A new wave of LEGO Technic sets is launching on August 1 and was due to include 42113 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Helicopter. The 1,642 motorised model has already shipped out to many retailers, but compaints from anti-war organisation German Peace Society – United War Resisters have led to the product being cancelled.
It’s a bizarre situation as it seems the LEGO Group saw no conflict between the set and the company’s values until 10 days before its planned release. Given the decision was not made until after the complaints, it suggests that the change of heart about 42113 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Helicopter was driven by avoiding negative publicity rather than anything relating to ‘values’.
Here is the official statement, confirming that following yesterday’s news, the set is indeed cancelled:
The LEGO Technic Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey was designed to highlight the important role the aircraft plays in search and rescue efforts. While the set clearly depicts how a rescue version of the plane might look, the aircraft is only used by the military.?We have a long-standing policy not to create sets which feature real military vehicles, so it has been decided not to proceed with the launch of this product.
We appreciate that some fans who were looking forward to this set may be disappointed, but we believe it’s important to ensure that we uphold our brand values.
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.
A huge amount of money and resources will have been expended designing, manufacturing and planning marketing strategies for this product, in addition to the monetary and environmental cost of now recalling and destroying the products intended for store shelves.