LEGO® refrains from launch of new military set
On Tuesday (July 21 2020) LEGO announced that the set ‘42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey’, which was to be released in the beginning of August, is not going to be launched. On Monday (July 20 2020) the German Peace Society – War Resisters United (DFG-VK) started the campaign ‘LOVE BRICKS! – HATE WAR!’ with direct actions in front of several LEGO stores and a detailed study. The organization criticized that the helicopter model is a modern military aircraft, which is used in ongoing wars such as in Mali, Yemen and others. With the release of the set LEGO would have violated its own company values and goals. In addition, for the set LEGO entered into license agreements with the defense contractors Bell and Boeing. Boeing is the second largest defense contractor in the world.
‘LEGO has exceeded our expectations,’ Michael Schulze von Glaßer, Executive Director of the DFG-VK, states. The organization assumed that the release of the ‘42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey’ was inevitable since sets were already delivered to LEGO retailers. ‘That is why we urged LEGO to not enter into any cooperation with defense contractors and to abstain from equivalent military sets in the future,’ he says. Already on Monday LEGO released a short statement in which the company conceded that its own values collided with the new set depicting a tiltrotor aircraft that is solely used for military purposes in real life.
The German Peace Society is surprised by the prompt reaction of the company: ‘We tried to contact LEGO several times since February and asked for a statement in regard to the newly planned military set. We also offered talks but never received an answer,’ Schulze von Glaßer states. According to the organization, this situation could have been prevented. ‘If LEGO had released a fictive, civil tiltrotor aircraft without licenses of defense contractors, we would not have intervened,’ Schulze von Glaßer explains. He adds, ‘Despite the previous bad communication on the part of LEGO, we are all the happier about the company’s admission and the consequence it has drawn from it – we understand that the decision was not easy. We hope that LEGO will hold on to its own good values in the future.’ With respect to the environment, the German Peace Society hopes that sets, which already have been produced, will not be destroyed so that the bricks can be used for future sets. ‘That is the good thing about Legos, you can always create something new with them,’ Schulze von Glaßer concludes.
For more information about the controversial set visit www.lovebricks-hatewar.com.
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German Peace Society – United War Resisters (Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft – Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen, DFG-VK), Stuttgart July 22, 2020