An American Boeing-Bell V-22 Osprey. - JEREMY / SIPA DUPLATE

Lego is backing up. The Danish toy maker announced Thursday the abandonment of a model inspired by a military Boeing, after being accused of flouting its own pledge not to market toys based on "existing military vehicles".

The release of the toy, initially scheduled for August 1, was disrupted by a campaign launched by the German NGO Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft ("The German Society for Peace"), accusing the Danish manufacturer of having betrayed "its own principles".

An aircraft for strictly military use

“Although the toy clearly represents a version of the device that would be dedicated to rescue, this plane is strictly military,” Lego admitted on Thursday in a statement to AFP. “It has long been our policy not to make toys that imitate existing military vehicles. We have therefore decided not to launch this product, ”continues the Danish group, whose famous plastic bricks date back to the 1950s.

The aircraft concerned, an American Boeing-Bell V-22 Osprey, is distinguished by its ability to tilt its rotors vertically, between airplane and helicopter.

LEGO Technic 42113 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Helicopter has been canceled after stock has already been dispatched to retailers, just 10 days before its official release date #LEGO

- Brick Fanatics (@BrickFanatics) July 21, 2020

Lego pointed out that the military aspect had been toned down: the discontinued model was presented in orange hues, "to underline the important role the device plays in search and rescue."

"Lego exceeded our expectations"

The Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft did not hide its surprise at the success of its campaign, when it believed the marketing "inevitable since the sets had already been delivered to the company's retailers".

"Lego has exceeded our expectations," said its director Michael Schulze von Glasser in a statement, reiterating its call to the group to "not cooperate with suppliers of weapons and to no longer design military toys of this type to the future ".

In 2018, Boeing was the world's second-largest arms production company in terms of sales, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).


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