In addition to Fred Rogers, the set includes figures of deliveryman Mr. McFeely, Lady Aberlin and Clemmons, along with miniatures of Daniel Tiger, X the Owl, Henrietta and King Friday.
Smith said the set is in some sense aimed at AFOLs (adult fans of Legos) who have a disposable income to spend on a nostalgic Lego design. But, he added, Lego transcends culture, age and language. “Families, parents and children and caregivers, can visit the set together, build it together, and enjoy reliving the memories and creating new memories of Mister Rogers.”
A Christian known to pray for people by name during his early morning devotions, Rogers started attending Pittsburgh Theological Seminary during his lunch hours in 1955 while working on “The Children’s Corner,” a TV show and precursor to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He was ordained by the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1963 with a special charge to serve families and children through television. He and his wife, Joanne Rogers, attended Sixth Avenue Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Staff members of the show were close-knit, and many “thought of themselves as sort of a church congregation,” The New York Times reported in 2001, though Rogers was never explicit about his faith on the program. “He wanted to be inclusive, and there are many, many people you would exclude if you start mentioning one God, one faith,” Joanne Rogers, who died in 2021, told RNS in 2019. “I think that he acted his faith, always, as much as he possibly could.”
Lego design ideas require 100 votes in the first 60 days or the idea is killed, and need 10,000 total votes to be considered for production. In the first two weeks, Smith’s design has earned over 5,380 votes.
“I think the reception of this tribute to him … is a testament not to me, but to the deep spiritual resonance that his ministry of kindness, gentleness, love and acceptance brought to people all over the country and the world,” Smith said.
This article originally appeared here.