Entertainment Weekly online has the scoop on a bunch of The Force Awakens toys from Hasbro, Mattel, and, of course, LEGO. They revealed the buildable Stormtrooper based off of its evolved design.
Besides the obvious new helmet element, the blaster / spring-loaded missile launcher is also new. EW is reporting that the set will be available starting January 2016 with it also being shown at this year’s San Diego Comic Con happening next month. Seems odd it would not be available as part of the merch launch for the movie. The movie comes out December 18, 2015.
Not surprising really. It seems that LEGO will put out product for any major Star Wars movie now.
In a press release sent out late last week, Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced a slew of licensing partners ahead of the Licensing Expo going on right now in Las Vegas. In addition to the already announced DC Super Hero Girls line, LEGO was named a global construction partner for the upcoming Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice film which will be released on March 25, 2016. As a teaser, The LEGO Group tweeted out the below image of Warhol pop art style posters:
The LEGO Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice poster looking just as SUPER as the original! … Building 2016 pic.twitter.com/ArBMhfRMAv
The title is written badly, but you get the gist. There is an article on Variety published today detailing Marvel’s licensing plans for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Merch from a variety of licensees will be available about two months ahead of the May 6, 2016 opening of the film. There is a good chance that set images and details will be on display at the 2016 New York Toy Fair and possibly earlier at other similar industry events around the world.
Not surprising really. It seems that LEGO will put out product for any major Marvel movie now.
Am I the only one that thinks the title for LEGO Marvel’s Avengers seems a bit odd? It’s that apostrophe s that’s making it weird for me. Oh well.
With E3 right around the corner, news for LEGO games should be forthcoming. Like this trailer. WB Interactive and TT Games released the above trailer for the upcoming LEGO Marvel’s Avengers video set to be released for all major consoles later this year. There’s not a whole lot of details yet. If I were a betting man though, I’d guess you can play through both Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron movies in one game. They will probably also feature their local co-op play because they don’t believe online co-op is a thing, a thousand unlockable minifigs, a score of vehicles, and much more. Okay, I’m kidding about the last two points.
GameStop listings has a date of 12/31/15 but no doubt that is simply a placeholder date until a firm one is released by the publisher. Also, if you pre-order from GameStop you’ll get the below pictured Silver Centurion Iron Man minifigure as a bonus.
Time to queue up at Target. This Friday, June 12, the Jurassic World movie will be in theaters and the video game will be released in stores as well. Target retail stores is offering a free exclusive minifig with purchase of the game for any system. No name is given but if I were a betting man, I’d say the minifigure is of Dr. Henry Wu portrayed by BD Wong who doesn’t look like he’s aged a day since Jurassic Park and who miraculously escaped from Isla Nublar. This deal is NOT available online; it is in their weekly ad and ONLY available in store. Target stores generally open at 8:00am local time.
Jurassic World opens in theaters this Friday June 12, but you’ll have to wait another two weeks for the build event at your local Toys’R’Us stores. You’ll be able to build a mini version of the front gate to the Jurassic World park. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping that was a printed tile but they’ve done stickers before for these things. The event runs from 12noon to 2pm on Saturday June 20. Get there early or you’ll miss out.
Rovio, makers of the popular Angry Birds game, continues their licensing blitz and announced today that they are in a partnership with The LEGO Group to make sets based off of the upcoming movie of the same name. As per usual the press release doesn’t give much details in the way of set details but we may see a prototype set at this year’s San Diego Comic Con as LEGO has a history of using the venue to reveal new product announcements.
I would not be surprised the least bit if the Angry Birds characters were regular minifigure bodies with custom bird head elements to distinguish between the different types of birds and pigs. I would also not be surprised if the super jumpers element introduced by the LEGO Super Heroes line was used to launch the minifigure at the targets. You heard it here first, folks.
This just baffles me. Not because of the minifigure or super jumper theories I postulated above. But the whole Angry Birds license. What’s coming out next year? LEGO Candy Crush Saga? Build gigantic candy pieces using LEGO elements? If the article is true, then the license is really centered around the movie more so than the game, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the popularity of the game helped push the deal through. Personally, I think it’s a mistake. There are brands that have what I like to call staying power. Meaning, there are brands that are perennial and have garnered a loyal and rabid fan base. And there are brands that are just trends and like all trends they go out of style. Angry Birds is, or at least was, a trend. That article I linked to describes how licensing for Angry Birds merch has dropped dramatically so this feels more like a Hail Mary by Rovio to boost it’s bottom line. This is just my opinion but it doesn’t sound like a license that LEGO should have in its portfolio. Worst case scenario, it’s this decade’s Galidor and could cheapen the brand. Luckily, LEGO has no investors to answer to being a privately owned company so they can do whatever they want but still. This announcement just sounds like an easy paycheck.
And I’ll ask again, where is the Nintendo license. Does the big N have to come out with a movie to even be considered as a licensing partner? I was told by a secret source that the Zelda Ideas project wasn’t approved because the powers that be just didn’t understand what Zelda was about. “It’s a game? It first came out over 20 years ago? Why should we approve the set based on an old video game?” Meanwhile, we’re getting Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, The Simpsons and Scooby Doo sets. If LEGO is looking for licenses, they really need to hook up with Nintendo. And even if they’re not looking for licenses, open the door for them when come knocking like they did for the Zelda Ideas project.
Amazon has put a bunch of LEGO Star Wars sets on sale at 20% off with a few at 24% off. The most notable deal is 75051 Jedi Scout Fighter. It’s normally $59.99 but can be had at 24% off at $45.59. Nick gave it a slightly-better-than-middle-of-the-road score in his review of the set. It’s got a great selection of minifigures though, so its got that going for it at least. The list of sets on sale is below:
After a pretty weak start, the Rebels sets may have picked up a bit with Ezra’s Speeder Bike and the AT-DP. They’re not really spectacular, but they’re not awful either, and both added characters like Kallus and the far-future, soccer mom version of Sabine from that time-travel episode where she married Tim Allen and they tried to skip Christmas and go on a cruise.
Of course, I just reviewed 75095 UCS TIE Fighter, so you’d think I’d be a little TIE-d out… course, I’m not sure that even exists. I love some TIE fighters, so reviewing 75082 TIE Advanced Prototype wasn’t that hard of a choice. The TIE Advanced Prototype is an interesting ship, since it’s far more OT designed than the PT-to-OT that a lot of Rebels stuff is. In the new canon, this is the precursor to what Darth Vader gets stuck in for a few weeks while he’s looking for a cell signal to call the Emperor and tell him the Death Star was destroyed by some farm kid that had never flown a spaceship and is now responsible for the sudden death of 342,953 people (pretty sure that the Jedi felt that one too).
The ship appeared in the show, briefly, towards the last episodes, but it wasn’t notable enough to really remember as it’s own ship. I don’t think that it was featured in the episode with the TIE factory (I’ll admit that I’m not certain about that, and that I’m too lazy to go look). The first problem with this set is the same as most of the other Star Wars sets… when you look at the final build, you don’t really see a 355 piece $39.99 set. It feels like many other sets we’ve gotten in that $30-35 range. Even on display in the stores, it doesn’t really feel like you’d be getting your money’s worth buying it at full price. Sometimes, looks can be deceiving, so maybe that’s the case here.
Oh, and there may be a few Rebels spoilers, so if you don’t want to be spoilered, skip the minifig stuff.
Here’s your wallet shocker of the day. A user on the Hothbricks posted the full set list for sets based on the upcoming next chapter of the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. As per usual, there is a set for every price point except for the less-than-a-Jackson price range. What’s most surprising is Poe’s X-wing ranking in at $79.99 and the First Order Snowspeeder at $39.99. Both are the most expensive versions of the ships to date. Perhaps this time there will be a more screen-accurate canopy for the Snowspeeder. The Falcon weighs in at a whopping $149.99, which isn’t that much more than the previous iteration, which is $10 more for about 80 more pieces. Here’s hoping it will be the best System-scale version yet.
75099 Rey’s Speeder, 193 pieces, $19.99
75100 First Order Snowspeeder, 444 pieces, $39.99
75101 First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter, 517 pieces, $69.99
We’ll see how much of this rings true come toy release time. September 4th is known as Force Friday and is the street date for The Force Awakens merchandise. The film will be released in theaters on December 18th.