Far as I know, it's only an urban legend. However, It's not exactly true that the films have been readily available. They were released on VHS in the mid 90s and sold very well and a few years ago were shown in a package on AMC. If my memory serves, it was right before AMC started showing commercials.
After that they dried up and it's my understanding that it was simply because Hallmark owned the films and has had no interest in them.
Ask any Laurel and Hardy fan about Hallmark. They own all of L&H's 1930s Hal Roach produced material in America and have only released a couple of poor quality DVDS.
I find it interesting the reputation The Little Rascals films have for being so politically incorrect. Aside from a handful of glaring examples, all of the shorts are good natured with the racial comedy few and far between.
If any of you have kids or grandkids, the set would be a great Christmas gift. Any instances of controversial comedy might serve as a conversation starter for parents. I hope the set sells well so maybe they will finally release the MGM produced shorts.