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Lego Marvel Superheroes: what about girls?

Comic-book superheroes: check. Made of Lego: check. Combined in a video game: check. How much nerdier can it get?

(Credit: Lego)

Comic-book superheroes: check. Made of Lego: check. Combined in a video game: check. How much nerdier can it get?

Adding to its stable of video games, Lego has announced the next title to star pop-culture minifigs: Lego Marvel Superheroes.

The game — which will be available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo DS and 3DS and Windows, will star eight Marvel characters working together to take down both Loki and Galactus. Recruited by Nick Fury, the heroes will be Thor, Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Man, Deadpool, Spider-Man, the Hulk and ... Black Widow.

Last year, Lego introduced Lego Friends, its line of toys marketed specifically to girls. Its aim, according to the toy company, was not to pigeonhole girls by allocating them a specific toy set, but to expand on its existing catalogue by catering to a market that it previously hadn't.

Lego executive vice president of marketing Mads Nipper said in a statement, "We know that many girls love to build and play with the wide variety of Lego products already available. Lego Friends joins this global collection of products as yet another theme option from which parents may choose the best building experience for their child's skill and interest."

And it worked. In 2012, 28 per cent of Lego sets purchased in the US were bought for girls — up from 9 per cent in 2011 — and, according to Bailey Shoemaker Richards, who spearheaded a protest against Lego's seeming gender separatism, the company has also committed to adding more female minifigs to its core collections by the end of 2013.

One playable character out of eight starters is not a promising beginning — although the potential for better representation provided by the "more than 100" unlockable characters in the game is a step up from the existing Marvel Superheroes Lego collection, which only includes Black Widow. Not to mention that there are no male minifigs in the Friends collection at all.

The Lego Marvel Superheroes game could be pretty fun, and it ties in nicely with the Lego construction sets for the X-Men, Iron Man and Spider-Man film franchises that are currently available.

We just hope that the unlockable players demonstrate a more inclusive ratio than the press release indicates. And if Psylocke isn't in there, there's going to be hell to pay.