Thursday, May 10, 2012

Never another set 1309, or maybe not

I've previously noted how it's been 54 years since LEGO produced an explicitly religious set.

Now LEGO has given us an official statement (or not, see below). Cuusoo is a website that allows anyone to suggest possible sets for LEGO to produce. If a set idea gets 10,000 votes, LEGO will consider producing the set. Two of the first five suggestions to reach this bar (Shawn of the Dead and Firefly) have been rejected because they do not fit LEGO brand standards, since they are not kid-friendly. LEGO has since released a statement about brand standards, saying what they will not accept. This includes things like sex, drugs, alcohol, torture ... and religion. Okay, I know that there is always going to be possible controversy if they introduce religion, but it just doesn't fit with those others (to be fair, they also exclude political creations). Here's the quote: "Understand that we will not produce products that are related to these topics: ... Religious references including symbols, buildings, or people."

Okay, that seems definitive. But then move on over to the LEGO Architecture site. Here you can vote on buildings that LEGO chose as potential future sets.

And three out of ten are religious structures - the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Saint Basil's, and Sagrada Familia:

I realize that most people don't think religion when they see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. At least before I went to Italy 20 years ago I always just figured it was a tower that leaned, but then when I went to Pisa I found it sitting right next to a cathedral, because the Tower is a campanile, or bell tower. St. Basil's similarly has become more of a national symbol of Russia (even of Communism in years gone by), and acts as a museum today. Sagrada Familia, on the other hand, is a working Catholic Cathedral. Now, don't get me wrong, I think all of these would be great sets. Indeed, I think that the LEGO Architecture line is probably our only real chance of getting religiously-themed sets (aside from some of the passing implications I previously noted). I'd just like to see some official word from LEGO on this whole area.

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