Should LEGO release modern military sets? [Editorial]

Warning: This is an opinion piece, and may not reflect the opinions of my co-bloggers, The LEGO Company, or custom-accessory producers (whose products appear here for illustration purposes only). This post may also include external links to opinions and facts you may not agree with, so read the whole post and share your own thoughts in a comment.

We feature so many LEGO military creations here on The Brothers Brick that all those fighters, battle dioramas, and tanks have their own category. There’s also a lively discussion going on among commenters in the LEGO City 2010 post. Between Independence Day last Friday here in the United States, my own pacifist upbringing, and this recent discussion, I’ve been giving some serious thought to the convergence of LEGO bricks and the military, and the differences between realistic and fantasy violence.

Desert Soldiers on FlickrI myself have built plenty of LEGO military creations, most frequently to illustrate the most accurate historical use for custom accessories I’m reviewing. I’ll also admit that like many males, I have a strong fascination with things that go “Boom!

In responses to questions from Gizmodo readers, here’s what a LEGO Company representative said recently:

Q: Are there any chances that Lego will ever start producing modern day warfare Lego, with tanks and helicopters and what not?
A: We have a strict policy regarding military models, and therefore, we do not produce tanks, helicopters, etc. While we always support the men and women who serve their country, we prefer to keep the play experiences we provide for children in the realm of fantasy.

Some LEGO fans argue that LEGO has, in fact, released military-themed sets in the past:

And of course, there have been elements of conflict throughout many of LEGO’s themes, going all the way back to the earliest police and castle sets of the 1970s. More recently, LEGO has even included realistic-looking guns in Wild West, Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones, and other themes.

This leads to the obvious question from another Gizmodo reader:

Q: Why did they changed the founders rule to never make gun like elements?
A: The company still has a no gun policy when it comes to realistic or military play scenarios. However, in order to stay true to the strong licensed properties we incorporate to the Lego portfolio, we need to stay true to those properties and sometimes that involves including weapons. In our own play themes, some element of good vs. bad conflict is typically considered to provide for role play opportunities. In those instances, the setting is very clearly a fantasy world.

The distinction makes sense to me. Most 10-year-olds aren’t going to mistake a set that includes dinosaurs and a four-wheeler with a lightly-armored Humvee avoiding improvised explosive devices. Similarly, dwarves fighting goblins, the undead, or even each other are unlikely to evoke images of coalition forces putting down the insurgency in Fallujah.

If LEGO were to create sets based on the military, that begs the question, “Which military?” LEGO is a global company. If they were to design military sets, which countries should be represented? Royal Danish Jægerkorpset (special forces) or HDMS Absalon? American A-10 Thunderbolt (with depleted uranium flick-fire action!) and M1 Abrams tank? Russian R-36 ICBM (with pop-out MIRV warhead action!) and Sukhoi Su-27?

Extraordinary RenditionOr perhaps LEGO could take its inspiration from the military history of the past 100 years. Would you buy an Allied flamethrower set, with Okinawan civilian minifigs in caves ($29.99), or a Dresden Firebombing playset with limited-edition Kurt Vonnegut minifig ($49.99)? Modular Hanoi Hilton and Ho Chi Minh’s bunker? Something from the War on Terror, perhaps: An Al-Quada training camp set with Osama bin Laden minifig, camouflaged Navy SEAL, and inbound cruise missile ($19.99) or extraordinary rendition set with unmarked CIA jet, compliant third-world diplomat, and abducted French-Algerian shopkeeper ($39.99)?

How about a LEGO Third Reich theme, with an impulse-purchase Adolph Hitler for $2.99 and a LEGO Auschwitz for $89.99?

“An Osama bin Laden minifig?! LEGO Auschwitz?! That’s going too far. Andrew, that’s patently offensive!” Exactly. War is not fun. War is not play.

Ultimately, the job of every military is to conduct war (whether defensive or offensive), and I believe that war is wrong. There are those in every government who would have its citizens believe that the lives of people who don’t look like us, live somewhere outside our borders, or don’t believe the same things we do are somehow less valuable than our own. And therefore, it’s okay to kill our fellow human beings to achieve the political goals of these leaders.

Applying this philosophy to my LEGO hobby, I don’t believe LEGO sets that depict realistic or modern military themes — including soldiers, military vehicles, and historical conflicts — are appropriate for children ages 5 to 12. Other toy companies certainly don’t agree, taking advantage of patriotic fervor and every boy’s fascination with guns. And yet, this is one of the very reasons I respect LEGO and their no-military policy. They stand apart from the rest.

On a more practical level, LEGO’s largest market is Germany, a country whose 20th-century history has left many modern Germans without much of a taste for war. LEGO is also a global company. As my somewhat outlandish list of potential military sets illustrated, how could LEGO possibly choose which countries to represent?

Martin Luther King, Jr. minifig on FlickrI’m probably not going to convince many of you that pacifism or nonviolence is always the most appropriate political response, but I hope that I’ve made you think, and that perhaps some of you can understand why I personally hope that The LEGO Company never changes its no-military policy.

Thanks for reading. Without further ado, sound off in the comments and vote your conscience in the new poll.

[poll id=”9″]

122 comments on “Should LEGO release modern military sets? [Editorial]

  1. EthanAlshire

    I too respect LEGO’s no-military, no-politics, no-agenda policy. A while ago I would say that you should take the same stance- Leave your politics out of your LEGO. I’m not as sure, now.

    One of the most moving photographs I’ve ever seen was the LEGO rendition of the monk on fire- it’s been featured here, I think. I think more than anything LEGO is a medium- on par, in the hands of a skilled builder, with paint, photographs, or pen and paper. Seeing scenes like that in LEGO is jarring, because it’s not a medium we expect, but it’s a medium nonetheless.

    While this, of your political vigs (please don’t pretend this is the first ;) ), is the one with which I most disagree, I think if nothing else I understand why it’s here. My cry is no longer “keep politics out of LEGO”, but “keep YOUR politics out of LEGO.”

    Just kidding on that last bit. ;)

    So, mine is not a point-by-point rebuttal, or even a compelling argument, but a statement of WHY there is (from me) no point-by-point rebuttal.

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”


  2. obxcrew

    I certainly respect your opinions, Andrew, but I don’t agree with them in slightest fashion. Let’s just say that I think war, though it isn’t pretty, is sometimes necessary.

    As for my opinion on a LEGO Military Line, I think it would work, as long as LEGO was careful.

  3. Pessimist

    While not an authoritative figure in the world of Lego, I feel that TLC has a right to decide its own policies rather than have fans decide for them.

    Also, the idea of military Lego sets is unnerving to me as Lego is targeted at a junior audience. Putting the idea in a child’s head early sets them up for more later.

  4. Charlie Shaw

    I doubt they ever will, but I think that might be cool. I suppose there’s still stuff like BrickArms and BrickForge.

  5. Joz

    I agree with the pacifist nature of your essay Andrew. Your points are concise and well articulated – thoughts along this line have been in the back of my head for years. There’s the philosphy that play should be accompanied by education – whether it’s simply goodies vs baddies or a story (history line) that is more intricate and complex….

    Without an “official line” it gives (us) builders a realm to create their own Lego realities or tributes to the past – which presents a healthy challenge on our resources and techniques.

    Sure an official line may make parts (brick) aqusition easier, but hey it’s about being creative with what you’ve got, right?

    I say keep the Lego military sets away from the shelves and let our creative renditions flow own it’s into the fantasy era, the battles of the last century or the fight for future of the galaxy…

  6. mlambie

    Unless the enemy was something out of this world, like aliens or robot invaders then I think a military theme is dangerous. The dinosaur hunters theme was as close as they should get to this, I believe.

  7. Repoort

    I certainly respect and appreciate TLC’s willingness to speak to their fans; like any good company should. However I don’t think not heeding the fan’s opinions makes them a better company. I think, like our government here, the company should listen to it’s people every once in a while. *cough* Times are changing, and though I don’t think they should start producing detailed sets depicting trench warfar from World War II; perhaps it’d be a good idea to have SOME sort of conflictual engagement between minifigures. They wouldn’t have to represent any specific country’s military; but something more neutral. Take Red Vs. Blue for instance. Why couldn’t it be something like that? Or even human minifigures themselves; one team wearing black and the other wearing gray. Like you said Andrew, what kid doesn’t love a good explosion. Maybe it’s time TLC gives us something.

  8. Repoort's Counter Point

    I think Lego pretty much defines creativity, so isn’t is always more fun to make it up yourself? We have plenty of third party companies producing realistic, non-megaphone guns; who obviously listen to the Lego community a lot more.

    Does it really need to be official?

  9. von goyle

    If I want a tank, flamethrower, or Osama’s head on am ice cream cone with little sprinkles… I have all the pieces I need to achieve it. There is a line where producing such items becomes propaganda, and to offer specific military themes might appeal mostly to builders in the country OF those sets. I couldn’t see the Lego group limiting set appeal nationally like that.
    Corporal Christopher Bellerose, United States Marine Corps

  10. Dragonator

    I must agree that an official Lego Military theme would be a terrible idea. Since Lego is aimed not mainly at adults but at children, it is not the sort of thing we want to be encouraging in our younger builders. War and violence are very real, and extremely under-viewed in our modern society. We are used to seeing murders and violence on our TVs, as well as wars and the chaos that this brings to the lives of millions. As adults, it is fine for us to do what we please. People are already building various military styled MOCs, and weapons are available from places such as BrickArms. However, an official line of sets that are targeted at children would be unacceptable. Think of people who have been in wars, either as innocent victims or as fighters. How would they feel, knowing that the pain and suffering that war brings is being built by unknowing children around the world as a toy? War is not a game, and children should not be led to believe this. If Lego ever did bring out a full-scale military theme, then I would certainly not respect them for it. Yes it may sell well and be popular, but it is not a good thing to be encouraging. Do we truly want to to see the brutality that is war made into a nice colourful toy, packaged in a box and shipped off to millions of kids world-wide?

    No, we do not.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that military MOCs are great, and there are some exceptional and talented builders out there. The military theme should be left to us adults who (hopefully) have a better understanding of the atrocities of war and can respect this. MOCs of military vehicles are fine, but a line that would be bought by children is not. This I think is how it should be.

    My apologies if this seems quite strong to anyone, it is my opinion after all, however violence and death are really not something I want to see TLC making at any time in the future.

  11. George Lee Yish

    I understand how war can be offensive. However I do wish LEGO would create teenage level sets. Like war with items like tanks, army men, jets, missiles and all other things that go BOOM!!! If younger kids wanted them then it’s their decision and they shouldn’t be offended. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be a specific county.

  12. Bob Dole

    War is actually a good thing, it helps keep the human population in check and there are numerous downsides to overpopulation (world peace leads to overpopulation, leads to food shortages, leads to wars over resources, leads to mass death…) Its quite a bleak way to look at the world but thats how nature has decided to run the earth. Too much of one thing ends up being less of one thing. On the topic of TLC producing military sets, stay away from the world wars and don’t make anything specific to a country (no mE109s, Abrams, or F22s). You could have UNITED FORCES vs. THE GREEBLETRONS, who would that offend? Remember the Alpha team sets? They were sort a military-ish and all they fought were skeletons. Anyone remember the Sopwith Camel and the Red Baron sets?

  13. Dez

    Andrew, I’ve always enjoyed your blog. I’ve loved reading the news and reviews you bring us. I admire you as a builder, your minifig customs are amazing.

    But today, I can truely say I respect you. That’s the best written piece I’ve seen in a long time, and I agree whole-heartedly.

  14. Ofaloaf

    “An Osama bin Laden minifig?! LEGO Auschwitz?! That’s going too far. Andrew, that’s patently offensive!”

    What about going at it from the opposite direction? The old Pirate and Wild West themes had clear man versus man, gun versus gun fighting going on. Were they bad?

    What if we made some sort of late-Imperial theme, with figures of vague nationality armed with muskets and pith helmets fighting, I dunno, some kind of group of bandits with a Dutch-sounding name? Toss in a lion in a few sets for some touches of safari as well. It’d be the Wild West theme set in Africa, really. Would that be bad?

    What about a theme somewhere between Johnny Thunder and Dick Dastardly, with a couple of sets of different brightly-colored biplanes, triplanes, and other early 20th-century aircraft lightly armed- nothing more than what’s already been in Indiana Jones and Johnny Thunder sets. Give the planes and pilots names of different nationalities, like “Count von Rotbaron” or “Red Edinbacker.” Just making a bunch of airplanes. Would that be bad?

    What about a sort of man versus machine theme? Something like Alpha Team, but without the modern setting. The pre-Alpha Team would be a motley crew of specialists, facing off against different machines. A monstrous caricature of tank, with a few cannon-looking things and an absurd system of smokestacks sticking out back, could be a set. It’d be like a cross of Alpha Team and the dinosaur hunter (I forget the right name off the top of my head) theme, looking like it’s set sixty or seventy years back. Would that be bad?

    It’s a thin, blurry line that separates the appropriate from the inappropriate, so one must be careful approaching that line to make sure one doesn’t go too far across it in either direction.

  15. Jedimasterwagner

    because there’s so many post-apoc, RAMM, or straightforward military mocs on TBB, it’s apparent that LEGO has very little to do with whether LEGO builders choose to build military or not. the danger is when builders might build something offensive that ends up being credited to (or in other words, blamed on) the LEGO company itself.

    personally, i don’t believe that LEGO’s anti-military stance is about protecting children (and even if it was, that’s a silly reason — seriously, will letting your kid watch GI-Joe really cause him harm???). besides, they’re not so worried if they make such blatant exceptions for their licensed themes (e.g. Indy’s bazooka included in the Jungle Cutter set).

    I believe it’s more about their bottom line. Some people might remember an artist awhile back who made a concentration camp moc and mocked it up to look like an official set, complete with skeletons as inmates. This generated a lot of bad press for LEGO since people who saw those images assumed (wrongly) that they were official LEGO sets and were in bad taste (which they were, but it wasn’t LEGO’s fault). Bad publicity affects sales and LEGO is more about staying in the “safe” realm of other themes, just in case someone wanted to do a repeat of the concentration camp.

  16. castlebuilder100

    I don’t think that it matters if LEGO releases a military line. The bottom line is that boys are going to be boys. If there are no military sets than kids will just build them. That’s what I used to do. Otherwise they will just go to another toy company(what both myself and my brother did). For the most part little boys will always have an interest in war and guns.

    I just had a thought. Since so many people don’t want children to have military sets how about just make big 16 sets. Big models with lots of details kind of like the Volkswagen Beetle set.

  17. Dr. X

    Andrew, I never said I wanted thing like: “an Allied flamethrower set, with Okinawan civilian minifigs in caves ($29.99), or a Dresden Firebombing playset with limited-edition Kurt Vonnegut minifig ($49.99)? Modular Hanoi Hilton and Ho Chi Minh’s bunker? Something from the War on Terror, perhaps: An Al-Quada training camp set with Osama bin Laden minifig, camouflaged Navy SEAL, and inbound cruise missile ($19.99) or extraordinary rendition set with unmarked CIA jet, compliant third-world diplomat, and abducted French-Algerian shopkeeper ($39.99)?”

    (This is clearly sarcasm.)

    But Andrew is right. War is wrong. However, I personally think machines, planes, fighters, tanks, and all whatnot are fascinating. Anyway, let’s not go too deep here (this is not a philosophy club), my point is that yes, war is wrong but sometimes necessary, and I completely agree with obxcrew here. I ditto his statements: “I certainly respect your opinions, Andrew, but I don’t agree with them in slightest fashion. Let’s just say that I think war, though it isn’t pretty, is sometimes necessary.

    As for my opinion on a LEGO Military Line, I think it would work, as long as LEGO was careful.”

    Yes, I think it would work. Maybe sets like the UCS ones I suggested:

    “How about some UCS-like models (like that Sopwith and the Red Baron) of Modern Military aircraft, but not on Minifig scale? I guess this doesn’t really fit into town… OH, wait! There can be Models of planes that are civilian! So it would be UCS City avaition! Here’s the idea for the theme, In Proper Format. (IPF)

    Name of theme: Ultimate Collector Series Aviation

    Short Description of theme: Would include all kinds of planes, civilian and military, WW1 era to modern, on a UCS scale. A bit like the 787 Dreamliner, I loved that set. And the fighters don’t have to have weapons, also, even if the Sopwith Camel did.

    Possible set idea #1: Blue Angels Airshow Team
    This would be a great set, it’s not military or violent but it’s still military planes! Would include 1-2 F/A-18 Hornets, in blue of course, and it’s as simple as that. Price would be around 40-80$, depending on how big it ends up being. (Either the same scale as the Sopwith or the 787)

    Possible set idea #2: Cessna 150
    The classic civilian 2-seater, and the 3rd most produced civilian aircraft. Would be on about the same scale as the Sopwith, Baron and Wright flyer, and might include a spinning propellor and an interior. Not much else to say, but it would be a great set! Price would be around 40-80$.

    Possible set idea #3: F-117 Nighthawk
    This would be a GREAT set, and probably a high seller due to it’s popularity in culture. It would include possibly some new slope/window pieces, and would have an interior and possibly an opening bay underneath, with weapons or without. Lego might decide to skip this one, because of it’s modern military nature.

    Possible set idea #4: P-51 Mustang
    The classic american WW2 fighter. This might be a better idea than the last one, because it isn’t so modern and therefore less real in the minds of children, even though this theme is UCS and might be aimed a bit more towards adults. Might or might not have machine guns, maybe working elevators/ailerons, and possibly a new bubble canopy piece. Again, on the same scale as the Sopwith. Price would be 50-80$.

    Other possible sets:
    Boeing 747
    Many others

    I think this would be a GREAT theme, even if only a few sets were made. I also think that many AFOLs out there would buy these sets, and even kids too. (I got my first UCS at age 9)

    This would be a great theme/set(s).”

    Or maybe, if minifig scale is a must, something like JK’s idea, with not-so realistic things and enemies like robots or sea monsters, but still with awesome fighters, tanks and destroyers.

    So yes, obxcrew’s post takes the words right out of my mouth, and I think it would work, if, as he said, they are careful.

    –Dr. X

    (P.S.: Andrew said: “American A-10 Thunderbolt (with depleted uranium flick-fire action!) and M1 Abrams tank? Russian R-36 ICBM (with pop-out MIRV warhead action!) and Sukhoi Su-27?”

    I actually think those would be pretty frikin’ awesome. I’d buy all of them, especially the Su-27. As long as they didn’t depict real acts of violence, I think they would work as sets, although maybe with the weapons taken out and the design modified a bit.

  18. Mike

    TLC should not release military based set for market sale. I truely believe that while it will bring in new sales, it will also change the way people look at LEGO sets when it comes to buying sets for their kids.

    It seems to me that LEGO have always been about the happy go lucky times. Sure some sets have had the “good vs. bad” theme in it, but it was never to the point that violates commen morals of the non-violence types.

    This being said, I do believe that there is a market for this type of sets. It is for this reason that I would say that any military sets should be done through LDD. If TLC brought it new colored bricks for the users of LDD to make their own sets, then it would not be contrary to the original intent of TLC. While allowing for more play options adult consumer.

  19. Mad Physicist

    I am a builder mainly of military models and yet I wholeheartedly agree. Of course in real life war is sometimes avoidable, although looking at it as nature’s way of keeping population in check frankly scares the hell out of me. My military models depict the machines used to fight war and not the war itself with scenes of death and destruction. I think LEGO are pushing the line with their fantasy violence, in the Batmen and Indiana Jones sets and in the new Agents line. They should stay true to their own origins.

  20. Bloody muppets

    I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with TLC’s policy on both an ideal and practical point:
    – idealistically, TLC’s statement that they “prefer to keep the play experiences in the realm of fantasy” makes 100% sense, and mixing realistic elements in would not be appropriate
    – practically, they would be stirring up such a controversy by creating realistic military toys that I don’t think it would be worth it economically

  21. The Rev. Brendan Powell Smith

    I think this is a fascinating topic, but I did not vote in the poll because it didn’t offer this response:

    *LEGO is already releasing modern military sets, and it’s a bit hypocritical of them to pretend otherwise.

    I honestly don’t think any LEGO customers make the fine distinction between their “licensed sets” and LEGO’s “own play themes” that the LEGO representative in the Gizmodo interview tries to highlight. Average people walk into a store and see LEGO sets that have modern military weapons and vehicles, and that’s that. Does LEGO really imagine that once these sets are brought home, kids will sort their “licensed” LEGO from their “regular play themes” LEGO?

    And even the recent “play theme” sets like LEGO Agents now have realistic-looking minifig handguns and vehicle weapons. I laughed out loud when I read the LEGO representative claiming that LEGO will not produce modern military helicopters when 7477 T-1 Typhoon vs. T-Rex came out last year. If that qualifies as “fantasy”, couldn’t make an M1 Abrams Tank model, toss in a minifig wizard and call that a fantasy line? It’s Tanks vs Wizards! Wheeee!

    What makes this all the more ridiculous to me is that nearly ALL “play themes” from LEGO since the first Castle sets have been built around the idea of violent confrontation between two groups (ie. war). Why exactly is it that medieval knights hacking each other apart with swords OK for children, while modern soldiers shooting at each other is not? Why is it OK for Dragons and T-Rexes to eat minifigs alive? Any of these things would be absolutely horrendous if they actually happened in real life.

    Yes, modern warfare is a brutal, awful, life-obliterating thing, but guess what? So was warfare in any age, including the Middle Ages (Castle sets), 1800s America (Cowboys/US Army vs Indians), etc. Even in this day and age, something as mind-boggling horrible as the genocide in Rawanda can be carried out in large part with non-modern weapons (ie. machetes). So I don’t see the moral distinction between making kids toys based on pre- vs. post-1900s warfare.

    I’m not here to say one way or the other about whether it’s morally acceptable to give children war-themed toys, or to guess what psychological effects war toys have on individuals or societies. I’m just saying that it’s hypocritical of LEGO to claim it won’t release modern military sets when it already is doing just that.

    (Please don’t take this criticism too harshly, LEGO. I love you guys to pieces, you know that.)


  22. Prophet Zarquon

    I completely agree with Andrew. If TLC were to make an obviously military theme, it would be incredibly hard to distinguish between sets that do not cross the fine line where it becomes morally inacceptable, and those that do. I personally believe that all wars, since they inevitably involve killing people, must be avoided-and when that is (understandably, sometimes) not possible in real life, at least it is in Lego.
    Moreover I think Lego wars are completely pointless. The existing sets are offer plenty of conflict possibilities, without crossing that thin line that makes it a “real war” -and because Lego is also about creativity, if a kid really wants to build a MOC that’s war-centered, he won’t be stopped by TLC. But he will be discouraged, and that is not a bad thing.

    I think that the various themes, as they excist now, are already quite close to the point where they start depicting real-life war, but despite this I think they are still relatively peaceful- and therefore should not be boycotted by the fans, or something like that.

  23. Doctor Sinister

    I’ll reiterate a posting I made only last night in my LUG’s private forum – to our own Ambassador…

    IMO it’s time for LEGO to bite the bullet (pun intended) and give us a military base.

    (Dons flame retardant suit)

    We’ve had Police, secret Police, and now secret agents – along with German and Soviet soldiers, American cavalrymen from the Wild West with rifles, they’ve been taking small steps into a more “realistic” world and the planet hasn’t fallen apart, so it’s a small step into making troops to guard our cities.

    Megashite have been making military stuff for years and so it must sell. There has to be a market for it. I reckon if they were to start small with a couple of little vehicles, a small barracks or something, just to test the water…

    I know this is controversial, but if people don’t like it, they don’t have to buy it. All I’m saying is – give war a chance and if it doesn’t sell and the line bombs (erm, NO pun intended with that one) then I’ll shut up.

    There, I’ve said it. :-D

    Dr. S.

  24. Brickhead

    There is no need for Lego to do modern millitary sets as millitary themes are more than catered for in Castle, Star Wars and Mars Mission, I do though admire creations in the RAMM theme and the masterpieces of Magnus Lauglo. However I do think the police sets should have small arms, I maybe arming my Coastgaurd vessels with some weapons but nothing bigger than a 40mm Bofors to stay inline with the concept of Border/Fishery protection and civil defence. The City line offers the opportunity for young builders to emulate functions of real life and show the constructive side of society, adding modern millitary would cut into the development and production of City sets which I feel is not acceptable. City has proven to be one of the most stable of Lego themes and longest running it also enjoys a high percentage of the overall sales compared to a lot of other themes., City was neglected during the late 1990s till 2003 to the companies detriment, the failure of Town Junior, Jack Stone and 4Juniors juniorised junk sets prove this point. The new focus on City sets and the more realistic designs have helped greatly to rebuild sales lost in the past due to the previous decisions. From what I can see in this thread and the 2010 City thread is there are alot of AFOLs from the US who want a millitary theme or want to Americanise City I would like to remind you Lego is a European company and tries to cater to the whole world not just you. The world is not all Apple Pie, Coca Cola, Hollywood and McDonalds, this is the reason we have so many problems as the US seems to think the rest of the world revolves around them and should conform to their beliefs whether its right or wrong. If all Americans actually sat down for a retrospective moment and realised this fact the world would be a better place, I know some Americans already have done this from talking to my fellow Stajinarians from the US.

  25. JDreyer

    I consider myself a liberal and a pacifist, and support attempts to lessen violence in the world, but I’m struggling with the distinction that Lego is trying to make. Like Brendan, I think Lego has already fallen so far down the slippery slope, that it makes little difference whether they publish actual military vehicles or not. In fact, it seems hypocritical not to. Pirates, Agents, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, all these franchises and the movies or history that they’re based on promotes violence as a way to solve problems. The setting is irrelevant. I feel this is like an adult film actress (or actor) saying, I do “A” and “B” on screen, but I’ll never do “C.” I have to draw the line somewhere. But if she’s ashamed of doing these things why work in that particular film industry at all?

    Where to draw the line? Modern military vehicles are constantly used in fantasy settings. Look at the FAL P90 submachine guns in Stargate SG1, or the Pavehawk helicopter and F22 Raptors in Transformers. If Lego were to contract with Transformers, would they not make an F22 or a Pavehawk? Will Lego make the Indy Jones scene with the Junkers 88 or the Half track? If so, why not make a $140 collector’s edition of a B17 Flying Fortress? Just because it’s out of context? If a good movie with a B17 in it comes along, will they make one? If Lego doesn’t make military sets, is this a tacit condemnation of the plastic scale model industry, which consists mostly of military sets and brand name automobiles?

    I am surprised at the almost uniform support for the author’s opinion. I always supposed that Lego builders ran the political gamut. Perhaps the conventional wisdom of artists being politically liberal is true…

  26. Tim David

    Like some of the posters here I think Lego has already gone too far. Even the modern police sets seems a bit too paramilitary for my taste. Despite the presence of swords etc. in the Castle theme I never really made the violence link, I just played villagers/farmers etc with them. However I can remember thinking that the Wild West sets were a bit violent when they came out.
    None of the more violence based themes since have interested me, similarly when I see military themed MOCs I admire the creativity and skill, but am not interested in recreating the actual content.
    I think Lego is in a difficult situation, especially with its commitment to franchises, its hard to think of another (completely non-violent) franchise with the pulling power of Star Wars.

  27. Jack

    I think Lego has every right to have some control over the way their company is run. It shows at the very least they are attempting to take responsibility, both defending their copyright and their brand. If they don’t want to do it because of the liability or just because they are pacifists in general, then I have no cause for complain.

    But, I don’t agree with them saying what is appropriate for a 5-12 year old. Honestly, this is similar to the argument on video games. A lot of video games (even those made in pacifist countries like Japan) are pretty violent and deal with military themes. However, the parents are the one to have final say as to what are appropriate for their own children.

    Also, I have to say in retrospect the realism factor was already in sets such as “Islanders” and “Wild West”. Those sets introduce elements of colonization and imperialism that are to me just as heavy as modern warfare. Remember that a little over 60 years ago most of the world was still owned by the West.

  28. Brent Waller

    This topic actually answers some questions for me, I was wondering if they’d ever release the tank sequence from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as a set, and then after playing LEGO Indiana Jones recently I was curious as to why the tank in that scene looks nothing like the one in the movie (it was a flat tank, with no turret).

    The “no military” stance of TLC would explain both instances, why we’ll probably never see the tank as a set, and if we do it’ll likely not look the same as the one in the movie (as it appears in the game with no turret)

    Though I hope I’m wrong and they make an exception for their licensed “good vs evil” play you’ve mentioned above.

  29. TCHe

    For the past seven years at university, even before that, I’ve been studying war and the military. I’m no pacifist and despite being a German, I believe that ultimately war may be necessary. After all, I firmly believe that the Allies in WW II not only liberated the countries occupied by Nazi-Germany but also Germany herself.

    Still, there are also a lot of wars that don’t make sense and that have been initiated for dubious reasons. But i digress …

    LEGO and the military is a somewhat schizophrenic topic.

    Obviously, conflict has always been a part of the various play lines. (However, I do believe the classic knight themes didn’t really show violence as much as the modern fantasy castle line.)

    There are also Nazis and Communist soldiers in the Indiana Jones Sets (movies I wouldn’t let my children, if I had any, watch), there’re weapons in the Batman sets, there were pirates, imperial (!!!) soldiers and so on.

    (Keep in mind, however, that LEGO weapons always retained a somewhat cartoonish look!)

    So obviously, LEGO has departed from pacifism quite a while ago. And having left my dark ages recently, I’m also planning some military MOCs right now.

    And yet I don’t think TLC should come up with an official (modern day) military line.

    In his book „The Utility of Force“ Gen. (Ret.) Rupert Smith has boiled down the basic function of any military to the killing of people and the destruction of things. In my opinion, that’s about the exact opposite of what LEGO is about: Building things and make children happy.

    The latter is an important point. This world is no happy and peaceful place, despite some zones of continuing peace like Europe or Northern America. Children will realise this soon enough, I don’t think they should be introduced to it all too early.
    It’s true that there’re competitors out there who have a different policy on violence. But that doesn’t mean TLC has to do likewise. In fact, I do believe that this very factor sets them apart from the competition.

    For the AFOL’s need, there are always companies like Brick Arms (and I like their weapons exactly because the have a slightly cartoonish look as well), and there own building talent. I think that should suffice.

  30. Pete

    Why can’t you have military themed sets with fantasy violence implied?

    Kind of like exo-force with less anime-inspired hardware.

    Giant Robots vs. Military Industrial Complex.

    Lego could even come up with some new spring-loaded gadgets to have the models pop-apart when hit by the spring-loaded missiles.

    The designs from castle for launched missiles could be re-used here.

  31. TaltosVT

    I’m curious what the cut-off is for historical vs. modern warfare. For some in the United States, the Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression depending on your point of view), is still a pretty hot button, yet Lego has released Union soldiers in the Wild West sets. And Lego has released tommy-guns that were used at the start of World War II. I suppose the argument can be made that they were released as part of a “fantasy violence” set, but it is still a fairly modern, historic weapon.

    I’m also not sure I can make a distinction between fantasy violence and real world violence. Is one any less violent than the other? If anything, I’d say the fantasy violence can be pretty over-the-top. Take Excoforce for example. Giant guns mounted on massive machines, designed to pummel the opposing side into dust.

    With all that said, I played with toy guns when I was a kid, acting out battle scenes with my friends, and I haven’t seen any averse affects. I actually won’t allow a gun in my house, but I also have no opposition to anyone else owning one. It’s not the toys that make you who you are, it’s how you are taught to play with them.

    Should Lego release modern warfare sets? I dunno. I support them either way. If anything, releasing more historically accurate sets might get kids to learn something about their own history, so that they don’t repeat the mistakes others have made in the past.

  32. MrShowerr

    My view of the world would be upside down, if TLC made a modern military theme line!

    Why fantasy violence and no modern warfare? Why a pirate ship and no tank? Because all the fantasy themes are based on the ancient conflict good vs. evil. Every fairytail deals with that. The pirates want to steal the treasure, so they must be fought. When I was a kid, I never let the blue soldiers fight against the red soldiers and I neverever let the cavalry from Fort Legoredo kill the Indians. Good vs. Evil will always be the most important structure of story telling, but – and that’s my point – you can’t seriously try to reduce modern warfare or today’s international conflicts on “good vs. evil”!

    Maybe I see this issue from another view because I’m German. I have the feeling that Americans are more keen on war than “Old Europe”. Maybe because they never had an international war in their own country.

    To stress that I recommend you knock open the new Collector’s Guide at pages 626/627. There you can see the different versions of the Dino 2010/Dino Attack sets. The sets on the right page all have huge guns and heavy cannons which are apperently used to kill the dinos, while on the left page you see the same sets but with harpoons, cages and other gear to catch the ancient animals. And now guess which of the sets are the American version. ;)

    Those, who don’t own the Collector’s guide check out this:

  33. Curtis

    There are a lot of dumb opinions in here… But even dumb people are entitled to a dumb opinion. I have not singled out anyone so don’t bother getting offended.

    Why does a theme even need a conflict within it?

    What if Lego developed and released some iconic military vehicles. It could be something like a Lego History theme, geared specifically towards adult collectors. My father is a Military Historian and has many miniature model tanks, airplanes and other vehicles. Obviously these vehicles were involved in conflict, but this doesn’t mean they have to be marketed so.

    Its obvious Lego doesn’t even have a real opposition towards conflict within there themes (we’ve seen many themes of good guys versus bad guys, which implies conflict which implies killing each other), so conflict is not the problem they are avoiding. Lego can get away with it as long as they cater to the entire world, meaning they can’t focus on one military force.

    Lego Military History themes could even be sold specifically in hobby collectors stores (not children’s stores) and only online. I see no problem with this. Lego could omit mini figures in these sets and only include the vehicles. I believe military uniforms are more offensive than any military vehicle, so if they avoided that category all together there would be no problem. I say Lego should build some tanks and helicopters and airplanes in a Historical Military theme, it would get more people involved with Lego, specifically History buffs who otherwise wouldn’t look at a toy brand as being educational.

  34. Bruce

    Hey Duney,

    Good topic. I strongly agree with what Brendan and some others said above, that LEGO is being really hypocritical with this whole policy. Most major themes have incorporated violence, almost to the exclusion of non-violent sets. In Castle, for instance, when was the last time we got a set like an inn, a farm, or a shop. Even when we have had those sets, it was the “guarded” inn, implying imminent attack, or a blacksmith shop to make weapons for the knights. Or in the Western theme, they could have so easily made a covered wagon with settlers moving across the country, but instead we got the weapons wagon. Even Gold City Junction, the most civilian set in that line, had two explosion features so the bandits could rob the bank and the wagon. (This is on the cowboys side, I should clarify, the Indians sets were pretty much just encampments.) In Town, why is something like the Cafe Corner good for adults to spend lots of cash on, but kids have to get cops and robbers, fire and rescue (not quite war, but still about violence and action), but very little in the way of shops, homes, etc.

    Sideline on this, in discussion over on Classic-Castle we talked about why LEGO doesn’t do better marketing to girls. I think the lack of civilian sets (and the lack of female figs) is a big part of this.

    That said, I don’t think LEGO will ever go for “modern” warfare. The most probable setting would be WWII, the last “good” war where pretty much the whole world agrees on who the bad guy was. But how would this market to Germany and Japan, pretty big markets for LEGO? I can’t imagine a lot of people saying “let’s buy these sets celebrating how bad our great-grandparents were!”

    About the only way they could get away with it is putting (more) military sets into the Indiana Jones line – specifically things like the tank scene and the flying wing, two set ideas I hear mentioned often. I don’t imagine the “oh, this is a fantasy set” line would pass the smell test, though, once people started seeing tanks in stores.

    This whole thing reminds me of the skin color controversy. For years LEGO said how yellow was universal, and they would never ever make “natural” skin tones (ignoring, of course, things like the “Red Indians” set with the big round-headed people or the DUPLO World People set), but then, bang, Lando rolls in in the Cloud City set, followed quickly by the NBA figures, and suddenly all licensed lines are fleshy. Now it’s no guns, no guns, no guns, your Stormtroopers all use megaphones (ignoring, of course, six shooters, rifles and muskets), then bang (literally), we’ve got machine guns in Batman and laser pistols in Star Wars, etc. LEGO never goes back and explains why what they said for years was suddenly null and void.


  35. Chris Bragg

    Good job Andrew, there were a lot of very good points in this very well written article.

  36. Aaron

    The original red and white lego spacemen represented the two global superpowers who were, at the time, capable and ready to destroy the entire human population over political and economic ideals. These Lego spacemen weren’t fighting. They were exploring the moon cooperatively. To me, that’s creative thinking on the part of TLC, and the reason why I think they do so well in so many other areas of play as well.

  37. hewkii9

    I think that the best move for LEGO, if it makes a military theme, would be to create its own military, and not base it off any country’s. That way, it’d be able to avoid any subtexts in the sets, and we’d still get military figs.

  38. Dave

    Why do you need to have the modern military sets based off of any one army in particular? Why not just something like your classic Little Green Army Men? LEGO’s stance is that if they were going to make War-themed sets, one nation would have to be the “bad” side and therefore the line would alienate a country/group of people, etc. A generic, dudes-in-fatigues-with-guns-and-tanks concept would convey the militaristic nature fine, while staying vague enough to keep its audience wide open. LEGO pieces are not detailed enough so that you can immediately tell specifically what a piece is designed to represent; a generic-looking rifle a la the clone blasters should serve fine as a weapon. The tanks could simply follow the classic treads & turret format while not adhering to any specific tank’s blueprints. The “good” and “bad” sides could be clearly defined, or have no “good” or “bad” side and just have both armies fighting over something (maybe some sort of high-tech weapon or something).
    Basically generic = no losers.

  39. Asaf

    “If LEGO were to create sets based on the military, that begs the question, “Which military?””
    And when LEGO releases Town sets each year its very easy to see WHICH part of the world those town sets are based on. The same goes to the classic medeveal sets from the 70s and 80s which were entierly Euro-centric (the recent fantasy sets are so alien I actually have a hard time connecting to them).

    A few years back I saw a concentartion camp built in LEGO, complete with barbed wire fence, barracks, watch towers, and skeletons for inmates. The image had the LEGO logo and a serial number as if it was official. Being a Jew I was horrorfied, thinking about what a European kid would think watching a set like this. It slowly dawned on me: “the kid would SEE it.” Thats a plus in and of itself, the of raising awareness like a painting, a novel, a poem, or a scuplture. I’m not saying LEGO should actually go that way. What I am saying is that there is a flip side to everything. Even military based sets, though they by nature promote violence (debatable), also raise awareness for periods in history. A Flying Fortress and bombed-out Berlin set introduces a child to two facests of a critical period in European history as much as it introduces the child to a very real form of mass violence.

    But that is an extreme example. Sets like the ones by MegaBlock are, in my opinion, acceptable. I like the way they build large scale sets with basic blocks. They also don’t include minifigs which makes the sets more “commemorative” than play. But MegaBlock pretty much cornered that market (including actual spec-ops vs. terrorist sets with minifigs).

    Consider, also, the presence of police sets in LEGO town settings. Isn’t that violent by the nature of police work? Early LEGO policemen were limited to directing traffic, but then one bright day my dad brough home a police paddy-wagon with convict. Suddenly chase games of cops and robbers became possible, and in later years the robbers came complete with striped prison outfits and LEGO catalouges had a page dedicated to a “Law & Order” type drama with police and criminal Town sets. Why did this happen? Medeveal sets had different factions always portrayed in fighting, and Space sets began to include the “evil” Blacktron and “military” blue and green space police sets with red glowing antennas for laser beams. It seems to me that the need arose to make LEGO sets more exciting by adding conflict and drama. More than what the paddy-wagon police van allowed for my games, its the fact that it was ever made that speaks volumes about violent images and play.

    “War is not fun. War is not play.”
    Think about those little plastic army men. War IS fun; War IS play– when you’re a kid.

  40. Bruce


    Where did you get that the spacemen represented the US and USSR? Presumably you inferred that the red guys were the Soviet Union and their allies, which I guess makes the white guys NATO? I never saw that implied by any literature or marketing from LEGO, nor did that aspect enter my own play. I wonder if others made the same inference as you.


  41. Groovybones

    when this poll first came out on TBB it took me a second to really think about what I was going to choose. the pacifist roots answer would be highly hipocritical judging by the fact I am estatic over the new DC-15 pistol Captan Rex and Commander Cody get in the upcoming Star Wars sets. now, the answer “yes, it’s about time!” nearly scared the hell out of me. All i could think then was about my 5 year-old cousin with a fleet of Lego planes carpet-bombing the small city he just built. or a gang of Lego nazis killing a dark skinned fig (the gaurd from the arkham asylum comes to mind) or even just one fig with a sawatstika on his hat. I just thought that that would be a terrible sight to see. in the end I voted with the majority and went for the “only fantasy violence” choice. i think that it would be cool to see an ApocaLEGO line. (seriously though, Nannan’s MOCs are AMAZING) minifigs of all different nationalities (hence they could release it to the whole world) fighting creepy black and orange monstositys.

    a thought just came to me
    did you know, that the dino attack line was released in two different ways, a way where the kill the dinos and one where they trap them. the killing was released in america and the trapping in europe. whats the deal?

  42. Groovybones

    btw, you can see the other line of dino sets if you cnage your region on (top right hand corner) in america, you try to kill the dinos but in europe you trap them

  43. Mad Physicist

    @Curtis: by offending nobody in particular you run the risk of offending everybody. Calling people dumb isn’t a smart move.

    You do make a point though. You could have a military model of something classic and military. The Sopwith Camel and the Red Baron were examples of that, and you could argue the same thing about the USS Constellation. I don’t remember anybody being offended by those. I could argue that that’s the kind of thing that I build, although many of my models are contemporary. However, we’re not just talking about military models aimed at people of 16 .

    We’re also talking about LEGO CITY 2010, aimed at designing sets for kids between 5-12. That’s a rather different matter. Unless you want to keep them up at night, you’ll have to glance over the death and destruction inherent in war, which basically means you’ll end up glamorising war instead. I think there’s a bit too much of that in toy stores already and that it’s best for LEGO not to go there.


  44. Marc Nelson Jr.

    I’m certainly no pacifist, but I think LEGO should refrain from making realistic, modern military sets as well as tone down the violence in its current offerings. I also agree with the Reverend BPS that LEGO’s current stance is basically bogus.

    I think LEGO’s “no military” policy is less concerned with violence than it is with politics. TLG obviously has no problem depicting violence from all eras and themes. They’ve even produced very realistic military models in the Fokker Dr.1 and the Sopwith Camel. But the distinction between a Fokker triplane and an F-18 is that there aren’t too many people out there calling for a return of the Kaiser – the triplane has no political content to offend potential customers.

    The bottom line (and it IS all about the bottom line) is LEGO doesn’t believe that modern military sets have enough sales potential to outweigh the almost-certain backlash. Indiana Jones and the other violent themes offer more profit with no political complications.

  45. Ryan (DeMartinet)

    Excellent article. I don’t appreciate violence in the real world; why should TLC introduce it to their world too?

  46. obxcrew

    No matter what LEGO releases, people are going to be offended in one way or another. Even with the cartoony Batman sets and clear-cut Star Wars sets (in which, I’ll add, the opponents are either machines or they’re faceless), some people are going to take offense because of the weapons included. I myself vaguely remember playing with the old Western sets, which included weapons and people fighting each other, and I wasn’t damaged in the slightest fashion. The thing is, it all depends on what sort of kid is playing with such sets. Some will only play out scenarios in which no one is every really hurt, and the worst that will happen to a “bad guy” is that he’ll get captured or locked up. Others will reenact more violent scenarios. So the bottom line is that it all depends on how sets are interpreted.

    Of course, I’m not saying caution should be thrown to the wind when considering a Military line. In fact, I’m actually a proponent for UCS vehicles that could be acquired online or at actual LEGO Stores, rather than from your average retailer. Such vehicles would be afordable for TFOLs and AFOLs, and would provide a supply of more military oriented parts.

    However, I doubt that an actual Military line with opposing factions would be a good idea. Parents can be protective when considering what to buy for their young kids, and if they feel that LEGO encourages and glorifies war, they may not buy LEGO anymore. This obviously doesn’t apply to everyone, but it is a valid point.

    Perhaps something along the lines of Military versus Robots would work. Similar to the Exo-Force line, except with more realistic vehicles and a range of sinister looking silver robots.

    The bottom line is that I think a Military line could work, as long as it was carefully considered. I may have reiterated what others have said here, but this is merely a summary of my thoughts on this subject.

  47. Curzon

    Excellent article! Although many people already said that (and most of them in a more elaborate way), I still have to say this, as the article truly deserves it.

  48. Ecto

    I hate war, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good game of Halo every once in a while ;)

  49. Zepher

    No, LEGO should stay with fantasy violence. (58%, 352 Votes)
    I’m one of those votes. Well put Andrew (I’m number 16 of those votes to be exact!)

  50. Mike

    Mad Physicist Says:
    “The Sopwith Camel and the Red Baron were examples of that, and you could argue the same thing about the USS Constellation. I don’t remember anybody being offended by those. I could argue that that’s the kind of thing that I build, although many of my models are contemporary. However, we’re not just talking about military models aimed at people of 16 .
    We’re also talking about LEGO CITY 2010, aimed at designing sets for kids between 5-12. That’s a rather different matter.”
    ***above quoite edited for details***

    Exactly my point. LEGO Sets released for sale to the public shouldn’t be military sets. Since the 5-12yo market is the main target, but by puting pieces in the LDD for people to buy, create, and design. TLC could provide the tools needed to build military sets.

    It would almost be like the 5-12yo market would be done through premade sets. While the older target group could be catered to through the LDD.

    It’s probably the best solution to this issue without offending the majority of buyers.

  51. Rocko

    How did this turn into rants on violence in general in Lego sets. Of course Lego doesn’t make military models but they’ve been making sets with weapons for more than 30 years. It’s nothing new. I want someone to show me a written document with an official Lego nonviolence policy because I don’t think it exists.

    As for military stuff, I don’t see how a lot of you don’t get the difference between fantasy conflict and military. Kids can fantasize about killing dinosaurs or having sword battles with dragons or whatever. There’s no way they’ll be able to grow up and get to be their childhood fantasy. Military toys are different in that children that have modern military fantasies have the very real opportunity to act that out in real life. Seeing as how you can join the military as a child(17 year old brains are not fully developed), those ambitions are still fresh in the minds of the kid who wants to be Desert Storm Commando.

    So as far I’m concerned, Lego doesn’t need a shred of public opinion to base their policy on. Hell, could you imagine the state we’d be in if people would have been allowed to vote on segregation in the sixties? In some cases, you can’t let the idiots decide policy.

  52. Aaron

    To Bruce-

    I absolutely am asserting that the red spacemen represented the USSR and the white spacemen represented the USA. Of course LEGO never mentioned this, and of course it’s an assumption. But it seems pretty likely to me that a pacifist country like Denmark, in the wake of more than twenty years of heated conflict between the USSR and USA (of which the moon shot was a symbolic race itself) was trying to make a small statement by putting these two superpowers together on the moon, working together. It’s easy to forget that at that point in history, the western world’s political and economic power was divided so intensely and for such a long time. The whole idea that these red and white spacemen weren’t somehow a jab at the ridiculous nature of cosmonauts vs. astronauts is plausible, but I kind of doubt it.

  53. Dr. X

    I agree with obxcrew’s last comment again. I think it would work. Also, I really think more UCS planes would work.

  54. nolnet

    Andrew, this is really a great piece of blogging. I totally agree with your statement.

    I wish I could express my thoughts as eloquently in english as in german, but I can’t and many of you have done so already. So I’ll stick to the bottom lines: modern military Lego – no, please, never! TLC being hypocritical – yes, It seems so. The total amount of LEGO weaponry exceeds my sense of taste as it is already.

    TLC is the greatest toy company ever. Over the last 20 years I started to like them less and less for several reasons (like giant hollow baseplates, fleshies, bionicles, belleville…) but on the other hand they gained back a lot of my respect lately for stuff like creator sets, cafe corner or the awesome dwarfs. I kinda like them a lot right now!
    Sadly, a whole lot of that hard-earned respect vanished today when I read this post and found out about those trigger-happy US-versions of the rather zoological Dino2010-theme. Speak about different mentalities, huh? I mean, killing extinct animals? What the hell?

    I do hope TLC will never release a modern military line – it just wouldn’t be my kind of toy any more.


  55. obxcrew

    As I mentioned earlier, perhaps a line that pits a modern military against rogue robots may work nicely. Builders’ thirst for realistic military vehicles would be quenched without the awkward facets of a faction versus faction line.

    The “evil” robots could perhaps be Terminator esque, with silver minifig bodies and robot arms with modular attachments. They could possess mecha (in a more martial style than the Exo Force vehicles), also in silver and bristling with laser weaponry, to give them a bit more menace.

    The military, on the other hand, could have a mix of quasi futuristic vehicles such as tanks, trucks, and helicopters, as well as an exoskeleton, all in a woodland camouflage pattern using existing dark green and reddish-brown bricks. The current Star Wars weapons would suffice for infantry.

    Just a thought.

  56. Leigh Holcombe

    I’m extraordinarily ambivalent on this topic. I’m against war and pre-teen violence, but I agree that Lego has crossed that Rubicon, especially with the Indiana Jones line. The new Agents sets are pretty violent and have realistic weapons and gear, and that’s not one of the company’s licensed properties. So how true to the letter of their word are they staying?

    I would like to see a crapload more bricks produced in Dark Green, Sand Green, and Dark Blue, though. If military sets are the only way to get that done, well, so be it.

  57. Eric D. Burdo

    I think I agree with Brendan Smith on this one. I think LEGO is making war based sets. And has for eons.

    And the whole “licensed vs. non-licensed” thing is a joke too. LEGO pieces are LEGO pieces. I happen to be a bit anal and keep some of my sets separate (castle from town, space, etc). But I don’t worry about keeping the new castle sets from the old ones. Or the Agents sets from my Town.

  58. Nils

    I would consider the western theme just as inappropriate as a holocaust-theme, since the era it portrays involved what some would call a genocide on native americans. but hey, that’s just me.

  59. Magnus

    Lots of great points here.

    I’ll probably end up repeating lots of what others have said already, so I’ll start out by saying something that I don’t think I’ve read yet in this thread:

    To me, the “good versus evil” theme of current TLG themes is a problem, rather than a mitigating factor, when considering the violent elements in playthemes.

    The classic Castle sets didn’t have quite as distinct differences, you never quite knew for sure which factions were the Goodies and Baddies, so it was up to you to figure that out yourself.
    Even with the Pirate sets, I’m sure lots of kids thought of the Pirates as the lovable antiheroes, rather than the evil villains. This is like real-life conflict, it is rare that there are very clear right/wrong distinctions when people fight each other. Even during WWII, the Allies ended up lowering themselves to the point of destroying whole cities full of civilians.

    Pick up a Castle set today, or one of the Agents sets, and you’re presented with Goodies and Baddies – and an entirely unrealistic depiction of what conflict is about. It’s actually terribly uneducational. If LEGO were to do a Military theme, I’d prefer to see one with two conventionally armed factions that aren’t clearly identified as Good or Bad. “Red Side” and “Blue Side.” If done well, it could be very cool. Whenever I show off my military stuff at events there’s usually a kid who asks me who are the goodies and who are the baddies. And I always explain to them that “Well these guys think they’re the Goodies and those guys are the Baddies; but those guys think that they’re the Goodies and these guys are the Baddies.”

    Now, if LEGO have “crossed the Rubicon” with the most recent Indy sets, then they have been in the process of crossing that river for many many years now. Castle? Pirates? Vikings? Wild West? I could go into just how bloodthirsty our history is, (and notice how LEGO always focuses on the more violent aspect of it) but I don’t want to tax anyone’s patience. For my money, TLG lost its identity as a “peaceful toy company” a very long time ago.

    And honestly, I think the company understands that it’s gone in a certain direction that may not be what it anticipated, when the Black Falcons and Crusaders first crossed swords a whole generation ago. Oh, when pushed, they’ll still cough up some sort of vague anti-violent official comment, but they aren’t as self righeous about promoting themselves as a peaceful toy producer as they used to be.

    But they still do try to have their cake and eat it too. And it is utterly hypocritical of course – not entirely unlike waterboarding people, and then telling yourself that you aren’t technically torturing them.

    So, LEGO military theme? Yay or Nay? Hmm…

    As someone who is interested in military technology and history, I’d absolutely love to see LEGO do a minifigbased military theme – so long as they did it justice.

    As a military MOC builder, what would probably be more useful to me would be: More pieces available at a decent price in dark green and dark tan; and olive green bricks in bulk – perhaps introduced by a adult audience- oriented UCS scale military line of sorts.

    As a concerned citizen, who thinks tanks are cool, but has a lot of issues with some of the more high profile wars going on right now (Iraq, Afghanistan), I’d suggest that it is up to parents to interact with kids and explain the difference between playing war and real-life war. I know my mother tried to stop me playing with guns as a kid, but that didn’t stop me from going on to joining the Army for a little while, and then building all sort of LEGO military stuff as an adult.

    As an AFOL who wants to see TLG continue to do well financially, I think it makes sense to do what would bring in most money in the long run. There is definitely a market for this kind of thing, and I’m guessing the money brought in would more than counterweigh the losses from the few parents and AFOLs who stopped buying LEGO just out of protest. But I’m not a market analyst, so I don’t honestly know for sure.

  60. Kaitimar

    Wow, 60 comments! You´we stirred a wasps nest there, Andrew!

    As I scroll down, I must say that I share the opinion with Magnus just above. I voted NO to military sets, but then again, they are already here. Minifigs are blasting away in just about any theme you can imagine. But more worrying is the dualistic concept they have adopted. THAT is the real problem. But don´t blame LEGO. Blame “War on terror”.

  61. shortbusboy

    In reading this all I can think about is, that as a kid me and my best freind (both still into lego:) always played with guns. We were gleefull when pirates came out and we could arm all the cops with pistols and then shoot the hell out of them with whatever our black helmeted super-villians had (usually a giant gun). And we were seven.

    I also remember going over to other kids houses who weren’t alowed to have “anything violent” and just how much that sucked.

  62. GreenLead

    In agreement with obxcrew, while war isn’t desirable, sometimes it is necessary.

    Interestingly, I noted that the Mars Mission series revolved around the concept of Humans occupying Mars for minerals and the Martians defending their territory. I mean, sure, no Humvee or Abrams tanks, but still the same concepts.

    I too agree it would be a very bad idea to have the hypothetical theme focus on a particular real-life nation…what about the Democratic Republic of Lego States, a fictional nation created for the Alpha Company forums?:

  63. Horace

    I think Lego should stay off military just because it’s such a slippery slope that it can suck resources away from their true root: imagination. (One can argue that the sets these days already have a lot less playability compared to the older ones such as the late 80’s, at least to a child. There are less alternative models shown on boxes, which, to a child, provides the first step to making their own MOC.) I think the military line will sell, but then we’ll see more and more set just being built but not taken apart for creative purposes. Hey, if people want military, there are plenty of MEGABL*K and other clones out there…

  64. obxcrew

    About the LS, nice try, GreenLead. ;)

    I do agree that the Mars Mission line is similar to real life colonization.

  65. BJ

    As someone who is very pro-military. Supports the current conflicts the USA is involved in, I can understand and respect your opinion.

    I’d also agree with it.

    I would think. Leave the true military and politics out of Lego. Allow the third party companies to see fit to make them, and allow the buyers to build what they choose with what they can buy from Lego and other companies.

  66. JDreyer

    Although Lego has drawn an arbitrary line in the sand by not making and selling sets based on current or historical military hardware (with a few exceptions), I think that the underlying reason that the overwhelming number of sets have violent themes is that violence sells.

    As far as leaving politics out of Legos? I’d love to see an Obama Rally set, just so I could collect a wide collection of different minifigs…

  67. Ryan (DeMartinet)

    I agree with Magnus in some ways.

    I’ll use Space as my example/argument. I do prefer how their past Space themes never had any real “conflicts”, as far as I can remember. Each theme had one and only one faction (with the exception of Space Polices 1 and 2; even then, though, neither side could actually do any harm to the other, due to the lack of weapons). If the children wanted to build lasers for the Blacktron people to kill the Futuron people with, then TLC couldn’t stop them; they certainly didn’t encourage it, though…
    …Until later themes such as UFO and Insectoids. They now had real weapons, and were given an obvious “bad guy” air. Sure, they still had no one within their own theme to beat up.
    But most kids don’t buy only one theme’s sets. Combine them with Town, and they had an invasion with lots of lasers and fear. Kids can’t kill anyone with a laser in reality, so TLC felt safe doing this fantasy.
    With Life On Mars, Two factions were represented almost equally for the first time. Life On Mars had a little message/moral attached to it: the people made friends with the Martians, despite their differences. No shooting people. But were there lasers? Yep, and no matter what TLC says they use them for, no matter what the “official” storyline was, kids would put one of the sides as “good” and the other as “evil”.
    Then a similar theme, Mars Mission, arrived. Same basic idea: humans colonize Mars and meet aliens. But this time, the aliens were definitely supposed to be “evil”. And the fighting may seem fantasy, but these are actual human minifigs (as opposed to an alien race) this time getting hurt with the Martians’ weapons. No matter how “fantastical” it appears, a weapon is a weapon.

    And Space isn’t the worst.

    The same goes for Castle, Star wars, and almost any other long-running theme you can think of. LEGO themes have been getting steadily more violent for a long time, and now have made themes virtually as violent as possible without doing modern warfare sets. TLC is encouraging kids to use the good guys’ guns to wound the evil people. This good/bad thing may not seem realistic, but doesn’t every side in a war believe that they, and only they, are righteous, and that all other sides, well, aren’t?

    Whether we like it or not, TLC will most definitely not return to its pacifist roots, but I think it neither should nor will release modern realistic military sets, at least not without making its own factions (think Dino Attack humans).

  68. Wusmand

    Wow, look at all these lame noobs wanting Lego to stick with fantasy violence, BRING THE WAR TO LEGO!!!!!!!!!!

  69. Andrew Post author

    Good job, Wusmand — way to derail a rational, mature conversation with your ad hominem argument.

    Let’s keep the name-calling out of this conversation, please.

  70. EthanAgain

    Anyone who calls himself “Wusmand” should probably keep the name-calling to a minimum. Jus’ sayin’.


  71. christian

    hi i am a lego builder and i love military things (tanks,planes) but i also agree about comments about good guys vs bad guys. imagine if one kid said i have the good guy and you have the bad guy,you lose.

    but i belive that the lego company could easily build military planes without weapons. but tlc could make a fan site where you cuold buy pieces to make aircraft missiles and fueltanks and i know about mechanized brick by the way.

    i have seen pictures of what i think was some sort of a lego set that looked like some concentration camp without people of course. cheers christian

  72. Magnus


    First off, thanks for starting this thread.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on what it is like being a pacifist who happens to think that “things that go boom” are cool. Or at least “fascinating”.

    Also, as a pacifist, how do you feel about the current action-based sets that TLG has been putting out? Has a line been crossed already, and if so, how much of a problem do you have with that?



  73. Josh

    Wow, what a post, Andrew. Very well written. Here is my take, for all the world to see. I understand TLC’s hesitation to build modern military sets. They would have to walk an extremely fine line in order to avoid offending much of their global fan base. I think it would sell well here in the US, but many people in the rest of the world would be very offended. As a whole, we Americans have always been addicted to “things that go Boom”. Also, we have been “at peace” (compared to the rest of the world) for so long, I think many of us tend to forget that its not a video game.

    Regarding the fact that Lego has released historical themes with violence, I believe that point is that no one currently alive has experienced those conflicts, although the Wild West sets were pushing that line, due to political issues that still exist.

    As another pacifist with a decided fascination for the history of warfare, I would rather Lego didn’t make a move into modern warfare. But, in the end, the company will do what they feel is in their best interests.

    The rest of my post is in answer to Magnus’ questions (though they weren’t addressed to me).

    I consider myself a pacifist. I grew up in a pacifist family, but my parents let me play with toy guns and I went through my GI Joe stage as well. But they always made it very clear what was “pretend” and what was “real”. I think it is very normal to have an interest in things that we would never do in real life. For instance, my favorite period of history is the medieval era/s. Would I want to actually experience it? Never.

    In regards to the current action sets that Lego has out, I don’t have a major issue with them. I have 4 children at home and some of them have Batman, Indy, and Starwars sets. As we play, it gives us the opportunity to talk about many of the issues brought up in this post. My take is that unsupervised play with violent toys and games is dangerous in the long run. But properly supervised play is beneficial to teaching kids about reality and how their choices will affect others. I could go on for a long time about all of this, but I will get off my soapbox for now.

  74. Cashcleaner

    I’m rather surprised that the idea hasn’t been mentioned (or maybe it has and I missed it), but what about making a compromise between the people wanting military-themed sets and those wanting to stay true to the more light-hearted fantasy models? I believe that we can have some militaristic models and still stay true to the LEGO founder’s vision of having no realistic or overtly violent military themes.

    Simple solution: LEGO Peacekeepers.

    I really hope I don’t have to copyright that idea (now I’m all paranoid that BrickArms is gonna start churning out blue helmets and flak jackets tomorrow), but to me it really makes a lot of sense. Just imagine a line of LEGO kits somewhat along the lines of the new Agents models with modern or near-future vehicles such as HUMVEES, helicopters, transport trucks, or patrol boats; but instead of just having a bunch of armed LEGO soldiers included, make the sets themed more towards humanitarian efforts or international law enforcement.

    Now chew on these possible kits for a second:

    LEGO Peacekeepers

    The LEGO Peacekeepers are an elite corps of soldiers and engineers dedicated to perserving world peace and protecting innocent lives during times of conflict or natural disaster.

    Peacekeepers Set #1: Peacekeeper HQ

    Set includes a large Peackeeper base that includes command and control centre, communications room, stockroom, garage and barracks. Also included are a Peacekeeper utility truck, command car, and four Peacekeeper minifigs (1 Commander and 3 Peacekeepers).

    Peacekeepers Set #2: Helicopter Air-drop

    The Peacekeepers have been called in to assist in disaster relief. Send in the helicopter to drop some medicine and food!

    Set includes Peacekeeper helicopter with two supply crates and tents. Also included are two peacekeepers (1 Pilot and 1 Winchman) and two villagers.

    Peacekeepers Set #3: Bandit Blockade

    Evil bandits are stealing vital supplies from those in need. The Peacekeepers have been sent in to secure the roads and make sure the villagers get their food.

    Set includes Peackeepers tank, transport truck, and blockade. Also included are 3 Peacekeepers and 3 bandits.

  75. Cr4sh Dummy

    Aside from a few asinine comments, I think this has been a excellent discussion. While it’s true that war is the continuation of politics through other means, those political objectives can be just and in most cases they are. And I agree that ultra realistic military themes (e.g. Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down) would not be appropriate for children ages 5-12, but I don’t think anyone is asking for that, we all know that war is hell.

    The Lego company could do a modern war theme (i.e. 1939- present) along the lines of Battlefield Heroes: (which features WWII styled vehicles but doesn’t have real countries fighting each other) or a historical theme along the lines of the Civilization series of games: (which doesn’t praise or single out one nation over another and the game has been used for educational purposes). I think that those two options would be appropriate for kids, especially the the Civilization option because it has an educational benefit to it. And also, as others have said, a UCS line of aircraft would be fine as long as you could only order it online or via a hobby shop.

  76. KaT Adams

    I feel that LEGO’s choice to avoid realistic military type creations is perfectly reasonable and I support it so long as they let others manufacture compatible pieces that /do/ match the modern military look.

    As for war being bad, I hope you mean initiating war is bad–it only takes one side to /start/ a war; surviving it without subjugation requires response.

  77. Cashcleaner

    Thanks obxcrew.

    I think the main crux of the debate for having military kits is that people simply want to build cool tanks, jets, and helicopters. With that said, those vehicles don’t neccesarily have to be involved in a combat situation and I believe people would just be as satisfied with a grey, black, and white armoured vehicle towing a trailer of medical supplies than they would of the same vehicle sporting a camoflage paint job and towing a howiter.

    Because we all know many military vehicle can serve non-violent purposes, I think going the route of Peacekeepers (or something similar along those lines) would be a good compromise.

  78. Mad Physicist

    Do we even need a military line? I can see the appeal of more UCS sets like the Sopwith Camel and Red Baron, as I mentioned before, but apart from that? If you look at the military creations blogged here or posted on the flickr military group, for instance, it’s pretty obvious that there are quite a few builders who manage to build rather nice military models with the pieces that are available now (and a little help from brickarms in some cases). I could do with a wider range of dark green bricks and plates, but those probably will become available as time progresses in all kinds of other sets that don’t raise all kinds of complicated moral issues.


  79. Bill Ward

    I think the fantasy vs realistic distinction is very important. As was mentioned above a kid can join the military at 17 and end up in Iraq before he/she knows it. Or he/she might have a relative or friend who’s already there, or gods forbid, has been killed there already.

    Then you get to the whole political mess about whether a given war is a good idea or not. And I’m amazed to see that this thread has managed to stay off of that topic; it wasn’t until about 60 messages in that Iraq was even mentioned directly.

    But fantasy is different. Every kid (except those destined to grow up as a sociopath) understands the difference between pretend and real life. Having Indiana Jones fighting the Nazis or Russians, or having Agents fighting off the henchmen, is no big deal. It’s all imagination, and there’s no way that kid is going to grow up to know or be one of the characters in those situations. But with a modern warfare context, there is a very real possibility, and that would take some of the fun out of it for a lot of people.

    And another reason for LEGO to avoid modern military sets would be Megablox who have already gone there. The last thing LEGO wants to do is to send the message that Megablox is the market leader by copying them!

    So my vote was to stick with the current policy, and I hope they do.

    As for things I think LEGO should do in the future, I’d be happy to see them continue to produce elements that are usable for military MOCs, through things like the Indiana Jones or Agents sets, without actually producing modern military sets themselves.

  80. KaT Adams

    Ryan DeMartinet; Perhaps you would, but I would not, nor could I watch those I love die at the hands of another and do nothing to prevent it. Evil men and actions cannot be prevented, but they may be opposed. First peaceably, good willing, and with force for some, if needed.

  81. Magnus

    Cashcleaner, I think you’re being naive. Most people who build LEGO tanks think that stuff that blows up is engaging, on some level, and most people who build military are ultimately more interested in howitzers than medical evacuation vehicles. It doesn’t mean we like or support wars, but as a rule, you don’t build a LEGO tank with a great big gun without envisioning it in some sort of conflict environment. And nor would a average 8 year old.

    Spencer, remember there’s nothing inherently American about tanks. If LEGO were to do a UCS tank, a T-34 might sell just as well as a Sherman.

    The Peacekeeper idea is interesting, I could see the idea working better (and selling better) as a Space subtheme of sorts. If you’re doing a Military theme, I think kids would expect a conflict-based theme with green tanks, and guys with guns on both sides.

  82. Joz (CPKF)

    …did someone mention “Peace Keepers?” : )

    – now that’s right up my alley… Good one Cashcleaner!

    Everyone: this has been the most satisfying read with thoughtful ideas and well founded opinons – and I don’t know what else I could add – but I want to…

    I really appreciated Magnus’s view on the neutrality factor regarding goodies and baddies. Lego has always been a platform to expand one’s imagination – not just being creative in design – but in character.

    Letting us apply our own thoughts to what ever TLC presented us with in sets is paramount to this. A toy/hobby that (acts a stimuls in) encourages thinking for yourself and understanding perspectives makes it all the more special. Think constructively and be constructive. Good thing to live by.

    For example. I recently recieved some new Castle Lego – with them new Ogres and Trolls. Straight away I thought of allegiances. Are the Crown Knights the goodies and them green folk with fangs the baddies? Yes? No? Sometimes? Swap? …Now in my own Legoverse that adds more personalities and diversity to my pool. Sure I gave them two Ogres a pair BA-M5’s but they’re not baddies. I’ve made them want to help. They’re strangefolk lookin’ – but not evil. I found a persona that I liked and applied it.

    On the flip side I “dis-armed” my Exo-Force Super-Novas (the yellow one from ’07) and turned it into a loader mech. They looks quite fancy with the Lego Tower Crane 7905 and the XXL Crane from ’05.

    Allowing our imagination to be challenged can really broaden our perspectives in life.

    On a slight tangent – the thought of UCS style sets with no ‘figs is a good one – although it would really break my heart. I could see so many people saying well they’ve made the Jet – where’s the pilot? We want the pilot – then we’d settle with our own MoCfigs until a suitable one came out to compliment the set…

    I do want to stress my earlier point (from July 6th) which many of us here have elaborated on (especially Ralph on the 9th). Lego should stay away from a formal dedicated military line. I quite like the challenge of having to think it up myself ang getting by with the set and parts that are available. I enjoy that I can create something using my own noggin’ and if ever a dedicated ‘commecialised’ miltary theme hits the shelves I fear it’ll take away special intangiable thing away from my own imagination.

    Any theme builders would argue that it there is a degree of pride to build something (build in something) that they can call their own.

    I guess I was just thinking (typing) out aloud tonight… and in doing so I feel that whether or not a formal Military Theme appeared I’d only be considering it for the parts and the potential to customize it to my own needs and musings.

  83. Cashcleaner

    Magnus, you’re making it sounds like I’m not a military enthusiast myself. I assure you I am, and as a former reserve armoured soldier (Ontario Regiment, 34th RCAC) I would be over the moon with any sort of LEGO combat vehicle – including something along the lines of an LAV III in its role as a battlefield ambulance or an AEV with bridge layer module attached. There’s no doubt that people love things that go boom, but I think people would also appreciate the vehicle and kit in its entirety. Of course, I do agree that LEGO’s primary market is younger children, not a 28 yo such as myself, so I can concede my perception may be skewed.

  84. Brandon

    I agree with the long-standing policy of anti-war that lego has had. However, I do see the want for military sets and weapons. I also see that with some of the star wars and car sets, with their recommended age levels of 16 , that lego acknowledges that they do have a waning child base but a steadfast adult base which grew up on legos that if they market towards they will have good sales. There is a fascination with military hardware that I think a lot of us have. I think it springs more from that the average lego enthusiast has a love of building and engineering – and that military hardware is often the zenith of such things. So I feel that, like the ferrari, volkswagen, and UCS star wars sets, we should have military sets that are more in the model category than aimed chiefly at minifig scale and the resulting war games mentality. Aimed more towards those who are not wanting to play war but chiefly adore the design of the vehicle. As for subject, I would say they should be the most adored or significant designs – such as the Sherman and Tiger, the A-10, the German u-boat, and such.

  85. chris

    i believe that lego should release military sets here are a few ideas
    mi-24 hind with m1a1 abrams, humvee with soldiers and enemys,
    su-35 and eurofighter dogfight pair, f-15 eagle and iraqi t-54.

  86. chris

    i was joking about da f-15 and t-54. but seiously i think it would be great if lego did a tribute to our boys and gals over there maybe some soldiers distributing food to civilians, a medevac chopper and
    a range of UCS miitary vehicles

  87. GreenLead

    Maybe the best compromise would be for TLC to just introduce a greater variety of Dark Green and Tan parts, and let people decide what they want to do with it.

  88. bow-chicka-bow-wow

    i think there should be modern military legos. Most of the lego sets have viloence in them and it is fantasy violence but it still violence. Lego acctually already produced military legos cowboys and indians infact and thats not viloent? lego may not know but they do use violence in there sets. I disagree about the osama bin landen figure why the hell would they make one hes a terroist leader i wouldn’t mind if they made a fey insurgent (no suicide bombs) but osama bin laden just isnt right. Besides one time i was looking on ebay for army legos and i swear i saw japanese lego sets with that had a swat team. I also have a few sugestions for sets.

    -ranger squad with humvee

    -insurgents with truck vs marines with light tank

    -iraqy market with buildings delta mini figs and insurgents with sniper

    -a uh-60 black hawk helicopter with marines and rangers

    -solidiers giving food 2 cilvilians

    -and insurgent patrol

    (i dont really think theyed like the insurgent thing though)

  89. just another AFOL

    this may just be one more comment on the blog but look back 50 years when lego came out i mean when it FIRST came out before the minifig just standard bricks now think what did they make lego for?what was it MENT to?im sure it wasnt created for making little people slaughter eachother.Even when they had castle all the way back they didnt have people killing eachother in a matter of fact lego spent more time on the architecture than making wacky minifigs attack each other i mean look at this set

    copy and paste the link now look at this set

    I dont see any orcs trying to chop of peoples heads
    theres a big difference.if lego were to release military sets imagine what that would do to kids what would that turn them into huh?monsters?the next Osama bin Laden?you tell me.Now among us AFOLs its fine but among kids no.I think lego should stick to its pacifist roots

  90. Douche

    W/E last time i checked i saw orks in lego ry to chop peoples heads off also i rember the was a knights lego thing where there were 4 knights an the defended their kingdom from evil knights isnt that violence serously.

  91. bow-chicka-bow-wow

    ….XD kids becoming osama bin laden ….ahahaha…yeah right i….. ahahaha…roflmao… you you think kids r gonna become osama bin laden….lol….by the way what is AFOL a f#$king osama lover…ahahaha…megablocks had military things and no one became osama bin laden ….XD….u crack me up….ahahaha….kids becoming osama bin laden ahahaha…ok im done laughing huhhuh i heard lego dosent like people making custom decalls for minifigs and last time i checked lots of companys like megablock make military things action figures also have very many military creations and every time i walk into target i always see the military action figures out of stock look even if lego has fanatsy vilolence its violence and also if u guys think u can escape violence ur wrong humans made violence how do think u can stop that also think about nerf there r a bunch of kids that play nerf, paintball, and airsoft kids have lots of fun with that. Lego that would be just like doing that except theres “no bullets”. And i know m last comments sound stupid. also i think minifigs make lego more fun.

  92. Gambort

    ^ Streams of consciousness are usually good when they have artistic merit. As a means of conveying information they’re largely ineffective.

  93. Sammy

    Lego allows people to be creative and achieve artistically what they want, but Lego has continually promoted Good winning over evil in most sets; and in other sets, they’ve even promoted the combination of opposed or estranged forces (Mars series).

    I think that they’re doing the right thing with a no-military policy, and are setting an example for kids that you can teach a lesson, make people happy, or just be creative, without having to display bias.

  94. Melfice

    I don’t think LEGO should produce items like tanks and other armoured vehicles, or war-like scenarios that are not firmly rooted in fantasy.

    HOWEVER, I don’t think there should be such a restriction on jets.
    As the 4953 Fast Flyers set shows, you can have military aircraft in a non-military fashion. This jet (though not extremely realistic) obviously resembles a fighter jet, but it carries no armaments and it is distinctly painted in an airshow livery.
    I would love a similar set in minifig-scale.

    The purchaser could, if he/she so desires, recreate or “improve” the model with military colours and/or weaponry later on.

  95. J

    why cant lego just make cool tanks and guns and stuff without all the political backround stuff. i like lego but it would be so much betta with cool guns and army men. just pleeeese make them, pleeese

  96. Helen Battye

    did you know that other building blocks like kazi, mega blocks and all that make military sets so why cant a big famous company like Lego make military sets.
    if you don’t make military sets more people are going to buy mega blocks and stuff like that.

    p.s tanks rule!!!!!!

  97. Christian

    I think it would be really cool for lego to release lego military sets frankly becuase I would really love to set up a military thing, all sets need brick companies need tanks, guns and military stuff, I am also an absolutely pathetic builder at lego so I really can’t make a tank without instructions. Apart from me being a huge matt reilly fan I am fascinated with the army and think lego should release some sets.

  98. Claus Schioldann von Eyben

    Stick to fantasy, I say!

    Military and violent MOC’s are awsome too, but for us builders to dream up and create.
    Maybe the communities should start to distribute instructions, for those of us who cannot think in 3D all the time…

  99. William

    First I cannot believe that I am replying, anyway here goes. It’s a toy!!! I repeat a toy!!!!! Got it. I’ve had Lego sets from the 70’s. I have play cowboys and indians, soldiers, etc, etc, etc,……..and partridge in a pear treeeeee. Children will continue to do this no matter what. let them be children and LEGO should go a head make the damn military sets and let the chips fall where they may!!!! A lot of adults will surely by these sets too!!! Good grief!!!!

  100. Brawl

    the LEGO company should definatly have modern warfare sets that
    would be AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!but i would also like WWII sets

  101. Mac 11 wielding maniac

    I agree, in that maybe a torture chamber would be going too far, however, if they did sell military sets, then they could make a lot of money methinks. anyway, there are already companies making military style accessories- Brickarms for one. I think there are many people that would enjoy seeing Lego humvees and so on on the shelves of their local toy retailer- Me included!

  102. Brawl

    I’d be OK with torture chamber sets and BrickArms has nearly all there
    minifigs are right about the $ LEGO would make,
    mean all my friends would said they’d rather have a tiger tank
    than a LEGO city set.=)

    (I’m getting all the BrickArms weapons 4 christmas)

  103. brandon

    we’re not talking about killing stuff.i just want to have military VEHICLE modles,like tanks,helis and doesn’t have to have politics in it.DUH:>

  104. Brawl

    yeah your totally right brandon.if they make “anti dino” choppers and tanks,why don’t they make crusaders and mcsomething?

    (but LEGO george bush would be funny)

  105. brandon

    i’d bet a million $$$ that people would buy them up like crazy.and whats with the lego companys geting sued for that.And just for putting those certan peices in there producs.are you kidding me?!?!

  106. Brawl

    whats really weird/annoying is thats with the lego castle and cowboy
    sets is that the minifigs inthose sets used weapons like swords daggers and maces which draw A LOT more blood than a M16 or a tank

  107. Andrew Post author

    This debate seems to be staying alive mainly between people arriving from search engines, not our regular readers, so I’m going to go ahead and lock comments. Nothin’ personal.

  108. Pingback: Lego Humvee with instructions | The Brothers Brick | LEGO Blog

  109. minininja

    Hmmm… this is an extemly tough question. I think they could do military sets if they where not really our modern day world or past type sets but more like Battalion Wars where it was kinda on a different planet.

  110. Andrew Post author

    I’d locked comments on this for good reasons (which haven’t changed), but it looks like an option somewhere got overwritten.

    There are more current discussions happening, so let’s close this one out again and keep the focus on the conversations happening today.

Comments are closed.