LEGO cancels release of Technic 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey [News]

LEGO has canceled the planned release of one of its upcoming Technic sets, the 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey, due to its association with militaries. The summer 2020 LEGO Technic lineup includes the usual construction vehicles such as a Volvo Articulated Hauler, but it also includes the licensed V-22 Osprey, which is a far more unusual subject for LEGO set. LEGO has long publicly held that it does not produce modern military vehicles, and fans were quick to point out that the V-22 Osprey is traditionally a military aircraft. The German Peace Society organized a petition to halt LEGO’s production, and combined with broader questions from the LEGO fan community over LEGO’s licensing of this military aircraft, LEGO has today made the decision to halt rollout of the set. The set was slated to be released Aug. 1.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft for VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) missions and is operated by the U.S. Air Force, Marines, and Navy, as well as the Japan Self-Defense Forces. Although some examples are equipped to play search and rescue operations, the V-22 is not operated by any civilian sources.

Here’s LEGO’s official statement on the set:

The LEGO Technic Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey was designed to highlight the important role the aircraft plays in search and rescue efforts. While the set clearly depicts how a rescue version of the plane might look, the aircraft is only used by the military. We have a long-standing policy not to create sets which feature real military vehicles, so it has been decided not to proceed with the launch of this product.

We appreciate that some fans who were looking forward to this set may be disappointed, but we believe it’s important to ensure that we uphold our brand values.  

The LEGO company’s position on modern military depictions hasn’t always been clear. In 2014, the LEGO Creator line included vehicles in bright colors that mimic the U.S. Army’s Apache helicopter and the V-22 Osprey. Neither set is licensed, which appears to be the key distinction here.

And the Indiana Jones theme famously includes numerous depictions of World War II and Cold War-era military equipment, including both a Pilatus P-2 with markings for the Luftwaffe, and a fictional Nazi flying wing bomber.

A small number of the V-22 Osprey sets have already been distributed to retail stores and a few have even been sold. LEGO has said that they will not recall those items, making the V-22 sure to become a collector’s item with a limited number released. It is not clear yet what will happen to the existing stock of sets still in The LEGO Company’s possession. A spokesperson for the company has stated that “We are currently working through our plans for the sets and will explore ways to reduce waste and reuse elements.”

See more pictures and information on the LEGO Technic 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey here.

38 comments on “LEGO cancels release of Technic 42113 Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey [News]

  1. H.

    I think you left out a word in “LEGO has long publicly held that it does produce modern military vehicles”.

  2. Russell Chapman

    I am absolutely crushed. I was really looking forward to this model, and thought the rescue colours were a great compromise.
    Note that I also have a Fokker Dr1 Dreidekker and two *different* Sopwith Camels, all of which are complete in military colours and markings.
    Not one child would be harmed by the release of a Lego search and rescue aircraft.
    By this logic the entire Star Wars franchise theme must end *today*.

  3. Senator Chinchilla

    Ridiculous. A toy plane isn’t gonna convert children into instant commandos. If they’re so terrified of children swooshing a plane around, maybe change it from boring grey to orange and white or something.

  4. Chopper 2020

    I’d been looking forward to the next big Technic helicopter, since I missed the 2012 and 2016 models. This set was clearly the 2020 entry to that product slot. Hope they can turn around and bring out another big helicopter next year.

  5. Tony

    The US Army does not operate this aircraft.
    “Cancel culture” really sucks and I’m disappointed with Lego. They should’ve proceeded without releasing or selling it in Germany.
    …which was probably part of their “profits” equation in this decision. Boooo.

  6. Conscientious Objector

    WTF??!! it’s the only Summer Set I was really looking forward to and would have been a day one purchase

  7. Gabe

    This makes absolutely no sense. Lego has released many “war vehicles” in the past. (e.g. Sopwith Camel) Does this mean when Indiana Jones returns in 2022, will we not see remakes of those amazing sets everyone loves?

  8. Mark Anderson

    Surely they could have just printed some new sticker sheets and rebranded it as the new FairyBricks Delivery Plane.

  9. chiprhoters

    Man, that’s super lame pandering to the mainstream crybaby crowd – Looks like I’m not the only one that feels this way about it. Our society is so freaking weak

  10. Mark Rayner

    I am a keen adult collector of Lego and die cast aircraft. As this plane is not in military markings and is unarmed I struggle to see the point in upsetting the Adult Lego fraternity with this very late unplanned with drawl. Please consider making the kits that are already manufactured available to applicants even if we have to apply direct to Lego .com.

  11. RoscoHead

    I guess it’s too late to complain about the 2 Mercedes-Benz trucks, both of which have been sold to military organisations in significant numbers? Oh wait, they are made by a German company…

  12. Purple Dave

    The US Army does not operate the Osprey, nor do there appear to be any plans to do so at this time. After the USMC, it was the US Air Force which decided to become the second customer. And I know Japan is the first foreign military to actually place an order, but I hadn’t heard if they’ve taken delivery on any of the five they’re buying.

    Five other foreign militaries (and no civilian agencies) have expressed interest in the Osprey, but to date Japan is the only one that has been reported to be under contract.

    @Russell Chapman:
    Star Wars gets a pass because it’s fantasy, not real-world military.

  13. David T

    I wonder if part of the mindset is that Lego (being a European company) has a kind of aversion to modern military sets due to the company having lived through WWII, a kind of hard stop built into the company’s DNA. I do feel that they bent the rules to include Indiana Jones sets. I think they ran afoul of their own policy because the Osprey was a licensed set. I think of the Blue Power Jet (31039), which is remarkably similar to the F35, as an example of modern military-like set.

    I agree there is a grey fuzzy area between modern military sets and star wars sets.

  14. Jimmy

    I don’t like the decision, but honestly I understand it and respect it. It is only operated by military forces, not civilian. And as much as Iv’e always wanted Lego tanks and fighter jets, I respect their commitment over all these years to only produce historical or fantasy military hardware. Nothing modern.

  15. Harry

    Omg really? what is going on the world? what about Toy story “Army men on patrol” 7595?
    I just get so angry at all these different activist…

  16. cosmocaos

    Although there have been many military sets in the past, none was licensed, thats the big issue whit this one. In the past comments here, that seems to be ignored. I don’t know how it would worked, but I would find weird buying a lego set plane, and some money going to Boeing to develop his planes, in the least case, they are getting publicity. I’m not against military or war set themes, its part of human history and nature, we cant ignore that, but publicity or supporting military while buying a toy, I don’t like that. And besides that, I feel sorry for the people who worked to develop the set, they don’t have the blame.

  17. Mad physicist

    I build military models myself and built my own MV-22 Osprey several years ago, but there’s a big difference between me as a fan building a model of a military vehicle and LEGO, who have a stated policy against military models, licensing a military model. Unlike a Mercedes truck or a Land Rover, the Osprey’s only use is military. As such, it was somewhat surprising that they even considered releasing it as a set.

  18. Nikolaevna

    War rages in Eastern Ukraine, Syria, Libya etc, and these activists are upset over a Lego toy. Absolutely pathetic.

  19. Emil Johansson

    I don’t get why ppl complain about “cancel culture” or “activists” here:
    This is an effect of Legos own anti-war-toy policy, that other parties points to it and that makes Lego enforce it is only natural.

    Complain to TLG and theire policy if anything.

  20. Scott

    I think it’s more about the manufacter itself. Boeing is the second largest defense contractor in the world, with a variety of fighter planes and other military systems in use by several countries. As cool as the set looks, the sheer scale of Boeing’s involvement in military operations is probably what set it apart from Land Rover and Mercedes in this decision, and I wouldn’t be super happy to see my money going to them. I hate to see sets get cancelled, but Lego should have known they were playing with fire by working with this company, and im happy that they saw the light eventually

  21. Sandiman

    Such unbelievable hypocrisy … all Star Wars sets, war (fantasy) All castle sets, war (historic). All Ninjago sets, war (fantasy). All nexo knights sets, war(Fantasy). All pirate sets, war(historic). Why does LEGO not produce sets with a more recent historic war reference?

  22. Steven Newsom

    Legos stance here is especially funny considering they sell a Death Star, and every Marvel and Star Wars movie has a body count that exceeds Commando.

  23. Michael J

    I understand the decision but I was actually considering getting this model. I feel what killed this was that it clearly is titled Bell-Boeing V-22, which while one of it’s roles is search and rescue what it is best at is getting Marines from point to point quickly. Take for instance this set from 2014 –
    – that is a V-22 in all but name, as this set is –
    – an F-35. Lego has a history of tandem rotor helicopters (including the recent Black Widow set) that all are very close to either the CH-47 Chinook, or the CH-46 Sea Knight. I could see this one getting rebranded in a year or two as “Tilt Rotor Rescue Plane” or similar. When it comes to aircraft the “sexy” stuff is almost always military hardware, and outside of the ones I highlighted above there are a lot of near designs. LEGO’s pacifist stance is slippery these days with the Superheroes and Star Wars themes, but this really should not have even made it this far.
    In this kind of deal I’m not sure if there is a license deal with Bell & Boeing as the US government paid for development, not sure where the copyright really lies. Much like the Space Shuttle and Saturn V I don’t believe you have to ask for permission for the rights to use the likeness.

  24. Brian

    I’m disappointed. I understand the policy, but the irony here is that this aircraft is a unique and cool design, like the spacecraft from “Star WARS”, but is not overtly military in any way. I wonder if the licensing agreement with Bell Boeing actually involves money. Boeing can’t possibly care about a couple hundred thousand dollars in licensing fees. The advertising value of a LEGO set is much higher. And frankly, considering the money LEGO takes from Disney – an amoral, purely corporate machine – I think their “policy” against modern military sets has become a bit hypocritical.

  25. Maciej Piatek

    “The German Peace Society” is a loud laugh od history. Now The Germans learn us what the peace is.

  26. S

    This article is a bit inaccurate. Fans aren’t involved in this decision since they never really complained about it publicly. Lego in fact does not have an anti-war or anti-military policy as they officially support their efforts. The German group called out Lego on their anti-licensing policy which many people confuse for anti-military, which is good enough for some to pat themselves on the back for getting a harmless set cancelled. Meanwhile hypocritically Lego has been profiting off sets depicting combat with the thin justification that it’s ‘fictional’, and the community at large is eating it up.

  27. Dave

    Nice to see that some Germans, even when speaking for “peace” act true to their roots. Lego badly needs a leadership shakeup, if they cave in to a fringe group like this. Makes me wonder if the Christiansen family worked for the Germans when they occupied Denmark during WW2. Pathetic.

  28. MaffyD

    Some of the replies on here also make me wonder about some AFOLs ability to get too upset about a Lego set. Lego has a strict policy of not producing any modern military vehicles. This is a modern military vehicle (even if it doesn’t have guns). If other organisations which are not military use this vehicle then Lego can say it is explicitly that version. But they can’t do that here. So they can’t release it. It’s a bit of a shame because it looks quite good, but no point fussing over it.

    And those who liken this situation to historical military vehicles, or the fantasy combat of superheroes and Star Wars need to get a bit of perspective.

    Finally, to the people who are having a go at a German group who want to foster peace – I am very disappointed in you.

  29. BYOL

    @MaffyD – the same can be said about those protesting against a toy. The policy you quote is not as strict as you make it out. And even though the protest took advantage of the written rule, the group’s main goal – cutting ties between Lego and Boeing has not been accomplished.
    In fact Lego has exposed inconsistencies in their practices, not due to fictional or historical vehicles, but because they’ve already produced several modern military aircraft sets. Anyone pointing out that those were not licensed, is ignoring the fact that Lego didn’t quote the licensing deal contributing to the cancellation. In fact, what they did previously was the same as this time – they themed them as something different.
    So what did actually the German group accomplish, other than getting a toy cancelled, and by their own admission – unintentionally ? Boeing will still get their cut and Lego will likely to continue licensing with them.

  30. Nathan

    I understand people who were looking forward to this being upset. But the whole “go woke go broke” sentiment is nonsense. This set really is an anomaly. Anyone who has worked for Lego or watched a documentary or two would know that Lego has always opposed making sets of military assets. They’ve made exceptions for historically significant air craft from generations ago, and they also have IPs like Star Wars with fictional, fantastical, and sanitized forms of warfare or violence. They’ve toed the line with some sets that are clearly based on actual military hardware, though modified and depicted in non-military roles.

    In the end, this is all to do about nothing. Lego is a business and it clearly sees more value in scrapping the set than selling it. This set really should never been made. I don’t mean that I don’t want it to be made. I think it’s a cool design and set. But it is out of character for Lego to produce something like this, and especially licensing it from a manufacturer who builds military equipment.

  31. Ivan Angeli

    people made an outcry about the vehicle with no military markings and no weapons, but ar ok that other sets are packed in plastic bags that end up in our oceans once the set is opened – truthfully, some people collect bricks, some boxes, but only few, if any, colect empti plastic set bags

    But that is ok. Yet a toy helicopter is not.
    The isues is not that people demand it, the issue is that TLG allows it. If you can;t please everyone – do the right thing, the moral and socially responsible one.

  32. The Spartan-Sangheili

    good news, retailers who already have the set in stock can sell them but will not be restocked once sold out

  33. Exxos

    Like cosmocaos said, it’s that IT IS LICENSED. Part of the money from the sales of this set is going to a war machine supplier. This set would essentially be lining the pockets of the makers of machines of war. Even if you argue that this Osprey is in non-military colors and is a rescue craft, it’s still money going to a company that is making other machines for war.

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