Dad Complains To LEGO About Leering Minifig, Teaches Everyone About Brand Licensing

lego_construction_workerWhen a dad noticed a set of licensed LEGO stickers with a catcalling construction worker minifigure on it, he was “stunned” and posted a photo on Tumblr.. Street harassment isn’t the most pressing issue facing women today, but it can be a problem, and certainly isn’t appropriate for a children’s product.

There was the requisite flurry of outraged Amazon reviews from people who haven’t bought the stickers, and other blogs picked up the story. Then a response came from LEGO in Denmark. They couldn’t remove the stickers from the market, because the company that printed them went out of business in 2010. That’s an important lesson for the Internet outrage machine: just because a picture of something exists, that doesn’t mean that it’s still being sold or made, and that doesn’t mean that it’s in context.

However, it took a follow-up e-mail to get a response that didn’t sound like a form letter. “[T]he product is no longer available and we would not approve such a product again,” a staffer in the company’s licensing department explained.

Is that good enough? Supply chains are complex, and this one little picture caused an awful lot of fuss for a product that can’t be pulled from production because it hasn’t been in production for several years.

LEGO: “We would not approve such a product again” [Tumblr]