BRICKS OR BOMBS?

WHICH ARMS COMPANIES LEGO® WORKS WITH
WHAT WAR TOYS LEGO® PRODUCES
HOW LEGO® BETRAYS ITS OWN PRINCIPLES [layouted PDF]

 

 

LEGO® TECHNIC 42113 BELL OSPREY BOEING HELICOPTER
Pieces: 1.636
Price: 129,99 Euro
Released: August 2020
License: Boeing®/Bell/Textron®
Other: Due to licensing from Boeing®/Bell/Textron® there is currently no alternative B-model for the „Osprey“-Set. Other LEGO®-Sets are available in B-models without licensed gadgets.

LEGO®S FIRST REAL MILITARY VEHICLE
In 2019 alone, the „LEGO® Group“ raked 5.2 Billion Euro (38.5 Billion Danish Krones) in revenue globally – a record total.[1] The net profit for 2019 was 1.1 billion Euro for the Company headquartered in Billund, Denmark.[2] Holding 6.76 Billion US-Dollar in assets, LEGO® is by far the most valuable toy company globally.[3] LEGO owns 570 shops and plans to open another 150.[4] It has been found to be the best brand in Germany, according to one YouGov study with consumers (evaluating Quality, Satisfaction, Reputation and Recommendability). Hence, LEGO® had been awarded „brand of the year“.[5] LEGO®s success is built upon this very positive image.[6]
Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, Grandson to LEGO® founder Ole Kirk Christiansen and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1979 to 2004, formulated his vision in 1978: „Our longterm aim is for the consumer to see the name LEGO as synonymous with a company which manufactures and markets creative quality toys which promote the personal development of children of all ages.“[7]
To this day, LEGO® states as its mission: „Children are our vital concern“ as their homepage lets you know.[8] Related to this are some corporate principles aiming to contribute to the UN „Sustainable Development Goals“[9] (SDGs).[10] Additionally LEGO® drafted their own sustainability and responsibility goals.[11] In 2010 LEGO® laid out its principles towards arms and the military, stating in its progress report: „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.“[12]
However, LEGO® seems to abandon this policy now: At the Nuremberg Toy Fair in January 2020 the company announced to release the „LEGO® Technic 42113 Bell Osprey Boeing Helicopter“ set this upcoming August. The set is to be released for 129,99 Euro (recommended retail price).[13] This marks LEGO®s first model of a military vehicle currently in use. LEGO® even collaborates with real arms companies. But what is all this about?

THE REAL LIFE PROTOTYPE FOR THE LEGO®-MODEL
The new LEGO® model is based on an actual tilt rotor aircraft in use by the US military since 2007 under the official label „Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey“. It is a military freight vehicle which can board 24 additional soldiers, complementing the crew of two to four.[14] The „Osprey“ has vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) capabilities. The maiden flight of this technologically sophisticated aircraft was already back in 1989.[15] Its tilt rotor gives the military a flexible field use of the „Osprey“ which can speed up to 500 km/h – about twice as fast as the average helicopter.[16] The tilt rotor technology of the „Osprey“ is so far a unique development. The Italian arms company „Leonardo“ has announced a civilian tilt rotor vehicle to be released soon.[17]

 


US Marines „V-22 Osprey“ during a missile-firing-practice.

 

The „Osprey“ is constructed by „Bell Helicopter“, a subsidiary company of the mixed-industries corporation Textron®, and by „Boeing Defense, Space & Security“, the arms production branch of the well known Boeing® Aircraft Corporation. According to data from the „Stockholm International Peace Research Institute“ (SIPRI) Boeing® was the second largest arms company globally in 2018 (after Lockhead Martin), with an arms sales total of 26.08 Billion Euro (29.15 Billion US-Dollar).[18] Apart from the „Osprey“, the arms branch of the aircraft company also produces fighter jets (e.g. „F/A-18“ and „F-15 Eagle“), attack helicopters (e.g. „AH-64 Apache“), bombs (e.g. „GBU-39/B“) and rockets (e.g. „AGM-114 Hellfire“).[19] These arms are mainly used by the US-military but have also been sold to states such as Saudi Arabia[20] – which then used this Boeing® weaponry in the war on Yemen. [21] According to research by „Human Rights Watch“ at least 97 civilians – 25 children among them – were killed on 15th March 2016 in the bombing of a local market in the village Mastaba by the Saudi-led military coalition. Arms used in this attack were the satellite-operated „GBU-31“-bombs with a Boeing® Upgrade named „Joint Direct Attack Munition“ (JDAM).[22] There are numerous examples for the illegal deployment and the harm to human rights done by Boeing® arms. The Boeing® Portfolio also lists nuclear weapons such as the „LGM-30G Minuteman III“-Intercontinental rockets.[23] The US-arms company is a contractor to the type „B61“ nuclear weapons, which are also stationed in Büchel/Germany.[24]
In 2018 Textron® with its Bell® aerial construction line and a revenue of 3.18 billion EURO (3.5 billion US dollar) has been ranked 27th in the „Top 100 Arms and Military Service Industry"-report by SIPRI.[25] Bell® also produces attack helicopters such as the „AH-1Z Viper“ as well as other freight helicopters.[26] The weapons of Bell/Textron® are mostly sold to the US military, as they have often been developed at the request of the US military. For a long time Textron® was one of the largest producers of cluster munition, which had been used in the 2003 Iraq War and have been exported to India, Saudi-Arabia or the UAE as recently as 2011.[27] Only after a US administrative export ban on cluster munition to Saudi-Arabia due to protests by civil society (e.g. Amnesty International) in 2016, Textron® stopped producing their cluster munition.[28] Textron, however, remained unapologetic about their production.[29]
The tilt rotor aircraft „V-22 Osprey“ reproduced by LEGO® has been developed for different branches of the US-military. These branches of the military are also the prime customer of Textron®. As of October 2019, 375 „Ospreys“ are in use in the US military, having gathered a total of more than 500.000 hours in the air.[30] The costs per piece for the „Osprey“ are approximately 60 million Euro (75 million US-Dollar).[31] The tilt rotor aircraft is thus twice as expensive as the tandem motorised heavy freight helicopter „Boeing CH-47 Chinook“, costing 34,6 million Euro (38,6 million US-Dollar) a piece.[32] The high costs for the „Osprey“ are an export hindrance: Only Japan has ordered a total of 17 „Ospreys“ for its military, which will be delivered until 2022.[33] Even though the US administration freed the way for the Israeli Army to obtain six machines in 2012, hoping for estimated 12 pieces to be ordered, the deal was halted due to the high costs. In February 2020 the deal was cancelled altogether.[34]
Other reasons for the bad sales of the aircraft might be found in the somewhat muddied reputation: Even though the aircraft has a lot of military advantages due to its tilting rotors, the “Osprey” is prone to errors and accidents. The time for development alone points to this: Since the first flight in 1989 it has taken until 2007 to introduce the aircraft to the market. 30 people involved in the development died in crashes[35] and since its marketisation 12 people have died in accidents involving an “Osprey”.[36] Multiple machines have been lost entirely in crashes or accidents. In 2016 the US military temporarily grounded all its „Ospreys“ stationed in Japan after a crash near the coast of Okinawa, where the aircraft broke into multiple pieces.[37] Despite all these issues, the „Osprey“ is widely used in the US forces and is said to play an even bigger role in the future.

 

Door gunner with machine gun at the rear of a „V-22 Osprey“.

 

The back ramp of the „Osprey“ allows to mount a .50 or .30 caliber machine gun. In Afghanistan, there have been altercations between US-„Ospreys“ and the Taliban.[38]  According to US military plans, the tilt rotor airplane will be armed with laser directed „Hydra 2.75inch“ rockets in the future.[39] US journalist and military expert Kris Osborn remarked that the „Osprey“ looked more like a “flying tank” than a helicopter, when talking about the heavy armament.[40] There have also been tests with the „Osprey“ being armed with „AGM-176 Griffin“-air-to-surface-missiles.[41] Additionally, British arms manufacturer „BAE Systems“ have developed a 360° „GAU-17, 7.62mm mini-gun“ for the rump of the “Osprey”.[42] The „United States Marine Corps“ (USMC) is said to have equipped half its fleet of “Ospreys” stationed in Afghanistan with the system (also known as “Interim Defense Weapon System”-IDWS) by June 2012.[43] The Unit is said to have a capacity of 32 aircraft armed with the IDWS.[44] Even though the military would like to mount the weapon on more airplanes, this would seriously limit its freight capacities.[45] Boeing®/Bell/Textron® also see a problem in the relatively weak armour of the aircraft if it were to be used more offensively.[46] In any case, the „Osprey“ will be used more offensively in wars in the future. This is underlined by the observation of who uses this aircraft.
The LEGO®-„Osprey“ will be released in a dark grey color with orange highlights[47] – which is the variant used by the „United States Marine Corps“. The „Marine Corps“ is one of the most offensive military branches of the US armed forces: „As America's expeditionary force in readiness since 1775, the U.S. Marines are forward deployed to win our Nation’s battles swiftly and aggressively in times of crisis. We fight on land, sea and air, as well as provide forces and detachments to naval ships and ground operations“, the website of the Corps reads.[48]

 

A „V-22 Osprey“ with mounted „GAU-17, 7.62mm mini-gun“ with aiming device.

 

The „Osprey“ is deployed to almost all larger US military engagements: e.g. with the USMC in Iraq since 2007 and in Afghanistan since 2009.[49] The „U.S. Air Force“ has used the aircraft in the war in Syria.[50] Even the „U.S. Navy“ has some „Osprey“ aircrafts. The spectrum of operations ranges from „Air Assault“ to transport flights from and to aircraft carriers, to „VIP transport“, airbound refuelling operations and evacuation missions.[51] The freight carrier has also been used in humanitarian aid missions. The „Ospreys“ help to sustain military operations by medical support to the troops.[52]
Due to its V/STOL property and high velocity the US often uses the “Osprey” for raids. One such mission which caused public outcry in January 2014 took place in a village in the southwest of Yemen and is since known as the „Raid on Yakla“[53] : 40 US-Navy SEALS from the „Naval Special Warfare Development Group“ (aka „SEAL Team Six“) were flown in to the village of al-Ghayil to acquire information about activities of “Al-Quaida on the Arabic Peninsula” and to search for the leader of the group.[54] One of the „Ospreys“ collided during the landing because of a rotor failure and was subsequently destroyed.[55] The raid escalated and saw a toll of 14 extremists (not the local head of Al-Quaida) and one US soldier dead.[56] Only through research undertaken by „Human Rights Watch“ the deaths of 14 civilians – amongst them nine children – by US fire were made public.[57] None of the children was older than 13 years.[58]

HOW LEGO® VIOLATES ITS OWN PRINCIPLES
Now the Danish producer of interlocking plastic bricks, LEGO®, will release the „Osprey“ as a licensed model – a novelty since LEGO® has never produced any military devices which are currently in use. LEGO®, however, is no novice with the military. The very successful „StarWars“ sets of the company do have „war“ already in their name – ranging from „Star Destroyers“ to „Death Stars“, tanks, drones and foot soldiers the LEGO® sets which allowed to reenact the fictive movie battles. The same goes for the „Lord of the Rings“-models. The 2008 „LEGO® Indiana Jones 7622 Race for the Stolen Treasure“ set even included German Wehrmacht soldiers (without sovereignty batches) together with a jeep equipped with a machine gun. Russian military personnel also appear in the licensed LEGO®-sets of the “Indiana Jones” Franchise (now owned by the “Disney” corporation). In 2002 the toy manufacturer released the „10024 Roter Baron“ set. This „Sculptures“-set modeled the „Fokker Dr. I“, a triplane from the German Reichs Army. It was flown in World War I by Manfred von Richthofen, who is now controversially debated by historians.[59] The real Fokker Dr. I killed dozens of people. In 2001 LEGO® released the „counterpart“ to the German „Fokker Dr. I“ – the „Sopwith Camel“. It was a British fighter jet used in World War I as well. This LEGO® model which is not dedicated to a specific pilot is equipped with two machine gun arrays similar to its original model. In 2012 a larger and more detailed version of the „Sopwith Camel“ was released as set number „10226“ as well as a mini version as set number „40049-1“.


LEGO® has models of historical military vehicles in its program, such as the „Sopwith Camel“ (10226).

 

Similarly, the „Osprey“ is not the first LEGO® set to be produced in cooperation with Boeing®. 2006 the officially licensed set „LEGO® 10177 Boeing 787 Dreamliner“ was released in the „Sculptures“ series. However, this large model of a civilian Boeing®-aircraft remained an exception for LEGO®. So far, LEGO® seems not to have had a general Boeing® license: many of its civilian aircrafts and military jets and helicopters (since 2020) are produced by Polish LEGO® competitor COBI®.[60]
What is new, however, with the „LEGO® Technic 42113 Bell Osprey Boeing Helicopter“-set and what makes this a novelty in the company’s history, is the modelling of a military vehicle currently in operation. Additionally, it is a formally licensed set by the original producers, Boeing® and Bell/Textron®. Here, LEGO® clearly violates its own corporate principles. This could not only have consequences for the company’s public image.
As outlined in the introduction LEGO® has formulated its own vision and therefore participates in international initiatives striving for sustainability. This contributes massively to the public image. In its last Responsibility and Sustainability Report for 2018 LEGO® proudly refers to its commitment to the UN „Sustainable Development Goals“[61] :

„In 2003, we became the first toy company to join the United Nations Global Compact – the world’s largest corporate social responsibility initiative – and remain committed to this universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and to ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.“[62]

Therefore we problematize the inherent conflict of a commitment to the „Sustainable Development Goals“ on the one hand and the production and modelling of military equipment as toys on the other hand.
Following its Sustainability Report, LEGO® sees its impact especially in the areas of „Quality Education“ (Goal 4), „Responsible consumption and production“ (Goal 12), „Climate Action“ (Goal 13) and „Partnership for the goals“ (Goal 17). At least Goals 4 and 13 are in contradiction to the production of a set like the licensed „Osprey“ model: The military hinders children to grow up in a safe environment where they could go to school and get a good education – especially if the military is deployed in offensive campaigns, like the ones which the tilt rotor aircraft is often involved in.[63]
The Sustainability Report 2018 also informs about large donations by LEGO® to support refugee children in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. It is in stark contradiction to those donations that these children would have to flee wars (in Syria or Iraq) which are fought with weapons from Boeing® and Bell/Textron® - not only the „V-22 Osprey“ – with which LEGO® now cooperates.

 

The „V-22“ is used by the US Army in numerous foreign missions as an (armed) transport vehicle.

 

Lastly, climate change is fueled by the military, not prevented by the military. The fuel usage of the US military alone causes more emissions than Portugal, Sweden and Denmark combined.[64] The 1997 Kyoto-Protocol purposefully left out the military which allows it to produce emissions free of any regulations.[65] Additionally, emissions passively resulting from military operations, such as the destruction and reconstruction of infrastructure will have to be added as well. LEGO®‘s proclamations and goals in the area of environmental and climate protection are in contradiction with its partnerships with the arms manufacturers: Military vehicles such as the „Osprey“ add to the rapid climate change.
LEGO® has fixed those principles and values in multiple documents. Aside from the periodic Repsonsibility and Sustainability Reports, they reappear in the LEGO® „Ideas“ program. LEGO® „Ideas“ was started in Japan in 2008 and expanded globally in 2011.[66]
The LEGO®-Website reads: „If you are over 13 years old then LEGO Ideas is where you can find thousands of fun LEGO ideas that could become real LEGO products in the future. They have been designed by LEGO fans from all over the world and include lots of amazing models like vehicles, futuristic space stations and well-known scenes from famous movies. Flip through all the awesome models, and if you are 13 years old (and over) you can vote for your favorite ones. If an idea gets 10,000 votes within a certain amount of time, it will be judged by a LEGO review panel and could become a real product that you will find in your local LEGO store.“[67] Each year, some of those fan sets are released with slight changes as official LEGO® sets. The fan ideas have to follow a rule book: apart from the age of the submitting person, „Product Ideas related to the topics below do not fit our brand values and will not be approved for publication on LEGO Ideas.“[68] Most interesting among those criteria are the following three:

„6. Death, killing, blood, terrorism, horror, or torture
7. […]
8. Warfare or war vehicles in any modern or present-day situation, or national war memorials
9. Large or human-scale weapons or weapon replicas of any kind, including swords, knives, guns, sci-fi or fantasy blasters, etc.“[69]

Since the „Osprey“ from Boeing®/Bell/Textron® is a currently active weapon system, LEGO® violates its own „brand values” with this model. This model of a tilt rotor aircraft reproduces a modern weapon system which has been involved in deadly operations. If LEGO® were to propose the „Osprey“ model in its own „Ideas“ program, it would be ruled out.
The 2008 LEGO® „Brand Framework“ formulates four main aspects: The pledge to the game: Enjoy the puzzle and take pride in your own creation; The partner pledge: Mutual appreciation; The planetary pledge: Positive impact on the planet; The pledge to humankind: Joint success.[70] This „mission and vision“ has officially not changed since then – but the company has. In 2019 LEGO® started to cater to so called „adult fans of Lego“ (AFOLs). This is not planned as a large shift in company strategy[71] and has so far only resulted in some “18+“ age notifications on the packaging (for sets released from 2020) – the prior “top age” was 16. 18+ is used e.g. with the „Wall Art“ models of 2020: Those are LEGO® sets with motives such as „Beatles“ (31198) and „Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe“ (31197)[72] . It appears not to be a youth protection measure but a marketing gag to approach a certain target group.
Other than the german age rating system „Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle“ (USK) for age limits on video games or the „Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle“ for age limits on films, those on the LEGO® packaging are not mandatory at all. It is no more than a voluntary age recommendation by LEGO® itself, to consider the „abilities“ of the (rather young) fanbase of LEGO®.[73]  After prior „+18“ hints at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, the „Osprey“ will now only be labelled with a „+11“ age label according to the catalogue for the second half of 2020. The target group for those military toys therefore seems to be kids. They remain the prime target group for the Danish company.
This is further illustrated by statements from just this year: During the Corona-Crisis the current CEO of the LEGO Group, Niels B. Christiansen, wrote in an open letter discussing the temporary closing of LEGO® stores: „The health and safety of children and communities worldwide is our top priority.“[74] One is tempted to ask, how this ties with their cooperation with arms companies whose products threaten and kill people in real life. Christiansen continues the letter: „One of our company values is caring.“ How does the cooperation with Boeing®/Bell/Textron® express this care?
In May 2020 LEGO® announced a partnership with the children’s rights organisation „Save the Children“.[75] Does „Save the Children“, who work in the real operation contexts of the „Osprey“ in Iraq and Yemen, know about the cooperation between LEGO® and the arms manufacturers?

 


Boeing® jets of the Saudi Arabian Air Force drop Boeing® bombs over Yemen (Sanaa 2015).

 

In June 2020 LEGO® spoke out about racism following the „Black Lives Matter“ protests in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by four police officers. In a statement on Twitter the company announced donations worth four million US-dollar to organisations supporting black children and funding educational programs against discrimination based on skin colour: „We stand with the black community against racism and inequality“, LEGO® announced in its statement.[76] The wars being fought with weaponry by Boeing® and Bell/Textron® underlie a structural racism: The victims of the „Raid on Yakla“ in Yemen – 14 civilians and 9 children among them – have found no justice. Another incidence, the „Kunduz Massacre“, killing at least 83 civilians after two Boeing® GBU-38 had been dropped by a US F15 fighter jet (produced by Boeing®) on September 4th 2009 due to a military order given by the German general on duty[77] had no negative consequences for the responsible military personnel as well. Those are only two examples of structural racism in incidences where arms from Boeing®/Bell/Textron® have been used. LEGO® torpedoes its own well accepted corporate values and principles with the „Osprey“ set and its cooperation with arms companies.

CONCLUSION: BRICKS OR BOMBS?
Does LEGO® want to risk violating its own principles and harm the long accrued public image? This is the main question with this debate around the new August 2020 „LEGO® Technic 42113 Bell Osprey Boeing Helicopter“ set.
How much more revenue does LEGO® calculate for the sale of such a licensed „Osprey“ instead of producing an alternative non-licensed “close to original” set? Does the financial gain justify the violation of its own moral principles and values? Does this cooperation with a globally active arms manufacturer pay off for a toy company? Are Boeing® and Bell/Textron® really the right partners for LEGO®? Is an „Osprey“ really the “correct“ model for the Danish company producing interlocking plastic bricks?
The „Osprey“ is an aerial vehicle explicitly built for military purposes and helps them – in some instances such as raids – to be realized. The aircraft has been reportedly used in operations such as the „Raid on Yakla“ in which the US soldiers killed nine children amongst others.


RESCUE-stickers aim to transform the military vehicle into a civilian aircraft - a marketing ploy.

 

The plastic version of the „V-22“ seems to have an advertisement effect: Since the acquisition of expensive military equipment is often debated in society and politics (and a tilt rotor aircraft is particularly expensive with 60 million Euro per piece)[78] , to have the aircraft reproduced as a toy could influence the acceptance with tax payers. Military gadgets such as the „Osprey“ do not play any role in the everyday lives of ordinary average LEGO® consumers. If visible in form of a LEGO® model and made alive by an onboard electric motor for some basic functionality, Boeing®/Bell/Textron® can profit not only from licensing but also from a heightened acceptance through the LEGO® model. This can very well be described as „normalised/banal militarism“ influencing civil society.[79] Does the Danish toy company really help to establish a debated but very real military vehicle?
Available images of the „LEGO® Technic 42113 Bell Osprey Boeing Helicopter“ model show small „RESCUE“ lettering on each side of the aircraft: Such a version of the “Osprey” does not exist. Since the lettering will be optional stickers to be used by the consumer (no hard printed LEGO® elements) the criticism of the model does not abate: The „V-22 Osprey“ is a modern military vehicle with no civilian uses known and only helps to support two arms manufacturers.
The “RESCUE” lettering are quite obviously a marketing maneuver to conceal the military character. One user of a LEGO®-Fan-Forum sarcastically remarked: „Looking forward to the B-2 Spirit in aerial firefighter colours” - the B-2 Spirit is the stealth fighter jet of the US military.[80]
The simplest solution to all those issues: LEGO® could simply release a tilt rotor aircraft modelled on the original “Osprey” but with different colouring and somewhat modified features. Since most LEGO® models do not have the degree in necessary detail, copyright infringement can hardly be an issue here – and would kill any argument for licensing. The fun with construction would remain the same and the product would probably even be cheaper since no license fees would have to be priced into the set.
This would not be a novel way for LEGO® but rather reflect current model politics: The 2017 „LEGO® Technic 42066 Air Race Jet“ is a modified copy of the „Lockheed Martin F-35“ fighter jet. The difference to the Osprey model: no licensing and no reference to the military original. The LEGO®-Jet was released in atypical colouring – azure, red, black and additional stickers marking it as a non-military aircraft.


Close to real military jets but still more colourful and without license: The „Air Race Jet“ (42066) from 2017.

 

The 2014 „LEGO® Technic“ set „42025 Cargo Plane“ resembles the German-French military freight airplane „Transall C-160“, but is coloured in white-blue and has no license. The model number „8434“ of 2004 already saw a small tilt rotor aircraft without license in the “Technic”-program-line. The LEGO® „City“-program-line saw a non-license tilt rotor aircraft in 2013 (60021), loosely based on the „Osprey“.
Those models prove the case in point: LEGO® has no need to release a tilt rotor aircraft with licensing from the producer. Models based on real-life examples but with slight changes are easily marketed. LEGO® can react to a somewhat changing market and new consumer groups it wants to target without producing military vehicles or partnering with controversial companies such as Boeing®/Bell/Textron®. Targeting adult consumers does not automatically include the necessity to produce military vehicles or to team up with arms producers. So far LEGO® has done well enough without military gadgets. LEGO® makes profit since 2005 and has annually produced more than one billion Euro in profits since 2015.[81]
Thus the release of the „LEGO® Technic 42113 Bell Osprey Boeing Helicopter“ is economically unnecessary for the Danish toy company and could be detrimental if licensing costs drive the set prices and the public image is damaged due to the cooperation. Most importantly, however, the model violates basic corporate values and principles of LEGO®. LEGO® should consider well if it wants to cooperate with those big arms manufacturers. So far LEGO® has stayed clear of the military, reflected in the basic principles and the decisions with the companies’ top ranks: to work for a peaceful world for children and adults.

 


NOTE
LEGO® has not reacted to multiple registered letters with questions and an invitation for communication. Some of the research into the issue has brought some issues to light, many important issues remain unanswered, however. So far the partnership agreement and license agreements of LEGO® and the two arms producers Boeing®/Bell/Textron® remain secret. Only the partners to the agreement could disclose those documents.

SOURCES & COMMENTS
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[16] N. N.: V-22 OSPREY, in: www.boeing.com.
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[20] N. N.: USA liefern Waffen für 30 Milliarden Dollar an Saudi-Arabien, www.zeit.de, 29. Dezember 2011.
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[27] N. N.: Textron Inc.: Produktion von Streumunition, www.facing-finance.org.
[28] Winkler, Peter: Produktion von Streubomben in den USA eingestellt, in: www.nzz.ch, 3. September 2016.
[29] Hudson, John: Last Remaining U.S. Maker of Cluster Bombs Stops Production, in: foreignpolicy.com, 31. August 2016.
[30] Hernandez, Jay/Swanson, Kelsey: Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Fleet Surpasses 500,000 Flight Hours, in: boeing.mediaroom.com, 7. Oktober 2019.
[31] Schwarz, Karl: Weltweit unterwegs – Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, in: www.flugrevue.de,16. August 2015.
[32] N. N.: Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) – CH-47F, 31. Dezember 2011.
[33] Burke, Matthew M./Kusumoto, Hana: Japan Self-Defense Force plans temporary V-22 Osprey posting in Chiba prefecture starting next summer, in: www.stripes.com, 26. Dezember 2019.
[34] Ahronheim, Anna: It's official: Israel won't be purchasing Boeing's V-22, in: www.jpost.com, 13. Februar 2020.
[35] Berler, Ron: Saving the Pentagon’s Killer Chopper-Plane, in: www.wired.com, 1. Juli 2005.
[36] N. N.: ASN Aviation Safety Database results - V22, in: aviation-safety.net - 14. März 2020.
[37] McCurry, Justin: US grounds Osprey fleet in Japan after aircraft crashes off Okinawa, in: www.theguardian.com, 14. Dezember 2016.
[38] Axe, David: Controversial Marine Tiltrotor Fights Its First Gun Battle, in: www.wired.com, 20. Dezember 2011.
[39] Osborn, Kris: The Marine Corps is trying to turn its V-22 Osprey into a gunship, in: www.businessinsider.com, 25. April 2018.
[40] Osborn, Kris: The U.S. Marines Have Big Plans For the MV-22 Osprey (Flying Tank?), in www.nationalinterest.org, 19. Dezember 2019.
[41] Seck, Hope Hodge: Marines test missiles on V-22 Ospreyin www.marinecorpstimes.com, 16. April 2015.
[42] McBride, Frank: Defense Weapon System (DWS), in: www.baesystems.com.
[43] Sanborn, James K.: Corps seeks better weaponry on Ospreys, in: www.marinecorpstimes.com, 13. Februar 2012.
[44] McCullough, Amy: Ospreys, with boost in firepower, enter Afghanistan, in: Marine Corps Times, 7 Dezember 2009.
[45] Ebenda.
[46] Pawlyk, Oriana: But the rumored addition is still not a done deal, according to Bell-Boeing officials, in: www.military.com, 30. Mai 2018.
[47] Haedicke, Daniel: Spielwarenmesse: Die LEGO Technic Neuheiten 2020 im Detail, in: www.promobricks.de, 29. Januar 2020.
[48] N. N.: Who We Are - OUR PURPOSE - OUR MISSION, in: www.marines.com.
[49] Schanz, Marc V.: V-22s Got Dirty in Anbar, in: airforce-magazine.com, 25. Februar 2009.
[50] Barnes, Julian E./Gorman Siobhan/Entous, Adam: Intelligence gaps crippled mission to rescue hostages, in: www.wsj.com, 5. September 2014.
[51] N. N.: BELL BOEING V-22 OSPREY - Missions, in: www.bellflight.com.
[52] Whittle, Richard: SP-MAGTF Commander Details ISIL Strikes; Notes 1st Marines ‘Could Clear’ Iraq, in: breakingdefense.com 20. Mai 2015.
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[54] Craig, Iona: Death in al Ghayil, in: theintercept.com, 9. März 2017.
[55] N. N.: Zivilisten bei US-Kommandoeinsatz im Jemen getötet, in: www.derstandard.at, 2. Februar 2017.
[56] Emmons, Alex: Pentagon Says 35 Killed in Trump’s First Yemen Raid — More Than Twice as Many as Previously Reported, in: theintercept.com, 20. Dezember 2018.
[57] N. N.: Yemen: US Should Investigate Civilian Deaths in Raid, in: www.hrw.org, 24. Februar 2017.
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[59] N. N.: Eine Legende mit Schrammen, in: www.faz.net, 21. April 2018.
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[67] Ebenda.
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[69] Ebenda.
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[72] Steinmetz, Robert: LEGO Wall Art: Das versteckt sich hinter Projekt Zebra, in: www.promobricks.de, 25. März 2020.
[73] N. N.: Alter, in: www.lego.com.
[74] Christiansen, Niels B.: An open letter from Niels B Christiansen, CEO, The LEGO Group, in: www.lego.com, 18. März 2020.
[75] N. N.: The LEGO Group Collaborates with Save the Children and NITI Aayog to Support Children Impacted by COVID-19 in India, in: www.lego.com, 27. Mai 2020.
[76] N. N.: @LEGO_Group, in: www.twitter.com/LEGO_Group, 3. Juni 2020.
[77] Gebauer, Matthias: Zivile Opfer in Kunduz – Der schwierige Weg zur Entschädigung, in: www.spiegel.de, 8. Dezember 2009.
[78] Shinkman, Paul D.: The V-22 Osprey May Have Climbed out of Controversy, in: www.usnews.com, 29. März 2013.
[79] Vgl. Thomas, Tanja/Virchow, Fabian: Banal Militarism – Zur Veralltäglichung des Militärischen im Zivilen, Bielefeld 2006.
[80] N. N.: 42113 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, in: www.eurobricks.com, 1. Juni 2020.
[81] N. N.: Gewinn der LEGO Group weltweit von 2003 bis 2019, in: statista.com, März 2020.

Pictures (top-down): LEGO®, Bell®, US-Army, BAE Systems®, LEGO®, US-Army, Almigdad Mojalli/VOA, LEGO®, LEGO®

Text: Michael Schulze von Glaßer (svg@dfg-vk.de)
Corrections: Katharina Müller, Felix Werdermann, Thomas Carl Schwoerer
Translation (German-English): David Scheuing
Text deadline: June 30, 2020
Publisher: Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen

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