Lego decommissions ‘military’ aircraft model after backlash

Danish toymaker Lego said Thursday it had cancelled the launch of a model of a multi-purpose aircraft after critics pointed out it conflicted with the company's creed not to make toys out of "real military vehicles."

Lego decommissions 'military' aircraft model after backlash
A Lego exhibition in Copenhagen in February 2020. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

The aircraft in question is the American Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, an aircraft distinguished by its ability to turn its propellers vertically, making it in effect both a helicopter and an airplane.

Lego's model, which was scheduled to launch on August 1st, featured orange trims and “was designed to highlight the important role the aircraft plays in search and rescue.”

“While the set clearly depicts how a rescue version of the plane might look, the aircraft is only used by the military,” Lego said in a statement to AFP.

“We have a long-standing policy not to create sets which feature real military vehicles, so have decided not to proceed with the launch of this product,” the statement continued.

Lego told AFP that the decision had been taken due to Lego's policy, but it follows a campaign launched by the NGO German Peace Society – War Resisters United (DFG-VK) which stated that Lego was betraying “its own principles” by releasing the model.


Reacting to the announcement, DFG-VK stated that they were surprised by the success of their campaign, saying they had assumed the release “was inevitable since sets were already delivered to LEGO retailers.”

“Lego has exceeded our expectations,” Michael Schulze von Glasser, executive director of DFG-VK, said in a statement.

“That is why we urged Lego to not enter into any cooperation with defence contractors and to abstain from equivalent military sets in the future,” he added.

The V-22 Osprey was jointly developed by aerospace companies Boeing and Bell Textron.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Boeing was the world's second-largest arms producing company in 2018, measured by sales.

READ ALSO: Lego to turn all its bricks 'green' by 2030

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Denmark’s toy giant Lego offers staff bonus after bumper year

Danish toymaker Lego, the world's largest toymaker, Denmark's Lego, said on Tuesday it will offer its 20,000 employees three extra days of holiday and a special bonus after a year of bumper revenues.

Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022.
Lego is rewarding staff with a Christmas bonus and extra holiday after a strong 2022. File photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Already popular globally, Lego has seen demand for its signature plastic bricks soar during the pandemic alongside its rapid expansion in China.

“The owner family wishes to… thank all colleagues with an extra three days off at the end of 2021,” the company said in a statement.

The unlisted family group reported a net profit of more than 6.3 billion Danish kroner (847 million euros) for the first half of 2021.

Revenues shot up 46 percent to 23 billion kroner in the same period.

It had been “an extraordinary year for the Lego Group and our colleagues have worked incredibly hard,” said the statement, which added that an unspecified special bonus would be paid to staff in April 2022.

Lego, a contraction of the Danish for “play well” (leg godt), was founded in 1932 by Kirk Kristiansen, whose family still controls the group which employs about 20,400 people in 40 countries.

READ ALSO: Lego profits tower to new heights as stores reopen