nice Toy?

Many Legos' facial expressions have shifted from happy and contented in the 1970s, to scowling, frowning, or snarling since the late 80s, says a social robotics researcher.


An ad pictures a Clark Kent Lego character imagining his Superman alter ego. A New Zealand-based researcher says Lego faces have shifted since 1989 from more contented smiles to more angry scowls.

Youtube capture from Lego ad / LiveScience

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Lego, maker of the plastic toy pieces and figures that spawned a global empire, isn't playing nice anymore.

That's the finding of a recent study, which showed that an increasing number of Lego figures' faces are scowling, frowning, or snarling rather than smiling.

In the 1970s, when Lego added human figures to their successful line of construction blocks, most of the figures wore happy, contented expressions, The Guardian reports.

But all that started to change in 1989, according to Christoph Bartneck, a social robotics researcher at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and lead author of the study.

Hot toys through the ages (VIDEO) Hot toys through the ages (VIDEO)

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