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Lego unveils disabled minifigure following #ToyLikeMe campaign

Lego is to release a wheelchair-using minifigure in light of a #ToyLikeMe Change.org petition.

The new model comes with with an accompanying assistance dog and the Danish toymaker has confirmed it will hit stores in June.

The #ToyLikeMe movement received over 20,000 signatures and was started by freelance journalist and creative disability consultant Rebecca Atkinson.

Pointing to the fact that the only Lego character to use a wheelchair was an elderly man, the group implored Lego to "positively represent disability" in its toys to "help generations of kids, (both with and without disabilities), grow up with a more positive attitude to human difference."

The figure was first spotted at a Nuremberg toy fair earlier this week, and is one of many new miniatures being introduced.

Commenting on the news, the #ToyLikeMe group said its excitement factor was "off the scale".

"Lego we salute you! You've just made a 150 million children, their mums, dad, nans, grandads, teachers, carers, pet dogs and hamsters very VERY VERY happy! We're conga-ing up and down the street right now," it added.

The announcement follows Barbie's "real world makeover", which has seen Matell add three new body shapes and seven skin tones to its range of dolls to "reflect a broader view of beauty."