The University of Canterbury has done a study in which it claims that LEGO toys have “shown significant exponential increases of violence over time”, ToyNews reports. Currently 30% of LEGO’s portfolio features some form of weapons, says lead researcher Christoph Batneck.
An analysis of LEGO catalogues from 1973 to 2015 found the scenarios depicted had become ‘more violent’. A total of 40% of all pages were containing ‘some type of violence such as shooting of threatening behavior.’
The LEGO Company’s products are not as innocent as they used to be”, says Batneck. “To catch the attention of their customers, toy manufacturers are similarly locked in a metaphorical arms race for exciting new products,” he writes in the study.
LEGO though doesn’t agree. “As with other play types, conflict play is a natural part of a child’s development. We always try and use humor where possible as it helps tone down the level of conflict”, LEGO spokesperson Troy Taylor said to AFP news agency.
It’s not only LEGO’s play sets that feature violence. The LEGO Movie, the LEGO Dimensions and other video games also have destruction and fighting an enemy at their core. Usually though they lead to a very powerful insight about people and show how all of this fighting could have been avoided if people and the characters tried.