Terrorism themed knock-off LEGO sets pulled from sale in Singapore

Stores in Singapore have stopped selling knock-off LEGO sets themed around terrorist groups.

Physical and online retailers in Singapore have been selling knock-off LEGO sets including some that feature terrorists specifically based on real organisations. Straits Times reports that the sets have been pulled from sale:

 

This comes after concerns were raised that the toys could lead to the glorification of the terror group.

These toy sets, recommended for children between six and 12, depict violent scenes that show figurines carrying the ISIS flag, launching sticks of dynamite and firing AK-47s. One also includes a plastic figurine of a decapitated head.

 

Although it is of course welcome that the products have been removed from sale, the cause for concern was not the fact that they are LEGO imitations, but that they glorify terrorism. As the image shows, the sets were surrounded by fake versions of LEGO themes including Minecraft, NINJAGO and Marvel Super Heroes.

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The article provides further background around the concerns of promoting violence to children:
Professor Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), said that the sale of such toys may “glorify ISIS” and “promote incitement and hate”. The sales of such toys should be stopped, he said.

“The vendors need to be engaged to ensure they do not deliberately or ignorantly promote ISIS,” he added.

Mr Remy Mahzam, an associate research fellow at ICPVTR, said that the misuse of religious words or symbols such as “Allah” and “Muhammad” in these toys is “very problematic”.

 

Comment was given by the LEGO Group, of course keen to clarify the lack of affiliation.

Ms Charlotte Simonsen, senior director of corporate brand communications at the Lego headquarters in Denmark, said that the toys are “in no way affiliated with the Lego Group”.

“As a company dedicated to inspire and develop children, we would naturally never make a product like this,” she added.

To buy your LEGO products legitimately, and support the work of Brick Fanatics, visit the LEGO online store here.

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