BrickArms Controversy in Mainstream Media

It would seem that BrickArms has garnered international attention. The article “Lego-Style Islamic Terrorist Figurine Sparks Outrage” appears on Fox News and similar articles appear in a number of other sources; see Google News report for the story for more.

The gist of it is that one of the “bad guy” kits that BrickArms sells has pissed off some Islamic organizations in Britain, who’ve raised a stink about it. BrickArms calls the kit “Bandit — Mr. White” without any implication that it’s an Islamic terrorist, but the Ninja-style headwrap it comes with, combined with a substantial arsenal of weapons, does remind some peole at least of a stereotypical Islamic terrorist.

The article quotes a source at LEGO disclaiming any endorsement of BrickArms, saying “The LEGO Group is committed to developing toys which enrich childhood by encouraging imaginative and creative play — and does not endorse products that do not fit with this philosophy.” They’re implying that BrickArms are not encouraging imaginative and creative play which sounds like pretty strong words. While I’m not a fan of the BrickArms and BrickForge products personally, I would not go so far as to say they don’t encourage imaginative and creative play!

It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out. There’s a saying in Hollywood that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right” and if that’s true, BrickArms is sure to have a big boost in sales. On the other hand, I wonder if LEGO’s lawyers might decide to send them some kind of cease and desist order if enough bad publicity is sent their way…

Via Dr. Miniman on Flickr in the Flickr LEGO group.

2 thoughts on “BrickArms Controversy in Mainstream Media”

  1. Brickarms owner Will Chapman told me that both they and their UK retailer sold out of ALL the minifigs they had in stock (not just Osama) within 24 hours of the story….

  2. Didn’t Lego shelf Agents right about the time this “controversy” broke? Wouldn’t that toy line feature terrorists bad guys that Heroes battle? Arguements about the intent or legitimacy of the Bandit figure asside, it’s kind of ballsy for Lego to take the high ground on this while simultaniously packing boxes full of terrorists.

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