I’m not much of a Technic fan, and I even don’t claim to be an expert on the genre. However, LEGO’s recent decision to eventually pull out the LEGO Technic Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey (42113) from the market, days before its official launch, does not sit well with fans especially when we get to hear what LEGO has to say about it and what avid Technic builders learned about the set.
Just a few days before the LEGO Technic V-22 Osprey’s launch, everything seems to be running smoothly in terms of it’s scheduled debut, with retailers getting their copies of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey set so that they can properly stock ahead before August 1st. However, due to a complaint by the German Peace Society regarding LEGO basing its latest Technic offering on a military vehicle. As you may know, LEGO has a longstanding policy of not producing military-inspired sets as guided by its corporate values. Eventually, LEGO decided to pull the plug on the LEGO Technic Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey (42113) just days before the building set is placed on retailers’ store shelves.
From a production and management point of view, I find this situation a bit odd. It is kind of baffling to hear how LEGO did not foresee this problematic situation involving a military-inspired set considering the many months involved in designing and producing a complex product such as this. Plus the amount of money wasted along the way.
Despite LEGO’s product recall, some retailers still went through with the sale of the LEGO Technic Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey, with some fans managing to purchase and bringing home the set. Huw from Brickset is one of those fortunate souls who were able to pick up a copy of this and he has done a thorough review of this recalled LEGO set. What we’ve learned is very interesting.
According to what Huw discovered, the LEGO Technic Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey (42113) has a major, fundamental design flaw. As I said, I’m not a Technic expert and if you want to read in detail the problematic building issues with this set, then I highly suggest that you read Huw’s article that I mentioned earlier. Needless to say, such a design flaw prevents this set to function as it intended to be. Sariel over on YouTube also did an excellent review, underscoring the issues behind the set’s design. I also recommend you take a look at this as well.
Again, here’s another case of poor quality control that leaves me scratching my head. So from both a management and design perspective, this particular LEGO Technic set has all the red warning flags to begin with. Thankfully, if you’re like Huw who managed to get a copy of this set, there’s still hope in saving this. By experimenting with some simple gears, Huw was able to fix the problem that was causing the set to malfunction, and his solution is remarkably simple. You can read about his simple fix right here. Again, this is another example of me asking, “How come the guys from the LEGO design team did not think about this?”
One couldn’t help but speculate if the real reason behind the recall of the LEGO Technic Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is more of a PR issue or that of a design failure, or both. In the end, I feel that it is the fans that were on the losing end because of this, especially those who were looking forward to having this set. But I will not call it a complete loss either. I sincerely believe that LEGO will take all of these things into consideration with its next product development cycle to prevent another mishap like this. I am also thankful that there are dedicated LEGO fans like Huw and Sariel that are kind and creative enough to offer solutions to the LEGO community. Thanks to their efforts, this otherwise problematic Technic set is now saved from its undesirable condition and is now functional as it is supposed to be. LEGO also has its share of flaws that’s for sure, but I do hope LEGO will learn from this experience and will create the necessary steps to prevent this from happening again.
As a side note and in case you missed it, other LEGO Technic sets came out this month other than the brick-version of the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey. For the latest roster of Technic sets available, plus the newest sets that came out coming from other themes, you might want to check on them right here.