Don’t know what to get for your kid this Christmas? How about something that is both educational and fun? It will teach him the new realities of the world in a playful manner. I’m kidding of course, but can you imagine the tagline that Lego would have to come up with if this stuff were actually sold in the US.
As one knows, Asian companies are specialists when it comes to counterfeiting products.
However their latest offering does raise some questions. Lego sets with ISIS terrorists went on sale at a local retail store and several e-commerce sites in Asia, but have by now been taken off the shelves after complaints on social media.
Concerns were immediately raised that selling such toys could be interpreted as wanting to praise the terror group.
Online market place Caroussell sold the items for a 48-hour span before taking them offline after complaints from users, as well as a retail store in the People’s Park Centre in Singapore.
The sets were recommended for children between the ages of six and twelve and depicted violent scenes complete with dynamite, AK-47s and a figurine of a decapitated head.
Professor Rohan Gunaratna who heads a group for Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), claimed that the professional look of the toys mean they were being mass produced, which is very worrying indeed as these may "glorify ISIS" and "promote incitement and hate". "The vendors need to be engaged to ensure they do not deliberately or ignorantly promote ISIS," he said.
Another online site called Brick Generals, which specializes in Lego knockoffs, has also been selling these "militants" and "bombers" of the ‘Falcon Commanders’ group. One of the boxes has a figures called "ISIS Jihadi John", whilst a bomber description reads: "Extremist who enjoys blowing things up for fun. One day, he'll blow himself up."
Lego has distanced themselves from these counterfeit materials.