LEGO ends partnership with The Sun

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Here's an interesting turn of events: LEGO has ended its partnership with The Sun, partly in response to pressure from parents.

From The Guardian:

"A parent who took his anti-Page 3 campaign to Legoland and Wapping is claiming victory after the Danish toymaker announced the end of its two-year promotional partnership with the Sun.

"Lego confirmed on Wednesday that its association with the News International title had come to a "natural" end – officially denying the move was linked to a 12,000-strong online petition against the partnership.

"However, a senior Lego executive had previously acknowledged concerns about its association with Page 3 in an email to campaigners."

Read the full article at The Guardian website.

I wonder what the future holds for UK polybag promotions? Let's hope it returns to The Mirror or another slightly less trashy rag (although I concede that in the Mirror's case, that is debatable...)

Thanks to Mark for the news.

75 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Maybe in part explains the current mail in promo to clear old poly stock

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By in United Kingdom,

What is everyone's problem with Sun readers on this site? To call it a trashy rag is surely calling all Sun readers trashy which I find particularly offensive. What makes it worse is these holier than thou people are more than happy to "postpone" their principles for free lego. Pot calling the kettle black me thinks. One more thing this will probably be the end of this type of offer so suck it up people and embrace your secret love of the Sun(for one more time). Phew that feels better.

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By in United States,

Well Europe now you know how North America feels. We dont get fun little LEGO Polybag sets in our Newspapers or U.S.A. Today,s :).

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By in United Kingdom,

lets hope the Daily Star takes over the offer!!!!

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By in United Kingdom,

They have just ruined it for everyone. They should get a hobby.

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By in United Kingdom,

Don't usually comment but i can completely understand why people have complained and am glad that LEGO has ended this association.
Personally I have never and will never buy that rag as my family where at Hillsborough. That aside I find it incredible LEGO allowed its toys to be associated with Page 3.
Im sure we all like free or discounted toys but this publication destroys lives in the pursuit of sales and the less i have to see it mentioned on here the better.

Thanks.

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By in United Kingdom,

That man is a complete (.) .

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By in United States,

So a few stupid adults (I'm sure most don't even have children) ended a free toy give away over boobs? What is wrong with this world?!

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By in United Kingdom,

The sun divides people. Lego unites people. Never the greatest match.
Also free lego promos brought out the worst in many people (greed)
Not the end of the world really - let's have more polybags for sale at pocket money prices in uk shops!!!

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By in Canada,

Wow, they end it over that..

Would it be that hard to just rip the page out and show that to them?

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By in United Kingdom,

If we're honest though, the association between LEGO and The Sun was always a strange one. Not exactly compatible with TLG seeking demonstrate high ethical values.

It was a good run but I'm certainly not unhappy to see the association end.

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By in Europe,

Quite dissapointing frankly as I always enjoyed these free promotions. Hopefully another paper will do it though. I took part in the lucky dip promo, does anyone know if I will still get the sets? It will be a massive shame if they don't send them

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By in Canada,

Used to read the Sun when I lived in the UK. Stopped after Hillsborough though.

Justice for the 96
YNWA

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By in United Kingdom,

"Wow, they end it over that.."

Possibly not just that. The company which owns The Sun is currently being investigated in the following Metropolitan Police serious crime investigations:
Operation Elveden
Operation Tuleta
Operation Rubicon
Operation Weeting
Operation Kalmyk

(There might be some others I've forgotten.)

A fair number of journalists from The Sun have been arrested and might eventually go to prison. It's not exactly PR gold.

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By in Poland,

Sun may not be a top-notch, ultra-correct newspaper but it's saddening when you realize how often people in modern societies freak out about everything...
I hope those polybags will return somehow.

edit: it makes more sense now, seeing mountebank's reply, but still that petition was a bit crazy...

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By in United States,

Well these polybags will end up somewhere. Hopefully in stores spread out evenly.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Psymon

"You're assuming that because we buy the paper for the tokens we read it"

No I am more than aware you will not read it but my point stands you still buy it and the Sun gets the profits so guilty by association then.

I personally buy it for the sports coverage ( might sneek a look at forbidden fruits! as I never got the chance when I was 12!)

@gime

"but it's saddening when you realize how often people in modern societies freak out about everything..."

Well said as I find it quite peculiar that for all our problems with today's society we have time to petition against the Sun/Lego association. I'd say that is 1001 on the list of things to fix in our green and pleasent land.

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By in Japan,

Bustin in US: "Well these polybags will end up somewhere."

Not necessarily in the UK. If you could buy them from TLG's UK stores or other retailers that carry LEGO products such as WHS, I wouldn't mind. But the dissolution of the Sun/TLG association may result in polies becoming unavailable in the UK. And that would mean having to pay the extortionate prices of non-UK sellers on Ebay, BrickLink and the like.

Whatever you think of the Sun (and I'm no fan), this could be bad news for UK FOLs. :(

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By in United States,

This is very amusing to all of us in the U.S.

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By in United States,

Now you know what it feels like to be an American poly-Bag Collector d:

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By in United Kingdom,

@Legowhisperer - just out of interest, what's not trashy about the Sun? And if the paper is dodgy what's wrong with questioning the character/discernment of those who buy it for its content? Actions do come with associations, despite what certain journalists may soon be trying to convince the judges presiding over their trials of. ;)
And in what way is someone who pays whatever the paper cost and throws the paper away to get a Lego toy (that's worth more than the price of the paper) postponing their principles? They're still not buying it for its content.

It'd be nice if the 1,000 other things on the list could be fixed, I'm sure many people are trying to make that happen, but we wouldn't get very far if we waited to fix them before we moved onto item 1,001. Imagine if, say, number 372 was really, really difficult!

Given the reasons Lego states for rejecting some Cuusoo projects over licences and content it's a mystery how this partnership ever began.

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By in United Kingdom,

To be honest most of the other papers are no better. I suppose the pull of The Sun is that it is the most popular paper in the country for Lego. A quality paper would cost at least a quid, and make the deal less good

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By in United States,

I live in the US and from what I can tell correct me if Im wrong the SUN is like the National Enquirer? the national enquirer is a tabloid for those of you who dont know.

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By in {Unknown country},

I guess this is why the last offer was the "lucky dip" of old polybags?

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By in United Kingdom,

@zipsforbananas

"just out of interest, what's not trashy about the Sun? And if the paper is dodgy what's wrong with questioning the character/discernment of those who buy it for its content? Actions do come with associations"

Valid point about associations however if you buy it, for whatever reason, you are guilty by association and is it any worse than the other media forms of celebrity culture that has enveloped the UK. Personally I believe you should be allowed to read a newspaper, albeit sports pages mainly for me, without the self righteous judgement of others. Remember never judge a book and all that.

@Psymon

forgot to mention buyiong 25 copies of the Sun shows tremendous values!!

Last point if I want to know what going on in the world its Sky News for me.

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By in United Kingdom,

Sorry, I've never bought the Sun, what is th problem with page 3?

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By in United Kingdom,

As Bairdman said, Liverpool FC fans never buy the Scum.

Always had a problem with the Sun/Lego deals for that reason. And had to buy from Ebay the ones I wanted instead.

Never buy the Sun
Justice for the 96

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By in United Kingdom,

@legowhisperer
I guess it need to be stated in all discussions about the Sun that there are two distinct papers within it, the sports section and the rest! And I was going to say that guilt by association is generally a pretty weak argument (you could indict most people of something heinous by it if you used it too freely), but then I realised the association with the part that's pap is the reason I don't buy it for the sports section! And personally I'd love to see TOWIE axed (and possibly anyone who looks at it aspirationally neutered), but then I do also hypocritically watch Take Me Out. People are strange, eh. :)

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By in United Kingdom,

I am fairly indifferent about all of this personally, I am quite sure that another newspaper will take up the baton, and if not I am equally certain that there are plenty of US in habitants willing to trade across the pond with us in the UK. I would be happy with any of the other newspapers taking the initiative and continuing these Lego promotions, I imagine that the Daily Mirror would be the most likely successor.

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By in United Kingdom,

"what is th problem with page 3?"

Before 2003, The Sun pictured topless girls on page 3 on their 16th birthdays. So obviously the photographs were being taken when they were 15. In 2003, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum legal age for topless modelling to 18.

15, 16, or 18, it's just rather seedy to present girls/young women as objects.

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By in United States,

Comments like "now you know what it's like in the US" are not correct. It's been explained here that people in the UK don't get to buy polys in places like TRU, Target, Walmart etc like we do. Not only are the comments inaccurate but they feel mean spirited as well. Think how you would feel if your source for polybags suddenly dried up?

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By in United States,

"Before 2003, The Sun pictured topless girls on page 3 on their 16th birthdays. So obviously the photographs were being taken when they were 15. In 2003, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum legal age for topless modelling to 18."

I would have a problem with Lego being associated with this as well... Now I get it.

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By in United Kingdom,

!!!Censorship!!!
I have no problem with Page 3, just makes reading the Sun more interesting to read through..
Maybe the Daily Star will take over?!? ;)

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By in United States,

"Before 2003, The Sun pictured topless girls on page 3 on their 16th birthdays. So obviously the photographs were being taken when they were 15. In 2003, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum legal age for topless modelling to 18."
Now i'm glad lego stopped doing this. I had no idea.

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By in United Kingdom,

Hope this won't stop the sun running the lego stories that it was doing such as the woman with the 400000 piece hogwarts which was in there on Monday. I always enjoyed those stories, likely the only legit items in the whole paper!.

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By in United Kingdom,

I never found any coupons on page 3... and I did look for them :)

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By in United Kingdom,

^ She wasn't wearing any. :P

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By in United Kingdom,

Anyhow, most AFOL's are locked up in their bedrooms playing with bricks and have never seen or got close to anything like the ladies on page 3.

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By in Poland,

This is ridiculous. Parents can't handle their kids seeing a couple of breasts because what it'll scar them mentally? Will they get ten years of therapy? What's the deal? It's all this over-protection. Good grief, most children are breast-fed, they see them for the first few years of their life and then if they see some after that it's terrible and it will ruin them forever?

And for CHRISSAKES if it's that important to you then don't show your kids the third page. Maybe it's because the LEGO bricks are a millimeter away from the breasts oh no, on the newsstand, the LEGO bricks are dirtied. My faith in humanity has been destroyed yet again today.

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By in United Kingdom,

lol at parents who think their brats bother to stare at page 3 when they are probably looking at porn on the net.

Busy bodies need to get a life...

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By in United Kingdom,

"Before 2003, The Sun pictured topless girls on page 3 on their 16th birthdays. So obviously the photographs were being taken when they were 15. In 2003, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum legal age for topless modelling to 18."

Actually, it was just topless models, there was *never* any focus on girls at their 16th birthdays.
Not that I think it's a paper worth reading, but if you're gonna criticize, at least get your facts right.

More on the subject of polybags: I do think it would be great if they stocked them better in stores. Too often I find myself in need of an impulse buy...

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By in United Kingdom,

@rifraphy dont mean this as a dig at you because its a sentiment that been expressed by other here but i think you've misunderstood the reason people have protested against page 3.

Its mostly not prudishness but the sexualisation of women that is the problem. Like you say breasts are used for feeding, but having, as @mountebank points out, young women posing topless with 'ironic' commentary on current events seems demeaning to me.

I saw a lot of interesting discussion on here about LEGOs introduction of the friends line and how although the majority of sets are close to stereotypical 'girl' toys, sets like 3933: Olivia's Invention Workshop are providing alternatives. In no way would i ever tell anyone what to do and i wish all models involved with page 3 every bit of happiness, but LEGOs association with such an antiquated way of looking at women always seemed uncomfortable to me.

Hate to go on but its also worth pointing out that page 3 is far from the only problem with that rag. The amount of damage they have caused to countless people is horrific and their and other media outlets methods have resulted in the real possibility of the press losing a lot of freedom to report what they want by heavy handed government intervention.

Like i said earlier i just really happy that ill be able to continue enjoying this great site without seeing any logos which remind me of despicable actions.

Im off relax and play with my toys now haha,

Thanks .

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By in Japan,

@Margot, Thank you for your understanding and for saying so politely what I would have expressed in more colourful language.

@Brick Apostle, Granted you said "most", not "all", but I had a GF many years ago who was the spitting image of Winona Ryder in her heyday. And I'm an AFOL.

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By in Netherlands,

What about; The newspaper is for the parent and the toys are for the kids.
The kids don't have to read page 3 or further......
What a total loser!

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By in United States,

Ok, so this was stopped because Lego, a toy AIMED AT KIDS, is being paired with a newspaper that has a page of a TOPLESS FEMALE? Why the uproar over why they stopped this?? I am surprised that Lego let this go. Serioussly, how many would coplain if it included a Playmobil figure with the paper? Would be lots different then. Again, Lego IS A KIDS TOY! If not a problem, would you be upset if Lego included a miniposter of a topless lady in each set? What if a newspaper included a Friends set in a paper that featured a nude guy??

I'm sorry but I would not want my 7 year old son seeing this. Kids see all of this on the internet?? Um, my 7 year old son is not allowed on the interent. I know, hard to believe in the age where kids get placed in front of a screen 25% of their lives but not here.

I really cant believe people are saying the petitioner wrecked this. Seriousy?? Again it is a KIDS TOY. Go cry about your precious polybags to Lego. Hey, if nude women are no big issue to children, petition Lego to include your polybags in Playboys. Then you will all be happy again. You get your one page of boobs and your little set.

Geez.

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By in United States,

Suggestion - Why not start a petition to have LEGO polybags in another magazine or publication specific to the UK? Or maybe a kids magazine?

EDIT: Saw the next article about the girl's teen magazine... it is a start I guess.

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By in Canada,

lol @ Brick Apostle

Wow, boobs, the horror. As if the young kids weren't a few years off from being suckled...

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By in New Zealand,

Thank you Lego, I was fed up of one of such a morally empty corporation benefiting from having Lego branding everywhere.
Will really miss the polys though - hopefully a brand will step forward that's a better match this time.

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By in United States,

"Before 2003, The Sun pictured topless girls on page 3 on their 16th birthdays. So obviously the photographs were being taken when they were 15. In 2003, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 raised the minimum legal age for topless modelling to 18."
How did LEGO ever start a partnership with the Sun? That befuddles me completely... Glad, no offence to UKers who need polys, that LEGO stopped there partner ship with the Sun. I mean, LEGO associating with them is just terrible...

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By in Canada,

it would be sweet if the did it with the toronto star!!! lol

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By in Australia,

Never mind Page 3 - score one for LEGO no longer getting into bed with one of the greatest insults to decent journalism to ever exist. There's my mildly hyperbolic rejoicing quota filled for the year.

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By in United States,

As a parent of a young kid I don't want Lego associated with topless or anything sexual in nature. Kid's toys have no place asscociating with this. I'm surprised they did this in the first place...but with that said, Samantha Fox's poster was on my dorm wall...;)...and who doesn't love Lucy Pinder!

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi Folks
I'm not sure that it's anything to do with page 3, I believe that over the recent years TLG has made some good business decisions in the product ranges(Friends, Star wars, Super Heroes etc). The profit margin has enabled TLG to take a morale look at their partnerships, the partnership with the Sun is attractting too much negative attention.

If this was the late 90's early 00's Lego wouldn't be pulling the plug, they would need the Sun to put their products in the minds of kids and parents. I'm not sure but I would wager, that after every Sun promo in the UK there is a correlation in the rise of Lego being bought in shops.

In my opinion, TLG feels it no longer needs the Sun promotions to increase it's sales in the UK, a business decision not a morale one, but TLG can make look like a morale one so it maintains public support, a smoke screen with benefits.

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By in Indonesia,

Why isn't this comments locked yet? It's getting inappropriate.

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By in United Kingdom,

When groaning, on Brickset about TLG's deal through The Sun, I was essentially told by a couple of members to shut up and enjoy the free Lego. I did so despite misgivings and used the papers for starting the fire at home. Now that the deal is off, the same comment police are still telling people to pipe down about the same moral dilemma.
Relax, a comment is an opinion, not a fact! :)

Frankly IMHO page 3 was hardly much worth moaning about in the deal but more about the TLG's association with The Sun's muck raking, victim blaming history. I would not have signed that recent particular petition but good riddance.

Fuel is a necessity we have little choice but to pay oil producing countries for that allow human rights abuses.
Lego is a luxury we want and do have a choice in how and where we buy from. But plastic is derived from oil.
Maybe we can only control our cash so far and so should make every penny count... IMHO.

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By in United Kingdom,

By the way, someone asked above whether The Sun was like the National Enquirer. Actually it's not since the stories it contains are ostensibly based on fact. The Sun is more akin to Fox News turned into a British newspaper, with a heavy reliance on stories about celebrities.

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By in United Kingdom,

@CamberbrickGreen - That's correct - those taking the moral high ground should also bear in mind the environmental impact that producing LEGO has in addition to the types of materials used and where these are sourced from, taking into account not only sustainability but also the geopolitical consequences such as the oil wars, labour exploitation and poor working conditions, and finally what happens to waste LEGO i.e. shipping containers full of LEGO have been lost overboard, in addition to other LEGO thrown away that has landed up in the sea. Food for thought.

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By in United Kingdom,

I am pleased. I never felt comfortable buying The Sun for the Lego (copies straight in the recycling bin). I seem to remember that The Sun outbid The Mirror for the promotions, so it appears the papers need Lego more than Lego needs them. That said, I hope that the Mirror or another paper successfully bid for future promotions.

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow, there's some misleading stuff and some garbled 'facts' being thrown out on here, so let's see.

The Sun did show models who were 16 when it was fully legal to do so. There was never any suggestion that they were on their 16th birthdays that I can recall. The Daily Sport (different paper) however was infamous for counting down the days UNTIL the 16th birthday of certain glamour models, particularly Lindsey Dawn McKensie, and then legally show topless photos. Anyone who thinks the Sun is a trashy rag, well the Sport makes it look like a bible-study pamphlet with more kittens.

Page 3 or similar is not exclusive to the Sun, or the UK. And they used to run a page 7 fella too.

The Guardian printed this article. They happen to be one of the first UK media supporters of every anti-page 3 campaign launched in parliment (none of which were successful) and every one of these online petitions, so what they are really doing is reporting it as a little victory for themselves by association. And they enjoy a much smaller circulation figure than the Sun, so maybe a bit jealous?

LEGO officially deny this is linked to the petition. I can't say if it would have influenced them as to whether or not they renewed the deal, but they obviously agreed it in the first place, and thus must have known about the Sun's 40+ year tradition of having a topless model inside the front cover. And the phone-tapping allegations (since proven). And all the other nasty stuff that NI and the Sun are accused of (often correctly). They reject Cuusoo submissions on not being brand suitable, so I suspect they did due diligence on the Sun and NI. They still struck a deal with them, saw it through, enjoyed the benefits and now have ended it. Just like they did with the Mirror (not really any better) or Shell garages (anyone want to start getting into the ecological debate about a global energy producer?) amongst others. The official, corporate line on this is that it had NOTHING to do with some web-petition. It's there in the second paragraph, just below the parent 'claims' victory. Pretty rubbish victory as page 3 is still there as of this morning.

I'm off to start my on-line petition about how bored PC do-gooders should stay out of my hobby.

For the comments such as 'Now you know what it's like in the US!', what, do you mean suddenly we pay 30% less for Lego than in Europe and we can often buy polybags in stores? Oh. No. Didn't really think so.

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By in United States,

Based on the comments, looks like European culture is very, very different from mine . For one, associating a toy in a magazine with those types of pictures is incredibly damaging to Lego's image as a family friendly toy manufacturer. It may be considered "OK" in one culture, but very offensive and damaging to Lego's reputation in another. A very poor decision on Lego's part to even begin the partnership.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm baffled by a lot of the comments on here. Why is it so shameful and offensive to inhabit the moral high-ground?

Those of you who are mocking those with 'pious' morals - is it not ironic that you are expressing your own moral stance in order to condemn others for expressing their moral stance?
Why is your 'lower' stance more correct than that of the so called do-gooders? Is 'everyone else does it' ever a good reason to do anything?
Considering your stance to be normal and baulking at the right of others to impose on you is imposing just as much on them with just as little reason. If we were to compare the stances as to which is preferable to consider 'normal', which would be the better choice? Morals that are good, or morals that are, if good is objectionable, presumably not good?
If everyone in society aimed to be below average, or at the lowest common denominator, society could never move in any other direction than downwards. I'd quite like society to improve, so I applaud those who try to be above average, in the hope that the average might move upwards.

Well, on reflection that's considerably more than my 2p! Still, I enjoyed venting my spleen, and there's always the off-chance someone somewhere will enjoy reading it.

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By in United States,

"If everyone in society aimed to be below average, or at the lowest common denominator, society could never move in any other direction than downwards. I'd quite like society to improve, so I applaud those who try to be above average, in the hope that the average might move upwards."

Well said..

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By in United Kingdom,

Will the people who sent the five coupons for the 'February 2013 Lego Promotion' receive their five Lego ploybags?

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By in United Kingdom,

My slight problem here, and I don't read The Sun myself, is that this feels rather like lego bowing to the demands of a relatively small group of people (although admittedly it could be a coincidence and might easily be to stop all the abuse of this scheme from resellers). Yes 12k people may have signed a petition, but perhaps many hundreds of thousands will be disappointed by the end of this promotion, including many poor families who did have a cheap avenue to buy what to many is still a premium and expensive toy. In summary there is something uncomfortable about this.

Will there be an inquest if the promotion moved to the Daily Mail, or other papers that divide opinion? There are no truly impartial papers in the uk, all have some agenda, so associating with anybody will generally upset some people.

Thank goodness Lego has not bowed to some of the liberal left articles criticising the Friends line.

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By in United Kingdom,

I love the way people have selective "morals".

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By in United Kingdom,

If you put all moral considerations to one side, The Sun has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the UK by a considerable margin, you can start to see the reasoning behind the the association. Both parties benefited from the deal The Sun and WHSmiths sold a lot of papers and Lego gained access to the largest possible audience for a print media promotion. I hope I'm wrong, when I say that it could be the last Lego newspaper promotion as all major newspapers are suffering from falling circulation. Maybe social media will be the future of Lego promotions.

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By in United States,

It is an inappropriate page that is dumb. I'm glad Lego stopped this. Nice promotion, bad newspaper.

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By in Australia,

Rightly so. In my year or two in the UK, I never liked the Sun, and after the Hillsborough stuff, I don't think anyone will want to be associated with them anyway.

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By in United Kingdom,

Typical. 12,000 lefties and 'wimmin's rights activists' ruin the enjoyment of 2.4million Sun Readers and millions more who enjoy the free lego. Pathetic. Still it doesn't suprise me - what with Lego's investment in wind subsidy farming - ( despite their product being 100% oil based ) they're obviously keen to sign up to any sanctimonious left-wing cause going, no matter how daft, destructive and divisive.

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By in United Kingdom,

Why don't they start a petition against all the free comedy and action films that The Sun give away as well. Whilst there at it, what about stopping The Sun ending its association with Alton Towers when it gives away free tickets.

Just because some 12,000 people don't like Page 3, doesn't mean to say that they should ruin/spoil it for the rest of us who enjoyed collecting the free Lego toys. When you think of how many people there are in England, 12,000 is nothing.

If you don't like Page 3 - then don't look at that Page, no-one's forcing you to.

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By in United Kingdom,

Tell me honestly, how many people have bought The Sun, solely just for the free DVDs or music CDs and how many of you bought The Sun, solely to collect the vouchers enabling you to get 2 free tickets for Alton Towers.

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By in United Kingdom,

What about when you go to Spain, it is legal for women to go topless if they want to - is that offensive and should that be banned too?

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By in United Kingdom,

@eastlands01, there's a difference between what you are forced to look at and what it is reasonable to expose people to.
And on Spain, it would appear the UK government thinks that yes, it should be, hence why it is not legal over here. If I rephrase your point, "Why can't I do [whatever-it-is]? [So-and-so] is allowed to!" how does it sound? How about, "But [so-and-so]'s Mum lets him!"

Oh, your point on the number of people being inconsequential is also quite bad for minority groups. Imagine saying that to a/an [insert any controversial minority group]? I think in the current climate I could be arrested just for suggesting an actual example! :P

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