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Archive for October, 2012

Ace Kim | October 30th, 2012 | LEGO Star Wars, News

Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4B, Episode 7 in 2015

Disney Lucasfilm

I want to say stranger things have happened, but I can’t think of anything right now. I’m pretty dumbfounded and have no idea how to react.

And no this is not a hoax; this is everywhere: 1 | 2 | 3 | Google News

Update: Disney plans on releasing a new Star Wars film every two years, so says their blog.

Press release below:

BURBANK, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed thatStar Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Warsfeature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application ofinnovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

Ace Kim | October 29th, 2012 | LEGO CUUSOO, News

CUUSOO Status Updates

BTTF Delorean - LEGO CUUSOO

A couple of days ago, LEGO CUUSOO posted on their blog an update to the summer and fall cycles.

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Pete "bigospedros" Croxson | October 28th, 2012 | Sales News

[UK] Argos, Tesco, Boots and Sainsburys Deal Roundup!

9516 : Jabba's Palace

Deals deals deals!!!  The UK is somewhat over-flowing with good deals on Lego at the moment, so here’s a run down …

Tesco are running a 3 for 2 deal on all toys.  This applies in store and online.  In addition, several Lego sets all have money off (e.g. £8 off Star Wars 9497 Republic Striker-Class Starfighter or £6 off Star Wars 9498 Saesee Tiin’s Jedi Starfighter) so you can really get your money’s worth here.  The deal runs until 30th October.

Argos are running a deal which gives 25% off all Star Wars, City and Ninjago sets.  This offer also runs until 30th October.

Boots have their usual 3 for 2 on all gifts, which generally includes the Lego sets they stock.

And finally, if they have any stock left, Sainsburys are running an up to 50% off deal on all toys, with 33% off for Lego.  I think this deal ends tonight!

Don "Solo" Reitz | October 28th, 2012 | Contests, DC Universe, LEGO Super Heroes, Marvel Comics

Mech Madness 2012 Update: Only One Week Left & Prize Packs Revealed

mocmadnesslogo2012revg

The clock is winding down and the entries are starting to pour in for Mech Madness 2012: Secret Crisis. Since the last reminder a week ago the field has more than doubled, as expected, and I’m sure there are more builders biding their time. Looking forward to all the last minute entries this coming week. Meanwhile, I have some exciting news for all the contestants: the supplementary prize packs are now declassified. In addition to the gift cards already announced Ace has lined up quite the haul for the victors. Here’s the full breakdown with shots of the loot he forwarded me:

  1. First place will receive a set of four Super Heroes Comic Con minifigures, one 6869 Quinjet Aerial Battle, one 6860 Batcave, and the $150 gift card for Lego Shop at Home.
  2. Second place will receive one 6868 Hulk’s Helicarrier Breakout, one 6864 Batomobile chase, and the $100 gift card.
  3. Third place will receive one 6862 Superman vs Power Armor Lex, one 6858 Catwoman Cycle Chase, and the $50 gift card.

Mech Madness 1st place Prize Pack Mech Madness 1st & 2nd place Prize Packs

Not bad right? I’ll be posting another reminder towards the end of this week, but don’t forget the deadline is 11:59pm Pacific Time Saturday November 3rd, 2012 and as always will be strictly enforced. Your entry must be posted to the contest thread before that time and clear all the rules to qualify, so the sooner you submit it the better (just in case you missed something so you’ll have time to fix it).

Ace Kim | October 26th, 2012 | LEGO Ferrari, News

LEGO Shell Promotion Launches in Philippines

The LEGO Shell promotion launches in the Philippines today. The Philippines site added the above interactive build. It’s blowing out the width of the post but despite that, it’s a fun little distraction. This is the third region the promotion is now available in. The previous regions where the Shell promotion is active or has passed are Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau, and the Ukraine. Still no word on North America but we’ll keep you updated.

Ace Kim | October 26th, 2012 | LEGO Lord of the Rings, News

Digital Spy Interviews LEGO Lord of the Rings Game Developer

LEGO Lord of the Rings Screen Grab

The fine folks over Digital Spy published yesterday an interview with Nick Ricks, producer of the LEGO Lord of the Rings video game by Traveler’s Tales. It’s a pretty lengthy read but gives some great insight as to their approach with the gaming mechanics. Like, you know how in the movies, the characters walked around, like, a LOT? I bet you didn’t know this, but did you know that the fellowship, whilst walking Middle Earth, solved puzzles and picked up items along their way? They just cut those scenes out due to studio pressure to keep the movie under 3 hours:

Exactly. We wanted to make sure that there’s always something around the next corner. So you’ll be heading off towards somewhere and you’ll get distracted by this. You smash that up and you find something. Then around the corner you’ll find something else and you’ll say, ‘I’ve found a new thing’, and you then all of a sudden realize you’ve found yourself in the place you needed to get to anyway.

“So you’ve gone off on a side path, smashed all these different items, found all these different collections, done all these different puzzles and then you realize you’ve taken the journey you needed to take, but you were doing things along the way. You’re daisy-chaining different puzzles and things like that.

“You can have that balanced experience so you’re not just running for ages and seeing nothing while you’re trying to get to the next story event.

Blah blah blah, game comes out on November 13th.

Ace Kim | October 26th, 2012 | LEGO Star Wars, Sales News

Shop@Home Discounts LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 20%

LEGO Shop@Home is finally wising up to their lofty price gouging and has followed Amazon’s example from a few weeks ago. 9509 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar is down 20% to $39.99. You’ll also enjoy double VIP points and free shipping if your order total is $99 or more. This deal is good today only.

In case you’re wondering, Amazon’s price for the same set is a bit higher at $42.99.

Ace Kim | October 24th, 2012 | LEGO Lord of the Rings, Sales News

Amazon Discounts 9471 Uruk-hai Army

This is one of those sets that’s kind of a hard sell. It’s basically a glorified battle pack with enough building elements to extend your Helm’s Deep wall, but the $30 price tag makes it an easy pass. It hasn’t seen any signficiant discount but today’s price on Amazon makes it a bit more attractive. It’s down to $24.74, an 18% drop. You can pick up four of them for less than a $100 assuming you live in a non-taxed state. It goes perfectly with the sale price on 9474 The Battle of Helm’s Deep, which is still holding steady at $98.80.

Ace Kim | October 23rd, 2012 | LEGO Lord of the Rings, News

LEGO Lord of the Rings Extended Play Clip

Do you remember that part in the Lord of the Rings movie, the Fellowship one, where Frodo, Samwise, Pippin and Merry were led to the top of Weathertop? And they set up camp? And do you remember when Aragorn left them to go scouting? And do you also remember the part where there was that crow that kept flying around and kept dropping turds on them nearly killing them? Wait, you don’t? It’s in the video game, so it must have happened in the movie. Right? I’ll tell ya, I don’t think any game play footage from any game made me not want to play it faster than the one embedded above. Heaven forbid should a character be idle for more than a second before being rained on by crow turds that’ll kill you. If I were planning on picking up this game, I’d study the above sequence so that I can turbo through it.

The game’s release date has been pushed back to November 13th. You can pre-order from Amazon and get a free $10 voucher good towards the purchase of a game. You’ll also get bonus “Middle Earth characters” for PS3 and Xbox versions. I have no idea what that means but that’s what they’re throwing in. Or, you could pre-order from Gamestop and get an exclusive minifig of Elrond.

Ace Kim | October 23rd, 2012 | LEGO CUUSOO, Sales News

21102 Minecraft Back at LEGO Shop@Home