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Lego acquiring Bricklink - Problem with 3D-printed parts?

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LEGO's stance may indeed be more nuanced than Ms Goldin's answers suggest, and have no doubt that LEGO have real reasons for wanting to avoid depictions of violence or warfare, but I don't buy the line of reasoning that you outline.

The usual line of argument against representations of violence in the toy market is the desire to avoid normalising violence in the lives of young people and children by avoiding violent elements in children's play, and this is a laudable and wholly defensible position with which I have no issue. Where I find LEGO's position to be hypocritical is the distinction it seems to be drawing between historical or fantasy violence and warfare and real or recent violence and warfare, where one is OK but the other is not.

The Star Wars film franchise clearly champions a highly moralistic message where good always triumphs over evil, even when greatly outnumbered, and the baddie gets his comeuppance (usually killed). But this triumph usually comes as the result of a show of force where one side engages the other in violent warfare with a horrific body count, although this outcome is usually not shown. LEGO clearly has no issue with this and is happy to enthusiastically support the theme. The little cynical voice at the back of my head would say that this is because it nets them an enormous pile of cash whereas BrickArms selling custom parts through Bricklink is only going to earn them tuppence ha'penny and is, therefore, an easy target.

Now I will concede that fantasy warfare is easier to frame in terms of it's morality where real warfare is clearly morally ambiguous, but in what other way is fantasy warfare different from real warfare in terms of introducing elements of violence into children's play and what effect does this have on them? I have previously been involved with a project that sent shoeboxes containing gifts to children in developing nations at Christmas, and the policy there was that nothing related to warfare or violence was permitted whatsoever, including fantasy themes.

Lets be clear. None of this is going to affect AFOLs nor, as has been said, the availability of custom parts through one portal or another, and neither is it going to change my own buying or building habits nor my enthusiasm as an AFOL. What rankles is the inconsistency in the application of and the justification behind the policy.

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5 hours ago, Hod Carrier said:

LEGO's stance may indeed be more nuanced than Ms Goldin's answers suggest, and have no doubt that LEGO have real reasons for wanting to avoid depictions of violence or warfare, but I don't buy the line of reasoning that you outline.

The usual line of argument against representations of violence in the toy market is the desire to avoid normalising violence in the lives of young people and children by avoiding violent elements in children's play, and this is a laudable and wholly defensible position with which I have no issue. Where I find LEGO's position to be hypocritical is the distinction it seems to be drawing between historical or fantasy violence and warfare and real or recent violence and warfare, where one is OK but the other is not.

The Star Wars film franchise clearly champions a highly moralistic message where good always triumphs over evil, even when greatly outnumbered, and the baddie gets his comeuppance (usually killed). But this triumph usually comes as the result of a show of force where one side engages the other in violent warfare with a horrific body count, although this outcome is usually not shown. LEGO clearly has no issue with this and is happy to enthusiastically support the theme. The little cynical voice at the back of my head would say that this is because it nets them an enormous pile of cash whereas BrickArms selling custom parts through Bricklink is only going to earn them tuppence ha'penny and is, therefore, an easy target.

Now I will concede that fantasy warfare is easier to frame in terms of it's morality where real warfare is clearly morally ambiguous, but in what other way is fantasy warfare different from real warfare in terms of introducing elements of violence into children's play and what effect does this have on them? I have previously been involved with a project that sent shoeboxes containing gifts to children in developing nations at Christmas, and the policy there was that nothing related to warfare or violence was permitted whatsoever, including fantasy themes.

Lets be clear. None of this is going to affect AFOLs nor, as has been said, the availability of custom parts through one portal or another, and neither is it going to change my own buying or building habits nor my enthusiasm as an AFOL. What rankles is the inconsistency in the application of and the justification behind the policy.

I think even Star Wars might not be the best example. What about, say, the Black Knights vs. the Dragon Knights? They're clearly fighting each other, but - aside from one faction wearing black (oOoooOOOoooo, not black!) - it's not really obvious that anyone's a bad guy. In fact, for at least half of its existence, the castle theme has been about realistically morally indistinguishable factions fighting and (presumably) killing each other (because why else would they need castles and catapults and swords, etc?); nobody is obviously bad or obviously good - they're just men motivated by the vagaries of medieval society to take what they need by force of arms. Even the woodsmen theme is ridiculous in this manner - are the woodsmen really the good guys? Or are they just thieves that the king is trying to quell? And, if the woodsmen are good, why are the wolfpack generally portrayed as chaotic or evil?

What I am driving at is: if nobody in many of the castle themes is evil, how is one side killing the other "okay" in Lego's worldview of peace conquering all? That seems a little too real... a little too murder-y... a little too much like exactly the sort of warfare that they claim to have transcended. 

I personally do not believe in hiding many of the realities of the world from children - what isn't learned at home will be picked up on the playground, regardless. And Lego's portrayal of combat is, universally, pretty soft stuff (even a large portion of the swords are rounded at the ends). But it's absolutely ridiculous that this company that has downright gloried in combat-themed sets since I was a small child believes that it can lecture anyone regarding violence. People being stabbed with swords and hit with flails might not be real in today's world, but it was very, very real for the people getting bludgeoned, and to act like that kind of killing is somehow "okay" when getting gunned down by your assault rifle flavor of choice isn't, is ludicrous.

I love Lego, but let's call a spade a spade: they love war, and they love the profit it brings in.

Edited by SteamSewnEmpire

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It is not always black and white. There are many shades of grey in the world of business decisions (at least 4 with LEGO®).  The decisions are made by people and different people at different times depending on how they are structured and authority delegated.  Consistency can be all over the map like some yellow bricks.    It's just business...Lord Business as President Business likes to say in the LEGO® Movie.   :pir-classic:

 

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17 hours ago, Hod Carrier said:

I don’t think anyone else has used the word, but I shall. If LEGO is going to ban BrickArms custom items from Bricklink due to the association with warfare and violence, such action would be hypocritical.

I don't think it is anything to do with warfare. I think LEGO will ban brickarms custom items from bricklink because they are not LEGO. Why have non-LEGO on an official LEGO site? And in that sense they should ban all custom made items, whether they are guns, cloaks or train track.

I guess we'll have to wait and see what this really means. Are they just removing the brickarms section from the catalogue, or are they going to stop all customs from being listed as using the "custom item" . After all, you can still have custom items made from genuine LEGO (so for example, a monochrome figure, or a job lot of cheap figures or a 1kg bag of unsorted parts).

 

23 hours ago, M_slug357 said:

Would it be possible to start something now, through the EuroBricks forum? I’m thinking of a setup similar to Facebook’s Marketplace...

Something like that has been here for years ...

https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/forum/16-buy-sell-trade-and-finds/

 

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3 hours ago, dr_spock said:

It is not always black and white

Hee hee.

Be careful: I said that once in a lecture at UC Irvine - phew. There were African American folks as well as - well - what are they called (politically correct)? Non-African American folks? Caucasian? Asian? Etc. pp. As if that matters, but when they told me I was Caucasian, I thought sh*t - that is bad ...

So much for the political correctness.

Now on with the little plastic guns: It >is< business. If it were not: Why don't they call it quits? The more, the better. The thing is: When you point a minifig gun at - lets say - our cat: She'll get you. There will be at least three - maybe four - seizures, seriously bleeding. Not the point though.

What I would like to hear from TLG is: Yes, we do sell miniature plastic guns. They will never hurt anyone on this planet, provided you don't eat them in bulk. There are real world mock-ups, and they are part of the real world. Have been in the history of man in the past, today, in the future. That is all there is. I want them to just quit the nonsense talk and get real. Heck, they boldly capitalize on this!

And just to make that absolutely sure: I love LEGO. I truly admire the success and creativity of TLG. I believe in the brick. But I don't like to be sh*tted around. That is really all there is!

Best
Thorsten

 

 

 

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I think the confusion comes from the mix up of terms ”violence" and ”war / warefare"


In a 2010 Progress Report, the Lego Group explained its stance on toys and weapons on page 26.


“Guideline for weapons and conflict in LEGO experiences”

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.”

 

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1 hour ago, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

Wow I don't want to know what the giant syringe is for...:devil_laugh:

I was wondering more about the monkey.

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2 hours ago, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

Wow I don't want to know what the giant syringe is for...:devil_laugh:

Dude, even I know what that is. 

I'm confused on what the pitchfork is for.

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3 hours ago, Bludchylde said:

Dude, even I know what that is. 

I'm confused on what the pitchfork is for.

Back scratch fever of course lol

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4 hours ago, splatman said:

I'm more confused over the banana.

It's to feed the monkey, obviously. Thus, we are back to the monkey.

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