LEGO has announced that the upcoming Technic set LEGO Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey’s planned launch on August 1, 2020 is being re-considered.
Here is the official communication from LEGO corporate on this topic:
The LEGO Technic Bell Boeing Osprey V-22 was designed to highlight the important role the aircraft plays in search and rescue efforts.
While our set depicts a rescue version of the plane, the aircraft is predominately used by the military. We have a long-standing policy not to create sets which feature military vehicles and in this case we have not adhered to our own internal guidelines.
As a result, we are currently reviewing our plans to launch this product on August 1.
It’s widely known that LEGO has an unwritten policy to not release recreations of sets based on real life military equipment and realistic weapons. Here is a statement from 2010 on this topic from their business progress report
A large number of LEGO mini figures use weapons and are – assumedly – regularly being charged by each others’ weapons as part of children’s role play. In the LEGO Group, we acknowledge that conflict in play is especially prevalent among 4-9-year-old boys. An inner drive and a need to experiment with their own aggressive feelings in order to learn about other people’s aggressions exist in most children. This, in turn, enables them to handle and recognize conflict in non-play scenarios. As such, the LEGO Group sees conflict play as perfectly acceptable, and an integral part of children’s development.
We also acknowledge children’s well-proven ability to tell play from reality. However, to make sure to maintain the right balance between play and conflict, we have adhered to a set of unwritten rules for several years. In 2010, we have formalized these rules in a guideline for the use of conflict and weapons in LEGO products. The basic aim is to avoid realistic weapons and military equipment that children may recognize from hot spots around the world and to refrain from showing violent or frightening situations when communicating about LEGO products. At the same time, the purpose is for the LEGO brand not to be associated with issues that glorify conflicts and unethical or harmful behavior.
“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.”LEGO
This was a highly anticipated LEGO set, especially for Adult Technic fans, so many will be disappointed with this turn of events. At present, the official communication shows that LEGO is just reviewing the launch date and not explicitly cancelling it, which is the proper thing to do at this point in time. Let us wait for any further announcements on this topic.
*At the time of publishing, it seems that the set has been pulled out from all LEGO Shop@Home listings.