Lego faces getting angrier, study finds

'Angry' or 'smug' faces, like the one on the left, are becoming more common on Lego characters, a study found. Credit: DPA

Lego people are getting angrier, according to a new study.

A New Zealand university academic said he studied all 6,000 mini-figures and found that angry faces have become more common since the toymakers started producing a greater variety of characters in the 1990s.

He suggested commercial partnership with the likes of the Harry Potter films and the Halo video games had led to more good and evil characters being depicted.

"But the facial expressions are not directly matched to good and evil," said Dr Christopher Bartneck of the University of Caterbury. "Even the good characters suffer in their struggle and the villains can have a smug expression."

"We cannot help but wonder how the move from only positive faces to an increasing number of negative faces impacts on how children play," he added.