lifestyle

Toy 'arms race' turning Lego violent: study

14 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2016 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
Login to comment

An unfortunate sign of the times ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am guessing a lot of this growth though is just attributable to all the movie tie ups the article mentions, like Star Wars, etc which mostly feature characters carrying weapons? When I go to the toy store these days I see those ones, but then the sets not specifically tied to movie franchises (city buildings, cars, boats, trains, etc) seem about as benign and peaceful as the ones I remember playing with when I was a kid.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Tempest in a teapot. LEGO is a great toy. With enough time & talent (and enough bricks) you really can build anything.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Weapons and such are just props for the toy. To be fair, I have noticed a ton of new props appearing that never were around when I was a kid in the 80s.

Bought my kids a Frozen set and was very surprised to see things like food items, jewlery and other girly stuff.

So, perhaps it isnt so much that there are more weapons, but just more things for the lego people to "use"?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Lego's are still fun, just people need to not let their little ones play with electronic devices as much. Just today I was sitting at home and could hear the kids "Playing" outside. They weren't playing on the swings or tag, sports, or jump rope. They were playing "Minecraft" on their smart phones that their parents gave them and couldn't have been more than 5-6 years old. So much for playing outside huh?

Legos are a free range toy, you can make anything out of them and are only limited by your imagination. Parent's just need to get a better grip on how their kids "play" so that some time can be split playing away from a digital screen. Even as an avid gamer myself, there are still days I go skating, or fishing, or just go to the park for a walk. Because when I was younger and smartphones didn't exist, I couldn't always be sitting in front of a screen and had to go and do something else to entertain myself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't have an issue with the guns per se, because even when I was a kid back in ye olden days, my Lego kits came with gun bits on them. What I'm worried about is the cross marketing. Admittedly, it's been hugely successful for Lego, but it may have undermined their biggest strength.

When I was a kid and I wanted to build a Transformer or a superhero, I had to figure out how to do it myself. Now kids just buy the kit and follow the instructions. I get the feeling we're discouraging curiosity and encouraging conformity by making so many "official" kits for all the IPs kids want to buy - not to mention encouraging them to conform their creative play to pre-existing and marketable IPs.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Good point Katsu78, and this is where parents need to be informed consumers so they can select the best set for their kids. There are still plenty of sets available that are more "generic" (which is to say not tied to a specific theme or film) that allow for more 'free form' play and construction.

It is also worth considering just who if purchasing these sets. Many are older collectors who will build the Death Star or the Avenger Tower and then put its on display. For kids, they might also build a pre-designed firetruck or castle, but once they start playing with it these items will rarely remain as built.

There is a book, Extreme Bricks by Sarah Herman c2013, that catalogs just what one can build with Lego, and the photos are simply amazing. It proves that with enough time & talent (and bricks) you really can build anything. There are other books on this very topic and they might serve to inspire young engineers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No big deal. Lego isn't turning violent. I once saw some kids playing a video game called GTA (grand theft auto). It was beyond violent.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No big deal. Lego isn't turning violent. I once saw some kids playing a video game called GTA (grand theft auto). It was beyond violent.

Well, lets just hope the Danes don't keep ripping us off. Geesh;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@katsu You raise a good point, but the instruction manuals have come with Lego's for a very long time. I had a large bucket, a couple of small sets, and a couple of vehicle sets, all came with various instruction sets, and that was thirty years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this is the dumbest article I've ever read. LEGO "turning violent"... Just last month I visited a Lego Center here in Osaka and was amazed by the diversity of the bricks these days, now the kids have not only pirates and cities but Simpsons, Batman, Superman, etc... such a fulfilling toy when it's you the creator of your own world. I will definitely start playing again with Lego when I have a kid. But please don't take the "weapons" away, don't turn it into playmobil.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's not the fact that the Eurpoean Middle Ages had European weapons. It's not the fact that many cowboys had guns. It's not the fact that a major plot device in Star Wars is STOPPING the planet-destroying weapon. No. It's all that Lego, while making toys emulating ideas which had weapons DARED TO INCLUDE THE WEAPONS!!!!! LEGO IS EVIL!!!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have no doubt ultra violent video games, internet access etc can influence kids' behaviour but Lego, give me a break.

Those of us who grew up in the 80s will recall 'playing/fighting' with their bro/sis using toy cars, lego, playmobil, toy planes, tennis balls, footballs etc. Literally anything was a 'weapon' when we wanted it to be a weapon. That's what you do when you are a kid.

30-40 years on we are 'model citizens'! (bar the weird fetishes some of us have i.e. stealing shoes, undies, raincoats etc but that's a different story. Probably catalogues related)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Grant ChesleyMAY. 25, 2016 - 01:18AM JST @katsu You raise a good point, but the instruction manuals have come with Lego's for a very long time. I had a large bucket, a couple of small sets, and a couple of vehicle sets, all came with various instruction sets, and that was thirty years ago.

You appear to be misunderstanding me. I'm not saying instruction manuals are the problem, I'm saying officially-licensed kits are the problem, a symptom of which can be seen in that more manuals are provided for the kinds of IP tie-ins that kids want to build.

When I was a kid, there were 3 lego "genres", if you will: Town, Castle, and Space. All came with instructions to build Lego's internally-designed kits. But since I didn't watch Lego on TV back then or read Lego comic books, I wanted to build stuff from the media I consumed as a childhood. That means I had to use my brain to figure out how to turn my space monorail or my police station or my castle into a Star Wars ship or a Transformer or a submarine or whatever I was interested in at the time. That last step is increasingly disappearing the more Lego ties in with other IPs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites