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Ai Weiwei refused a bulk Lego order

paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
Artist Ai Weiwei hits out over Lego 'censorship' - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-34630829
TheBigLegoski
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Comments

  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
    I wonder what route he took to try and buy it all? Presumably not Bricks and Pieces or Pick a Brick :)
    TheBigLegoskibobabricks
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    I cannot see how this is discrimination. It seems fairly clear that this breaks their fair use policy if buying through those channels. Also using the Lego name to advertise the art is going to cause problems.
    bobabricksJackad7
  • niccnicc Member Posts: 1
    Anyone who claims that Lego's stance is non-political is embarrassingly naive or arguing in bad faith. 

    This affair is just another reminder not to let our love of a toy drive us to offer obsequious apologia of the nonmoral company that makes it.
    TheBigLegoskiBig_SalAmanda1983Zacheranovitreolum
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 503
    correct use of the term apologia :)  My rhetorical heart is a flitter. Sorry, I teach apologia, for so few people comprehend it.

    Lego will sell licensed product which might make a political statement, though, but they do not sell/never try to sell to anyone making a statement. This is truth. I wouldn't go as far as to say he is not a good role-model to kids, for I believe more people need to speak out in our world about political corruption, but the reality is that Lego has built a world-dominating brand by following specific guidelines and following core company values (even if they do produce guns at high volume, and tires too).

    Reality for this artist is simple, Lego is privately owned, and they have the right to refuse service to him. He has the right to speak poorly of the company. We have the right to argue, but in the end, TLG position about attempting to stay non-political will gain them more customers than they would gain from people seeing this artists work.
    TheBigLegoskidougtsVorpalRyuandhecatwranglerJackad7SumoLego
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 503
    Was thinking about this some more. What angers me is that this man is attacking Lego. He is not attempting to gain the necessary bricks he wants from some clone-company, who would probably love to have their name on the news. He is focused on Lego, for Lego is a recognizable name, one that Lego has cultivated through careful branding of their product.

    I understand wanting to use the best product available for making art. But when I cannot purchase high quality Red Oak at my local lumber mill for a table or chair, do I say that the lumber yard is punishing me? No, I find another place to purchase Red Oak.
    TheBigLegoskipharmjodVorpalRyuBuriedinBricksTheMaker37Jackad7SumoLego
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,418
    akunthita said:
    This is journalism today; completely twisting everything to bring out emotions in people, no matter how accurate or not accurate the story is. LEGO didn't censor this artist. Nor did LEGO say he can't use LEGO for his art. They simply said he can't order bulk LEGO through them - a program that is reserved for LUGs and approved artists who are in line with LEGO's non-political, non-religious, non-violent stance. This artist can still buy LEGO through the normal venues like everybody else. But of course he thinks that he is special and that huffing and puffing all over the internet will get him preferential treatment whenever he likes. 

    BTW, he will still likely get what he wants by private donations, so ultimately it is a win for him as well. It is just sad that this is the culture we are encouraging these days and teach to our children; throw a temper-tantrum and play the victim and you will get what you want. LEGO made a good call by not giving access to a person like this to their bulk program. He is not a good role-model to our kids...
    @akunthita
    Interesting, and informative comment, especially with regards to TLG's policy on 'bulk orders' being a reserved program for LUGs and approved artists.

    I am curious to know why you think he is not a good role model to "our kids"?
  • legomasonlegomason Member Posts: 190
    If you read to the end of the article, the artwork is a protest piece against LEGO itself because they are (along with Merlin Entertainment) building a LEGO theme park in Shanghai. That is why the artist is picking LEGO as his medium – the medium is the message.
    VorpalRyuandhecatwranglerAmanda1983
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 503
    wasn't missed. In doing so, though, by targeting a company which has a very specific brand and approach to defending their brand, he has attempted to target an entity greater than his message. Lego already delivered that message in the Lego Movie, thus negating this man's accusations.
    VorpalRyulegomental
  • alijoezacalijoezac UK, NottinghamMember Posts: 527
    Leaving aside the LEGO debate, Mr Weiwei's current exhibition at the Royal Academy in London is well worth visiting.
    andheAmanda1983
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 778
    He's just an attention seeking troublemaker, always has been.
    Angel_CVorpalRyulegomental
  • BrikingBriking Dorset, UKMember Posts: 761
    I was aware of the man before, but as I have little or no interest in modern art,  I worked on a live-and-let-live basis. He's now forced me to take a position.

    i think he is a bell-end.
    Toc13DadAngel_CVorpalRyulegomental
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    TLG made a mistake in how they phrased their statement.

    They should have either simply said that they don't bulk supply (except perhaps loosely defining exceptions), or they should have said that, as a toy manufacturer, they only deal directly with themes of interest to children. The latter, as a quote, would've given them much more goodwill than talking about politics.
    TheBigLegoski
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    This is a tough discussion, and it is great to hear input from different points of view. Any party attempting to deal with the Chinese government is at the wrong end of a long stick. I admire that Wei Wei puts up a solid fight to shoot holes in the face of such an overwhelming FORCE. It seems to me that most Chinese tow the line and obey Party orders because they want to live and to eat. 

    To see evidence of this, visit China during the first week of October when the whole country shuts down on holiday and view their National Day celebration in person. Years ending in -9 are even more impressive because the 10 year anniversaries of the founding of this China are huge scale celebrations. The Chinese have to be patriotic; most of their jobs require this as well. We were there during the 60th anniversary in 2009, and were amazed at the scale of this celebration.

    Wei Wei's art is designed to express his opposition to living in a country where people have no individual rights. It is understandable if he has to scream at times to be heard. And it is very cool that he has used LEGO portraits to make his point....as have many other artists.

    Where does LEGO fit into this scenario? TLG is walking a tightrope with the announced opening of a theme park near Shanghai, where the most energy seems to be felt in China. They have to work with the government or this park will not open. It is understandable that they wish to avoid political statements by supporting activist artists. So I write this off to just "that is the way it is." On the whole, I am glad that TLG is making these plans because the Chinese deserve genuine LEGO. And maybe there will be more Chinese influenced sets, which would be wonderful. 

    As mere observers to these events, it is difficult to know what really is going on here; we will never know the details of what is happening. But it is fun speculating as to what might be happening.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    TigerMoth said:
    TLG made a mistake in how they phrased their statement.

    They should have either simply said that they don't bulk supply (except perhaps loosely defining exceptions), or they should have said that, as a toy manufacturer, they only deal directly with themes of interest to children. The latter, as a quote, would've given them much more goodwill than talking about politics.
    That isn't true though. They do supply bulk to some artists such as Nathan Sawaya. And some of his artwork is not really child friendly.
    SumoLego
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Sawaya is known for his sculptures which have a wow-factor for anybody, including children.
    If there are some that are less appropriate, then it is incidental rather than being the main purpose.

    I don't work for TLG's PR department. There are people there who know all the facts about who they supply, and who are paid to get this sort of thing right, not say the first thing that comes into their head. Any company of this stature has to realise that any comment they make will be turned against them by their enemies if at all possible - particularly in a situation like this.

    Mosaics are starting to appear against TLG, together with the usual stupid comments. Are there any budding artists willing to put Briking's sentiments into a viral picture?
    TheBigLegoski
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,037
    Briking said:
    I was aware of the man before, but as I have little or no interest in modern art,  I worked on a live-and-let-live basis. He's now forced me to take a position.

    i think he is a bell-end.

    Just wondering; what's a bell-end?
    tecjamlegomental
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    It is a village in Worcestershire.

    Or a dick-head.
    pharmjodDadkiki180703DeMontesVorpalRyu
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    It's slang for fireman's helmet.
  • nexandernexander Glasgow Member Posts: 906
    Or knob
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    I did wonder whether that would need translating in other countries.

    Needless to say, it had to be a lady who would ask!

    CCC's interpretation unfortunately has two literal translations, the more graphic one where "head" means "end of" being correct. I suppose the slang meaning of the second literal interpretation is similar, but perhaps not as strong.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    I'm pretty sure Nathan Sawaya is a licensed Master Builder. So yes, he does have access outside of LUGBULK. But there are only a handful of people in the world with that title. As far as I am aware, this artist is not considered one of those. I've never heard of this person, so I didn't know this was such a big political statement.


  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,037
    edited October 2015
    TigerMoth said:
    I did wonder whether that would need translating in other countries.

    Needless to say, it had to be a lady who would ask!

    CCC's interpretation unfortunately has two literal translations, the more graphic one where "head" means "end of" being correct. I suppose the slang meaning of the second literal interpretation is similar, but perhaps not as strong.

    LOL! Thanks. I always feel so illiterate with you fancy British gens and ladies and your... let's say... interesting choice of words. BrickLink needs a built-in British-American translator! :D 
    pharmjodkiki180703
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    But, curiously, it rarely seems to need an American-British translator.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,037
    TigerMoth said:
    But, curiously, it rarely seems to need an American-British translator.

    Yeah, we are simple folks here this side of the pond. Some people even accuse us of lacking language skills. :D
    bendybadgerOldfankiki180703gmonkey76TheBigLegoskiAndyPol
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    TigerMoth said:
    But, curiously, it rarely seems to need an American-British translator.
    Apart from when American men have fanny packs.
    TheBigLegoskiSumoLego
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    You need a dictionary for that?

    The curious thing about that term is that they used to be worn in a manner appropriate to the American slang, but are now usually worn in a style more appropriate to the British slang. Perhaps Americans just needed that dictionary and worn them correctly in the first place!

    But it's more fun being on our end. You can ask the hotel maid to knock you up in the morning, and does she, by any chance, have a rubber. You can ask someone if you can bum a fag, or ask the hitchiker is she fancies a ride. Just be carefully when someone is introducing himself at an important busy meeting - Randy is quite a popular name, and sniggering doesn't make a good impression.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited October 2015
    Well hey, Lego won't even take a bulk order from me or 99.9999% of the AFOL public, so I'm not gonna feel sorry for this guy.

     (And I'm not counting LUGBulk, since that is a different program than the one Sawaya and others are on, and has pretty restrictive  purchase limits and parts availability)
    VorpalRyuTheBigLegoskiAngel_C
  • leetshoeleetshoe USAMember Posts: 255
    l heard about this right now on NPR. l like npr but this report made me mad. They kept says "Legos" and didn't give TLG a fair shake imo
  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 1,051
    @DeMontes I love your "Brickazon" package so much! How did you do it or where did you buy it?
    DeMontes
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 661
    @DeMontes I love your "Brickazon" package so much! How did you do it or where did you buy it?
    It's from Firestar Toys :-)

    http://www.firestartoys.com/Shop/Minifigure-Accessories/Custom-Printed-Accessories/34758-Printed-Box-2x2-~-Brickazon-Parcel.html

    kiki180703
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,315
    In summation,"I'm trying to create a politically motivated display & trying to use a product from a company that was policies against being directly involved in such politically motivations. When they refuse me, & they will, I'm going to cast aspersions about that company, pointing out that they are being political by refusing me because they are trying to open a store in my homeland & I have spoken out against my homeland in the past."

    Ai Weiwei, fraktard with a glass & a half of full cream stupid...
    dougtspharmjodKevin_HyattAngel_CMasterBeefyxiahnaSumoLego
  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 1,051
    edited October 2015
    @DeMontes I still love it but it's SO expensive for me. It's like $3,75CAD per parcel! *sad face* :(
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 661
    yeah, I don't think the exchange rate works in your favour for that item!
    kiki180703
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,912
    VorpalRyu said:

    Ai Weiwei, fraktard with a glass & a half of full cream stupid...
    Hahaha. Perfect.
    Angel_C
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,418
    @DeMontes
    Those scattered bricks lying about in front of Weiwei on that picture are too small!?! What the hell is going on there?
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    @DeMontes
    Those scattered bricks lying about in front of Weiwei on that picture are too small!?! What the hell is going on there?
    Tricky use of Modulex bricks!
    TheBigLegoski
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    DeMontes said:
    How about this one by Tim Johnston and I -
    Wonderful vignette! The Modulex are so cute, and the package is to die for!
    DeMontes
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,356
    I stupidly didn't even twig to those modulex parts at first...very clever.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    I thought this new idea of art installations about how people are willing to give up their Lego is quite funny. I hope they do one near me. I want to make an artist statement about how people confuse Lego with clone brands, by artistically dumping my unwanted megabloks in the Lego collection, maybe with a few matchbox cars and some leaky batteries.
    Toc13pharmjodkiki180703DeMontes77ncaachampsVorpalRyuYodaliciousMasterBeefy
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 661
    Modulex are very cute, I agree.  It's a bit like puppies and kittens....but they never grow up ;-)
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,583
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-35299069

    Update on Lego's policy following this story. 
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,315
    edited January 2016
    Yet again, another company backed into a corner & practically forced to change a completely reasonable policy because of some over-entitled a-hole threw a massive tanty & claimed he was being victimised...
    BooTheMightyHamsterdougtskiki180703tedwardxiahna
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,356
    Thing is they've not said that they will give a good price for bulk orders, plus I'll bet they have various Ts & Cs in place that will allow them to cancel orders based on availability etc. In other words they can just stick the prices to double what it would be per part if buying a set, if the person wants the big bulk that bad then their options are to pay the stupid amount or do the leg work or bricklink/parting out sets/buying second hand job lots.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,302
    edited January 2016
    An interesting point is that if it is now their policy to not ask what the bricks are for, then where does this leave the banning of resellers? Resellers should not be asked if they are reselling bulk parts. Is this good (for the reseller) or not? On the face of it yes, but if the question is not asked will lego just ban resellers based on purchases rather than asking them if they are reselling?

    Bricks and Pieces Update: As our parts service is currently very busy following the holidays, we won’t be able to take purchases through Bricks and Pieces until February. At that time we’ll also make a small change to our large order (bulk) guidelines. If you want to place an order for a large quantity of bricks, we won’t ask what you’re planning to build; we’ll simply ask you make it clear the work isn’t supported or endorsed by us if it’s for public display. For more information, please contact the Customer Service team.

    The statement is clear in saying that they won't ask what you are building. But will they ask whether you are intending to build?

    TheBigLegoskipharmjodkiki180703
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-35299069

    Update on Lego's policy following this story. 
    How, by any stretch of the imagination, can this be construed to be "news"?
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,963
    Well, it's currently the most read article on the whole BBC website...
    Shibkiki180703
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    And the only way it could've got there is because it's the third-ranking story on their world news. Have they really got so little to say about anything more important?
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