Five LEGO sets that were cancelled before making it to shelves
A lot of work goes into every LEGO set – but sometimes, not every LEGO set makes it to the final step onto a store shelf.
In an official statement, the LEGO Group has confirmed that the LEGO Indiana Jones wave will only include 77012 Fighter Plane Chase, 77013 Escape from the Lost Tomb and 77015 Temple of the Golden Idol. This quells any hopes that 77014 Temple of Doom is also on its way, implying that the rumoured set has been cancelled.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a LEGO set has been cancelled before it can make it out for sale. Here’s what we know about the LEGO Indiana Jones cancellation and a few other ones from LEGO history to boot.
5 – LEGO Indiana Jones 77014 Temple of Doom
The full statement from the LEGO Group reads as follows: “Throughout 2022, the LEGO Group worked closely with Lucasfilm to optimise our planned product line up for the upcoming LEGO Indiana Jones product launches in April 2023,” the LEGO Group shared on the LEGO Ambassador Network. “As an outcome of this, we consolidated the launch to focus on three products (77012, 77013, 77015) that feature some of the most iconic scenes from the Indiana Jones franchise. We hope our fans love the new range and can’t wait to get their hands on them.”
Judging from this, the only fact we know for certain is that 77014 The Temple of Doom will not be available to purchase. While the LEGO Group hasn’t actually. stated that it’s cancelled or given any indication of the reason, it’s safe to say you won’t be laying hands on the set anytime soon – or, indeed, ever.
4 – LEGO Overwatch 76980 Titan
The only confirmed LEGO Overwatch 2 set never actually made it to LEGO shelves, as the LEGO Group reviewed its relationship with Activision just three weeks before 76980 Titan was due for release. That means we have a detailed idea of what the set was expected to look like, as well as lifestyle images like the one above.
Back in 2021, Activision Blizzard was served with a lawsuit by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), alleging that the company’s management had engaged in discriminatory employment practices; maintained a general ‘frat boy’ culture; and allowed and encouraged sexual misconduct directed towards its female employees.
The investigation had already lasted several years and involves horrific stories of women suffering abuse and harassment at Activision Blizzard. As the LEGO Group has been working directly with Activision Blizzard, these allegations coming to light against people across all levels of the company, including Blizzard president J. Allen Brack and HR executive Jesse Meschuk, were reason enough for the LEGO Group to distance itself from Activision. At the time, the set was ‘postponed’, but there has been no word on it since then.
3 – LEGO Technic 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey
The LEGO Group is known for its understandably cautious approach to recreating military weapons and vehicles, due to the young age of many of its builders. An example of this in practice came along in 2020, when the LEGO Group froze the release of LEGO Technic 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey. The company cited its policy not to manufacture military vehicles as the reason for the set’s disappearance, sparked by complaints from anti-war organisation German Peace Society – United War Resisters.
Seeing as the set was cancelled ten days before its release, rather than at any point during the lengthy approval process, it seems that the motivation stemmed more from fear of public outcry (as evidenced by the impact of the complaints) rather than any inherent company values. Nonetheless, the end result was the same: no more 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey.
2 – LEGO Star Wars Geonosis Arena 2005 Set
An iconic scene from the Star Wars prequels is the moment when Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padme must defend themselves against enormous beasts in the Geonosis Arena, while bound to towering columns. It’s an awesome sequence, made all the more epic when the Jedi Order show up in force to take down an army of clones and renowned bounty hunter Jango Fett. For a location with so much history, it’s no wonder that LEGO Star Wars fans want it as a set.
While it may have been on its way at one time, it wasn’t meant to be and never made it to shelves. A Eurobricks user shared images of a prototype version of the Acklay and Reek from the fighting pit scene, apparently made back in 2002 and later shown at the 2005 Lego Star Wars Weekend in celebration of Revenge of the Sith. However, while these moulded prototypes can be seen in the display case above, at some stage in the process, the set must have been cancelled, seeing as we never saw it come to fruition.
1 – LEGO NINJAGO Serpentine Train
The LEGO NINJAGO Serpentine Train was designed as a possible set, but never made it to the retail stage. While it’s not known why the set was cancelled, it did get far enough for a design and box art. Nonetheless, the closest fans would get to seeing the set for real is its appearance in the Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV series.
It’s the scene of a pretty active fight scene, where Zane uses his shurikens to freeze the coupling attached to the caboose and the rest of the train and knocks that car off. Each ninja then takes on their own car and battles the Serpentine inside, before Sensei Wu finally jumps onto the back of the engine and uses his staff to knock the engine apart from the rest of the train.
Featured image: Lucasfilm
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