German Peace Society – United War Resisters, an anti-war organisation, contacted Brick Fanatics and shared the following statement:
“The new LEGO set is released with an official License from Boeing and Bell. According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Boeing has been the second largest arms company in 2018 with global arms sales totalling € 26.08 billion/$29.15 billion. According to the same data Bell achieved rank 27 with a total of € 3.18 billion/$3.5 billion in arms sales. We are not happy with this cooperation and the new military LEGO set.”
Shortly thereafter, the LEGO Group shared the following statement:
While our set depicts a rescue version of the plane, the aircraft is predominately used by the military.? We have a long-standing policy not to create sets which feature military vehicles and in this case we have not adhered to our own internal guidelines.
As a result, we are currently reviewing our plans to launch this product on August 1.
The set has been removed from LEGO.com:
The reasoning behind the decision is surprising, as the LEGO Group is very flexible when it comes to how the company defines ‘military vehicles’, having release historical military vehicles in the past and fantasy vehicles that are clearly inspired by war-like conflicts.
It is another instance of the company following online trends relating to societal issues, having decided to donate money to charities that will help black communities in the US and removing paid advertising on social media having previously used it extensively.
So far, it is only confirmed that LEGO Technic 42113 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Helicopter will not arrive on August 1 – but it is hard to see how the set can now be released, given that the company has acknowledged it conflicts with LEGO brand values. Given that the stock will already have been manufactured, that will prove to be an expensive decision.