When your best-selling toy line has the word “war” in it, it’s hard to avoid the context of violent weapons, but for over 20 years LEGO has worked hard to draw a distinction between weaponry in role-playing and military-related toys.
After the issue came to a point in 2009 when The Clone Wars animated series became more driven by battle LEGO consulted with child psychologists and came to the conclusion that children needed to express their own aggressive feelings to help them come to terms with conflict in non-play scenarios, and LEGO codified the difference between historical/fantasy weapons and those in the modern world.
For years customizers have turned to third-party solutions like BrickArms, an independent company that produces movie-accurate accessories, to add realistic detail to their LEGO Star Wars minifigures This was tolerated – to an extent – by LEGO until the acquisition of Bricklink in 2019 which saw BrickArms’ removal from the community-built marketplace; a move that underlined their continuing position on the matter.
“We have a strict policy regarding military models, and therefore, we do not produce tanks, helicopters, etc. While we always support the men and women who serve their country, we prefer to keep the play experiences we provide for children in the realm of fantasy” the company said when they had to recall 42113 Technic Bell-Boeing V-22 in 2020.
The introduction of buildable scale lightsabers – 6346098 Yoda’s Lightsaber in 2020 and 40483 Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber in 2021 – raised the question of weapons again, and got fans wondering if LEGO would start producing sets of iconic blasters.
The answer, in all likelihood, is no.
While handguns and rifles in Star Wars sit squarely in the realm of fantasy, the props used in the original Star Wars trilogy were all modeled on real-world guns and recent headlines show that the position of LEGO has not changed.
Two key factors prevent the production of screen-accurate prop guns: the position LEGO takes on conflict play is that children have an “inner drive and a need to experiment with their own aggressive feelings in order to learn about other people’s aggressions” and that legislation in a number of countries ensure that toy guns, whether they fire foam bullets or are copies of weapons seen in movies, can not be mistaken for the real thing.
It’s clear that weapons in LEGO sets are meant for role-playing exercises for children, and replica blasters could be mistaken for a real weapon without significant alteration to the look of the final model. Brick-built sidearms would appeal more to AFOLs rather than children, and the increasing public pressure for toy retailers to disarm toy boxes seems to be enough to persuade LEGO not to entertain the notion of Star Wars blasters made of LEGO bricks, no matter how loudy fans call for them.
But it’s mostly down to LEGO making toys for children. However, with their perception of who their products are being bought for changing, there’s always a chance that in the future a collection of scaled prop replica blasters could emerge.
Until then, fans and builders will have to look to sites like Rebrickable and Brick Replicas, where instructions for life-size versions of Han Solo’s iconic DL-44 sidearm, the E-11 stormtrooper rifle, and Boba Fett’s blaster.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.