Bootleg LEGO sets portraying Islamic State Jihadi terrorists have been removed from a major department store in downtown Singapore.
The fake LEGO figurines, reportedly manufactured in China, were being sold in Singapore’s popular People’s Park shopping mall and via Chinese e-commerce websites. They depicted masked ISIS militants, including the notorious British killer known as “Jihadi John”.
The toy sets, labeled “Falcon Commandos”, were specifically recommended for children aged 6 to 12. They contained miniature LEGO figurines called “militants” and “bombers” carrying AK-47 rifles and flying the Islamic State flag. One set even included a plastic severed head.
One such minifigure was named “ISIS Jihadi John” and carried the description: “Extremist who enjoys blowing things up for fun. One day, he’ll blow himself up.”
Muhammad Jassim Jassim Abdulkarim Olayan al-Dhafiri, more commonly known as Mohammed Emwazi, was a British Jihadi who murdered hostages in a number of vile beheading videos produced and uploaded by ISIS in 2014 and 2015. His strong northern-English accent led to him and his four terrorist-cell accomplices being nicknamed “The Beatles” by the British tabloid press, with Emwazi ultimately branded as “Jihadi John”.
The U.S. military annihilated Emwazi and his accomplices with a targeted drone strike on November 12, 2015 in Raqqa, Syria. ISIS confirmed his death in January 2016.
According to The Straits Times, Singapore residents raised concerns that the toy sets might “glorify” the Islamic-supremacist group and its proposed caliphate, and could incite hatred toward non-Muslims.
The serial number on the toy set packaging was traced back to an obscure manufacturer in mainland China. The sets were quickly removed from the store and taken down from online Chinese e-commerce site AliExpress.
LEGO Group, a world-famous Danish toy company founded in 1949, has been battling with fraudulent Chinese manufacturers over its intellectual property rights for decades. Chinese factories frequently produce phony LEGO figurines and then promote them as genuine products. These have included controversial LEGO Nazi SS officers and World War I stormtroopers, as well as Islamic terrorists depicted as conquering heroes. The box of one ISIS set shows a Jihadi holding a chainsaw with a severed head at his feet.
Similar ISIS Jihadi sets were discovered in majority-Muslim Malaysia earlier this year. Mahnun Mat Isa was horrified to find her son playing with a masked LEGO figure holding an ISIS flag and a banner displaying the words “Allah” and “Muhammad” in Arabic.
Senior Director of Corporate Brand Communications at LEGO, Charlotte Simonsen, said that the ISIS sets were “in no way affiliated with the LEGO Group”.
“As a company dedicated to inspiring and developing children, we would naturally never make a product like this,” she added.