Small Farms, Big Ideas. LEGO® Farm and Agricultural Idealism
Craig Van Pelt
The farms in the LEGO® Farm theme are immaculate.1 They feature sparkling clean tractors, pristine fences, and the complete absence of dirt. Heck, even some of the farm animals seem to be smiling, but that’s probably because the animals aren’t standing ankle-deep in their own manure. Everything really is AWESOME in LEGO Farm.
Whether it is on purpose, or a limitation based on the number of pieces that can be placed inside a box, LEGO Farm presents an agricultural utopia. The farms are smaller, less dependent on toxic inputs, and friendlier to animals than real-life commercial farms. In other words, LEGO Farm presents an image of farming to children (and adults) that is environmentally friendly and responsible, unlike megaindustrial farms. But is the LEGO Farm theme harmful because it conceals the truth about the “dirty” side of farming? Or perhaps, on a more subconscious level, is LEGO Farm positive because it presents an agricultural ideal?