Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Lego and Warfare/Weapons

135

Comments

  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Lego emails responses are by far there worst area of customer service. If you're lucky you get 1 or 2 lines relating to your question/comment/problem and then bam! they're off talking about something completely unrelated.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,874
    If I got that letter I'd probably reply saying I would love to get my mother to call one of the experts, but she is over 90 and deaf in one ear, so could I do it myself instead?
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    I'm not advocating doing this, but I'm curious if they vet these responses or if they're just automatic. What if someone requested something really obscure or in poor taste?
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,865
    ^ Shall I try? What would I request.

    Sometimes I think they do reply well I have an email or two that they have responded to in detail etc. But I do think that wasnt worth it.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,874
    They are Danish, so how about a model of Muhammad?
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,865
    ^ha ha that would be interesting.

    @LegoFanTexas maybe a UCS of it. I think if i asked for that id be banned from the lego group
  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    That is very clearly a form letter from Lego that quite possibly was generated by a computer and not a human filling in blanks. So we don't know if Lego really thinks a Spitfire model is a good idea or not. I do not blame them at all for this. Can you imagine how many requests for a given kit they get?

    Of note: last night I stumbled across "Mega Blocks" kits from the Halo video game series. I have no interest in non-Lego sets, and did not know this stuff existed. I find it funny, as these kits are a realization of many ideas exchanged in this thread as hypotheticals.

    Have you seen these kits? They are molded in olive green, and feature modern weapons of war, albeit fictional ones from a video game set in the future. One of them is an Apache attack helicopter in all but name. I see no age limits on the kits, and I have heard of no controversial backlash from consumer groups.

    I suppose the Lego apologists in this thread will rationalize that this is because the Mega Blocks kits only feature fictional vehicles from a fanstasy video game, so this is of course OK as a child's toy.

    Are you kidding me? Have you played Halo? The game might as well be called "Modern war" and involves nothing but killing while trying to stay alive. Any distinction between the game and a real war would be lost on a child in any event, so that is meaningless.

    If you are a parent who doesn't like the idea of a Lego Spitfire, and would not allow your child to play with it, that's fine. That's your right as a parent of course. That doesn't mean you speak for everyone, or that your thoughts are universal Truths.

    I have a theory that most people who have responded to this thread are those who feel the most passionately about the topic, are generally outraged by the idea, and of course oppose military kits as a result.

    I also suspect most of these people are not engineers, handy people around the house, the type to change their own brake pads on their car, or people who have an appreciation for how things go together. If you were that "kind of person" you would not see a Tiger tank as merely a weapon of death and horror. You would see it as a "very interesting machine" from a design/packaging/engineering perspective, and even from an aesthetic perspective.

    There are zillions of people who are into this type of thing, and they are not focusing on the death/killing aspect at all. It has nothing to do with that.

    Here's to hoping a computer did not generate that Lego letter and someone over there actually thinks a 3,000 piece Spitfire display kit would be a fabulous idea.

    And oh, if it's the camouflage paint job that is the problem (as someone suggested I believe) can we have it in unpainted aircraft aluminum silver? That works for me as well.


  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    edited March 2012
    ^ha ha that would be interesting.

    @LegoFanTexas maybe a UCS of it. I think if i asked for that id be banned from the lego group
    Did my post get deleted? I didn't get a PM from a mod, but it isn't there anymore, but it must have been since you seem to be commenting on it.

    If it was too far, then I'm sorry, I did try to disclaim it, but perhaps no disclaimer would be enough.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,289
    I binned it. I figured you would know why, so I didn't PM you.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I binned it. I figured you would know why, so I didn't PM you.
    No problem, I do understand why, just concerned it wasn't a server error or something.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,289
    edited March 2012
    @ringleheim: I am an engineer, I'm handy around the house, and I have enjoyed studying military history since I was a child. I am not sure if this debunks your theory or not, because I'm actually not opposed to TLG making war models. I was simply rationalizing that while you perceive some past sets as departures from their stance on war models, they might not, and there was enough distinction between what exists and what was being proposed such that avoiding the latter wouldn't clearly be hypocritical.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,289
    At any rate, I'm not the LEGO ambassador for Brickset but I am one for my LUG. I can post your query to them directly if you desire a response.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    Please, @ringleheim, do remember that Lego is a children's toy. It's primary purpose is as a plaything for children, generally between the ages of 4 and 12. What we are here (really, in the nicest sense possible) is what other people would call a bunch of nerds or something. I, personally, feel that you are quite free to build your own Spitfire or Panzer or whatever. The point of Lego is that it brings about creativity etc etc, and that would be quite in line with that. I personally am glad that Lego hasn't done a modern warfare/WWII/whatever theme.
    I quite agree, Lego's choices do seem to be vaguely hypicritical-LoTR, PoP, PotC are all rated quite high, and present themes that maybe children shouldn't see. I think that the Viking or mediaeval themes are different. The Vikings were fighting mythical beasts in the Lego sets, not pillaging monasteries. The knights usually have a despicably evil bad guy of some sort, which is somehow more justifiable.
    Yes, Lego have been somewhat hypocritical in their decisions (ahem, Sopwith Camel/Fokker Triplane, I'm looking at you), but, it is primarily a children's toy, not an adult construction set, and I think (and also hope) that we'll never see a realistic, modern warfare/WWII/WWI series.
    (I mean, if you're gonna get really picky, they made a Volkswagen Beetle, and we all know that was commissioned in Nazi Germany by Hitler and built according to his specifications, with variants being used as staff cars and armoured vehicles)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,874
    Please, @ringleheim, do remember that Lego is a children's toy. It's primary purpose is as a plaything for children, generally between the ages of 4 and 12.
    So why do some boxes say 16+?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Please, @ringleheim, do remember that Lego is a children's toy. It's primary purpose is as a plaything for children, generally between the ages of 4 and 12.
    Yes, but I'm not sure what that has to do with it.

    My son will be 7 years old this coming Christmas and will be getting his first rifle. I was about that age when I got my first rifle and started to learn to shoot. Ok, I'll grant you that isn't a toy, but if he can learn to safely handle a gun, nothing I buy him in the toy dept is going to be a problem.

    War toys and playing war is as old as time itself... What, did none of you play Cowboys and Indians when you were a kid?
  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    At any rate, I'm not the LEGO ambassador for Brickset but I am one for my LUG. I can post your query to them directly if you desire a response.
    If you are offering to bring this topic up to some official source at Lego by virtue of some special contact you have, yes, please do! I'd be curious to get a real response from them, even if I feel like I know their answer. Their rationalization behind the answer would be interesting to read however.

    It is obvious some might like these kits but quite a few others would be put off by them. Lego is obviously not exclusively a child's toy, or else we adults would not be interested in them for ourselves. This might be my last kick at the can with this topic, but would we all be agreeable to Lego launching an "Adult Collector's Theme" with a suggested age rating of 18+? Would that help make those who otherwise oppose the idea be OK with it? This is really not necessary on Lego's part however.

    The world is already filled with things for children, and things for adults. Big Brother does not need to indicate which is for whom.

    Most adults know not to buy adult things for children.

    We see this in movies all the time. Some are made for adults, some for children, some appeal to both. And for the most part, that system works. Adults see the adult movies, children see the children's movies, and then everyone goes to see the stuff in between. If that can work with movies, can't it work for Lego kits? If Lego made a kit of a Tiger Tank for ages 18+ and you think that is inappropriate for your child, isn't it a simple matter of not buying it for him or her?

    Lastly, none of the concerns expressed here or alleged controversies exist in the world of model kits that I am aware of. I am an avid modeller and have been for over 30 years. Model kits are built by children and adults alike, it's just that the adults do a much nicer job of them than the kids do. I have never seen any type of age limitation, age warning, or controvery over model kits of military vehicles. Some are even specially designed to be much easier to build for a child and marketed directly to them with cheaper pricing. These are "kits for kids" and most adult modellers would likely not be interested in them for themselves.

    I suppose the same people in this thread who oppose a Lego Tiger tank oppose the idea of a 7 year old building a snap-together model of a Tiger tank. That's fine, and you have every right to parent your children as you see fit. But that is not a valid argument for model kit makers stopping making tank kits for kids. That's just how you view the world. It's no different with Legos.

    What a dull world it would be if we all thought the same about everything in any event.



  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409

    What a dull world it would be if we all thought the same about everything in any event.
    Amen to this!!! :)
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,865
    ^^Just being imature and thinking of rude stuff in lego then.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    @CCC and LFT, I said primarily a children's toy. There are sets for older collectors, too. It means that if the Lego group decides that certain things are not appropriate for that age group, then they have the right not to produce them. You also have the right to build yourself a tank or a warplane if you really need to.

    I think Lego just wants to protect it's image or reputation as a family company. I think the themes based off pg-13 movies were generally fairly popular, and all but the most conservative parents were fine with their children playing with the toys, if not watching the movies. The difference is that, while, perhaps some parents don't mind their children building an airfix Panzer, or playing with toy SS troops, Lego themselves don't want to do that, because there's a difference between a company which will do anything for money (like build war toys) and a company which tries (generally) to uphold some morals and standards. I think, despite what you engineers are saying about the mechanical side of a panzer, there is still enough sensitivity about the two World Wars that Lego would be, at worst, caught up in some nasty controversy, and at best have a lot of nasty letters and lose quite a few customers.

    I think you need to see the difference between fantasy 'violence' (ie, Exo Force, Ninjago), fictional licensed themes (Star Wars, PotC, PoP, etc) or romanticised themes (Vikings, Knights, Pirates etc) and real war, which killed thousands if not millions of real people. I just think there are enough parents who wouldn't want their children re-enacting the battle of the Somme or whatever with Lego-endorsed toys that Lego would keep that in it's principles.

    I know this is only my opinion, and this doesn't make it fact, so I agree with @ringleheim on this: "What a dull world it would be if we all thought the same about everything in any event." at least.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    ^ Great post, I agree. Its been said before and I'll say it again - Just look at the Friend's storm in a teacup, just imagine how much bad press any modern warfare set would get.
    I would love a Spitfire, though :)
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    For what it's worth, about two thirds of the way down this page (http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/news-room/2012/february/~/link.aspx?_id=55A02DC6E0904356AFFF9E925B2F6BB2&_z=z) there's a little pdf you can download about Lego's weapons and conflict policy.
  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    For what it's worth, about two thirds of the way down this page (http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/news-room/2012/february/~/link.aspx?_id=55A02DC6E0904356AFFF9E925B2F6BB2&_z=z) there's a little pdf you can download about Lego's weapons and conflict policy.
    Very helpful, thanks for posting that. So Lego doesn't mind "conflict play" as it's somehow a productive or good thing, especially for small boys. But they don't want "real conflict" played out. Just "fictional conflict". This is hypocritical at best and serves merely to justify their need to move kits and make money with highly successful themes like Star Wars, which thrive off violence, laser guns, light sabers, and conflict. A Lego company which only makes pink houses and yellow, red, and blue Post Offices in 2012 is a Lego company in bankruptcy, and they know it.

    Good enough! Yes, they can run their company as they see fit, and based on their stated policy in that PDF, we ain't gonna see any Tiger tank or Spitfire kit anytime soon. So much for the "WWII Adult Collector's Theme" I was hoping for.

    Time to make due with what we have (in terms of pieces) and to figure out which Technic construction set would be the best track donor for a Tiger!
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Good enough! Yes, they can run their company as they see fit, and based on their stated policy in that PDF, we ain't gonna see any Tiger tank or Spitfire kit anytime soon. So much for the "WWII Adult Collector's Theme" I was hoping for.
    I think you are correct, but it is a shame, they would sell a ton of them...
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    @plasmodium - Thanks for the link. :o)
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    Regardless of what Lego decide to do, there are 3rd party set producers who sell kits and/or instructions for military models. Obviously the sets aren't cheap, as they have to collect the parts from places like Bricklink, and the instruction take a lot of effort to produce.
    http://www.brickmania.com/
    http://stores.brickbrigade.com/-strse-Vehicles/Categories.bok
    http://www.mechanizedbrick.com/mb.html
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Thanks for the links...

    Interesting, but not large enough or detailed enough to really get me excited... The part counts on some of those look high for the detail offered.

    I suspect we don't appreciate enough the efforts that Lego designers go through to keep detail while keeping part counts (and thus price) down to a mass market level.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,865
    edited March 2012
    @ringleheim yeah because there is a world off difference between a kid killing orks or just bad guys and defending Poland from hoards of nazis. Its not hypocrasy at all. It strikes me as common sense. While I understand they are wonderful bits of engineering to you, to hundreds of living people they are still a real part of their life and conjuer up horrible images. And in lego saying "We dont want to be part of that" is I think a very sensible and in this day and age where money talks the fact that they havent sold out for the sake of a few hundred pounds makes me love them even more. Of course if you really want a Tiger tank or whatever then you can put it on custtoo and even better you get a cut of the money.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    LFT - If you're looking for detailed have you seen the motorised Abrams that has smoke and fires pellets?

  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    ^ Man, that thing is badass!
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,865
    here is what i got in reply asking if we would see a tiger tank in lego.

    LEGO toys have changed a lot since we started making our classic sets (which many parents remember from their own childhood). Not every LEGO set is right for everyone and matching the right set to the right LEGO fan is up to each parent and child - which is why we make such a huge range for you to choose from!

    We've added adventure, fantasy and car-themed sets to our ranges for 5 - 12 year old LEGO fans. All our fantasy and historical ideas are based on the classic story of "good versus evil". They allow children to explore both sides as part of their natural development but are not meant to be violent. This is why our themes are never related to war as such but they are always set within the fantasy dimension of role-play.
    You can use your imagination to build your sets and buy the bricks you need to build it.

    Please get in touch again if you need anything else (you'll need to remind me of the reference number on this letter).

    Happy building!

    Laura L
    LEGO Direct
  • TwoRiderTwoRider Member Posts: 27
    A thorny issue, this. That said, I think minifig sets of WWII is absolutely out of the question. There are still people living today who suffered during the war, and for LEGO to produce WWII minifig sets would be a slap in these people's faces, especially for the Jews and the Japanese. I don't think the Japanese would be keen on a minifig set of the Enola Gay and other stuff. The Jews ... sets featuring them should not be done, period.
    As far as display sets, I wouldn't be adverse to them as long as they don't include figs. A UCS style set of a U.S. Navy carrier or an RAF airplane wouldn't be a problem, I don't think. In fact, I'd kill for an aircraft carrier - maybe the Yorktown or the Enterprise.
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    Enough talking! :D A possible way to settle this once and for all would be to submit a WWII themed set to cuusoo. Once it got past the 1000 votes mark, lego would have to give an official statement. Surely there must be some skillful MOC (er/or?) lurking around here that could be willing to give it a shot..
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,568
    ^^ Have you seen the Lego Intrepid aircraft carrier? It's epic! Can anyone find a pic of it please? (on phone on train home, so excused from going to the effort)
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    edited March 2012
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    That ship is amazing...

    Shame it makes no sense as a commercial product. :(
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    ^^ photo taking & photo editing skillz, to be entirely accurate :-)
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blue-moose/5049024486/
    ... gives a better sense of scale.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,568
    edited March 2012
    Thanks guys!
    There's also an article about the Intrepid here http://brickish.org/bi.aspx in Brick Issue 23, if anyone is interested.
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 868
    Ed's Intrepid model demonstrates everything that is great about Lego. Despite not producing official military-type sets, you can still do this with it - not only the ship is brilliant, but all the aircraft are just excellent too. There are also hordes of MOCers that produce military MOCs, some of which have already been highlighted in this thread... so don't let the lack of an official set get you down, just go and build your own! :)
  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    Thanks Redbull for following up with the letter from lego. Yep, we will never see sets of the type I would like to see. MOC is the way to go.

    That intrepid is fantastic. I am working on a pirate ship MOC right now and find the process about 1,000 times more interesting, challenging, and rewarding than building an OOB kit in any event. I think I am shifting over to the MOC side of things now, so maybe I can whip up a nice Spitfire or Tiger as some have already done. And I'll still keep my eye out for the new Sopwith Camel kit this summer.
  • betterbuilderbetterbuilder Member Posts: 1
    I would like to help my son acquire directions to use Legos to build the Pantheon. By browsing I have seen a Lego #21051 made for a private sale and not available for purchase anywhere else according to Lego USA. has anyone put together a visual plan/directions fro usinfg existing pieces to build the pantheon?
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    edited April 2012
    As far as I'm concerned, WW2 and anything in that vein is... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Sorry fell asleep just thinking about it. Don't misunderstand me! I am 100% in favour of remembering the sacrifices and hardship that people endured in order to prevent great evil from sinking it's teeth into life as we know it. However, I am of the belief that there is nothing exciting about WW2 what so ever. Toys should be exciting and invoke imagination. They should not be gritty, historic and boring.

    Swords and Spells = Cool
    Lightsabers = Cool
    Stuff they used in WW2 = Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

    Sorry, it happened again. I'm going to go and make myself a coffee.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I know that the Sopwith Camel, the Red Baron, and even the creator set 4953 Fast Flyers have been brought up as examples of TLG making war machines. The logic continues that if those were made, why not a tank? I would like to point out that planes such as these are examples of planes one would see at an airshow. If you look at the fighter jet in the Creator set, the aircraft livery even suggests that the plane is part of a flight demonstration squadron as opposed to a battle squadron. Thus, despite the roots in military history, one could easily see these in the context of a family friendly airshow. A tank is much more closely associated with warfare, and particularly destructive warfare at that.

    Now, for those who really want to see an official LEGO tank, I think the best shot would be the Bandvagn 206. It is a tracked articulated, all-terrain carrier developed for the Swedish military. Why? Because it happens to be a vehicle used in Antarctic expeditions. It's actually very fun to ride in and the performance of this vehicle is very impressive.

    Seriously though, the WWI and WWII were conflicts that were especially devastating. The scale of human suffering and loss were unprecedented. The military technology developed during these conflicts was a lot more effective and indiscriminate at killing than previous military technologies and shaped the nature of modern warfare. This is why TLG stays away from these themes. You can romanticize the combat between knights in shining armor, futuristic space explorers, and seafaring sailing ships, and even primitive aviator dogfights and our popular culture reflects this with lots of romanticized stories and visuals in these genres. It is hard to do, if not impossible, with WWI and WWII.
  • ErnstErnst Member Posts: 133
    I tried to read this topic and gave it some thought. Of course Lego too has weapons, canons etc. but even if they didn't produce it children would built it or play with the sets and minifigures as if they had weapons. I think Lego (being a commercial business) has not much choice. If you design a Castle, the minifigure is a Knight with a sword and has an enemy. The licensed themes have to be realistic to sell well. What I like about Lego is that weapons are part of the set, not the main goal. Buildings, airplanes, cars, and boats are more important in my view. Compare that with the "competitors" of Lego like Brickarms and Sluban I think Lego is still the best and doesn't need those products. Just look at their websites and you know what I mean. Let's keep Lego all about building and WW I & II are a part of history but more about destruction.

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,488
    edited April 2012
    Some really interesting posts on here - excellent discussion.

    I stumbled upon some information regarding LEGO's 'official' position regarding weapons, violence and conflict in a couple of their publications and thought some of you might be interested. The first quote below is from the LEGO 2011 progress report :

    "Weapons and violence

    Boys’ interest in weapons between the ages of four and nine is considered by academics to be a phase in their development. Learning about how to handle conflicts, aggression and weapons is often part of a LEGO play experience, but only as a means to achieve the goal, whether it is rescuing citizens, finding treasure or saving the universe.

    We have strict rules for the use of weapons and violence in our products. The LEGO
    play experience must never be related to real world modern warfare, killing, torture or cruelty to animals. In 2011 we expanded the LEGO brand guidelines with regard to use, expression and form of violence and weapons. The standard consists of guidelines already known to our employees, but now these guidelines serve as an explicit basis for product development and communication."

    And this from the 2010 report :

    "Guideline for weapons and conflict in LEGO experiences

    A large number of LEGO minifigures use weapons, and are – assumedly – regularly being charged by each others’ weapons as part of children’s role play. In the LEGO Group, we acknowledge that conflict in play is especially prevalent among 4-9-year-old boys. An inner drive and a need to experiment with their own aggressive feelings in order to learn about other people’s aggressions exist in most children. This in
    turn enables them to handle and recognize conflict in non-play scenarios. As such, the LEGO Group sees conflict play as perfectly acceptable, and an integral part of children’s development.

    We also acknowledge children’s well-proven ability to tell play from reality. however, to make sure to maintain the right balance between play and conflict, we have adhered to a set of unwritten rules for several years. In 2010, we have formalized these rules in a guideline for the use of conflict and weapons in LEGO products. The basic aim is to avoid realistic weapons and military equipment that children may recognize from hot spots around the world and to refrain from showing violent or frightening situations when communicating about LEGO products. At the same time, the purpose is for the LEGO brand not to be associated with issues that glorify conflicts and unethical or
    harmful behavior."
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    I totally missed this thread somehow until now. Very provocative topic, I must say. Rather than bludgeon fellow fans with a garrulous critique of ideology, I'll confine my comments to this: if you reenact conflict "realistically" with Legos you'll totally smash up your sets. Lesson learned.

    Ok, seriously though, I'd like for war and all its morbid accouterments to stay far away from the Legos I turn to precisely as a reprieve from such bombardments.

    Dr. Dave's post ^ is better than mine.
  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    edited April 2012
    Some really interesting posts on here - excellent discussion.

    I stumbled upon some information regarding LEGO's 'official' position regarding weapons, violence and conflict in a couple of their publications and thought some of you might be interested. The first quote below is from the LEGO 2011 progress report :

    "Weapons and violence

    Boys’ interest in weapons between the ages of four and nine is considered by academics to be a phase in their development. Learning about how to handle conflicts, aggression and weapons is often part of a LEGO play experience, but only as a means to achieve the goal, whether it is rescuing citizens, finding treasure or saving the universe.

    We have strict rules for the use of weapons and violence in our products. The LEGO
    play experience must never be related to real world modern warfare, killing, torture or cruelty to animals. In 2011 we expanded the LEGO brand guidelines with regard to use, expression and form of violence and weapons. The standard consists of guidelines already known to our employees, but now these guidelines serve as an explicit basis for product development and communication."

    And this from the 2010 report :

    "Guideline for weapons and conflict in LEGO experiences

    A large number of LEGO minifigures use weapons, and are – assumedly – regularly being charged by each others’ weapons as part of children’s role play. In the LEGO Group, we acknowledge that conflict in play is especially prevalent among 4-9-year-old boys. An inner drive and a need to experiment with their own aggressive feelings in order to learn about other people’s aggressions exist in most children. This in
    turn enables them to handle and recognize conflict in non-play scenarios. As such, the LEGO Group sees conflict play as perfectly acceptable, and an integral part of children’s development.

    We also acknowledge children’s well-proven ability to tell play from reality. however, to make sure to maintain the right balance between play and conflict, we have adhered to a set of unwritten rules for several years. In 2010, we have formalized these rules in a guideline for the use of conflict and weapons in LEGO products. The basic aim is to avoid realistic weapons and military equipment that children may recognize from hot spots around the world and to refrain from showing violent or frightening situations when communicating about LEGO products. At the same time, the purpose is for the LEGO brand not to be associated with issues that glorify conflicts and unethical or
    harmful behavior
    ."
    2 comments.

    First, I have seen enough in this thread (mostly coming directly from TLG) to realize they are never going to create the type of kits I would like to see.

    Second, my position that TLG is incredibly hypocritical with their policy remains unchanged. Note the bolded text in the quote above.

    So Lego's purpose is to not be associated with issues that glorify conficts, eh?

    Is this not the company that gave us a set of the Red Baron's Fokker DR.1 triplane?

    For the record, the Dr.1 triplane is nothing other than a weapon of war...an object designed to destroy other aircraft and kill pilots. Lego's kit depicts the all red mount of Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, who was the highest scoring Ace in World War I, with 80 confirmed kills.

    Perhaps Lego does not regard The Great War as a "conflict."

    Perhaps Lego does not consider a WWI aircraft to glorify that conflict. You know, because aerial combat is fun! It's nothing more than knights of the sky romantically swooshing around in their kites and later having tea with their shot down foes, who of course, are never harmed.

    It is worth noting that Manfred von Richthofen received a head wound during aerial combat and suffered from severe bouts of depression afterward. His depression was likely a result of his head wound combined with his his role in the war. He was surrounded by death and he witnessed the death of many of his closest friends. He became rather "anti war" and was a changed man after his wound. He never recovered from his depression until he was finally killed in that red Fokker Dr 1 when he was shot in the heart/lungs at the ripe old age of 25.

    But somehow a Lego depiction of his Fokker is OK with TLG and some posters in this thread who are otherwise against Lego depictions of "war craft".

    I would put forth that the modern notion of WWI aerial combat as "chivalry in the sky" is absurd. If Lego actually wanted to create a set that depicted a glorification of conflict, they could not have made a better choice than that Fokker Dr 1.

    But a Lego Tiger tank or Spitfire is nonsense talk!
  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    I know that the Sopwith Camel, the Red Baron, and even the creator set 4953 Fast Flyers have been brought up as examples of TLG making war machines. The logic continues that if those were made, why not a tank? I would like to point out that planes such as these are examples of planes one would see at an airshow. If you look at the fighter jet in the Creator set, the aircraft livery even suggests that the plane is part of a flight demonstration squadron as opposed to a battle squadron. Thus, despite the roots in military history, one could easily see these in the context of a family friendly airshow. A tank is much more closely associated with warfare, and particularly destructive warfare at that.

    Now, for those who really want to see an official LEGO tank, I think the best shot would be the Bandvagn 206. It is a tracked articulated, all-terrain carrier developed for the Swedish military. Why? Because it happens to be a vehicle used in Antarctic expeditions. It's actually very fun to ride in and the performance of this vehicle is very impressive.

    Seriously though, the WWI and WWII were conflicts that were especially devastating. The scale of human suffering and loss were unprecedented. The military technology developed during these conflicts was a lot more effective and indiscriminate at killing than previous military technologies and shaped the nature of modern warfare. This is why TLG stays away from these themes. You can romanticize the combat between knights in shining armor, futuristic space explorers, and seafaring sailing ships, and even primitive aviator dogfights and our popular culture reflects this with lots of romanticized stories and visuals in these genres. It is hard to do, if not impossible, with WWI and WWII.
    Regarding your first paragraph: you do realize they have "family friendly" tank shows just like air shows, right? And that you can go watch your favorite main battle tank drive over a Hyundai and turn it into a pancake? There are also many tank shows at museums which draw large crowds and at which historic tanks are driven and displayed. Does any of that change your thinking?

    For all you UK folks, check out Bovington.

    I appreciate your suggestions for available kits that might provide the parts needed to make a tank!

    I agree with you about it being easier to romanticize combat among knights and space explorers. But then how do you explain the existence of the Red Baron and Sopwith Camel kits?

    If we can have a Sopwith Camel, surely we can have a Spitfire, can't we? I see no distinction between the two whatsoever.

    I also understand Lego's alleged distinction between "fantasy violence" and real world violence. They obviously want to keep the blood and mayhem just on the "not quite realistic enough" side of the spectrum.

    That still doesn't explain the existence of the Red Baron or Sopwith Camel kits.

    There is also plenty of room for Lego to release a kit of a Spitfire, let's say, and call it the new "military engineering" series with an emphasis on the plane as a machine, not a weapon of war. Slap an "Ages 18+" on the box front, and call it good.

    I'm sure some posters in this thread would even have a problem with that! How ironic is it that we don't want to see a Lego set of a weapon of war, even if meant for 18 year olds and older...while the bulk of the actual soldiers killed in real wars in the real world are 18, 19, and 20 years old!

    Would the retort be "I don't mind my 18 year old being killed in a real war! I just don't want him playing with a Lego kit that depicts war!" ??????

  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    I tried to read this topic and gave it some thought. Of course Lego too has weapons, canons etc. but even if they didn't produce it children would built it or play with the sets and minifigures as if they had weapons. I think Lego (being a commercial business) has not much choice. If you design a Castle, the minifigure is a Knight with a sword and has an enemy. The licensed themes have to be realistic to sell well. What I like about Lego is that weapons are part of the set, not the main goal. Buildings, airplanes, cars, and boats are more important in my view. Compare that with the "competitors" of Lego like Brickarms and Sluban I think Lego is still the best and doesn't need those products. Just look at their websites and you know what I mean. Let's keep Lego all about building and WW I & II are a part of history but more about destruction.

    If you would personally like to see Lego stay away from WWI and WWII, that is your opinion and you have a right to that opinion. I can't argue with that.

    However, I am not sure why a Spitfire Lego set could not equally be about "the building experience" or why it has to be first and foremost about destruction. That might be a distinction you make, but that is not necessarily how it is in objective terms.

    I am the one advocating that Lego make sets of a Tiger tank, Spitfire, or modern F-22 figther jet. For me, such kits would exclusively be about the building experience, the set engineering, the aesthetics, their role in history, and so on. My interest in a Lego Tiger tank certainly does not emanate from a desire to engage in role play whereby I fanstasize about the massive scope of death and destruction associated with, let's say, the Battle of Kursk.

    I'll repeat that TLG is just not going to go there with these ideas. I did not anticipate so much negative reaction to my initial post. In that regard, this discussion has been very interesting for me and I appreciate everyone's contributions.



  • LegoPodcasterLegoPodcaster Member Posts: 115
    edited April 2012
    ... ...
    </blockquote
    I couldn't agree more! Instead of having all these sets like the POTC that make the pirates look all nice and cartoonish they should make sets that actually teach kids about history! They wouldn't need to "glorify" battles to teach kids about them.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,865
    ^or they could stop relagating history at schools to the half hour time slot. Sorry just a bitter historian here.

    @ringlehelm I think, like mentioned in a few posts before, the issue comes down to how close people feel to the conflict. The second world war still has people alive who remember that conflict. It still stirs up powerful emotions esp with Jewish groups etc who suffered during the war. By recreating tanks or planes you risk angering and upsetting people because of the emotions and memories that come with that. While model shops have second world war tanks these are 1 less high profile and 2 cant be played with as easily as lego. So cause less issues for people. However to have a lego tank would and will be seen as trvialising these events which will cause a huge storms
    And this will cause even bigger issues if you start making modern fighter planes.

    Where they are able to create planes from the first world war is that it has passed out of living memory. So there is already an emotional distance from the conflict. Thus it causes less offense and less problems when they are made. This is why its okay to do pirate battles etc. No emotional attachment so no issues.

    I do think however in the next thirty years or so you will start to see tanks and planes being built in the creator line which is aimed more at AFOLs. but it will be because there is no emotional attachment left to those models.

    Maybe @Jaime would like to give a definative answer.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.