Yes, I know that in a multicultural era with a company that sells sets in such diverse places as Italy, Sweden, the US, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates, religion can be a touchy subject, but its complete absence from the world of LEGO is a glaring omission. It's been 53 years since they made set 309
. Yes, there are a couple of little hints - an Angel Christmas ornament set here, the Ark of the Covenant in an Indiana Jones set there - but even these are few and far between.
The medieval era was dominated by the church. Why not include something like a cathedral or a monastery, or at least incorporate my sigfig as a monk into a set like the MMV?
Even if they didn't want to do this within their fig-based lines, I truly believe there is a market in this among their sculpture/landmarks type sets. Along side the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal (okay, I'd argue this last has some tangential relation to religion), imagine if they made a similar scale/detail set of Notre Dame, the Kolner Dom, Chatres, etc etc etc. Imagine Arthur Gugick as a set designer. Wouldn't we all rush out and buy such a set? Or take Kiyomizu-dera, the Putra Mosque, Angkor Wat, etc etc etc.
I should note that LEGO has not been shy to depict religious structures at miniland scale in the various Legolands, so they are willing to say "This is a great cultural landmark" without endorsing the particular faith espoused by the worshipers at those structures.
Okay, off my high horse. I do have a blog along these lines if they want more ideas ...
Okay, much shorter ideas:Real history
Include figs depicting real people and real castles. So instead of being 'the king with the a lion on his torso', make it Henry II or whoever. The NXT people make no secret that they are mixing play and learning. The Architecture sets include some educational information about the actual buildings. LEGO has a whole partnership with NASA promoting science via LEGO. Why not have a set and include a little one page educational portion about the actual king or battle or whatever. It doesn't hurt the play value at all - a kid could still ignore what this or that real character did in history and simply say "I'm going to have my red knight fight your green knight."Shakespeare
Most of his plays are set in a medieval era, and, let's face it, I'd also love to see some Classical sets anyway, so bring on those plays as well. Again, you have a set with the key characters and a castle, or the town square of Padua, or other medieval era setting, and include some educational insert describing the play or scene. Again, if the kid wants to ignore the fact that it's Shakespeare and just play with the cool figs and castle they are welcome to. But that added depth would be really cool, and might help teach kids that literature doesn't have to be stuffy. These plays have four centuries of staying power, which is a lot better source material than, say, Avatar the Last Airbender. Bonus - no licensing fees.
You could obviously do other classic literature here as well. So, for instance, the Three Musketeers sets (they've already made the fig), or Beowulf, etc.