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With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Talk about your favorite developments in licensed themes from popular lines like Indiana Jones, Batman, Spongebob, Harry Potter, etc.

With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Staff » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:48 pm


With the Comic Con announcement of the licensing of Marvel and DC there was a collective nerdgasm with LEGO and comic fans alike. There is so much potential with this it boggles the mind. Not only is there a positively vast library of reference material in the form of comic books, comic book movies are hot these days. It’s really too bad this didn’t happen a bit earlier because with this summer’s offering of Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America a lot of people (including myself) feel it was a bit of a missed opportunity.

Last week I watched Captain America, and enjoyed it very much. It’s a charming picture with all the right stuff to make a perfect summer movie. The production design and story also lend themselves so much to potential LEGO sets. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the movie, you might not want to continue...you've been warned!

Just off the top of my head there could be a small set with the really cool HYDRA motorcycle and the Cap’s bike.
Captain America: The First Avenger Publicity StillSee More Captain America: The First Avenger Publicity Still at IGN.com

A set with Red Skull’s car and part of his secret lab.
Captain America: The First Avenger Publicity StillSee More Captain America: The First Avenger Publicity Still at IGN.com

The chamber where Steve Rogers becomes Captain America (with a cool transformation play action and light in the pod).
Captain America: The First Avenger Publicity StillSee More Captain America: The First Avenger Publicity Still at IGN.com

A factory rescue set where the Cap not only rescues the lost troops but finds his team of heroes. That set could include a factory portion, with simulated destruction play action, the prison cells, the cool HYDRA tank for them to steal and the Captain in his first cobbled uniform (if you don’t count his somewhat ridiculous USO uniform).


The big set could be the HYDRA lair with a large portion of the secret base as well as Red Skull’s flying wing. A couple of those cool HYDRA fighters would be imperative as well.


There you go, an entire line of Captain America sets, multiple sizes and price points, that practically invented themselves. There's plenty of scenes that are left too, the zip line to the train, the chase to the secret submarine, etc. If it's that easy for me, can you imagine what the creative geniuses at LEGO are going to come up with?

We can only hope that LEGO will come through with not only comic book inspired sets, but will also capitalize on movies and TV. The amount of material they can draw from is staggering, and I can only imagine what kind of impact it will have on Comic Con next year. I envision a LEGO booth so irresistible that it has a measurable gravitational pull.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Crusader » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:25 am

Part of me likes the idea that the sets won't have to tie directly into a movie scene to be made. I thought the Batman line was a lot of fun, simply because Lego got to make what they wanted and didn't have to copy a scene. Sometimes when Lego goes to great lengths to copy a scene from a movie, you are left with a set that is only really good for that with over specialized play features. Once a kid recreates the movie scene, there may not be much left to do.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby azblue » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:28 am

I agree with you, Crusader, as far as the single purpose sets. Back when I was working at a Target store, you wouldn't believe how many kids would buy Star Wars sets, specifically the battle packs, just to recreate the scenes from the TV show. Not much imagination going on there in my opinion.

On the other hand, the Superheroes sets should have some scenes from the movies, but should, like the Batman line, have more creative licensing. One thing I would like to see return for the Superheroes line is the Alternate Model inspiration on the back of the box, even if it is just a short comic like in the SW Episode 1 instruction manuals from 1999-2000.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Crusader » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:29 pm

Yes, I have nothing against making sets that draw from the movies. Most of the kids who will be buying these sets aren't reading comic books, but watching their heroes in cartoons and films. So Lego should certainly take what is cool and make it into sets. But by not having it directly tie into one film, Lego will have much more creative potential. Many of the best licensed sets we've seen come from themes that have been around for years. The best Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Toy Story sets seemed to come from the older source material. Some of the sets based on just Toy Story 3, Crystal Skull and now the Clone Wars cartoon suffer because they were forced to only replicate what was on screen. A little distance from the source seems to help Lego in making great sets. They age well.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby zwolya » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:13 pm

Also, let's not forget that the theme is "Lego Superheroes" not Lego Captain America, Lego Green Lantern, etc. With Batman, they really pulled out every possible vehicle they could have for the Dark Knight, because the theme was exclusive to him. With Prince of Persia, for instance, they pretty much WERE limited by the movie. For Super Heroes, I'm thinking that they're going to take the best and most iconic of each hero, not worry about milking every set possible from all the new movies. My point is, with so many possibilities, we'll probably see 1-2 sets featuring each hero, so they're going to go for things like the Batmobile, not the Bat Buggy.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Mister Ed » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:35 pm

Well, looking at the lineup of minifigs for the initial offering (for DC, anyway) it looks like they MAY get down to the Bat Buggy. Pretty much the entire line is Batman and Batman villains, with only Superman and Luthor (probably representing one set), and Wonder Woman (who my gut tells me will only be in a big, expensive set with Batman AND Superman in it, too- though I'd love to be wrong) breaking the Bat Monopoly.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby zwolya » Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:08 pm

How many sets usually come in the first wave of a newly launched theme? 5-6, right? So we get the Batcave (confirmed), something with Superman, something with Wonderwoman, something with GL. If there is a DC "superset" with all of them, that's 5. I'm not up on the lore of all the other heroes, but I'm almost certain they'll do another Batmobile, and that's 6. And with Marvel launching their lot at the same time, I'd bet on Lego keeping an even number/price points from each. So to avoid buyer shell-shock, I'd also bet that Lego will keep the total number of new heroes sets in the first wave to below 15. Add it all up, and we've already filled up the slots: approximately one set starring each new fig. And in successive waves, I'd think the obvious choice is to expand the web of minifig heroes, not to dwell on ones they've spent an entire theme on in the past.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby banthafodder » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:02 pm

Let's just get a big hall of justice and a legion of doom and be done with it. ;)
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:15 am

zwolya wrote: something with GL.


Not unless they were being dishonest about the lineup of figs:

Batman
Robin
Bruce Wayne
Joker
Catwoman
Poison Ivy
The Riddler
Bane
Two-Face
Harley Quinn
Superman
Lex Luthor
Wonder Woman

No GL to be seen in the first wave, despite the promo at ComicCon. I'm very disappointed by that.

If I had to guess, I'd say we'll get a big set including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, a smaller Supes vs. Luthor set, the Batcave, and two or three other Batman sets to make use of the large line-up of Batman-related figs they announced. Probably a Batmobile and a sort of Batman Battle Pack (with a small vehicle, Batman, and some villain he his chasing), and maybe another larger Bat-vehicle.

I would love it if there was a SMALLER set that included the Big Three, but I just am having a hard time imagining that happening. Love to be wrong, though.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby zwolya » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:46 am

I guess your info is more complete than mine; I've been going solely on the ComicCon pictures. Seems kinda silly to have a fig out there (under these circumstances) then wait before actually putting it in a set. Especially since it's GL, and not Wonderwoman, who's in the "Big Three" on the official Lego Superheroes website.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby onions » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:40 am

i can say with 99% certainty that there will be no green lantern sets or figures for 2012.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Mister Ed » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:51 am

All I can say is that there better be at least one eventually, or I will be mighty P.O.ed about the ComicCon tease.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby zwolya » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:18 pm

Agreed, they may have missed the big GL movie premiere to launch their sets, but they could at least put them out while it's still fresh in our minds. All I can say is I hope the only reason they are heavily loading on Batman is because of THAT movie, because otherwise I'm going to be very disappointed in this line. I'd like a Batman reboot as much as anybody, but (once again) the line is "Super Heroes" not "Mainly Batman but also a few of his buddies"
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Crusader » Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:46 pm

Keep in mind that one reason Lego is heavy on the Batman stuff is that all their design time is already done. Other than minor tweaking, Lego can rerelease all the old sets for a fraction of what an entire new line would cost in design. Previously the old Batman line sold just okay, but then they came out with the Lego Batman video game and millions of little boys now wanted Lego Batman sets, but the stores were already sold out. My guess is that Lego is more concerned with selling slightly rehashed sets to the legions of younger kids who missed out than devoting a lot of time and money to pleasing older fans who have the older Batman sets.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Mister Ed » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:04 pm

But they didn't need the full DC license to do that. They could have simply licensed Batman again. For them to license the whole line, yet weight it down with almost all Batman would be rather bizarre, IMHO. They don't seem to be suffering from the same sort of lopsided focus on the Marvel side, judging by the variety of figs...

Maybe the focus on Batman IS just an initial priority, though. Like you said, they already have the demand out there, due to the Video Game. Maybe they want to satisfy that first, then branch out.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby onions » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:33 pm

i can say with 99% certainty that there will be no re-releases of the previous batman sets.

the tumbler set eludes me once again!
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Mister Ed » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:20 pm

onions wrote:i can say with 99% certainty that there will be no re-releases of the previous batman sets.

the tumbler set eludes me once again!


I thought a Batcave was already confirmed. I don't think people are suggesting that the sets will be identical, just that they will cover the same ground. That much seems certain (at least 99% ;) ).
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby onions » Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:42 pm

there is but i'm pretty sure it'll be different. i had a convo with the brand manager at comic con and asked about rereleasing some older sets. there's a chance i may have misunderstood her with all the noise and all that but i'm pretty sure that none of the previous sets are going to be rereleased.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby Mister Ed » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:15 pm

onions wrote:there is but i'm pretty sure it'll be different. i had a convo with the brand manager at comic con and asked about rereleasing some older sets. there's a chance i may have misunderstood her with all the noise and all that but i'm pretty sure that none of the previous sets are going to be rereleased.


But they will obviously be similar, at least as similar as the various versions of the same Star Wars vehicles have been over the years. There will be a Batcave set, and inevitably there WILL be a Batmobile set, and probably some of the other Bat vehicles will get redone as well. They won't be the same exact SETS, but they will cover the same ground, I assume.
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Re: With Great Licensing Comes Great Responsibility

Postby zwolya » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:41 pm

Mister Ed wrote:
onions wrote:there is but i'm pretty sure it'll be different. i had a convo with the brand manager at comic con and asked about rereleasing some older sets. there's a chance i may have misunderstood her with all the noise and all that but i'm pretty sure that none of the previous sets are going to be rereleased.


But they will obviously be similar, at least as similar as the various versions of the same Star Wars vehicles have been over the years. There will be a Batcave set, and inevitably there WILL be a Batmobile set, and probably some of the other Bat vehicles will get redone as well. They won't be the same exact SETS, but they will cover the same ground, I assume.


Not to keep bringing it up, but if they got to the Bat Buggy the first time around, I'm really curious what they can come up with if they want to avoid remakes. And I saw the Tumbler on Heinz Field with my own eyes, so that means its in two movies and has already had more screen time than most of the SW stuff they're putting out these days. You guys are obviously better informed than I am, but I (as a mere fan) would think its a shoe-in, even if they are going for the best of each hero for the theme as a whole.
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